Bookmark and Share

2003 State of the University Address

President Javier Cevallos

It is a real pleasure to welcome you back for a new academic year. It is hard to believe that a year has gone by so quickly, and once again I want to say to everyone here thanks for all you have done to make my first year here a truly memorable one. As you can see, our breakfast this year is not fancy. Given the budgetary pressure we all feel, and after consulting with the leaders of the University Senate and the Unions, we agreed on a scaled down event for this year. We will find a way to go back to the traditional setting for next year!

At this time, I would like to recognize the Kutztown University Council of Trustee members here with us today: Trustee Guido Pichini, Chair of the Council, Trustee Jennifer Clark, Trustee Richard Orwig, and Trustee Jack Wabby. Also with us this morning is the President of the Alumni Association, Ms. Sara Galosi. 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. Welcome to the Kutztown University family.

I would now like to introduce the Chair of the University Senate, Bill Bateman, to make some remarks.

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 of the Union Presidents who would like to, to make some brief comments. As is always the case, not everyone can be here, but we do have three Union Presidents with us this morning. I would like to ask Gary Brey, president of APSCUF to make some remarks. We will hear now from Ray Ingosh, representing SCUPA. Eric Furst, 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 2003 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
  • Prof. John Landis, Communication Design
  • Prof. Ed Evans, Math/CIS (retired)
  • Prof. Allida McKinley, History
  • Prof. James Ogden, Marketing
  • Prof. David Peterson, Audio-visual Communications
  • Prof. John Loomis, Physical Science
  • Prof. Kathleen Dolgos, Secondary Education

Thank you, again, for setting an example for all. I would like to ask the Kutztown University Alumni Board President, to join me in presenting the award and a check for $2,000 to Prof. Tom Schantz!

Starting this year we will have a new award to recognize the excellence of our faculty. Thanks to the generosity of Dr. Carlson Chambliss, who just retired at the end of the 2002-2003 academic year, we have created the Carlson Chambliss Gold Medal for Kutztown University Faculty Research and Creative Work. The medal will be awarded during the annual Faculty Recognition ceremony. The honoree will also be asked to share her or his work with the community in a Distinguished Faculty Lecture. Dr. Chambliss has also established Silver and Bronze medal Academic Achievement Awards for our students. Thank you, Dr. Chambliss, for helping us recognize the outstanding academic work on our campus!

Let me share with you another piece of good news. Kutztown University has been included in the Princeton Review Guide to the Best Mid-Atlantic Colleges. The letter says, and I quote: "please know that it was a great pleasure reviewing your school's credentials; you have much to brag about!" Indeed we do!

Last year we started the "teachnology" initiative. I am happy to report that our initial class of "teachnology" faculty members have completed their projects. With the significant improvements in networking, the addition of 33 smart classrooms over the summer, and more coming this year, it is important to continue to adopt and develop a more technologically integrated pedagogy. I encourage all faculty to actively consider either being part of the "teachnology" program, or at least working with the Learning Technology Center to incorporate some new approaches in the curriculum.

The most important initiative we launched last year was the review of our General Education program. In a letter to the faculty dated April 2, 2003, I wrote: {A16} "One of the crucial challenges facing Kutztown University and American higher education today is redefining the role higher education plays in the new and challenging information society. For the first time in our history, thanks to the Internet, information is readily accessible and free. For the first time, as well, we face challenges by institutions that offer a fast and cheap way to obtain a diploma. We know that we do much more than that. Our university provides our students with much more than 'training' for a job: we offer an education. If we are to thrive in the next decades, we must reaffirm our firm commitment to a comprehensive liberal arts education. At its core is general education. Defining a sound general education foundation for our students, then, is essential to our future. It is also a complex task." I am happy to tell you that the General Education Restructuring Team has been working very hard in this task. I met recently with the group and I am certain that they are clearly on their way to a creative, innovative and sound program. It will make Kutztown University a leader in general education, and is crucial in moving us to the next level of academic excellence.

