President's Staff Update
Volume 10 - March 2012
President's Staff

When the weather's bad
We learned something from the Leap Day blizzard. When a decision must be made about whether to close the College due to bad weather, social media give us a way to easily stay in real-time contact with students, staff and faculty. If a decision hasn't yet been made, we can communicate that through Facebook, Twitter and news forums to convey the status of our decision-making process. So next time, in addition to consulting the phone Weather Hotline (218 723-7099), watch the College's Facebook page for updates. As always, if we do decide to close campus we'll circulate that message through the Weather Hotline and our Saints Alert emergency notification system, which can reach you via text and messages on your mobile and land lines, as well as email. Going forward we'll also circulate the news through Facebook, Twitter and community news forums.

Mark the milestones
Too often we don't pause to let good news about the College sink in. There are positive milestones all around us these days. We're in our 100th year as a community of learners. Enrollment has cracked 4,000. And here's a new one: did you know that we're the top college in the nation for endowment growth? Our institutional savings account has passed $50 million for the first time. That's actually a modest figure compared to some of our peers, but it represents strong improvement from as recently as two years ago. We achieved it by putting in $20 million cash and financing the Science expansion through inexpensive borrowing. More recently, we invested $2 million from last year's successful operations. Meanwhile, the markets stopped hemorrhaging and began slow growth. It all adds up to a much more robust endowment – great news for the long-term health of the College.

Speaking of financial news
We're wrapping up the budget process for FY13. And how do we construct a budget year to year? Pat Flattery calls it a 'top-down, bottom-up' approach. From the top, down come financial parameters set upon us by bonding covenants, requirements to keep our credit rating (ideally we should run a 4 percent bottom line per year), and achievable revenue projections. From the bottom, up comes our strategic plan, expressed in institutional objectives and informed by our mission and vision. Also in the mix are new initiatives, increases in efficiency, incremental costs for salaries and benefits, and interest and depreciation. We balance the parameters of the top-down with the specifics of the bottom-up. The result is a budget properly conceived – we like to say that the budget is the price tag of our strategic plan.

Keep your eyes and ears open
… for an opportunity to help us out with CSSyes. That's our new full tuition scholarship program for high need, high ability students. It features four-year renewal and scholarship stacking, enabling the student to earn other scholarships to cover room, board and books. All in all, it's a bold initiative to bring in students we know tend to do well. But first we have to know about them, or they have to know about us. If you have a niece or nephew or grandchild or know a friend or neighbor's child who could be a good candidate, let her or him know. Direct her to css.edu/yes. Or give our Admissions folks a call to talk it over.

Centennial in the news
The latest Centennial event, the Saint John's Bible Experience, generated lots of positive media attention. That's one of the goals of Centennial. Another is to strengthen our bonds with the Monastery, co-sponsor of the event, and to make new connections – such as we did on the Bible event with Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd here in Duluth, who were the other co-sponsor. Learn more at centennial.css.edu.

The Last Word
President's Staff starts every meeting with a prayer or spiritual reflection. Our favorite in recent weeks came from Don Wortham, who is sitting in with us through the end of the academic year. This is adapted from Suffrage A of the Daily Office, found in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer.

O Lord, show thy mercy upon us, and grant us thy salvation. * Endue thy ministers with righteousness, and make thy chosen people joyful. * Give peace, O Lord, in all the world, for only in thee can we live in safety. * Lord, keep this nation under thy care, and guide us in the way of justice and truth. * Let thy way be known upon earth; thy saving health among all nations. * Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten, nor the hope of the poor be taken away. * Create in us clean hearts, O God, and sustain us with your Holy Spirit.
The College of St. Scholastica

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What's Ahead
You heard it here first: We're scheduled for a provisional accreditation visit for the developing physician assistant program on Oct. 5 and 6, 2015. If we achieve provisional accreditation we'll be able to admit our charter class for the summer of 2016.
Speaking of things accreditation-related, thank you for all your help with the Higher Learning Commission's upcoming visit. Much work is being done under the able leadership of Sister Edith Bogue, and we know most of it is behind the scenes.
We've chosen a spring commencement speaker, and she's one of our own: Sister Michaela Hedican, from the class of 1970. She now serves as the 16th prioress of the Sisters of the Order of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, MN. Before her current position, Sister Michaela served as prioress of Saint Bede Monastery near Eau Claire, WI, from 2008 to 2010.