2008 State of the University Address
It is my pleasure to welcome you today to a new and exciting academic year. In particular I want to welcome all the new faces joining us for the first time. I would like to ask all new faculty and staff to stand up so we can welcome you to our KU family (pause).
I would like to formally introduce to you four of these new faces; Dr. Prudence Precourt, vice president for Advancement; Mr. Jerry Silberman --- although Jerry is not new to the campus, he is new to his position as vice president for administration and finance; Dr. William Dempsey, dean of the college of business; and Dr. Darrell Garber, dean of the college of education. We are delighted to have you on board!
This past summer was one of the busiest in our history. You will hear more about all the work that was accomplished later in the program, but I wanted to extend a personal thanks to everyone in our facilities area. They had a summer to remember (although they may prefer to forget it…). Everyone in the division went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure we could have the campus ready this morning for all. I would like to ask Mr. Jeff Grimm to stand up and accept on behalf of his division our thanks for the work they have done.
As you know, last year we had our ten-year accreditation study by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The most important and useful component of the visit is the self-study, which allows us the opportunity to look at all areas of our university. The effort involved many members of our faculty and staff, under the combined leadership of Dr. Carole Wells, Dr. Ed Simpson and Dr. Paul Sable. The visiting team had many positive comments about our campus, and the final report asks for only two areas for improvement --- general education and a campus wide culture of assessment. These two areas will be a priority this academic year.
Another crucial initiative involving faculty and staff is the development of a new strategic plan to lead KU in the years ahead. Under the leadership of management professor Dr. Dan Benson, the strategic resources and planning committee is in the final stages of a process that began in January. This group will bring recommendations to University Senate for endorsement, hopefully in the very near future.
We also take pride in our technology and technology support at KU, and commissioned Edutech last spring to review these areas and offer recommendations for further improvements. I posted the full Edutech report and sent notification to all faculty and staff inviting them to read and offer comments. Prof. Lisa Frye is chairing a small task force with two specific purposes: to solicit feedback from the campus about the report, and to advise the administration in preparing an action plan, working within the appropriate governance structures. The Technology Task Force has been meeting throughout the summer and will be offering a variety of recommendations to me shortly.
While we work to implement the recommendations of our committees, we must also work hard to sustain two very important priorities from last year. First, we must continue our efforts to maintain and improve the safety of our campus and surrounding community. Secondly, we need to continue to improve communication with faculty, staff, and the extended KU community.
Switching gears, I would like to share with you the results of the PASSHE Accountability Plan. The plan, which measures our performance in 62 specific areas, gives us a snapshot of our performance in relation to ourselves, a group of national peers, and a set of system goals. Eight of the measures are used to determine the distribution of performance funding from the state appropriation. Eight percent of the money we get from the state is distributed through performance funding. This year, we met expectations in 49 areas, and exceeded in nine areas, including the six-year overall graduation rate, the four-year graduation for black and Hispanic students, and the number of faculty with terminal degrees.
I would like to invite all of you to an open forum on September 9 at 11, Academic Forum 200, when we will have an in depth presentation of the performance indicators and the recent US News and World Report rankings.
At Kutztown, we are truly fortunate to have a dedicated and enthusiastic council of trustees. These individuals spend countless hours working on our behalf, here on campus as well as in our region and in Harrisburg. Their work guides and supports our university. I would like to recognize the trustees that are here with us, and ask them to please stand as I call their names.
- Ronald Frey
- Diane Lutz
- Guido Pichini
- Jacob Sayshen
- Andrew Smouse
- Ramona Turpin
- John Wabby
Thanks for your guidance and counsel!
(Comments from Dr. Maria Sanelli, president of University Senate).
Kutztown University is proud of the positive relationships that have been established with the various bargaining units on campus. I have invited their respective presidents to make some brief comments.
(Comments from Dr. Paul Quinn, president of APSCUF, and Beth Graham Stumpf, representing SCUPA).
It is also a tradition at our opening day festivities to acknowledge the accomplishments of one of our outstanding faculty members through the presentation 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 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 (retired)
- Prof. James Ogden, Marketing
- Prof. David Peterson, Audio-visual Communications (retired)
- Prof. John Loomis, Physical Science (retired)
- Prof. Kathleen Dolgos, Secondary Education
- Prof. Tom Schantz, Art Education and Crafts (retired)
- Prof. Arifeen Daneshyar, Economics
- Prof. Robert Ziegenfus, Geography
- Prof. Michael Gabriel, History
- Prof. Elaine Reed, English
Thank you, again, for setting an example for us all. I would like to ask the Kutztown University Alumni Board President James Ferrani to join me in presenting the 2008 award and a check for $2,000 to:
- Dave Wagaman, professor of accounting and finance.
- Dave, congratulations and please come forward.
At this point, I would like to ask the members of cabinet to share some of the accomplishments in their divisions last year, as well as what they see on the horizon in the coming year.
I will begin by introducing Dr. Carlos Vargas, provost and vice-president for academic affairs.
During the past year, faculty and staff in Academic Affairs continued to work collaboratively to support our students and provide them with the knowledge and skills needed to meet future professional, social, and global challenges. Because of this continuing commitment and dedication, academic year 2007-08 was a year of significant accomplishments.