Last year we moved the reporting line of the Admissions Office to Academic Affairs. At the core of this move was the idea of a better integration of our recruiting and academic goals. We are experiencing tremendous demographic growth, and as the regional state university we need to prepare and manage very carefully that growth. Let me share with you these Department of Education projections:

Let's look at it in graphic form:

Our incoming class reflects that growth. The class of 2007 is one of the largest, if not the largest in our history. Approximately 1850 freshman have registered for classes this fall, an increase of 123 above last year's class. In addition the number of new transfer students is expected to be larger than in recent years. "( Fall 2003=500 or higher vs. 412 last fall). The level of diversity as measured by the number of Students of Color and international students is equal to or possibly even higher than last year's enrollment (14.5%-17.2% for Fall 2003 vs. 14.5% for Fall 2002). The overall academic quality of the class based on predictors such as SAT score, Class Rank and HS. GPA have all improved. (The overall PQPA of this year's freshman class is 2.41 compared with last year's PQPA of 2.36. Fall 2003 Average SAT- 997; Class Rank 43%; HSGPA 3.01;vs. last Fall SAT 985; Class rank 44%; No HS GPA was previously kept on file).

We are in a good position relative to the recent Supreme Court Decisions. We do not use quotas nor do we add points to our acceptance process for Students of Color. We make a major effort to recruit students once they are accepted, but do not adjust our selection criteria based on race or ethnic background. We are reviewing ways to be less formula driven and more holistic in our selection process as suggested in the documents that accompanied the recent Supreme Court decisions.

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 last year's results. Of 61 measures, we met or exceeded our goals in 52. When compared to our benchmark group, we met or exceeded 53.

Of the ones that we did not meet, the one that will require a concerted effort on our part is the 6-year graduation rate. There are many reasons why students take so long to graduate. Some of those are external to the campus, but we must do all we can to ensure that our students can complete their careers in a reasonable time.

At this point, I would like to ask my cabinet members to share with you some of the accomplishments of their divisions last year, but more importantly, their vision for the next few years.

Academic Affairs: Provost Linda Goldberg

The Academic Affairs Division is actively dedicated to excellence in learning and to the success of its diverse community of students. Academic Affairs prepares students to meet lifelong intellectual, ethical, social and professional challenges by providing quality programs for a global environment.

During the last academic year 2002/03 the Academic Affairs unit was most successful in achieving its goals. Some of the highlights of our accomplishments are:

  • The development and implementation of new programs to serve the region, such as: The Master of Social Work program, General Studies with a concentration in Industrial/Organizational Psychology degree completion program (offered off-campus in the Reading area), a Paralegal option within the General Studies degree, new 2-year and weekend evening Nursing programs with Reading Hospital School of Nursing, Bachelor of Arts in Music Education, English as a Second Language certificate program, Communication Design new concentration in digital technology, joint Masters of Arts in Teaching between the College of Education and Cheyney University, and the Department of Electronic Media developed a new 12-credit certificate program.

The Academic Affairs unit continues to maintain and support existing accreditations and the various colleges have begun plans to secure additional accreditations to enhance the overall quality of our educational programs as well as to meet the ongoing requirements of the State System of Higher Education performance measures.

The unit engaged in a number of best practices in retention. To name a few:

  • The Advising Center created a supplemental advising for students in Academic Jeopardy.
  • The College of Visual and Performing Arts started an Early Intervention program that identifies first-year students who may be experiencing problems. The program boasts an 87.7% overall VPA retention rate.
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences began an intrusive monitoring program for first-year students.

As a result of these and many other efforts, second-year retention for all first-time, full-time undergraduate students increased from 74.1% for fall 2000 to fall 2001 to 76.8% for fall 2001 to fall 2002.

Continued increasing efforts from within the Academic Affairs Division is demonstrated by faculty and staff being awarded over 1.45 million in grants and sponsored projects during this last year including Trio grants, NSF grants, ACT 101 Developmental Studies and the Small Business Development Center.

The Rohrbach Library experienced an extremely productive year. In most cases, use of the library services increased significantly over the previous year. Examples can be found within the System Accountability Plan report.

Lastly the Academic Affairs unit continues to demonstrate effective outcomes for teaching and learning. As a result, ongoing assessment of policies and procedures in the colleges and units continues with numerous changes occurring.

Students were active in scholarship and experiential activities. Two students were accepted into the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates at major institutions. Four students presented and published work in conjunction with the Geological Society of Nova Scotia and one presented at the Pennsylvania Academy of Science Conference. Three graduate students, two in English, one in Library Science, contributed articles to a book. Students have prepared and presented scholarly work over the course of this year. All of which is a credit to the students and their faculty.

