KU PRESIDENT’S UPDATE
F. Javier Cevallos
Dear Kutztown University Community,
The second full month of the semester is already here and our campus is buzzing with excitement as we usher in the fall season.
At the opening day gathering, I shared three initiatives that will be our primary focus in the year ahead:
- Implementation of the new general education process,
- Sevelopment and implementation of a sustained process for the assessment of institutional effectiveness and student learning outcomes,
- Improving the overall communication on campus.
The purpose of this message is to serve as a first step in improving communication with the campus community. Future updates, which will be sent throughout the year, will provide information on the progress of these and other 2010-11 initiatives. I will also include additional items that may be of interest.
Our enrollment for 2010-11 remains strong. Based on applications and acceptances, it is clear that there is a high demand for the quality education and experience offered by our institution. Our total headcount for fall 2010 is 10,707, an increase of 0.5 percent. This includes 9,725 undergraduate students and 982 graduate students. We have 2,011 first-time, full-time freshmen this year, up 1.25 percent. We also enrolled a record 804 first-time transfer students, a 2.42 percent increase over last year. Our transfer numbers have nearly doubled since 2002.
The budget situation was a major challenge for our campus last academic year as we worked to overcome a $4.2 million deficit for 2010-11. We met the challenges head on, made some difficult decisions and have entered the current year with a balanced budget. However, the university’s fiscal situation in the next several years continues to be extremely challenging. The budget office has begun meeting with various groups including the APSCUF Rep Council (on September 16) and the Council of Trustees (on September 23) to share the major factors involved in preparing KU’s budget projections. Additional presentations are scheduled as follows:
Academic Council - October 8th
Meet & Discuss - October 19th
Chairnet - October 19th
Extended Deans - October 20th
Faculty Emeriti Council - November 5th
University Senate - To be determined
This information will also be available on the KU budget website by the end of next week. In the months ahead, we will need to begin making decisions and plans that will allow us to implement the necessary reductions to overcome the shortfall. I will be sharing more with you as information becomes available.
All divisions are currently participating in a research study initiated by the PASSHE Board of Governors to establish an ongoing, collaborative risk assessment process. The process is managed by the Office of Internal Audit and Risk Assessment (OIARA) and will include each of the 14 system universities and the Office of the Chancellor. This is a wonderful opportunity to obtain help from PASSHE in determining the potential effect of an individual risk (defined as an incident or action that could adversely impact an organization’s ability to achieve its objectives.) The process will measure or assess both the likelihood that a risk will occur and the impact should it occur. Planned results are scheduled during the spring semester.
The implementation of PeopleSoft has been a priority for our campus in recent months. PeopleSoft will provide the university with client/server software applications that will replace the current student information systems, with the purpose of streamlining administrative processes to better serve the university community. The PeopleSoft recruiting and admissions modules are scheduled to go live today. The Admissions, Bursar’s, Financial Aid, Registrar, Systems Analyst, and Information Technology staffs are heavily engaged in implementing PeopleSoft. Thanks to Lynold McGhee and everyone on the implementation team for their impressive effort. It is a very positive step for our university.
TRAFFIC FLOW ON KUTZTOWN ROAD
We made a decision last spring to decrease our contracted security guards as part of our budget reduction plan. The guards have been primarily responsible for patrolling parking lots and monitoring traffic flow through the center of campus. After monitoring traffic patterns during the first week of classes, we decided to shift some of our remaining resources back to Kutztown Road. This has helped the flow of foot and vehicular traffic during business hours Monday through Friday.
PACT AND PASSHE BOARD OF GOVERNORS
Kutztown University is proud to host the Pennsylvania Association of Councils of Trustees (PACT) and the PASSHE Board of Governors meetings this month. The Board of Governors will be meeting on October 13 and the PACT Conference is scheduled for October 13-14. This will be a great opportunity for many of the commonwealth’s leaders in higher education to meet some of our students and faculty members who will be presenting academic showcases.
POINTS OF PRIDE
The opening weeks of the school year had their share of proud moments. I met with our students earlier this week during one of my regular open forums, and as always, I was quite impressed. Yesterday, you should have received the link to the 2010 President’s Report video. Many of you saw this on opening day, but the majority of our campus did not have access to it before this week. The video clearly depicts the outstanding students, faculty and staff at Kutztown University.
Speaking of outstanding, my personal congratulations go to the hard work of associate professor Kunal Das and to assistant professor Adrienne Oakley, from our physical sciences department, who were both recently awarded research grants from the National Science Foundation. This is the first time in about a decade the university has been awarded research grants from the NSF. Professor Das’ grant is to support work in quantum transport dynamics with ultra-cold atoms. Professor Oakley along with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and Texas A&M University submitted a proposal to lead a magnetic and seismic study of the Hawaiian Jurassic Crust. Both studies will involve participation by KU student researchers.
Our campus also played host to the PASSHE Diversity Summit last week, an important endeavor in our effort to advance diversity at KU and throughout the state system. Many thanks to Dr. Claire Van Ens and her team for planning and making this Summit a success. We also had the ribbon cutting for new state-of-the-art Health and Wellness Center at Beck Hall, and the revitalized Wallops Island Marine Science Consortium in Wallops Island, Va. The consortium serves thousands of students each year, exposing them to hands-on instruction relating to the pristine coastal ecosystems of the Eastern Shore.
While all of our sports teams are excelling this fall, I must highlight the early success of our football team. Our Golden Bears are off to the first 4-0 start in team history and have a big game tomorrow against defending PSAC champion Shippensburg. The game will be at University Field at 1:05 p.m. and will be the prime attraction of our Family Day and Paint the Town Gold activities. I hope that you will be able to come to campus and cheer our team on to victory. Go Golden Bears!
Thank you for reading and best wishes for an outstanding October.