ADDITIONS TO FACULTY AND STAFF
Through the efforts of multiple search committees, we will be joined by 43 tenure-track colleagues this fall, including nine new tenure-track positions. Two new positions in the Provost’s Office were filled last year. Dr. Carole Wells was appointed vice provost and Mr. James Hubbard was named assistant provost for academic initiatives. In June, Dr. William Dempsey was appointed dean of the college of business and Dr. Darrell Garber was appointed dean of the college of education. Dr. Dempsey comes to us most recently from Radford University, where he was professor and dean of marketing in the college of business and economics. Dr. Garber was most recently the dean of the college of education at Tennessee Technological University. In addition, as of August 4, Mr. Bernard McCree, formerly the Director of Financial Aid and Registrar at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology in Lancaster, Pa., occupies the position of Director of financial Aid. I am pleased to welcome the faculty and new administrators to KU.
FALL 2008 ENROLLMENT
With respect to enrollment, I am pleased to report that this year we received more applications from freshmen than ever in the history of the university. 9,462 students applied. During the past five years, applications to Kutztown have increased by slightly over 30 percent. This year, a little more than 61 percent of those applicants were offered admission and 1,870 freshmen have registered for classes. If the melt from the first day of class to the freeze file remains the same as a year ago, we expect a total of 1,812 freshmen, and 700 transfers to be our final numbers. 85 percent of our freshmen are from Pennsylvania, 58 percent are female and 12 percent are students of color.
This entering class is one of the strongest in recent years. The average SAT score is 991, or nine points higher than last year’s class. Please notice that an increase of three to four points is normally considered statistically significant.
The number of graduate students registered as of August 18 is 722 and, if this year reflects past trends, we expect to reach 800 by the beginning of the semester.
Out of 26 new international students joining us this fall, 14 of them are freshmen.
BASE AND ONE-TIME BUDGET INCREASES
Consistent with available financial resources, we have continued to make an increasingly strong financial commitment to our academic departments and programs. During 2007-08, a base budget increase of $11,000 was given to the Honors Program, bringing its annual base budget to a total of $20,000. An annual base budget of $13,000 was established for the Frederick Douglass Institute. And we have established a base budget of $30,000 and have budgeted a staff support position for the Office of Assessment. In addition, each instructional department supply budget was given a base budget increase of $1,000; and selected departments received extra base funding of up to $12,000 based on their dean’s recommendations. The above actions coupled with the president’s decision to allow for carry-forward of operational funds are expected to significantly enhance the ability of academic departments and programs to optimize the use of their available resources.
This past year, $25,000 one-time funds were added to the Professional Development Committee (PDC) budget, thereby increasing the PDC’s budget by 36 percent (from $69,000 to $94,000). Partly as a result of the latter, approved grant applications increased from 118 to 138. The Undergraduate Research Committee received one-time funding of $5,000, and will receive one-time funding of $20,000 for 2008-09. Finally, the University Research Committee will receive a one-time funding increase to its budget of $30,000 for 2008-09.
INTRA- AND EXTRA-MURAL FUNDING
The Office of Assessment developed and implemented an Assessment Grant Program designed to advance the scholarly inquiry of assessment. $20,000 was provided for this initiative. Funding totaling $17,500 was awarded to seven internal proposals.
The University Research Committee awarded $21,000 to fund 10 research projects.
Externally-sponsored grants and contracts totaled approximately $3.6 million, reflecting a 10 percent increase from 2007. 65 grants and contracts were submitted and 49 were awarded, representing a nine percent increase in awards.
FACULTY OFFICE SPACE
Significant strides were made to improve office space in academic facilities this past year. 52 faculty and staff offices were created in Old Main, and have been occupied by the departments of computer science, criminal justice, nursing, and anthropology/sociology. The Small Business Development Center was relocated to the Professional Building. Continuing improvements and ongoing work include Lytle, Rickenbach, DeFrancesco, Beekey, and, of course, the major renovation: Sharadin Arts Building.
CHAMBLISS FACULTY RESEARCH AWARDS
Our outstanding faculty continued to engage in creative pedagogy, scholarly activity, and service to their departments, colleges, and the university. Several faculty received awards for their commitment and dedication. Professor Lisa Frye from computer science received the 2007 John P. Schellenberg Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. Professor Marilyn Stewart from art education and crafts and professor Ed Simpson from physical sciences received the 2007 Chambliss Faculty Research Awards. Dr. Simpson was also elected a fellow to the Geological Society of America (GSA), a recognition offered by GSA to only selected scholars.
New curricular and other initiatives have been put in place to ensure outstanding opportunities for KU students. Highlights in the five colleges include:
- The pre-accreditation eligibility application submitted by the college of business to the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) was accepted.
- The college of education developed and executed two plus two articulation agreements with Lehigh Carbon Community College and Northampton Community College for students interested in pursuing a four-year degree in leisure and sports studies.
- The nursing department in the college of liberal arts and sciences implemented a 100 percent online option for their undergraduate nursing courses.
- The criminal justice department in the college of liberal arts and sciences reached an agreement with Lehigh Carbon Community College to allow its students to complete the final two years of a criminal justice degree at the Donley Center in Allentown.
- The communication design department in the college of visual and performing arts sponsored its 3rd Annual Designathon, with the involvement of approximately 50 students who developed design projects for local non-profit organizations.
