2004 State of the University Address
I am pleased to welcome you back for what promises to be an exciting new academic year. We are bigger, and I truly believe, better than ever before. In a recent conversation, Larry Stuardi, a KU alum and a member of our foundation board, captured the essence of the changes we are experiencing clearly and succinctly: "we used to be a large, small college; now we are a small, large university." This transition requires new ways of thinking and will bring changes in the ways we do things. Last year’s Strategic Planning Process will be the road map we will follow as we understand what it means to be a small large university. Two main initiatives this year will be at the center of making the plan a reality. The General Education restructuring (I will talk more about it in a few minutes) and an examination of the way in which we do our budgeting in campus. Together with Strategic Planning Committee, we will appoint a task force that will study our current budget practices and examine other potential models. We want to ensure that we align our resources with the strategic directions of the plan. We have also posted the annual reports from each one of the divisions on the web. These reports indicate the specific ways in which each are of the campus is working to make our strategic plan an action plan, with goals, objectives, achievements and deadlines.
At this time, I would like to recognize the Kutztown University Council of Trustee members here with us today: Chairman Guido Pichini, trustees Richard Orwig, Jennifer Clark, Diane Lutz, our newest member of the council, David Jones, and former trustee John Stoner.
Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to be with us today. We have new faculty and staff who have joined us this year (please stand). Welcome to the Kutztown University family. As a somewhat recent addition to the family myself, I can assure you that Kutztown is a remarkably warm and welcoming university.
I would now like to introduce the Chair of the University Senate, Bill Bateman, to make some remarks.
Thank you Bill
Kutztown University is proud of the positive relationships that have been established between management and the various unions on the campus. I have asked all the Union Presidents who would like to, to make some brief comments.
I would like to ask Gary Brey, president of APSCUF to make some remarks.
We will hear now from Ray Ingosh, representing SCUPA.
Candi Calhoun, representing AFSCME.
It is also a tradition that at our opening day festivities we acknowledge the accomplishments of one faculty member. It is now the time to name the 2004 recipient of the Arthur and Isabel Wiesenberger Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching. Before we announce this year’s winner, I would like to acknowledge the previous faculty award recipients. Please stand up when I call your name:
- Prof. Patrick Duddy, Biology (retired)
- Prof. Jack Schellenberg, Physical Science (retired)
- Prof. John Landis, Communication Design (retired)
- Prof. Ed Evans, Math/CIS (retired)
- Prof. Allida McKinley, History
- Prof. James Ogden, Marketing
- Prof. David Peterson, Audio-visual Communications (retired)
- Prof. John Loomis, Physical Science
- Prof. Kathleen Dolgos, Secondary Education
- Prof. Tom Schantz, Art Education and Crafts (retired)
Thank you, again, for setting an example for all. I would like to ask Sarah Galosi, who is here on behalf of the Kutztown University Alumni Board, to join me in presenting the award and a check for $2,000 to professor of economics, perennial Fulbright scholar and world traveler, Dr. Arifeen Daneshyar.
As I mentioned at the beginning of my remarks, Kutztown University is getting bigger. The Class of 2008 is the largest in our history. We saw a 10 percent increase in the number of applications over the past year, from 7,200 to more than 8,000, and first time freshman enrollment also grew by 10 percent, from 1,826 to slightly more than 2,000. We also are seeing increases in summer school enrollment, transfer enrollment graduate enrollment and participation in our lifelong learning credit and non credit offerings.
But we're not just getting bigger, we're also getting better. We are admitting better, brighter students. In fact, we admitted our youngest student in more than a decade this fall -- some of you may have seen the article on the front page of the Reading Eagle -- a 15-year-old from the Wilson School district who scored 1390 on the SAT. We also admitted a student in Art with a 1560 SAT. But, setting those scores aside, we still are seeing a rise in the average SAT score of our incoming classes. Let me share with you, in graphic form, some of the changes we have seen in the entering class profile over the last three years:
We will continue to attract more and better students as we are able to provide more and larger scholarships. Toward that end, (as Prof. Bateman mentioned), last year we held the first scholarship ball, and it was a great success, raising more than $64,000 for scholarships. We have structured these scholarships in a different way. Instead of putting the money into the endowment, and use the interest it generates, every dollar raised goes directly to the students, thus having an immediate impact in our recruitment efforts. The ball committee, and I would like to particularly thank Sue and Guido Pichini, current and retired faculty and staff volunteers and some of their husbands and wives, have been busy for the past several months arranging this year's ball, which will be Saturday, November 6. Already it is promising to surpass the successes of last year. As one attendee predicted last year, this is fast becoming THE social event of the year in Berks County and the surrounding area.