Lastly much activity has occurred with technology enhancement within the Academic Affairs division. Each college, as well as the library and other units, continues to make significant progress in using technology to advance learning at Kutztown University. These examples and many others are described within the existing System Accountability Plan report.

For the academic year 2003/04, the Academic Affairs unit will focus on six goals. These goals represent an integration of Kutztown University's Strategic Vision and the State System of Higher Education goals and measures. These are:

  • Goal 1 Enhance Academic Excellence
  • Goal 2 Increase Diversity across Division
  • Goal 3 Improve Retention/Graduation Rates
  • Goal 4 Improve Technology and Information Resources
  • Goal 5 Increase Public Engagement across Division
  • Goal 6 Increase Efficiency across Division

Finally, my sincere appreciation to the faculty, staff and administrators who have made this past academic year 2002-03 a true success.

V.P. of Information Technology: Rich Zera

Thank you, President Cevallos, for your comments regarding the CIO-100 Award. It is truly a prestigious honor to be recognized by a panel of international experts for the progress we have made. While I cannot say enough about the fine IT staff, this award is also recognition of the University Senate's Academic Technology Committee, Strategic Planning, our Trustees, and the many technology leaders from all divisions of the KU.

There were many accomplishments in the past year that I would like to highlight like over 99.7% network reliability, web virtual tours, smart classroom selection and implementation, adding fiber to North campus to enable cable television in all academic buildings, and so forth- but I would instead like to spend my couple of minutes talking about some key items in the new academic year.

The major thrust of the next year in ITS will be (1) security, (2) wireless networking that will build on our wired infrastructure, and (3) helping users understand and utilize their computers more effectively. Regarding security, there have been important developments relative to security, privacy, and acceptable use of computers and networks. We are now required by federal law to take specific steps to change how security is administered, a new Pennsylvania law makes it a third-degree felony for anyone to misuse the network, and the Recording Industry is filing potentially thousands of lawsuits against individuals at universities for sharing copyrighted music or movies.

Our Gigabit Ethernet network enables us to now begin adding wireless capabilities in strategic locations. Academic Affairs has proposed a portion of the Instructional Technology Fee to begin establishing wireless networks in three academic buildings, and ITS is examining wireless capabilities in some other locations on campus that are points of student congregation.

Helping users understand and utilize their microcomputers more effectively will be aided by an exciting new training program we have acquired. Basic, intermediate and advanced on-line training for all Microsoft products is now available for Windows machines from a web-based training company, and for Macs from a series of CD-based training programs. In addition to this training, we will expand our "live" training, further enhance our Help Center, and will be actively engaged in the next round of microcomputer leasing.

In addition to the above three primary goals, a number of significant changes involving student email have been developed. Since President Cevallos sent a letter last Spring requiring all students to use their KU email accounts this Fall, a number of interesting enhancements in operation have been made possible. First, I ask all faculty to remind students that they are required to read their KU email and ITS has a website for them to learn how to set up forwards if they choose. Second, in the past we created listservs for all classes, but they often became inaccurate and unreliable. Since we can now rely on students using KU email, we are switching to distribution lists, which will be updated on a nightly basis to enable electronic communication for all classes and offer enhanced security and accuracy. Third, three KU divisions have collaborated to institute a Weekly Brief" of electronic announcements, events, etc. to be sent to student KU email addresses to aid in the dissemination of information in a cost-effective and efficient manner. Fourth, with our new iPlanet email system, are testing a personal calendaring system for all faculty, staff and students.

You either have or will soon receive our latest ITS Interface newsletter that spells out these and many very important news items in more detail. Please take a few minutes to read it over - some information is a "must read" for all KU computer users.

VP for Student Affairs: Chick Woodard

As a partner in the educational process, Student Affairs accomplished several initiatives, which very nicely complement our academic and co-curricular offerings. Let me briefly mention a sampling:

As recommended by the Council for the Advancement of Standards External Review Team, a "Blue Ribbon" Task Force was appointed and charged with the responsibility for examining the role, contributions, benefits and future of Greek affiliation at Kutztown University. A comprehensive and candid report was accepted as a vehicle to restructure, transform and revitalize our Greek life system. A much needed Advisory Board component is currently being implemented to coordinate major programming revisions, including mandatory training to enable all members of our Greek system to achieve their mission goals. We're optimistic that you will be pleased with the results of these changes in the coming years.