- The college of graduate studies and the Office of Career Services hosted the first Graduate School Fair with the participation of 24 colleges and universities and 235 students.
Next, I’d like to briefly highlight some of the accomplishments of other units in Academic Affairs.
- The Act 101 Program in the Department of Academic Enrichment was cited by the Middle States Evaluation Team for its success rate in working with at-risk students.
- The Advising Center for Undeclared Students in the Department of Advisement received a commendation from the Middle States Evaluation Team for its Academic Jeopardy Program.
- KU was commended by the Middle States Evaluation Team for the establishment of the Office of Assessment, whose charge is to work with faculty and staff to promote a culture of continuous improvement and assessment of student learning at KU.
- The Office of Career Services organized, coordinated, and hosted the 9th Annual Undergraduate Research and Creativity Conference, an event that rotates to the campuses of the five institutions of higher education in Berks County: Alvernia, Albright, PSU-Berks, RACC, and KU. This past summer, a record 78 Kutztown students, representing a variety of majors, presented papers, poster displays, films, art exhibitions, and performances.
- The Office of Career Services jointly with the department of human kinetics hosted the first “Business of Sports Internship and Career Fair”, with the participation of 150 students.
- The Office of Financial Aid, in Enrollment Services, successfully completed the fourth year of the Lauer's Park Early Awareness Initiative.
- The Office of the Registrar, in Enrollment Services, participated in the Pa. Transfer Articulation Center (PA TRAC) and identified over 950 course equivalencies for 28 schools to match the statewide required 30-credit transfer framework.
- The Office of the Registrar now provides both master schedule publications (undergraduate and graduate) in electronic form (online).
- The first Frederick Douglass Institute (FDI) summer scholar-in-residence, Dr. Nathaniel Williams, was selected during the summer of 2007. Dr. Williams facilitated a variety of on-campus discussion groups, made presentations to numerous classes, solicited private donations for activities, and introduced the "Walking In Their Shoes…” program under the direction of Dr. Maria Sanelli, Director of FDI. As part of this program, high school age foster children from group homes were paired with KU administrators during a campus visit.
- The Office of Admissions, with the collaboration of the Honors Program and support of faculty held a very successful inaugural Honors Brunch in February 2008. Over 90 students attended.
- In September 2007, the Office of International Initiatives and Student Services opened a marketing office in Chennai, India, committed to serving undergraduate and graduate students based in India as they look to further their education at KU.
- The Rohrbach Library became the first PASSHE library to begin full implementation of RAPID ILL, a new document delivery system. This resulted in a 460% increase in articles received and 711% increase in articles sent.
As stated by President Cevallos, general education and assessment are two important, but achievable, goals set for us by Middle States. We, in Academic Affairs, look forward to working collaboratively with all divisions over the next two years to develop and implement programs and processes to reach these goals.
DR. CEVALLOS: Thank you Carlos. Our next speaker is Jerry Silberman, our new vice-president for administration and finance.
ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE
The Division of Administration and Finance has completed one of the most active, challenging years in its history. All areas of the unit have been very engaged in providing high levels of service and support to our colleagues across campus. Working with many of you, we have made the university a better place to learn, to work, to live, and to visit.
Albert Schweitzer once said that “the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve”. I can tell you that we have some REALLY HAPPY people in our unit as they have stretched to their limits in offering some of the highest levels of service we have ever provided. Well, actually, they’re happy and really stressed out, as doing a great job and providing support for the achievement of our institutional mission is so important to them that they don’t hold anything back in the performance of their responsibilities. I’d like to highlight a few of their recent achievements.
You can’t help but notice the amount of new construction and renovation work that has been completed this past year. Here are just a few of the larger projects:
North Water Tower
The primary purpose of our 1.5 million gallon North Water Tower is to provide an emergency water supply in case of fire. The project consisted of tank painting, refurbishment work, rust protection system, and boiler system replacement.
Keystone Pool Renovations
This project consisted of the replacement of the HVAC system, ceiling structure, and lighting serving the natatorium and support spaces, as well as ADA improvements.
F. Eugene Dixon Residence Hall
The construction on a new residence hall totaling 258,000 square feet has been recently completed. The facility includes 856 beds in a variety of configurations along with a large meeting room and laundry facilities. The building also includes the Dixon Marketplace, a retail facility accommodating, among other things, a really nice ice cream parlor. (Slide 5 picture of Dixon Marketplace only).
Sharadin Arts Building
This renovation and construction project includes life cycle and building code upgrades, along with a 55,394 square foot addition to the facility. As you can see, the renovation and expansion has resulted in a dramatic improvement in the building’s appearance in addition to the functional improvements. This addition includes classrooms, shop areas, faculty offices, a new gallery, and building support space. The last phase of this project is still underway to include a portion of the first floor wing, demolition of the CD house, and construction of a parking lot to be completed by the spring 2009 semester.
Old Main Courtyard
This project is located in the area between Old Main and the administration building. The project included landscaping, widening of sidewalks, additional lighting, and refurbishment and display of the bell that was removed from Old Main during the renovation in 1995.
Faculty Office Creation
A major initiative this summer has been the creation of approximately 75 new offices, primarily for faculty, in Old Main and other buildings. The logistics required to successfully complete this project were enormous, requiring maximum collaborative efforts from staff in Academic Affairs, Administration and Finance, Student Services and Campus Life, as well as the support of key university vendors.