As we attract more and better students, we will need to find places for them to sleep. Or at least places where they could sleep if they chose to. With the opening of an additional 500 beds in Golden Bear Village South, we are now the largest residential campus among the public universities in Pennsylvania, and we still have a lengthy waiting list of students who would prefer to live on campus.
As you know, the State System has an Accountability Plan that assesses the performance of the universities according to a series of specific measures. Based on past performance data, we are evaluated against specific targets for each measure. We are also evaluated against a group of peer institutions nationwide that provide us with a benchmark. I would like to share with you some of this year’s results:
Of 61 measures, we met or exceeded our goals in 52.
Last year at this time I mentioned one goal we did not meet that would require us all to work together to correct - the 6-year graduation rate. I am delighted to report that we exceeded our target for 6-year graduation among the student body as a whole, and among African-American and Hispanic students as well. We have made significant strides, but we must not become overconfident. We need to continue to improve the 4 and six graduation rates. The ultimate goal of the university is, after all, not simply to admit students through the front door, but to send them out the back door and into the community with a high quality, well earned diploma in hand.
Another highly significant measure of effectiveness is our retention rate. Again, across the board we saw better than expected results: Overall retention is a little over 77 percent, with retention among African-American students barely half a percent below that, and retention among Hispanics at just over 79 percent. Let me share this figures with you in graphic form:
But once again, we must continue to work hard to ensure those students stay after the second year and graduate in the appropriate time.
And this year, for the second year in a row, the Princeton Review has ranked Kutztown University as one of the top universities in the Mid-Atlantic region.
At this point, I would like to ask my cabinet members to share with you some of the accomplishments in their divisions last year, and what they see on the horizon in the coming months and years.
Provost Linda Rinker
During the past year, the faculty and staff in Academic Affairs continued to be actively dedicated to excellence in learning and to the success of its diverse community of students. Faculty prepared student’s to meet lifelong intellectual, ethnic, social, and professional challenges by providing quality programs for a global environment. The Colleges worked toward accreditation in a number of programs. These are: The College of Business has begun working toward AACSB accreditation. Kudos to Nursing for receiving full accreditation. The Council on Social Work Education had its benchmark II site visit for the Masters of Social Work program, Chemistry submitted its application/self-study to the American Chemical Society, the College of Visual and Performing Arts prepares for its re-accreditation visit from the National Association of Schools of Art & Design, and the re-accreditation visit by the National Association of School of Music. The College of Education began it NCATE process and Library Science is beginning the process for ALA accreditation.
Speaking about the College of Education, I am pleased to welcome Dr. Regis Bernhardt and his wife Betsy to the family of Kutztown University. Dr. Bernhardt assumed the position of the Dean of the College of Education in July and has begun the work of the college. Dr. Bernhardt brings a wealth of information to the university from his varied experiences in higher education. Dr. Bernhardt, we are delighted to have you on our team.
Colleges developed new programs to meet regional needs. A Bachelor of Science in Music Education program was approved by the Board of Governors. The program will be offered this Fall, 2004. English as a Second Language Specialist Program was approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and was offered across the region to serve the needs of schools for trained specialists. A Supervisory Certificate as an option in the Master of Education in Secondary Education program was approved by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and is pending PDE approval. The following new programs were approved through the University Curricular process, the Council of Trustee’s and is pending the Chancellor’s office for review and the Board of Governor’s approval: a Bachelor of Arts in German Studies with three tracks, one in Communication and Culture, one Interdisciplinary, and one – unique to Kutztown University – in Pennsylvania German Culture in America; a Master of Arts in Teaching (in collaboration with Cheyney University); a Bachelor of Science and a Minor in Biochemistry, and a Minor in Pennsylvania German Studies.
