State of the University Address
President Michael J. Garanzini, S.J.
Welcome to all of you. I appreciate your taking the time to be here this afternoon to hear about the State of the University. As we begin a new semester and academic year, and rededicate ourselves to the traditional activities of learning, research and scholarship, of becoming once a again a community of dedicated scholars seeking God in all things, I know we are all keenly aware of our sister institutions in the South, Loyola New Orleans and Spring Hill College, and of all the people of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama who were so tragically impacted by the effects of Hurricane Katrina.
We welcomed this weekend into our community a number of students who will not be able to return to New Orleans this semester -- maybe 200 by this afternoon. I want thank all those here who helped facilitate what was a seamless entrance into LUC. Terry Richards and his staff, plus Alan Gitelson, Patrick Boyle, Lisa Kerr and the academic advising staff, housing and many others have worked and are working hard to assist these students. Warren Hale and the residence life staff, Tim McGuriman and those who helped with a variety of matters related to getting settled here - you all did an amazing job. Faculty and Staff offered their homes and our neighbors who own or have apartment space came forward in the hundreds. One parent remarked that Loyola ought to assume responsibility for FEMA!
In the days and months ahead we will see what we can do to help our neighbors in the South and especially our several Jesuit schools, parishes and other works. I know you will participate as best you can. Already there have been groups organizing and planning to raise money for the victims. Your continued prayers are also most welcome and needed.
Loyola University Chicago had a very productive and positive year. Thanks to many individuals and departments, we had a stellar academic year in terms of academic productivity. This past spring, Loyola recruited an outstanding class of new students, consisting of more than 2,000 freshman and almost 700 transfer students into Loyola. This is the largest freshman class in the University's history. ACT averages continue to climb, and a record amount of financial aid has been given out. Graduate enrollments are holding steady or increasing. Final numbers are not available, but our overall numbers are significantly up once again. Social Work continues to be highly subscribed. Nursing is in great demand. Many others are at their planned levels.
An important element, the diversity of our students, seems to be increasing. That is, we are more economically, racially, and ethnically diverse year after year. About 37% of the entering class belongs to a racial group other than Caucasian. We are committed to being affordable for the brightest students who want to come here, regardless of class, ethnicity and race. The more we resemble the wider Chicagoland area in these demographic characteristics, the better we will be as a place that prepares people to lead extraordinary lives.
I want to especially commend the work of Terry Richards and his enrollment management team. They must hold the record as the most successful team in the country. When we look at the phenomenal growth in applications and the University's success rate in attracting a higher caliber student - a growing number for whom Loyola University Chicago is first choice - and the excellent schools with whom we compete for our students, the success of this team is truly noteworthy. Applications rose from 10,000 just two years ago to almost 15,000 this past year. That is a 50% increase. Congratulations to our enrollment management team and a special thanks to those faculty and staff that help them in their recruitment efforts.
A successful opening of the new year also involves advising, orienting, moving new students into their residence halls, and countless other tasks. This year's opening was the smoothest ever. I cannot tell you the number of compliments we received from grateful parents who were impressed by the display of our Loyola hospitality they received when they got here. Fr. Salmi, who greeted each entering car personally, amazed me with his endurance and good cheer over two full days. Warren Hale and his crew, Dr. Bernie Ward and the security officers who assisted in the move-in did a fantastic job. Academic advising offices, the registrar's office, the bursar, business services....Thank you for your diligence and hard work.
Our Physical Campuses
We continue to develop a master plan for the campuses. We'll be unveiling a campus plan for Lakeshore Campus this fall. As part of the on-going campus improvement program, Phil Kosiba and his facilities crew do a terrific job and this summer managed over 14 simultaneous major capital projects, some of which are still on-going:
- Winthrop Hall, a $25M project, opened on time and on budget, with 400 beds. This facility serves as an excellent conference center in the summer.
- We've begun the major renovation of Mundelein Center. The renovations will take almost five years and will cost over $50M. When completed, we will have classrooms and offices, plus new performing arts facilities.