This slide shows a picture of a unit ventilator. This is the mechanical device that we use to provide ventilation, heating, and cooling to the majority of our classrooms. Many of these devices were installed in the 1960s and are no longer functioning optimally. Over the summer we have replaced 12 of these units in the Defrancesco and Rickenbach buildings. An additional 20 units are scheduled to be replaced by the spring 2009 semester.
In addition to the completion of a host of other projects, the Facilities organization participated in an external review of its operations by the Sightlines Corporation. Sightlines has compiled the largest verified database of comparable facilities operating, capital, and service performance metrics in the country. KU Facilities received top scores for many of its service programs in the Sightlines review. In fact, our Facilities organization, work request system and scheduling processes were recognized by Sightlines as best practices in comparison with over 200 universities across the nation.
The Human Resources Office also participated in a review of its operations this past spring. As a result of this review, the department has reorganized and has implemented many changes to its operational processes. Web-based systems have been installed to achieve efficiencies in the search process as well as provide a mechanism to track requests and gather performance metrics. A customer service center has also been established to serve as the initial point of contact for service inquiries. The department, along with its training center previously housed in Old Main, has been relocated to the Kemp building in order to offer all of its services in one location. The Pa. department of General Services, which previously resided in Kemp, agreed to relocate to TekPark to accommodate this change.
Budget Process Changes
The Business Office implemented a revision to its budget processes to reflect a recommendation made by the task force on budget decentralization. Because of this change, departments are now able to carry forward unspent operational funds. This will give departments more flexibility in managing their budgets and make June 30th a happier day for everyone. Thanks go out to Ken Steward and all of the members of the task force who developed this recommendation.
The Business Office also implemented a Strategic Budgeting process which provides an opportunity for each division to submit requests for funds in support of university priorities. A university-wide prioritization is made by cabinet resulting in a tighter alignment of budget allocations to institutional priorities. This process was used for the first time this past spring.
This past May, the university conducted three commencement ceremonies over the course of two days. Although the logistics of organizing and staffing these ceremonies were very challenging, managers, faculty, and staff worked together to provide a very memorable and quality experience for our graduates. The significance of the graduation ceremony is evident in the emotions and expressions of our students, family, and friends. My deepest appreciation goes out to all of you who supported this event celebrating the culmination of many years of development and learning by those entrusted to our care.
The university was very active this past year in planning to achieve a safer and more secure campus. Many individuals were involved in these efforts, but I would like to recognize in particular the work of our director of environmental health and safety, Steve Helms, as well as our executive director of public safety and police services, Bill Mioskie. These individuals, along with many others, worked diligently with members of the campus and community in updating emergency preparedness plans, participating in panel discussions, and coordinating the reviews of university and community safety and security measures. Dr. Duane Crider, of the human kinetics department, assumed the leadership of the University Safety Council this past year and has facilitated this group’s active involvement in providing for a safer, more secure campus.
Before I leave this slide, I’d like to encourage everyone to sign up with our KU Alert Text Messaging system. Just go to the university’s home page on the web and click on the KU Alert banner. The sign up process is easy, and best of all, it’s free!
There are many other accomplishments that I’m not able to review due to time constraints. I’m honored to work with such a talented group of individuals in this division. Thanks to all of you for your interest.
DR. CEVALLOS: Thank you Jerry. Before we move on, I would like to echo Jerry’s sentiments concerning our annual spring commencement. We rely heavily on our faculty and staff to put on a good showing for one of our most important days of the year. Offering a well run ceremony is a top priority for our University and I personally want to commend you all and thank you for your assistance. Now let’s move on to our next speaker. Dr. Prue Precourt comes to Kutztown from Ripon Medical Center in her native state of Wisconsin. She brings a wealth of advancement experience to campus from both the corporate world and higher education. Prue, welcome to KU!
The Division of University Advancement is in a unique position on campus as it supports faculty, students and the campus as a whole, but in a way that might be best expressed as “indirect.”
Among the functions covered by this diverse unit are: development, which is the philanthropic face of the university; alumni and governmental relations; university relations; conference services; the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center; the Kutztown Festival, and the Performing Arts Series.
In addition, the operation of the affiliated Kutztown University Foundation, Inc., is an integral part of the division. As a not-for-profit corporation, the foundation exists to serve the University as its “fundraising” partner. Among the primary goals of the foundation is raising funds to support merit as well as need-based scholarships for prospective and continuing KU students. It also acts as an “incubator,” temporarily assisting the Pennsylvania Institute for Children’s Environmental Health until such time as the institute grows large enough to become its own non-profit corporation. The Institute is focused on children’s environmental health issues within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. By combining educational initiatives, outreach efforts and research activities, the institute pursues its mission of understanding why children are not little adults and help Pennsylvanians protect our children from unnecessary environmental harms.
In the last year, the division experienced significant changes in personnel and direction. Despite these important transitions, the 2007-08 alumni and friends phonathon campaign was the most successful in our history generating some $426,000 in pledges. This is an increase of more than $100,000 from 2006-07.
The Alumni Office helped to host President Cevallos’ 33-city “Vision Tour” along with the Development Office. The tour brought the highlights of campus achievements to our graduates across the country increasing alumni pride in the KU community’s success.
