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KU President's Update

F. Javier Cevallos
October 2011

Dear Kutztown University Community,

As we reach the mid-point of our fall semester, I want to share some updates on a few very important initiatives for our campus.


First and foremost, I want to thank the members of the Strategic Plan Task Force, for their commitment to meet the aggressive deadline to deliver an updated strategic plan for our university by December 1.

This task force, comprising 13 representatives across every college and governance body, has been working tirelessly since August 31.  They meet every Friday and have had the additional support of Dr. Stephen Reno, strategic planning consultant and former chancellor of the University System of New Hampshire.

Last Tuesday, the task force shared the proposed new structure of our strategic plan with the campus community.  We also learned about some initiatives under each of the four current goals of the strategic plan.

I invite you to review the progress of the plan on this link:  Please be sure to share your comments with Dr. Carole Wells and Dr. Jim Delle, co-chairs of the Task Force. Your input is crucial to developing a strategic plan that is functional and suitable to our campus.

Please note that the purpose of the strategic plan is to be adaptive and flexible to our needs and challenges.  It is a "live" document that will be reviewed constantly and "fed" with results and outcomes that will guide our budgetary and operational decisions.  I am convinced that the implementation of a refreshed strategic plan will help us sharpen the vision of our university and will guide us to meet our mission and goals.

Within the last two weeks, changes to the March 15, 2010, General Education Task Force implementation guidelines were approved by the University Curriculum Committee, Senate, and APSCUF Rep Council.  In particular,

  1. Currently matriculated students with fewer than 30 credits, declaring a major or changing a major, will be enrolled in the new General Education program.
  2. Currently matriculated students with 30 or more credits, declaring a major or changing a major, will have the option of remaining in the old General Education program or changing to the new General Education program.
  3. Transfer students with fewer than 30 credits will be admitted under the new General Education program.
  4. Transfer students with 30 or more credits will have the option of being admitted under either the old General Education program or the new General Education program.
  5. Effective fall 2014, students declaring or changing majors will be enrolled in the new General Education Program
  6. Effective fall 2014, transfer students will be admitted under the new General Education program.

These implementation changes will significantly impact our students and play a key role when deciding to change their major.  I encourage you to fully understand these modifications and work with the Provost's Office to clarify any related questions.

The new General Education program and the implementation of a current strategic plan are key areas that our accrediting body, Middle States, will be reviewing closely on our monitoring report due March 1, 2012. Although there is still much to do, I feel confident that we are on the right track.

Effective October 10, Leah Cassellia assumed the lead responsibilities for the Office of Student Involvement reporting through the Division of Academic & Student Affairs.   Dr. Trisha Scarcia-King will continue to provide leadership and direction for the operations of the McFarland Student Union through the Division of Administration & Finance. These changes in reporting structure were put in place to more closely align the services of these respective units with the appropriate divisions.

We have had three facilities named in honor of outstanding supporters of our institution this semester: 

The art gallery in Sharadin Art Building has been named in honor of Marlin and Ginger Miller, leading philanthropists of the arts and great friends and supporters of KU. 

The Education House has been named the Clarence Schock Education House in honor of the late Clarence Schock, whose Foundation has been awarding scholarships to area Pennsylvania students since 1951. 

Keystone Fieldhouse has been named O'Pake Fieldhouse in honor of the late Senator Michael O'Pake.  Senator O'Pake was an outstanding advocate for KU with the Pennsylvania legislature, and a great supporter of education in general.

I am always encouraged by the way our students, faculty and staff give back to the community and each other.  Right now, we are in the midst of our annual faculty/staff State Employee Combined Appeal (SECA) campaign, which runs through the end of the month.  We are very close to reaching our goal.  I encourage all of you to take a look at and consider helping those in need through this year's campaign. 

In addition, the KU Foundation & Alumni Engagement is currently conducting the Faculty and Staff Campaign.  This is an excellent opportunity for our employees to support their favorite scholarship, program or the annual fund in general.  You should have received a letter from Professor Mary Laub from the College of Education and Stephanie Deni-Iager from the KU Foundation with details.  If not, you can call the KU Foundation & Alumni Engagement at extension 34110 for more information.        

In closing, I want to encourage you all to take a moment in the coming weeks to enjoy the height of the beautiful fall season here on our campus and surrounding area.  The bright, sunny days of autumn tend to be the most picturesque, especially as you walk past Old Main and the Alumni Plaza, or head out on a short drive through the surrounding countryside.  It is a great way to take a break from our hectic pace and gear up for the second half of the semester. 

In the meantime, I look forward to bringing you further updates as we move through the academic year.


F. Javier Cevallos