The General Education Reform Committee continued to hold open meetings for faculty in all colleges to discuss the mission and goals for general education. The committee has worked throughout the summer to prepare for the open discussions in the building of a general education model.
Admissions has been busy building a highly diverse population of students. Kutztown University celebrates a remarkable increase in our diverse student population. Efforts to diversify the incoming student body have resulted in sixteen percent of the Fall, 2004 first-year class being students of color compared with less then five percent four years ago. Academic Affairs continued the successful Act 101 and Upward Bound Programs and began a new Upward Bound Math/Science Program. Individual colleges established additional programs, such as a Mentoring Program for prospective Education majors and recruitment of accepted Business students identified as high ability. In order to better coordinate the enrollment management initiative, Admissions has worked with the office of University Relations and the University Marketing Agency, Klunk and Millian to revise and expand the marketing plan, helping to generate and increase enrollment from 8524 students in the Fall, 2002, to 9008 students in Fall 2003 and for Fall 2004 we have a projected enrollment of 9301.
Colleges worked to increase enrollment in science, technology, and health-care programs by hosting Science/Math Open Houses and Guidance Counselor Open Houses and by creating a Science Viewbook and a Science Shadowing program for prospective students. Applications and enrollments for science, technology, and healthcare related programs has increased from Fall, 2003 to Fall, 2004, as of June 11 of each year from 674 to 727, and from 112 to 137, respectively. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences increased its courses supporting the Reading Hospital School of Nursing program from thirty courses and labs with enrollment of 988 students to forty-six courses and labs with enrollment of 1,486 students.
Academic Affairs implemented the Multicultural Studies Minor, effective in spring and Dr. Joseph Amprey has been chosen to be the Director. Faculty worked to infuse diversity across the curriculum by offering new courses dealing with diversity issues.
The Library’s Learning Technologies Center trained faculty in classroom technologies, delivering over 140 individual and group instruction, and thirteen group training sessions through the Center for the Enhancement of Teaching. The Center conducted training sessions for twelve Technology projects this summer.
The International Studies program continues to expand student and teacher exchanges. These exchanges will be with the University of Puerto Rico, University of Cuenca, Ecuador, Universidad del Azuay, Capital University of Economics and Business, Beijing PRC, Yantai University, China as well as all of the existing International Studies opportunities throughout Europe.
The Library added resources while reducing costs for those additional resources by more that $2,000,000 by subscribing to a document delivery service, by collaborating on electronic databases, and by reducing the number of print journals. Academic Affairs upgraded online processes for a variety of services for faculty, students and staff.
The Academic Affairs Division goals for the coming year are:
- Enhance Academic Excellence
- Increase Diversity across division
- Improve retention/graduation rates
- Improve technology and information resources
- Increase public engagement across division
- Increase efficiency across division
Vice President Charles Woodard
These are exciting times and times of change. To be at the forefront of controlling change, we must continually reshape the way we organize our work and deliver services in support of the true objective of higher education: to provide appropriate venues for students to obtain skills, and competencies they will need to navigate the rest of their lives. Collaborating across the work environment, providing broad-based and meaningful student learning initiatives and successfully negotiating the ever-evolving financial pressures in a shrinking economy, are the factors that influenced the need for restructuring the division of Student Affairs. The division’s new name, The Division of Student Services and Campus Life, reflects a more service-oriented philosophy in helping students achieve their educational dreams.
In addition to changing the division to be more vertical (consistent with the Council for the Advancement of Standards External Review), restructuring resulted in consolidating services such as Health, Wellness and Counseling into one unit. This will create a more cohesive working relationship in the delivery of highly specialized services. To eliminate boundaries, and help students maximize “learning as they go,” other changes included pulling together America Reads, Volunteerism, Off-Campus and Community Service Learning programs under the Office of Career and Community Services. Some previously combined units, like Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation Services, are now separated. This split will allow more attention to the growing popularity of recreational services and help negotiate the complexities of maintaining a successful intercollegiate athletic program. For handling functions traditionally associated with a Dean of Students position, we now have a Dean for Student Services and Campus Life. Finally, some personnel have assumed different and modified roles to more effectively use their unique talents.
