January 2012 Monthly Update


Strategic Map Update: The Chair of Faculty Council, Elun Gabriel, sent faculty reflections of the map to me at the close of the fall semester. I shared with him then that I appreciate the spectrum of views expressed at faculty meetings and the resolutions that represent a general response to the Strategic Map. The map, and the planning process that has drawn and developed it, must be a living, evolving, and dynamic document. We are still (and will be indefinitely) collecting reactions and suggestions from all St. Lawrence constituencies, so having at the close of the fall semester the faculty's own reflections helps immensely in the process. We will update and revise the map with the advice and consent of the Board. The letter incorporating the faculty's sense of our strategic direction, along with other feedback, will allow our shared work on campus to be joined with the Board's regular review of our progress.

Facilities Master Plan: With appreciation for the time so many people offered in the process of selecting our facilities master planning consultants, I’m happy to announce the choice of Saratoga Associates/Beardsley Design to work with us over the next year.  Very soon you will receive information from Dan Seaman, director of facilities operations, about the schedule of campus events that will involve faculty, staff, students, alumni and community.  Saratoga Associates will spend the spring semester gathering information and perspectives about the ways we use our campus spaces and about our vision for their use in the next decade.

IT Staffing: As I shared in December, Sondra Smith has taken a one-year leave of absence from her position as Co-CIO and Director of Educational Technologies to work with Educause.  I thank these staff members for their willingness to support the academic mission of the University, the strategic mapping process and our next computer replacement cycle.
*In addition to her role as Co-CIO and Director of Client Services, Rene Thatcher will be the Interim Director of Educational Technologies. 
*Grant Currie has been promoted to Manager of Educational Technologies. 
*Jamie Richardson has been promoted to Manager of User Services and will oversee the work of our Hardware and Media Technicians. 
*Steve Millington has been promoted to Student Services Coordinator managing the IT HelpDesks and student staff.

Admissions: Early Decision applications are 12% ahead of last year.  On January 8, the Alumni Council and Office of Admissions conducted the second annual Alumni/Admissions Workshop for alumni and their high school-age children.  This is a project sponsored by the Alumni Council and this year was held at Dana Hall School in Wellesley, MA.  Kent Jones ’72, director of college counseling at Emma Willard School, and Lauren Reed ’11, teacher, coach and college counselor at EWS, joined Admissions staff and two students in providing this wonderful service to alumni families.  Rob Donovan of the Council’s Admissions Committee assisted with the arrangements.

We welcome eight transfer students and four new first-years next week.

Search for Vice President for University Advancement, Fundraising Update and Data Migration Project: Our search progresses for our next Vice President for University Advancement; about 50 faculty and staff met with a candidate last week.  Gifts to the St. Lawrence Fund, which are gifts that help fund the University’s current programs, are up by 7.8%, with $3.4 million in cash and pledges recorded.  Private gifts to the University are down 6.42% as of December 31, 2011, with $7.7 million raised.  In the first year following the completion of Momentum St. Lawrence, we anticipated a drop of capital gifts over the previous year.  

University Advancement and Information Technology (IT) kicked off the implementation of the new University Advancement database, the Raiser’s Edge and Net Community, with introductory sessions for campus stakeholders.   Staff members have been working in a “quiet phase” leading up to the kick off for months.  The next nine months will be full of planning, staff training, and data conversion in preparation for the planned October 2012 “go live” date.

Emergency preparedness: Over the Winter Break, our Emergency Preparedness Team held its annual full-scale tabletop exercise to review our emergency planning and response protocols. The tabletop exercise demonstrated our protocols are well established and functional.  Some key points: Our Threat Assessment Team, represented by staff from Residential Life, Faculty, Safety & Security and the Counseling Center meet on a weekly basis; we have multiple and redundant emergency communication systems that will be tested with the campus community in the next few weeks. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Patrick Gagnon or Lisa Cania, or for more information, please go to the Safety & Security website.

Educational programs on harassment and discrimination: We are partnering with United Educators to provide online educational programs on issues of sexual and discriminatory harassment for all SLU faculty and staff.  The online course will take about 45 minutes. We ask you to complete the course by June 30, 2012. Each month we will draw one name from the list of faculty and staff who have completed the course and provide that person with a gift certificate to Brewer Bookstore.  The sooner you complete this important course, the better your chances for the drawing.

PCPSOA contract ratification: The members of the Professional Campus Public Safety Officers Affiliated ratified their new three-year contract with St. Lawrence for the period September 1, 2011-August 31, 2014.