The Office of Conference Services scheduled and was responsible for more than 5,000 events throughout the year. The office secured a 90% return rate among its summer conference customers and attracted more, larger, higher profile summer conferences such as the U.S. Soccer-Olympic Development Program. To provide better scheduling services for on- and off- campus customers, Conference Services upgraded the university-wide software reservation system. Through last year’s profits, Conference Services was able to donate some $123,000 to the KU Foundation for student scholarships and general support.
Through the Office of Cultural Affairs, the Performing Arts Series celebrated its 20th successful season which was recognized via a special proclamation from Senator Michael O’Pake. In addition to presenting six subscription series performances ranging from the Hubbard Street Dance Company to the Israel Chamber Orchestra, the office also presented three weekend matinees for children. As part of the office’s mission to support KU’s goals of collaboration and globalization, we also presented a combination of 11 different school and community outreach initiatives including master classes, student matinee performances, workshops and pre- and post-performance “talk back” sessions. Another season highpoint was the commissioning of a new work by Hubbard Street Dance Chicago entitled B-Sides 12” Mix by Brian Enos in celebration of the 20th season anniversary.
The Office of University Relations responded to several major crisis events on and near campus through round-the-clock contact with the media. While managing those on-going crisis communications, the office began a new marketing initiative featuring student success with the print ads focusing on the student winners of the Chambliss Awards. The office has initiated a series of focus groups and surveys to learn what our readers want to get out of our publications. This started with an alumni focus group and the creation of two advisory committees made up of on and off campus readers and faculty experts. This will help the UR staff to focus on changing “Tower” magazine and other communications initiatives to better reflect our campus’ achievements and our readers’ interests.
The Pennsylvania German Heritage Center achieved significant recognition for the university as a result of coordinating a three-day conference on barns in conjunction with the National Barn Alliance and the Historic Barn and Farm Foundation of Pennsylvania. The event attracted 100 people from ten different states. The center also secured funding to support a summer scholar researching and documenting Berks County barn stars, as well as funding from county and industrial development sources to improve the Heritage Center grounds through the acquisition of an historic barn. This year the Heritage Center contributed significantly to the cultural interpretation aspect of the Kutztown Festival. The festival itself had a challenging year due to rising gas prices and poor weather conditions. Nonetheless, it contributed $20,000 in scholarship support.
The Pennsylvania Institute for Children’s Environmental Health launched a public Website that allows users to secure real-time information on several indicators of air quality from links to a wide network of state air-quality measuring sites including the new one on the KU campus. The partnership with the institute is a major achievement for the university as it is the only one of its kind east of the Mississippi.
The Kutztown University Foundation sponsors both the Scholarship Ball and the Decision Makers’ Forum as part of the university’s outreach into our surrounding communities. Its board of directors, made up of volunteers who live and work in our service region, works actively to build bridges between our campus and the business and civic communities that touch our campus and its people.
While last year was challenging, the current year presents us with opportunities to grow in effectiveness and become more reflective of the high quality of the academic and co-curricular experiences our students have. We are looking forward to developing stronger links to our on- and off- campus communities.
DR. CEVALLOS: Thank you Prue. Our next speaker is Dr. Chick Woodard, vice president for Student Services and Campus Life.
STUDENT SERVICES AND CAMPUS LIFE
The Division of Student Services and Campus Life reorganized on several fronts this past year. The departure of Dr. Doreen Tobin, on loan to East Stroudsburg in 2006-07, and her permanent appointment to the position of Vice President for Student Affairs in July 2007, presented us with an opportunity to reassign duties and reallocate resources. This subsequent reorganization enhanced delivery of service that, I am proud to say, surpassed expectations.
In addition to staffing changes, we adopted a division wide theme: “We Believe in Students, fostering life-changing experiences, one student at a time.” This theme carries with it a set of operational standards reflected in the acronym: “STUDENTS” that serve as a foundation for all we do in our service to students. To reinforce the theme and standards, a staff recognition program will be announced to highlight the achievements and “extra mile” efforts at all levels within the Division. This complements very nicely our recently revised mission statement developed by a task group, also representing all divisional levels.
With a solid foundation in place, we opened the 2007-08 academic year without trepidation only to receive the dreaded call early in the morning of September 7th informing us of the murder of sophomore student Kyle Quinn. Our sense of campus and student safety was threatened; our belief that the little borough of Kutztown was free from the ultimate act of violence, dashed. The senseless acts of violence at Virginia Tech were still fresh in our minds. The tragedy at Northern Illinois in the spring would reinforce a renewed focus toward campus and community safety.
With the help of Senator Michael O’Pake, a grant was secured to conduct a risk vulnerability assessment on campus and in the Kutztown Borough. This type of assessment represented a unique collaboration between a university and a local community. The final reports will be presented at our first town/gown forum in September.
The campus shuttle service, now operating under Student Services and Campus Life, was expanded to 3:30 a.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays to serve those who may need safe passage back to campus from the downtown area.
Students also took their safety seriously. The student ambassadors to the Borough of Kutztown initiated KUBoK, a crime watch program that involved students and borough residents. This endeavor was ambitious as it included training, route construction and implementation. Many of you here today are members of KUBoK and have walked the streets and alleyways of the borough into the wee hours of the morning. For this we thank you. The results of this program have significantly contributed to a sense of overall safety.