In support of the university’s core values of equal access and community collaboration and service, the Financial Aid Office increased its outreach initiatives into Allentown and Reading to better serve low socioeconomic and minority populations who are often underserved in preparation for post secondary enrollment. A (bilingual) assistant director, serves as a liaison to Admissions, Upward Bound, area high schools, community agencies, and minority organizations, such as the NAACP of Allentown, “Casa Guadalupe” and the Latino Alliance Education Committee. In Reading, a proposal to initiate a year-long early awareness program, “Higher Education Can Be a Reality,” promoting the possibility of higher education with a group of fifth graders and their parents, in an impoverished neighborhood elementary school, has been accepted for implementation this year. This program will focus on uplifting self-esteem, expanding career awareness, and imparting to under-prepared youngsters, early in their lives, knowledge about the college admissions process, financial aid opportunities, and the possibilities that exist for achieving their dreams.
There is significant evidence of the division’s commitment to diversity. Mandatory training for all staff, “Ethnic Sensitivity: A Workshop on Building Race Relations Competence,” on-going participation in campus seminars, diversity programs, employment and training practices and collaboration with the Multicultural Center have helped to improve the campus climate for under-represented students. Developing multicultural competence through awareness, knowledge and skills will continue to receive high priority.
The Associate Vice President and Director of New Student Programs collaborated with Information Technology and University Relations to bring “Bear Essentials” online. This e-newsletter was designed to overcome access obstacles facing students living off campus. It has also become a reliable communication vehicle for disseminating vital and timely information to all KU students.
Following three program reviews, including a comprehensive assessment of campus parking needs, a restructuring was warranted in Public Safety and Police Services resulting in hiring a full-time parking/security manager. This much needed position will help to implement, monitor and modify, as needed, an approved university zoned parking plan and web-based vehicle registration system. Shortly, our parking worries will be a thing of the past!
In consultation with other campus units, our Director of Off-Campus Student Life coordinated efforts, beyond the call of duty, in providing relief services to 15 students displaced by two fires off campus. With the help of Housing & Residence Life, Dining Services, Public Safety, KUSSI and SGB, the university helped to restore some normalcy to those affected students’ lives during an extremely difficult time for them.
A twelve year target to improve academic performance and level of competitiveness of student athletes and teams continued in 2003-2004 as evidenced by: the highest ever cumulative GPA of 2.86 the second highest ever six-year graduation rate of any entering freshmen (the class of 1998) which graduated at a rate of 63.6% compared to their cohort group rate of 48%; and athletic team performance improvement which culminated in KU finishing in second place for the prestigious PSAC Dixon Trophy, awarded annually to the university with the overall best athletic program. This was KU’s best performance ever.
These are samplings of services, visionary planning and assessment initiatives that members of the division will continue to refine in their commitment to excellence at all service levels. Our intent?: to help KU students achieve their curricular and co-curricular goals through transitions as they enter, enjoy, endure and exit the university with positive experiences.
Assistant to the President, Barbara Taliaferro
This is a very exciting time to be a part of the present, in the here and now, methodically moving toward the future, making our mark, changing the nature of what is, while embracing what we believe is infinite possibilities. Together, we are creating history, nurturing growth, and seasoning our experiences with opportunities to stretch intellect, expand capacity, and find satisfaction in valuable work that is indeed valued.
The Office of Human Diversity represents a myriad of important, services under the component programs of the Women’s Center, The Center for GLBTQ (Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual, Transgender and Questioning) individuals, the Multicultural Center and Services for Americans with Disabilities. The Human Diversity Team also serves the university and greater community through collaboration, coordination, and support for every student and employee by working with all of you.