- Piper Hall and the new landscaping were completed. That project was $5M, including the landscaping and was paid for mostly by donations from Mundelein College alumnae and friends of Sr. Ann Ida Gannon.
- The reading room of Cudahy Library was renovated. More improvements are scheduled for this winter.
- The Law School and the Quinlan School of Business switched buildings.
- Classrooms and offices in Maguire Hall were completely renovated.
- The construction of the new residence hall downtown went into full gear. This will give us 600 beds and a new student union. I believe a residence hall for undergraduates and professional students will completely change our downtown campus schools.
- The renovations of Lewis Towers first floor and lobby were completed. Retail space now occupies the first floor and income from these stores is going into our debt repayment plan.
- The installation of the new art museum, LUMA, on floors 2 and 3 of Lewis Towers is almost complete, in time for the Caravaggio exhibit opening October 8th. This will be an accredited museum with 22,000 sq/ft. of exhibit space and a total of 31,000sq/ft. of office and storage space.
- We've begun the first phase of needed renovations at Crown Center. This will be a three year project.
- The Lake Shore Campus mail room was moved to new space in Granada Center.
- Our security offices were moved to Granada Center into a state of the art facility. The upgrade of security is now nearly complete with a cadre of officers who can assist us in policing the immediate area that surrounds our campuses.
- Sullivan Center is undergoing a complete rehab so that it can become the home of all student services -- enrollment management departments, student financial services, all academic advising and support offices -- over 12 departments in all. This will be a state of the art one-stop service center when it opens this December. The cost of this project is $6.7M.
- Finally, we are in the middle of a multi-phased plan for the renovation of Madonna della Strada Chapel. The renovations began with air-conditioning and work on the exterior. They will continue this year with a new floor and other interior renovations.
This is a remarkable number of projects -- all coming in on time and on budget. The coordination with various contractors who come onto the campus is no small feat. Thanks to the skill and leadership of Phil Kosiba and his crew, they rarely interfere with the countless activities we have going here.
With packed classes and all these renovations and expansion projects, it can safely be said that Loyola University Chicago is operating on all cylinders. Our service offices are operating at full capacity. We do so with efficiency and courtesy even when there are stressful periods. The work of many this weekend demonstrated an agility and focus that should make us proud to be here. But, it is time for some expansion of our staff and faculty numbers in order to meet demand and increase quality of program and service. We are guided by a strategic plan that is well into its second year and already meeting some of the proposed goals and objectives.
A new core curriculum is in place. The core places increased emphasis on learning outcomes and assessment. It incorporates key values which we believe a Loyola education must embody: appreciation and comfort with diversity in the US and the world, understanding and promoting justice, spirituality and faith in active engagement with the world, and promoting civic engagement and leadership. Dr. Paul Moser and his committee's hard work are responsible for a massive implementation plan and hundreds of courses were reviewed and approved in what has to be record timing. My compliments to you all.
Centers of excellence are being formed and supported. Recently established centers and long-standing centers like CURL, the Center for Ethics and Social Justice, the Parmley Institute, the Family Business Center, Civitas, the Health Law Center, the Gannon Center for Women and Leadership, and the Neiswanger Institute at the Medical Center, are doing well.
Several new centers are already underway. These include the Center for or Catholic Intellectual Heritage, the Center for Urban Environmental Research and Policy, the Center for Catholic School Effectiveness, and the Center for Math and Science Education. Each of these is being supported by an institutional commitment. In the case of both the Center for Catholic Intellectual Heritage (in the College of Arts and Sciences) and the Center for Catholic School Effectiveness (in the School of Education), a $3M endowment is already in place thanks to donations and University support. The Center for Urban Environmental Research and Policy is supported by a multiple-year institutional grant. I have no doubt that you will be hearing more about all of the centers in the months ahead.