In addition, safety walks and forums, a traditional assessment on campus, initiated by the Student Government Board, were expanded to the off campus area.
This was also a time where community/student relations were as strained as I can recall in my 18 years at KU. Under the leadership of the director of community relations and development services, a new position in the division, students implemented numerous programs to enhance those relationships. For the first time in years, block parties occurred on the 200 block of Main Street and brought students and community members together in a family oriented environment. Eck Haus expanded offerings to include performance art into the late night Main Street scene and continued to grow as a student initiative. End of semester yard sales helped transfer unwanted items to those in need. The proceeds of the two programs generated gifts to Friend Inc. totaling over $1,000.
Our students also spent considerable time and energy becoming engaged citizens. During the past year, over 2,500 students contributed more than 40,000 hours of service and raised an estimated $50,000 in support of various charitable causes.
With the help of the President’s Roundtable on Alcohol and Other Drugs, we initiated AlcoholEDU for College to further complement and reinforce our proactive approaches to curb student drinking. This Web-based alcohol education course is designed to assist new students in managing their transition to college life, reducing the temptations to engage in high-risk behaviors. Over 70 percent of the incoming freshman class successfully completed the program. We have recently received a $500,000 grant to develop additional strategies and programs to further reduce incidents of high-risk alcohol related behaviors.
Parents were also engaged through New Student Programs and Services to assist them, as key stakeholders in their son’s and daughter’s lives, in helping their students make better choices. The parents were also offered an opportunity to participate in AlcoholEDU for Parents, a parallel program to the students’ module designed to raise awareness of the current climate as it relates to alcohol. It provides parents with tools to discuss alcohol and other drug issues and behavior strategies with their student.
Our Golden Bears student-athletes continue to achieve at commendable levels. More than 130 student-athletes were honored as PSAC Scholar Athletes by achieving a 3.25 cumulative GPA and 83 earned Dean’s List honors. In addition, the overall GPA of student-athletes remains on par with the general student body cohort.
Last spring we saw the return of women’s lacrosse as an intercollegiate sport and the addition of women’s bowling.
For the first time in the history of athletics at KU, a women’s varsity team achieved a number one ranking, when the field hockey team accomplished the feat in September.
Overall, KU athletics finished fourth in the PSAC Dixon Cup. This fourth place was achieved with a limited number of PSAC first place finishes in the conference, highlighting the competitive strength and quality of our overall program. Not to be outdone by the varsity sports, the club sport of rugby, a national number one a year ago, competed at the sweet 16 tournament in New Mexico against the premier Division I programs in the country.
The South Campus landscape was transformed, with the construction of Dixon Hall, a state-of-the-art suite style residence facility that houses 856 students, named after the late former Chairman of the Board of Governors, F. Eugene Dixon. Dixon Hall has helped us to not only eliminate a large number of the infamous reduced rate triples in other halls but also return converted student lounges to their originally intended purpose: providing study, relaxation and social gathering spaces in the halls. (You are invited to the new 5,000 square foot retail location in Dixon and to partake of some ice cream treats in our ice cream parlor. Some of the flavors were uniquely created just for KU.)
Our campus radio station, KUR, expanded programmatic offerings to reach an ever growing audience. In October 2007, KU filed an application with the Federal Communication Commission to become a fully licensed non-commercial educational FM station. While the awarding of a license is not within our control, we are looking forward to providing our full range of diverse radio programming to a broader segment of our region. Stay tuned for hopefully additional good news from the FCC.
This past year provided us a full measure of challenges and opportunities. The division is ready to meet them as the new year unfolds. Consistent with our new standards and values: We commit to educate students, preparing them to meet life’s challenges, establish trust through the execution of programs and services, demonstrate understanding through exemplary customer services, embrace diversity respecting the uniqueness of each and every member of the community, foster engagement that will enhance student growth and well-being, assess needs in a continuous improvement environment, facilitate the transition of students throughout their collegiate experience and beyond, and promote campus safety that is necessary and conducive to student learning.
Our action initiatives this year will underscore our new divisional theme: "We Believe in Students, fostering life-changing experiences, one student at a time.”
Thank you and have a great year!
DR. CEVALLOS: Thank you Chick. Please welcome Rich Zera, vice president for information technology.
The Division of Information Technology had a very busy and challenging year in 2007-08. But in my limited time, it might be more helpful to describe changes that either have been made for the new academic year, or changes that are imminent.
We are very excited that a major theme of the IT Division for the 2008-2009 academic year is customer service. In addition to some formal training, the IT staff worked collaboratively at developing a wide array of proposals on how we can better serve faculty, staff and students. In conjunction with the Edutech report and the Technology Task Force appointed by President Cevallos, the recommendations of the IT staff form a sound basis of both technology upgrades and customer support enhancements.
Although more details are in the ITS Interface newsletter that will be in your e-mail today and in communications in the next few weeks, a few highlights include:
- Implementation of a promising new tool, Right Answers, which is an on-line knowledge base. In addition to obtaining help and more assistance regarding frequently asked questions than is available from any software vendor, Right Answers can also be used to create KU-only content on any process, whether that process is computer-related or not. Right Answers covers a wide variety of common products, both PC and Mac, and is being enhanced with information on the SAP Shared System, KU utilities, security, database, and other common needs. The future potential of Right Answers is truly exciting as it is further developed at KU and can be used to help students with Blackboard, admissions, registration, financial aid, academic policy, and any other topic that would help students, faculty or staff.