Highlights of the past academic year include leadership transitions. The Women’s Center has a new director, Dr. Kim Johnston, Chair and faculty of the Nursing Department. She replaces Dr. Ann Gundry who retired in June after 37 years of service, advocacy, and leadership. She left a wonderful legacy related to gender dialogue, union activism, teaching, mentoring, and service. We will truly miss her. Dr. Johnston brings forward new initiatives and a style of leadership to move gender issues and concerns into even greater prominence. We ask for your help and support, as we continue the work to acknowledge and include women’s contributions to education and society.
The Center for the GLBTQ organization and Allies will open this Fall. After much planning, the students, faculty, and others worked hard and long to make this a reality. True diversity recognizes and values all members of the community. Respect is a cornerstone of it.
The Multicultural Center and services continues to grow, expand our hours, offer classroom accommodations and serve as a campus focal point.
It is included on many admissions tours, campus visitations, and serves a variety of special events. It is a visual and visionary commitment to recruitment, retention, and graduation of all students…. while focusing on providing a standard of operation, integrity, and the development of leadership for multiculturalism, inclusiveness, and students of color.
Many programs and activities are scheduled throughout the year. Special events are planned to celebrate ethnicity, heritage, and culture. Take your students to the events; talk about the events in class, please know that multiculturalism is for everyone. Enhance your opportunities to reach out and touch another culture…educate beyond the myth and stereotypes that may be familiar, but untrue.
150 new ADA freshmen will enroll in classes this Fall, increasing our totals close to 500 students. The services have increased, but staff remains the same, note takers are needed, scribes are recruited, the cost of services can outpace ability to meet the demand. A special thanks to emeriti faculty who volunteer to assist us during exams and finals week. Many have taken the “DO It Prof on line course. Others have been identified Ambassadors for Learning, who go the extra mile, provide additional encouragement, or use a variety of teaching techniques to meet a number of different learning styles. Some even help other faculty to increase their knowledge of how to teach different types of student learners.
The challenges are before us, but we are committed and we are strong. Please join us on this journey. As one successful organization has noted; they will not care how much you know….until they know how much you care.
Vice President Jim Sutherland
Dr. Cevallos, Trustees, Faculty & Staff
Good morning. Once again it is my pleasure on behalf of the Division of Administration and Finance to welcome you to the beginning of another exciting and always interesting academic year at Kutztown University. Before I give you a brief look at what is on the plate for the next ten months, I would like to recap the 2003/04 year.
- We ended the year on sound financial footing, which is a testament to your commitment to fiscal restraint and the increasing popularity of the university.
- Our diversity initiative continued to move forward successfully throughout our community.
- Kutztown University’s facilities and grounds received significantly positive comments from an impressive number of visitors, prospective students and their parents.
- The Science Center complex neared completion with the final touches to be completed this coming October.
- Planning for the recreation center, Sharadin Arts Building, Schaeffer Auditorium, the High-Tech Classroom Building, and the new Central Heating Plant also moved forward.
- The Shared Administrative System rolled out the new Human Resources and Payroll module in January.
- AVI out of Warren, Ohio, was selected as the new food service vendor for Kutztown University and began its operation here on June 1st (How’s breakfast?)
- The Shuttle Bus Service was inaugurated and became an instant success serving almost 80,000 riders on and off-campus.
- The renovation and addition to the official residence was completed and we were able to welcome Dr. Cevallos and his family to their new on-campus home.
- We survived another lengthy visit (14 weeks) by the staff of the Auditor General and I’m pleased to report in their exit briefing they informed us that there were no reportable items in any of the areas reviewed. (This means they didn’t find any errors, - they never say or report anything good.)
Now for this year…..it looks to be every bit as exciting as last.
Although our budget is tight, we have put together a balanced budget with a very strong emphasis on academic excellence.
The Science complex project will finally be completed and will, in the recent Kutztown fashion, be an exceptionally attractive as well as functional facility and surrounding grounds.
Construction on the recreation center will begin in February with an opening scheduled for fall 2006.