Much as an architect draws a blueprint, as student affairs professionals, we too, must see pictures-clear images in our mind's eye-of what the results will look like even before we've started new initiatives. A shared vision was the foundation for the University's new Parental Notification Program. Created by the Office of Student Conduct Standards, the program's primary intent is to include parents as a part of a solution to the problem of high risk behaviors related to alcohol consumption and drug use while respecting the multitude of relationships between students under the age of 21 and their parents. Recent survey results note that 90% of the female students and 60% of the male students contacted their parents within 24 hours of an alcohol or drug infraction. These are dramatic changes for both groups. With an educational component for first time infractions, we believe this program will help emerging adults improve their decision-making skills and assume responsibility for their own educational and personal development-common threads central to a successful journey toward independence and interdependence.

While access to information is only a keystroke away through computer networks, activities that enhance human contact and provide experiential learning like "Community Service" and "America Reads" underscore the importance of Human Networks-helping the less fortunate through face-to-face contact. This past year, 2800 KU students completed 37,850 hours of community service. This represents an economic contribution of over $400,000 to the local community. In our America Reads Program, which serves 10 sites in five school districts, 79 students contributed 210 hours of tutorial services per week to disadvantaged youngsters. Now more than ever before, we must continue high levels of genuine acts of caring to uplift spirits and draw people forward. These are truly "win-win-win" efforts for all involved.

University Counseling Services and the Health and Wellness Center achieved full, three-year, highest level accredited status. This reflects strong leadership, professional excellence, and high quality of service delivery for both departments.

Speaking of high quality, our student athletes continue to shine in the classroom while contributing more than 2500 hours of community service. GPAs for returning student athletes, 2.83, and freshmen, 2.62, reflect all-time highs, the latter surpassing their freshman cohort GPA of 2.39. Additionally, 90 student athletes were named as "PSAC Honor Scholars," having achieved a GPA of 3.25 or better.

The David McFarland Student Union Building was featured as an outstanding facility in the May 2003 issue of the Association of College Unions International Magazine, The Bulletin. In a major bench marking evaluation comparing the SUB with 45 student unions, including 12 Carnegie class-ranked schools, KU's overall satisfactory score ranked it 7th out of 45.

In an era of heightened alert in response to "9/11," Public Safety collaborated across divisions to put the University in a safer and more secure position. All emergency services, notification procedures and past policies have been reviewed, updated and changes implemented where needed. Also, a task force appointed by the PULSE (Promoting University Leadership for a Safe Environment) Team instituted vital changes to ensure that student sponsored, late night campus social events are conducted in a safer and more secure ambiance.

Through these and other projects, Student Affairs will continue its commitment at all levels: to create, refine and implement student life programs and services, in collaboration with other divisions, that will complement our academic program for years to come.

Human Diversity: Barbara Taliaferro

Good Morning... Welcome to a brand new day. I am hoping that the year will be filled with passion and purpose and bring you renewed energy in your chosen professions.

The office of Human Diversity has had an exuberant year and continues to collaborate with others in order to collectively serve our students. We engage in important services necessary to recruit, enroll, retain and graduate tomorrows leaders, facilitate employee professional development, provide quality customer service, nurture shared responsibility and demonstrate leadership.

Highlights of the past year have been: Hosting several pre-college awareness and and regional career exploration programs.

The office provided staff support to facilitate and enhance the progress of the Kutztown University Latino Employees caucus.

With your help and cooperation we have conducted the first phase of an environmental scan. A research consultant spent several days on campus talking with a variety of individuals and groups while gathering preliminary data and accessing the campus climate. A report on the findings will be available soon and announcements posted regarding the campus review.

Space has been identified to house a Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Affectionate, Tran gendered and questioning campus resource center. We hope to have it up and running before the end of this semester.

Multicultural Services and the John B. White Multicultural Center celebrated another wonderful year, bustling with events, activities, and programs designed to increase retention and provide collaborative opportunities ... such as academic study, cultural experiences, spiritual growth and social networking. Classes are also taught in the facility and it will house the New Multicultural Academic Program Minor. Watch your mail for the Fall 2003 program and events brochure for a schedule of upcoming events. Bring your classes to co-curricular events, expand their cultural competencies and enhance teaching and learning opportunities.