- An upgrade has been nearly completed to the Passport Core system, which is the heart of all wired and wireless networking on campus. This will provide both the speed and capacity required for the expansion of Sharadin, Dixon Hall, Kemp, and the relocation of faculty offices into Old Main.
- Expansion of Help Center and Classroom Technology Support hours to include evenings as soon as the requisite staff positions are filled.
- A change in approach in the IT Help Center, where full-time staff will be the primary line of people answering the phones and e-mails and student employees kept in secondary support roles. We are also examining ways to streamline help to ensure prompt and knowledgeable response whether it’s for microcomputers, labs, smart classrooms, or other areas of technology. We’re looking at creative ways to get you the IT support you need faster.
- Beta testing this Fall of a new technology to remotely monitor and control the operation of AV equipment in Technology-Enhanced Classrooms for efficient support and security of equipment in almost one-half of our now 186 technology-enhanced classrooms.
- Administrative users have already been migrated to Microsoft Exchange as our new e-mail engine, and faculty migrations will begin in the next couple of weeks. This will also eliminate the occurrences of annoying multiple copies of some e-mails once migration is completed. With an unprecedented growth in malware in just the last few months, IT has replaced McAfee with a higher rated product called Sophos, which is also available through KU at no cost for your home computer.
- A new Pennsylvania Open Records Law may have significant potential impact on what paper and electronic records faculty and staff may want to retain, including e-mail. In essence, the new law enables great latitude on what anyone can require us to provide as open records, including historical documents and e-mails you may have saved. Please see the ITS Interface newsletter sent today for more information.
- In cooperation with the University Relations Office, we anticipate implementation in October of a new multi-paneled KU cable TV presence on Service Electric Cable Channel 24 – also known as the “Blue Screen” - with customizable content for both on-campus and off-campus viewers.
- A budget strategy has been developed for Web architecture, content, redesign, and personnel and we will be forming a Web advisory committee to help guide the redevelopment of the KU Web presence.
- Some new technologies implemented in select locations include smart boards, a video camera for podcast recording, a flexible smart cart alternative for Sharadin rooms, dedicated sound systems for events, a much faster wireless networking alternative called Meru implemented in select classrooms, and assistance to various faculty experimenting with or developing pilots for a variety of technologies.
- Of course, the coordination and testing of network and telephone drops, new equipment, and technology-enhanced classrooms for the massive Sharadin and Dixon Hall projects consumed a tremendous amount of time.
- And in our spare time, IT handled the computer, network, and telephone moves associated with 172 faculty and staff relocations.
On behalf of the very hardworking men and women in IT, thanks to all of you for your patience and support in the past year, and we look forward to serving your needs in 2008-09.
DR. CEVALLOS: Thank you Rich. Our next speaker is Barbara Taliaferro, associate vice president for diversity and inclusion.
Good morning once again. I welcome you to the opening of another glorious academic school year. May this year be filled with many wonderful opportunities for each one of us engaging in the overall purpose and pursuit of academic excellence. I passionately believe we are indeed positioned for greatness. Now let us collectively define how we can get there.
Human Diversity and its component programs continue to serve the university and community through collaborative support, funding and other shared resources.
Component programs highlights and accomplishments include: (insert photo of OHD division brochure)
A new textbook entitled Universal Design in Higher Education has a contribution in it by the director of disability services. It speaks to the KU accessibility meeting rooms policy. Kudos to Pat Richter.
A Capacity Building Institute was provided for faculty professional development……..Please watch for additional workshops this year.
Currently more than 500 students with disabilities are served through the employment of approximately 125 student workers and the distribution of over 5,500 personalized letters to faculty to outline classroom accommodations.
Please note, in order to provide additional testing space, the new Disabilities Testing Annex will be located in the former Human Resource office in 102 Stratton Administration Building.
This year Kutztown University celebrates the 20th anniversary of its Women’s Center. As we continue to advocate for social change, a few highlights include.
The sexual assault task force has been renamed the H.E.A.R.T of KU. This means Healing Environment Advocate ResponseTeam. Approximately 30 volunteers have completed the required 60 hour training course and await their certification. Kutztown University will be recognized on December 15th at the Reading Museum. Kudos to Ms. Grace Hill for her hard work and success in implementing this new campus initiative.
Books and toys have been collected and given to local nonprofit organizations. Nearly new clothing collected for homeless shelters and school supplies were sent to schools in Kenya.
Women students and staff also participated in a celebration to continue to rebuild New Orleans after the Katrina disaster. Kutztown University Women are in the know and on the move. We also addressed the issues of violence, abuse, national and global concerns, female mutilation, trafficking and disappearance with campus visits by Eli Smeal, Eve Ensler, Frank Cordell, Dr. Andrea Parrot, Professor Antonio Juarez, and others.
The centers’ staff and programs have experienced a wide variety of new innovative and often “Best Practice” initiatives, activities, and events. We continue to champion retention, student leadership development, and social justice to name a few.