The High-Tech Classroom/Food Court facility will continue in the design phase through December with construction to begin in the late spring or early summer. Funding for the Sharadin Arts Building is scheduled to be released this fall allowing us to move forward with the design phase that will take about 12 months.
We will also see the start of the construction on the new Central Heating Plant after only six years of studying the economic realities, planning, studying some more, negotiating, studying some more, cajoling, studying some more, pleading, studying, crying, more studying, and groveling….sounds like a graduate student. Nonetheless, we are finally able to move this project forward.
The Shuttle bus program will expand its hours into the afternoon and evening by adding a 3:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., Monday through Friday service through the campus and downtown Kutztown.
The Shared Administrative System continues to move forward into the area of Campus Management, the most complicated aspect of the new system, the analysis and design will challenge all involved.
But most of these things you know and this is not the emphasis of my thoughts or discourse. What is most important to me is that I convey to you that none of this could have been or can be accomplished, let alone accomplished so well, without the people that make up the various departments and offices of the Division of Finance and Administration. The statement “people are the most valuable resource” is a well-worn and familiar phrase. In fact, it is so trite and used with such abundance that it has ceased to mean anything to many people.
Recently, one of the employees in the Division asked one of the managers the following question, “We keep hearing people saying that we are the best. Do people really think that or are they just saying it?” Well, I am here to tell that employee, as well as all the other employees in the Division of Finance and Administration, that in my book, yes, you are the best! And, I am not just saying that.
This is not to say that there is not a growing esprit and spirit of excellence everywhere on campus, but you are the unsung heroes… the ones behind the scenes that provide the foundation for this growth.
Without you, we would be lost. All we can and do accomplish is through you. The fact that this University continues to thrive and develop and improve, through budget challenges, enrollment increases, and staff shortages, is because of the dedication, loyalty, pride, and commitment of you. The proof is in the quality of the services you provide, the beauty of our campus, and positive feedback from our customers; yes, you ARE the best. And, I want each and every one of you to know that I personally feel lucky and proud to be on your team. I look forward to the challenges and opportunities that we will face together in the upcoming year. I have no doubt, since you ARE the best, that it will be another great year.
Vice President Rich Zera
A key ingredient in developing ourselves as a small large University is providing a technological framework capable of handling the needs of a major institution. For the past six years, the Division of Information Technology has been strategically developing this new infrastructure at KU. We are very proud of the enhancements for the beginning of this academic year and would like to share a few highlights with you that will affect everyone.
First, we have split of our network into two networks, one for residential students, and the other for administrative and academic users, while also doubling our Internet capacity. This new network design will significantly reduce the impact on faculty, staff, and classrooms of viruses, hackers, and denial of service attacks that typically plague a student network. Complete fail-over capabilities are designed in both networks.
Second, with the excellent support from other areas, we have begun rolling out wireless capabilities in numerous locations across campus. Wireless capabilities have been added for classrooms in DeFran, Lytle, and two wings of Old Main and upgraded in the Library. In addition, wireless capabilities have been added throughout the Student Union building, in the Food Court area of the South Dining Hall, outdoors at the Alumni Plaza, and will be completed in September outdoors between the Library and Boehm, in the atrium area of Boehm, outdoors in the DMZ, and in parts of the Administration Building. This wireless network, called BearNet, will not only let our faculty and students hook into the Internet from a wide variety of locations in a secure environment using their laptop computers or PDA’s, but it will further encourage our students to acquire laptop computers. And it’s easy to use.
Third, to address the ever-increasing problem of Spam, we have implemented MailFrontier, and have received extremely favorable comments from faculty and staff who have used it so far. It is very user-friendly, and allows individual faculty, staff, and students to make decisions about the degree of potential spam or junk mail they are willing to tolerate – yet, review a summary of junk mail easily and change their mind.
Fourth, we have been working feverishly at installing almost 2,000 new Dell and Apple G5 computers, complete with new operating systems, a new standard browser, a new email standard, and some new features to allow us to keep your systems updated with the latest Microsoft patches, anti-virus system, and anti-fraud capabilities. Delays in Harrisburg shortened our installation time by 2/3, and the Mac computers have been further delayed by Apple, so if you have any problems, please let us know as soon as possible.