We are blessed with a talented group of deans, many of whom are new. We had eight major searches last year in academic administration. These resulted in a new Dean of Libraries, Bob Seal, who comes to us from Texas Christian U in Texas. A new Law Dean, David Yellen, comes here from Hofstra. A new dean of the Quinlan School of Business, Abol Jalilvand, comes here from Halifax, Nova Scotia where he was dean of Dalhousie University's School of Management. Jeffrey Rosen comes here to head the School of Professional Studies. Dean Rosen will also direct summer school and continuing education and comes from The University of Chicago. And Dr. Sam Attoh comes to us from University of Toledo and is our new Dean of the Graduate School. Acting Dean David Prasse was appointed the Dean of the School of Education after the search committee selected him as the best candidate. I wish time would permit me to tell you what superb credentials these individuals have as they take their respective leadership positions.
Each of these academic leaders, including Bob Seal who does not come to campus until October 1st, has begun developing plans for the academic future of programs under their purview. In the weeks and months ahead, Loyola will be given new vigor and creative energy thanks to these individuals who have agreed to come here. The dozens of faculty who served on the search committees deserve our gratitude. The three searches that are still in process are for the Vice President for Research, the CIO, and the new Dean of Stritch School of Medicine. Dean Haas is now the longest serving dean, and Dean Crawford is the second longest! Dean Wall and Dean Jassem, I don't want to leave you out, but both of you must be feeling like old-timers as well.
I mentioned that Dean Seal has begun working though is not yet here. What he has been doing is consulting about the new information and research commons. What we need most and what we hope to embark upon relatively soon is an addition to our Cudahy Library. The addition will transform our lakefront setting and provide us with desperately needed high tech, research, learning and study space. This Information and Research Commons is being called such because it is modeled on facilities recently constructed at several universities around the country where it is recognized that information is retrieved, stored, managed and used in new ways by today's undergraduate students. A recent article in the Christian Science Monitor describes what a growing number of elite institutions are doing, especially by distinguishing between a facility that serves undergraduates and one that serves faculty and graduate student needs. Dr. Seal shares this perspective. These new libraries are built with the student and the researcher in mind. They give priority to friendly, responsive service, to electronic data retrieval, to group study and gathering spaces. I plan to ask the Board to allow us to move forward with this project by next fall. Our time this year will be spent in planning and building on a task force report on the future of our libraries. This task force is chaired by Logan Ludwig, head librarian at our Medical Center. As you will see in the proposed drawings, the proposed site is in front of the Jesuit Residence, and before we move forward on that we need to study the site and seek approvals from the City.
Given our robust enrollments at the undergraduate level, it is important that we increase the number of our faculty. Increasing the number of faculty, especially in the College of Arts and Sciences, presents a real opportunity and some challenges. In our hiring, we must weigh our need for both undergraduate programs and our masters and doctoral specialties. We need to increase the number of our minority faculty. The Centers of Excellence, if they are to grow in academic productivity, need scholars who can join the ranks of the already productive Loyola University Chicago faculty. Interdisciplinary programs and classes are in demand, and faculty who can contribute to more than one area of study are needed.
At this time, I am studying a plan to add approximately five endowed chairs and 25 new tenure-track faculty to the College of Arts and Sciences over the next three or four years. This year, approximately 10 new positions will be created and approval has been given for about 11 searches on already existing positions that are vacant. Conducting 21 searches is actually quite ambitious, but it is what I believe we can realistically manage. Anyone involved in a serious search knows what time and energy that a search can take. Dean Crawford and Dean Attoh, in consultation with the department chairs and program directors, will need to justify their recommended new positions and set the parameters for each search. Since we will continue to recruit replacements for retiring faculty, and those who leave the University, it is incumbent on us to manage these searches carefully and well. As I say, I will be working with Dr. Frendreis and the deans on how this program will be implemented. I see this opportunity, however, as one that can help us shore up our best programs, regain some lost advantage and sharpen our competitive edge in our doctoral programs.
Faculty and staff salaries will continue to be studied and adjusted, and next year's budget assumptions include funds for merit increments above inflation. There also is a salary adjustment pool for staff salaries that have lagged or are out of order. Again, a study is underway by Tom Kelly's office, and it will be reviewed by Staff Council and the Staff Policy Committee. And, finally, we are looking at a plan to supplement graduate stipends.