Artist and activist Rosie Perez was one of the campus visitors who enlightened our students and guests on her “stand up and be counted” advocacy philosophy. Coming this fall is the Native American Grammy Award winner Bill Miller. Please mark your calendar and plan to join us.
The Annual Race Relations workshops continue. A number of faculty brought an entire class to engage in this interactive process. These workshops tackle difficult issues and build mechanisms for diversity dialogue. Residence hall coordinators and staff also participated in this process. The dialogue will continue this academic year as Race Still Matters.
The Heritage Cultural Celebrations continue to be an important component to understanding and celebrating diversity. Watch for our Places to Go, Things to Do, People to See brochure
Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual, Transgendered, Questioning Resource Center
This is the center’s third year of operation. University campuses are moving toward gender neutral restrooms and housing, and adding policies to include expression, not just orientation.
Individuals are joining our campus community who are in the middle of gender reassignment, or have already completed the process. It is important that all people are respected and protected for whatever their choices are, or may be. Kutztown University continues to acknowledge, protect, and respect individual and group rights, and offer a safe learning environment.
In recognition of World Aids Day three blocks of the Names Project Foundation Aids Memorial Quilt was displayed.
A new and improved GLBTQ resource center Web site provides a wealth of information such as how to access its lending library resources on line and regional and national news.
The Silent Witness Program is also a new initiative. Working with other campus constituents, the university developed an organized response to campus protests and protestors.
Other University Diversity Initiatives
The Frederick Douglass Institute completed a successful year of programs and activities. A summer and a yearlong scholar in residence program held a number of campus wide discussion groups.
The Walking In the Shoes program brought approximately 25-30 regional high school students currently in foster care placement to campus to expose them to college opportunities and career options.
The Kutztown University Graduate Leadership Academy was initiated by a dean with a dream in concert with other campus colleagues, and funded by a social equity grant. The program is a preparation experience and pipe line for undergraduate students to begin serious dialogue about the graduate school application process. This initiative resulted in qualified juniors and seniors enrolled in and completing the program. This pilot program appears to be destined to be a state system Best Practice.
This year be energized by the possibilities of learning and growing in new dimensions and directions. Invite, attend, participate, and stretch. Because you are even greater than you have imagined, illuminate the world around you with your brilliance.
DR. CEVALLOS: Thank you Barbara. At this time, please welcome our final speaker of the morning, Jesus Pena, associate vice president for equity and compliance.
The Office of Social Equity, by the very nature of our daily work, serves Kutztown University by furthering its goals of equal opportunity and non-discrimination. That is, the university's goals of access, inclusion, and equality. Core values that along with academic excellence, are at the very heart of this institution.
The work carried out by our office is multi-dimensional. Discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, physical ability or veteran status, is prohibited on our campus. Hence, the Office of Social Equity reviews and investigates allegations of discrimination, harassment or any type of unjust treatment. In addition to investigating complaints, our office offers training to faculty, staff and students. On an annual basis, we are proactive by offering approximately 15 training sessions in the areas of sexual harassment, and equal employment/educational opportunities. Our university remains committed to providing a learning and working environment free of any type of unjust treatment. The Office of Social Equity is but one of the many conduits to ensure that such an environment is indeed available to our students, faculty and staff.
The Office of Social Equity plays an integral role in the hiring process of our faculty and senior-level management employees. Last year, our office participated in over 300 faculty and management searches, working side-by-side with our search committees to secure an equitable process as we strive to hire the best qualified and diverse staff and faculty to support and educate our students.
Our office is also responsible for the timely preparation and implementation of the university's annual Affirmative Action Plan. The Affirmative Action Plan is designed to examine the university's workforce to determine if there is underutilization of qualified women and minorities based on the available workforce beyond our campus. Since the year 2000, the number of women and employees of color on our campus has increased in almost every category of employment. As of January 1, 2008, out of a total of 1,090 full-time employees, 553 are female and 147 are persons of color. Qualified women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities --- in short, people from all walks of life --- continue to join the ranks of Kutztown University and we are all, especially our students, the richer for it. Pursuant to our Affirmative Action Plan, our university is steadfast in its commitment to not only reach but exceed our desired goals of adequate representation and inclusion.
Also worth mentioning, last year, with the support of the State System of Higher Education, our office awarded five Social Equity Grants to our faculty and staff for the presentation of programs covering a wide range of topics, including diversity in general, persons with disabilities, and women’s issues.
Finally, the Office of Social Equity has joined other university units to build and maintain a campus climate that is inclusive and equitable to ALL members of the university. The Office of Social Equity, with the unwavering support of Kutztown University's leadership, will continue its mission of contributing to a community of inclusion. A campus that is truly representative of the world in which we live. A community that is aware of its responsibilities to social justice, and not because the law mandates compliance. A community that embraces access and equality.
Thank you and best wishes for a successful academic year.
DR. CEVALLOS: Thank you Jesus. As you can see, we continue to make great strides in many areas. I want to personally thank all of you, and congratulate you on these wonderful achievements over the past year. You are the ones who make the many great accomplishments we discussed this morning possible. It takes a team effort to achieve success, and it is obvious that we have a great team. I truly appreciate your hard work, and I know our students do as well. Thank you for coming this morning and thank you in advance for the outstanding effort, commitment and results in the year ahead. Have a great day and an outstanding year.