Fifth, we have listened to your suggestions in the past, and have tried to emphasize communications, training, and support. Our web site “Upgrade 2004” had over 11,000 accesses from faculty and staff over the summer, where we kept updated information on progress. We have new versions of on-line and CD-based training programs for both Windows and Macintosh to allow you to learn about the changes in features in operating systems, word processors, and many applications you use, available for both office and home use at any time. For those who prefer a more personal touch, we have a wide variety of training sessions scheduled to describe the changes in the updated environment in the minimum amount of time.
Sixth, the University is in the process of adding another 30 level 1 smart classrooms, have developed new instruction sheets on using the equipment, have full-time support, and are in the process of installing telephones in all of the smart classrooms so you can call and request immediate assistance.
Seventh, by redeploying resources and shifting vacancies to where they are most needed, in addition to the smart classroom specialist already mentioned, a full-time Macintosh support specialist will be housed on North campus.
We were very honored last year to receive the CIO-100 award for our technological progress. This past spring, we were also honored to be named as the top web site in the State System in an independent evaluation. This is particularly significant since we were near the bottom of their rankings just 3 or 4 years ago.
There were many other enhancements made which continue to build on the infrastructure established over the past few years. You should have in your mailbox a copy of the IT Interface newsletter which has more information on all of these items.
With new systems, new challenges are inevitable, and a learning curve is to be expected. Please let us know if we can attend any department meetings or offer additional training sessions that can help us all to capitalize on these changes. Even though we tried to test everything possible and do load simulations, we recognize that the real test does not begin until our students arrive and classes start. We are optimistic about the success of these many changes, but ask for your patience and advice if we need to work out any shortcomings.
My sincere thanks to the IT staff for unbelievable efforts, cancelled vacations, and long hours all summer, and my thanks to the Academic Technology Committee of the University Senate for their long-range plan which has helped guide us.
Vice President Bill Sutton
Welcome to the beginning of the 2004-2005 academic year. It promises to be an exciting one as Kutztown University reaches several milestones, and we set our sites on new goals.
This fall Kutztown University becomes the largest Residential Campus within the State System. We will have more than 4,000 students living on campus because of the three residential hall complexes built by the Kutztown University Foundation. The implications those numbers have on campus events and campus culture are significant.
Last year we held our first presidential scholarship ball featuring a silent auction of more than 100 donated items. We raised more than $64, 000 for scholarships. Preparations for this years ball, on November 6, are well underway and I fully expect to surpass $70, 000 in scholarships this year.
Last year we unveiled the new university logo, and this year we unveiled a new athletic logo designed to complement and reflect the university logo. Both logos are copyrighted and more than a dozen companies have licensed them. Kutztown University goods and apparel are now available in stores from Scranton to Philadelphia.
Last fall WEEU radio dropped Penn State football and picked up the Golden Bears football. The series of broadcasts earned second place from the Associated Press for best play-by-play announcing in Pennsylvania. You can tune in again this year to hear the Golden Bears on the gridiron.
Alumni Plaza, with about 900 inscribed bricks in place, was dedicated last October in conjunction with the annual Associates Brunch, which drew 500 of our largest annual donors. The Plaza is a great addition to the campus and is very popular among students and alumni alike. I’d like to give a special “Shout out” to the grounds crew. Many of the thousands of people drawn to campus for President Bush’s visit commented on what a beautiful campus we enjoy. Alumni Plaza is the jewel in that crown.
The number of gifts the university Foundation is receiving is increasing. In fiscal 2003 the university received three million, two hundred forty three thousand in gifts from a little over seven thousand donors. This past fiscal year those numbers climbed to three million six hundred fifty thousand dollars from over eight thousand donors (a record number of gifts). We hope to see these numbers continue to increase.
This year we will begin to evaluate a possible multi-year campaign directed toward the renovation and expansion of Schaeffer Auditorium and the Sharadin building. Later this year, we will fully implement our college-based development program by assigning a Foundation development officer to each undergraduate college.