Much of this is occurring thanks to the efforts of John Frendreis and the associate officers in the Academic Vice President's office. As you know, when Dr. Facione decided to step down, I thought I would take some time to think about whether we should keep the title of Provost or return to the title of Academic Vice President. Dr. Frendreis has said he wishes to return to his faculty position at the end of the year. I will initiate a search process to fill this position soon. One option I am exploring is that of an Executive Vice President, which would give me more time to devote to fundraising.
Most of you know we have embarked on the silent phase of a major campaign. The medical center will be part of this campaign but will focus on its alumni and grateful patients. Our estimates of need far surpass our likely and achievable target. The medical center will be aiming for something like $300 million, and I am now examining the target for the rest of the University to see if a $200 million campaign is realistic. Targeted campaigns for the Law School, the Information and Library Commons, and for several other projects is underway as part of this bigger effort. A complete list of targets within the campaign is being prepared now after a year of input from the deans and others. Loyola University Chicago has not had a major campaign for a decade and it was for only $100 million at that time. So, you see the stretch already. However, the list of needs makes even the $200 million amount feel like it is not enough.
In all frankness, I am hoping to show that our faculty and staff are confident of our future and believe in what is happening here and so I will be seeking your help in identifying alumni and potential friends and even in considering Loyola University Chicago as one of your charities. As I said, more on this in the future.
Before closing, let me say something about our financial situation. With healthy enrollments and a growing endowment, plus a fund for paying off debt, our books are in good order, and the plan to restore financial equilibrium is well in place. No one worked harder at this than Bill Laird. He and his team are doing a very fine job, and I want to thank them publicly for their hard work. They've cleaned up post-award support, the billing and collections functions, our endowment management program, and redesigned internal audit. They also put budget managers in the schools and major units, placed residence life on a sure financial footing, created a new allocation system, and straightened out our inter-company issues with LUMC. It's an impressive list of accomplishments.
Last year, our endowment earned 10.6% return. It is now at $259M and was at only $200M just three years ago. The results of our operations - operating revenues verses expenses - was a positive $26.4M. Much of this was due to gifts and a portion from budget savings and additional earnings in tuition revenue. Another portion is designated as money slated for debt reduction, and additional money was put into deferred maintenance projects, such as phase one of the Mundelein Center renovations. The rest went into various academic endowments. The key thing is that our financial situation is strong and that it includes a conservative draw on endowment, a debt reduction program of savings, dedicated budgets for deferred maintenance, and a growing ability to reward our faculty and staff at more competitive levels, while we continue to offer generous financial aid packages to our students and are thus keeping our demographic mix.
A final word about governance. We have now had two full years of implementation of the shared governance charter. I believe that it needs to be reviewed and that short-comings, deficiencies and gaps in the way we share responsibility for the University must be addressed. In a recent meeting with faculty leaders they pointed out problems in several areas such as the need for clearer guidelines for what issues will be settled where, for more clarity around the difference between policy and procedure, for better ways of including elected faculty representatives, and for a clearer role for Faculty and Staff Councils.
I have asked the University Coordinating Committee (UCC) which appoints individuals to the seven policy committees to shape a process for this review. An impressive list of accomplishments by the various committees exists and can be found on the shared governance website. I have asked that these accomplishments be taken into account since many individuals have done excellent work and that cannot be forgotten in the evaluation process. I have asked that this review be completed this academic year. In the meantime, I believe that there are some easy fixes and I will be suggesting these to the UCC shortly.
Finally, I have appointed a University Commission on the Status of Women to examine how we as an institution are doing with respect to promoting fairness in the treatment and advancement of women on our faculty and in our staff. That commission has been at work for a few months now, and it will be ready to share a report of its findings within the next six to eight months.
Again, thank you for your generous and hospitable welcome to all our new students, new faculty and staff. Thank you for your hard work throughout the year to make Loyola University Chicago the excellent institution that it is.