The Kutztown University Women's Center continues its phenomenal contribution to the campus, the community and beyond regarding gender awareness and information. The center is another vital link to providing a necessary forum for gender dialogue, social action, and leadership. They sponsor programs and events, and help charitable causes. They provide information to expose women to information about careers in math and science ... and provide introductions to healthy lifestyles. Women students again filled Schaeffer auditorium with their own successful rendition of Vagina Monologues - if you have not seen it, mark your calendars, if you have seen it, see it again and take someone with you.

The Kutztown University Office of Disability Services remains on the cutting edge of student support, intervention, and hands on services to over 400 students and employees with disabilities. 142 new freshmen and transfer students are enrolled for this Fall 2003. A new Faculty question and answer guide is now available and note takers and scribers will once again wait in line to copy lecture notes for students who need that accommodation.

The National Do-It Admin Program will also be launched this fall. It is a program complement to the Do It Prof program, which is already in place. These programs provide helpful information to serving and assisting students with disabilities.

Lastly, I believe that success in education is not measured nor sustained by the superstars but by the shining stars. We are all here to serve and we must use the talents we have to recognize, accept, respect and celebrate diversity and our success. Let your journey nurture and sustain you, give you strength and bring you joy. You are a Shining Star!! May this journey provide you with life changing experiences while you engage in changing lives.

VP for Finance and Administration: Jim Sutherland

GOOD MORNING - it is my honor and privilege to bring you greetings from the Division of Administration and Finance. It seems that the summer break was not nearly long enough to adequately prepare for the new academic year. That being said, it is wonderful excitement when we once again welcome the Students and Faculty back to campus for the new year.

In our Division's Annual Report, I commented that the term "fully engaged" came to mind when I looked at Administration and Finance for last year. From fiscal constraints to staffing shortages and projects, projects and more projects, the hill we climbed was steeper than we had anticipated.

June 30, 2003 was the closing date for our first financial year under the new Shared Administrative System. It was not an easy environment to navigate in, but as has been the case all along in the implementation process, Kutztown University was clearly the lead institution. All the literature that says that an administrative software conversion is difficult at best was proved accurate and I can only say that this conversion was not an example of "at best". We are fortunate to have the hard working dedicated staff in the accounting office or this conversion would have been a disaster.

Speaking of disasters averted, my thanks and admiration goes out to those stalwart faculty who have had to endure the impossible situation at the new Science Building over the last many months but especially this summer. This has been the worst construction experience that I have ever encountered. As an agency of the Commonwealth, we are totally at the mercy of the Department of General Services for construction. On rare occasions they will grant the University "delegated authority" to manage the design and construction on a project. The Science Complex project was not delegated to Kutztown University, and therefore the concerns of the University were not addressed in the agreement with the construction contractors despite our pleadings. The Kutztown University Office of Planning and Construction did everything humanly possible to push the project along so that we could gain occupancy by the opening of classes. As I write this I am not sure we will make it.

On a more positive note, last week saw the opening of Golden Bear Village South. The new 500 bed residence complex on the southern most point of campus. This truly collaborator effort between the Kutztown University Foundation and the Divisions of Advancement, Student affairs and Administration and Finance, has culminated in a beautiful facility for our resident student. I could spend all morning talking about the various constructions and restorative projects that were pursued last year but time does not allow me that luxury. But I will list a few:

  • Residence Hall Sprinklers in Dietrich, Berks and Beck,
  • Athletic Fields Construction
  • Administration Office Reorganization
  • South Dining Hall floor Replacement
  • Bleacher Replacement in Keystone Arena
  • Field House Roof Repairs
  • Beekey Transformer Replacement
  • Old Main Slate Roof Replacement and many more

It does not appear that we will have a break in the activity level this year with the many projects continuing or beginning; from the Science Center Phases 2 and 3, to the Recreation Center Design, Heating Plant Design, and Renovations of the Official Residence. And as of today it appears the High Tech Classroom Building Project will be approved and receive state funding, so it is possible this will enter the design phase before next summer.

Other areas of note include the expansion of the one card system to which we hope to add vending machine capability this year. We will have a new shuttle bus program for both campus and town circuits and we have a new Jazzman's Coffee Shop in the Library. And as you leave today, there will be available at the exits, a certificate for a free cup of coffee at the Library Jazzmans or maybe we should call it "Peg's Place." The Division of Administration and Finance is here to serve you so please let me know how we can do that better. Thank You.