The alumni and foundation web sites were redesigned and their functionality was increased, making it more convenient for alumni to learn about and register to take part in a wide variety of on-campus and off-campus regional events. Alumni participation in Kutztown University alumni events in the Philadelphia area has increased by 17 percent over the past three years.
The university marketing plan, developed and coordinated through the Office of University Relations, has aided the admissions office in exceeding all the enrollment targets for the fall class of 2004. The marketing plan and the media relations activities have significantly raised the visibility of the university and contributed greatly to our increasingly enviable reputation.
Our performing Artist series has contributed to our vision of being the cultural center of the region. In the past year Kutztown University attracted record audiences to see and hear performers from Cuba, Sweden, China, Japan, Mali, South Africa, Norway, Canada, Mexico, and Russia…as well as a few American acts.
The coming year promises to be just as exciting as the past year, and we welcome your involvement.
The budget picture has improved for us a little bit. We did not move backwards in state appropriations this year. We still are not where we were four years ago, but at least we are headed in the right direction, finally.
This past year saw the introduction and implementation of the new university logo and an entire suite of athletic logos that were designed to complement and build upon the university logo. And, as Bill Sutton mentioned, for the first time these images are not only copyrighted, they also are being licensed. Nearly a dozen national vendors have already signed up as licensees to produce goods bearing the Kutztown University and athletic logos. If you don't see these items in your local sporting goods and athletic wear stores, ask for them. All the royalty proceeds we receive will go to fund scholarships.
And finally, I'd like to return to a topic I spoke about at some length last year at this time; restructuring the General Education curriculum. This is probably the most important step in our strategic plan. During the past year the General Education Restructuring Team has identified the elements that excellence in general education entail; elements that will not only reinvigorate general education at KU, but which can position us as a leader in the region or even the nation.
With an eye toward reaching closure on this fundamentally crucial process by Spring 2005 I'd like to describe to you the methods the team will employ from this point forward.
In order to increase discussions and solicit ideas for the sole purpose of developing the final model, the committee has secured the assistance of Dr. Eileen Hogan and Dr. David Haas from the College of Business.
Using a process similar to that which we used so successfully for Strategic Planning last year, the team will ask the faculty to engage in a series of steps.
Step 1: In early September, the team will first ask the faculty for a vote of support for the newly-revised General Education Mission and Goals on which the new model will be based.
Step 2: Assuming that vote is supportive, we will next move to what we are calling the Ideas I phase. The team will ask the faculty for reactions to the elements the team has identified as essential in a new general education model. Faculty will be given a list of approximately ten questions about those elements via email. Faculty will reflect on each question and provide feedback to a Synthesis Committee. Faculty can do this individually or in concert with others. This review and feedback period will last about four weeks.
Step 3: The Synthesis Committee will review and summarize, but not judge, the feedback, and give the results to the team. This synthesis process will take approximately two weeks and should be completed by late November.
Step 4: The gen ed team will review the synthesis from the Ideas I phase and, if deemed necessary, initiate another round of questions in an Ideas II phase over the semester break.
Step 5: The Synthesis Committee will repeat their work on Ideas II.
Step 6: Based on the results of Ideas I and II, the team will formulate a new General Education model for KU.
Step 7: A faculty referendum will be held on the new model before the end of the spring semester.
That’s a brief outline of the process that should guarantee a maximum amount of faculty participation. More specific details will be forthcoming from the team as we proceed through semester. I look forward to what should be a very engaging and productive process.
Last year, as we all know, we spent a considerable amount of time and energy at the bargaining table. During the lengthy negotiations the system experienced a time of heightened tension. It is a testament to this campus faculty and staff that we never lost sight of our mission and core values. We all put our students ahead of any other considerations; we all maintained the highest standards of professionalism, and communication at the campus level remained honest and cordial. We should all be proud of those facts.
Thank you all for coming this morning, we have made huge strides in the past 12 months and I thank you all for the outstanding effort and spectacular results I have come to know you will offer in the months ahead. Our tasks, offices, and classrooms wait for us. Have a wonderful year!