February 2013 Monthly Update

Strategic Map:  New Residence Hall: During the Board meeting this weekend, trustees reviewed our preferred location and preliminary design for the new residence hall.  After weeks of discussions, architectural studies, and consideration of construction needs, we will place the new building on the parking lot in front of the Noble Center, shifting to the south so the entrance to Gulick Theatre is visible from the Quad. The residence hall, expected to be about 45,000 square feet, could include a café and may be heated and cooled by geothermal energy, depending on a feasibility study. Please visit the project website for the latest information on this project.

Strategic Map: Presidential Commission on Diversity:  The trustees, faculty, staff, students, and alumni met for the first time during the weekend of February 2-3, with a schedule that included a presentation by a national consultant on diversity, conversations about campus experiences, and organizational plans for research.  Trustee Marion Roach Smith’77 chairs the Commission; Macreena Doyle is staff liaison for the effort.

Strategic Map: Brand Identity and Website Redesign: University Communications has developed a new identity guide to provide guidance on messaging and the use of visual elements such as the official logo and University seal. More details on the guide and how to access it will be announced soon. Communications also has been working closely with IT to finish the website redesign and has scheduled several training sessions and demonstrations in the coming weeks.

First-semester retention: We’ve maintained the first-to-second semester retention of first-year students at 98%, the highest retention rate since 1992.  This semester, we have the highest number of students studying for the semester off-campus since tracking began in 1982.  It is the highest number in absolute terms (184) as well as a percent of the student body (7.9%).  

Admissions: We have received 4,415 applications to date, a 10% increase over last year. 

Advancement:  Donors to the St. Lawrence Fund have contributed $2,535,987 to date and donors for the residence hall project have brought that total to $4.3 million.  Successful meetings of the Parents Committee and the Alumni Executive Council took place on campus the weekend of February 7-10, Nemo could not keep our volunteers away.

Comprehensive fee:  The Board voted to establish our base comprehensive fee for 2013-2014 at $57,900, an increase of $2,065. This is a 3.7% difference for University tuition, room, and board.  This is a 3.7% difference for University tuition, room, and board.  Tuition and required fees will rise $1,640; room and board will go up $425.  I appreciate everyone’s efforts to contain costs, conserve energy, and develop innovations that uphold our mission and excellent reputation. 

Management training: About 70 supervisors attended a half-day management training seminar on January 17 to learn more about performance appraisal, about providing constructive feedback, and about University policies.

Innovation grants:  The deadline for spring proposals is March 8. The Innovation Grants program will award several grants at $2,500 per project and one or two grants up to $5,000 per project for new initiatives proposed by faculty, staff and students.  The program encourages new initiatives that will improve the quality of life at St. Lawrence through new curricular, co-curricular, or campus life projects and provide a foundation for St. Lawrence’s future.  All faculty, staff and students are eligible to submit a proposal to the Innovation Grants Committee.