V.P. of Advancement: Bill Sutton

Good Morning. Welcome to the beginning of the 2003-2004 academic year.

On June 30 of this past year, Kutztown University and the Kutztown University Foundation marked a very successful point in their history. On that date, the five-year Third Century Fund Campaign was completed and the goal of $15.25 Million was exceeded. While we are still verifying the total amounts of commitments, we can indicate that approximately $16 Million has been pledged to the Campaign. During the Campaign, $4.5 Million was committed to building funds, $3.8 Million was committed to scholarship endowment, $5.7 Million was committed to the annual fund, and $1.3 Million was committed to the Heritage Center-including the establishment of the first endowed professorship on campus. We are also proud to announce that Kutztown University successfully meet the Kresgee Foundation challenge and received $500,000 towards the Science Building project. This is the largest Kresge Grant ever given to the State System. You will also be pleased to learn that 3 individual donors each provided gifts of $1 Million or more. We are pleased that each year more than 500 students receive some form of scholarship aid through the Foundation.

In addition, during the past year, we completed the successful transition of the admissions office from advancement (where it had been for the last approximately 15 years) to academic affairs. We are especially pleased that on August 15, Kutztown University Foundation completed Golden Bear Village South Phase I-the second residence hall complex built by the Foundation providing apartment-style housing for an additional 500 students. This facility, and Golden Bear Village West, which were built and furnished by the Foundation, are leased to the University and managed as a part of the University housing inventory. This style of student housing will enhance recruiting and improve retention for the Fall semester. Because of the expanded housing, we were able to offer transfer students on campus housing, and this has helped create a significant increase in the number of transfer students. Kutztown University now attracts more transfer students than other State System universities. Transfer students help improve retention rates and graduation rates.

During 2003-2004 we are going to institute several changes. (1) We will be establishing what is called a "College-Based Development Program." That is we will be starting the effort to permit donors to designated fund gifts for the individual colleges and academic units. We believe that donors, especially alumni, will increase their level of support if they can restrict their gift to their academic department or undergraduate college. (2) We are especially pleased to announce that earlier this month on August 13, Maxatawny Township provided final approval for Golden Bear Village South Phase II and Phase III-an additional 500-bed facility. Construction is due to start in late September, with occupancy to be ready in August of 2004. The completion of this building project will mean that over 1,100 students will be living in new apartment-style complexes created by the Foundation. This makes the Foundation the largest provider of this type of housing within the entire State System. (3) In late October we hope to formerly inaugurate the Alumni Plaza, which was one of the Capital Campaign projects. We believe that the completion of this green area will provide a focal point for campus activities, serve as a gathering place, and provide an environment, which enhances the academic nature of the campus. Within the Plaza, you will find quiet places, community gathering areas, seating and lounging areas, and a variety of related spaces. (4) During the coming year, the Kutztown University Foundation will be reviewing its Board structure with the goal of recruiting one or two Board members who will specifically represent each of the undergraduate colleges and act as a liaison between the academic departments and the Foundation in order to enhance the college-based development plan.

2003-2004 appears to be just as exciting as the past year, and we welcome your involvement-especially in the college-based development plan-which will permit us to secure voluntary support for the different academic departments and undergraduate colleges.

President Cevallos continued

As all of you know, we face a difficult budgetary situation. The economic situation across the nation has forced most states to reduce, in many cases drastically, their allocations to education. This is the second year in a row that we face reductions, and those have had an impact in our daily work. All of you have been asked to do more with less, and I want to thank you for the commitment and dedication you have shown to this institution and to our students. But we must remain optimistic. In fact, the economy is starting to turn around, and things will get better. As the budget picture clears, and as we find new revenues, we will resume investing in the future. Our strategic vision will lead us in this direction. As you know, last year the entire campus community was invited to participate in the strategic visioning plan. By the end of the spring semester, we had a Strategic Vision in place. As I said then, this vision would be the road map we will follow as we move forward. During the summer we worked to develop specific goals to help us achieve this vision, guided by the overarching principles of academic quality and student achievement. I would like to share some of those specific goals with you.


Kutztown University will be the region's center for excellence in academics, culture, and public engagement, in order to prepare our students to meet lifelong challenges and responsibilities within a complex and diverse community.

