President sets goals during Welcome Address

College President R. Barbara Gitenstein outlined her goals for the academic year in her 2008 Welcome Address, given on Aug. 27 in Kendall Hall.

“Considering our exceptional success last year, I am confident that we will accomplish most of what we propose,” Gitenstein said.

One of the tasks for the 2008-2009 academic year is to make the College’s presence felt in the public sphere, including social networking sites.

“We will be able to evaluate the results of specific strategies by growth in alumni giving, growth in out-of-state enrollment, success in faculty recruitment and – we can continue to hope – stabilization of state support,” Gitenstein said.

According to Gitenstein, two other goals the College set are to have a 15 percent out-of-state enrollment for the class entering the College in fall 2012 and to raise at least $5.2 million in private donations over the next year.

In fall 2009, a new student administration system known as Oracle/PeopleSoft is scheduled to go live and the Metzger Drive Student Apartments are scheduled to open for occupancy.

Construction has already begun on the apartments, as well as the Art and Interactive Multimedia Building.

Gitenstein stressed the College will be “considering the value of developing continuing education programs,” which may include certificate and corporate non-degree programs as well as programs to help undergraduate students get into the most competitive graduate schools.

Along with welcoming Carol Bresnahan, the College’s new provost and executive vice president, Gitenstein discussed the results of five strategic initiatives developed about a year ago.

“Last year, with the support and leadership of the Board of Trustees, we turned our attention to how to best develop the College over the next five to seven years,” Gitenstein said. “Initiatives were conceived not as ends in themselves, but as vehicles for successful integration of the academic and the student affairs transformations.”

The initiatives included positioning the College to chart its own future, enhancing facilities and the campus physical plant, assuring institutional accountability and transparent engagement with stakeholders, diversifying revenue streams and expanding access to postsecondary education.

Gitenstein noted thriving results for each initiative. The College has increased its efforts to actively engage alumni by “advocating with state leaders regarding their alma mater” and has raised $4.5 million in private contributions, exceeding the goal of $3.7 million.

Gitenstein concluded the Welcome Address with words of encouragement.

“Every year during budget season, when I surely feel that sober descent, I remember our ambitious plans, our past extraordinary successes, this exhilarating breeze, and I never fall as low as the news might suggest,” she said. “History suggests that (the College’s) self-reliance, commitment to excellence and combined joy and pride in this institution give me confidence in that refusal to descend to expectations.”