|The entrance reopens
We fully expect the campus entrance to reopen Wednesday or Thursday. The bridge over Chester Creek will be as good as new. We were helped by the culvert manufacturer delivering custom-made parts that normally take five weeks in only 10 days, and by a strong effort on the part of Ulland Brothers Construction staff. The parking lot by Chester Creek will also be ready. So the June flood's damage on campus is all but gone – the soccer/football practice field is fixed, and next week we'll finish up a bit of painting of the library and the cloister walk between Tower and the Chapel. Thanks to everyone for your patience through the process.
We're delighted to welcome our newest colleague on President's Staff, Patricia Pratt-Cook as Vice President for Human Resources. Pat started on Monday, Aug. 13. She was the strong first choice of all groups who participated in the interview process. She comes to us with substantial HR experience: Her most recent position was as Chief Human Resources Officer with the Minneapolis Public Schools; she also served as Executive Director of Human Resources with the Memphis City Schools and as Human Resources Director with the Osseo Area Schools in Maple Grove, MN.
The upshot on FY '12
The books are closed on Fiscal 2012, and overall it was a good year. We came in with operating results of $2.8 million, about $200,000 below what we budgeted. While traditional undergraduate revenue was flat from the previous year, GEO revenues continued to grow, up 12 percent, and in line with the budget. Trad undergrad enrollment is plateauing due to demographics and a weak economy, but because of our strategy to diversify program offerings (through GEO), net tuition revenue continued to grow. The surplus will be used to invest in infrastructure and put in the endowment. The endowment ended the year at $49,120,000
Spooked by MOOCs? No – we're planning
As we begin our 101st school year, real challenges are presented by MOOCs or Massive Open Online Courses. They're the free courses being posted online by, among others, some of the most elite institutions in the country. They strengthen the possibility that the traditional residential undergraduate model of private higher education will become a smaller and smaller niche. So how do we respond? By operating more efficiently; starting new programs that are mission-driven and responsive to market needs; and – perhaps most crucially – by reimagining our work as educators. More on these priorities in President Goodwin's Faculty-Staff Institute talk on Wednesday. We hope to see you there.
Lessons from the self-study
What did we learn from the self-study we did in our continuing accreditation process with the Higher Learning Commission? Besides the good news – and there was plenty – we found that we need to do better in using the tremendous volume of data we now gather for decision-making. If there's an area in which we'll be cited by the Commission for needing to do some follow-up work, it's probably there. Unlike 10 years ago, when we did our last self-study, today's regulatory environment is such that almost every school gets some level of follow-up it has to do. We're expecting it. The Commission team's visit begins Oct. 15.
The convenience store on campus
'Bye bookstore, hello Saints Shop. With the transition to eCampus, our virtual bookstore provider, the College has decided to run the bricks and mortar space as a convenience store. The Saints Shop will open in early November. We'll continue to offer clothing (look for new brands like Nike and Under Armour), in addition to a full range of school supplies and gifts. The Saints Shop will also be supplied through Food Services with expanded convenience store items. We'll communicate more information as we move forward. Watch for a grand opening event.
The Last Word
President's Staff starts every meeting with a prayer or spiritual reflection. Our favorite in recent weeks came from Steve Lyons. It's called "Much to Be Done" and it's by Samuel Johnson, a British critic, novelist, poet and lexiconographer who lived from 1709 to 1784.
O Lord, my maker and protector, who hast graciously sent me into this world, to work out my salvation, enable me to drive from me all such unquiet and perplexing thoughts as may mislead or hinder me in the practice of those duties which thou has required. When I behold the works of thy hands and consider the course of thy providence, give me grace always to remember that thy thoughts are not my thoughts, nor thy ways my ways.
And while it shall please thee to continue me in this world where much is to be done and little to be known, teach me by thy Holy Spirit to withdraw my mind from unprofitable and dangerous enquiries, from difficulties vainly curious and doubts impossible to be solved. Let me rejoice in the light which thou hast imparted, let me serve thee with active zeal and humble confidence, and wait with patient expectation for the time in which the soul which thou receives shall be satisfied with knowledge.
In the spirit of hospitality, we invite your comments and questions. Click here.
||See you at Faculty-Staff Institute Wednesday and Thursday. Details at the welcome page of cor.
||Don't miss the 100th birthday celebration on Monday, Sept. 10, including the lunch, worship service, and 100th birthday party and Science addition ribbon-cutting. See more at centennial.css.edu.