Initiative 1: We shall be the region's center for excellence in academics by:

Building strong undergraduate and graduate programs and reaffirming our commitment to a substantive, diverse, and vibrant environment that fosters learning;

  • Maintain or work toward accreditation of all accreditable programs over the next 5 years
  • Conduct program reviews cyclically
  • Review programs and courses to address curricular needs
  • Complete the General Education review
  • Improve curricular review process
  • Encourage teaching excellence (provide incentives to increase active learning opportunities)
  • Improve retention and graduation rates
  • Foster internships and learning opportunities for our students
  • Increase the number and scope of collaborations and partnerships with national and international institutions
  • Engage students in learning in and outside the classroom.

Implementing an academically focused enrollment management process to recruit and retain a diverse student body of academic quality;

  • Increase enrollment in science, technology and healthcare programs
  • Increase support for student achievement
  • Increase recruitment of diverse and excellent students (higher SAT scores, create Dean's Scholars Program in Colleges)
  • Implement the campus management system as rapidly as possible
  • Make the transfer process for Community College and sister institution students seamless.

Integrating appropriate technologies and information resources within the academic environment;

  • Continue the "teachnology" program
  • Devise a coordinated, consistent and responsive support structure for the operation of higher technology instructional and academic support methodologies, particularly as they relate to all aspects of smart classrooms and labs.
  • Create a wireless environment for the campus
  • Create a dedicated, separate network for the residence halls
  • Improve network security
  • Increase equipment for students
  • Increase self-directed software for students
  • Through the college-based development program, create an aggressive effort to secure technology-related gifts to support academic programs·

Promoting scholarly activity and research by supporting grants and sponsored projects and providing rewards for creativity.

  • Create office of Grants and Contracts to assist with all aspects of grant writing
  • Continue to recruit an excellent and diverse faculty and staff
  • Enhance support for graduate student recruitment and stipends

Initiative 2: We shall be the Region's Center for cultural enrichment by:

Providing leadership in preserving and celebrating our historical and cultural traditions;

  • The German Cultural Heritage Center will restore and construct a Heritage Center Library using gift income
  • Restore and erect a second log cabin at the Heritage Center through private support·
  • Continuing our outstanding artistic traditions;
  • Celebrating the cultural wealth of diverse populations.
  • Embrace Diversity Fest III
  • Conduct an environmental scan to assess issues of climate on campus.
  • Offer educational programming as needed

Initiative 3: We shall be the Region's Center for public engagement by:

Providing service to the region;

  • Initiate a process to ascertain the educational needs required of the workforce for area businesses and industry.
  • Serve regional employers by learning about the qualities they desire in new hires below the level of college graduate and use the information to educate future teachers
  • Establish programs to help retrain displaced workers in the region·
  • Being stewards of place "scholars in the community";
  • Increase number of courses offering service learning opportunities
  • Develop a Speakers Bureau of volunteer faculty and staff to make presentations to community organizations in their areas of expertise. Promote the bureau throughout the region.
  • Work with APSCUF to develop a means by which community engagement outside the university is recognized and seriously considered for tenure and promotion decisions.
  • Developing institutional connections through partnerships;
  • Work creatively with business and industry to forge new and meaningful partnerships·
  • Promoting economic development of the community by providing a variety of programs and resources.
  • Continue to provide support for small businesses within the area
  • Serve regional employers by providing them with a strong pool of qualified candidates

We have already started to work on moving forward with our vision. This summer we moved Career Services and the Advising Center to new locations, that will allow those two offices to better serve our students. The Provost and the Deans have a five-year accreditation plan ready to go. We have initiated the environmental scan by hiring an external consultant to help us develop the necessary instruments. While on the subject of campus climate, I would like to propose "Kutztown University Friday". Let's wear our colors, or something related to Kutztown University on Fridays.

This evening we are reinstating another tradition: Convocation. Please join us as we welcome the class of 07, the largest entering class in the history of KU. Your participation in this gathering, this "calling together," will make our new students feel as part of our campus and our traditions. And just as important, perhaps even more important, your being here this evening will help our students understand that their eventual success, the graduation day to which they look forward, is a joint venture, a joint adventure in which we will work alongside them, offering criticism and encouragement, directions and questions, assistance and instructive obstacles -- but working with them toward their goal. Before you go back to your classes, departments, offices, I want to say once again thanks for all you do, and we look forward to a terrific year for all!