President's Report on the December Board of Trustees Meeting
December 10, 2007
Dear Faculty and Staff of Loyola,
As we approach the completion of the fall semester and prepare for the Christmas holiday season and the New Year, I write to express my gratitude for all you have done to make 2007 a very successful year for Loyola University Chicago. We are educating a record number of students and your work and commitment toward their educational, spiritual, and social development is more important than ever. Last Friday, our Board of Trustees held their quarterly meeting and expressed their thanks to all of us for the continued positive momentum of our university.
Our Trustees and the Board's nine committees, which include students, faculty, and staff, had a full agenda for this December cycle. A number of exciting opportunities that will help set our course over the next several months were discussed and approved. Here are some highlights.
The Academic Committee of the Board reviewed and approved nine new academic programs. They are evidence of our faculty's desire to keep our programs relevant, dynamic, diverse, and attractive. The programs include a new minor in Polish Studies (CAS); an MS in Finance and a BBA in Human Resource Management (SBA); a new five-year BS in Health Systems Management/MBA (Nursing); an MJ in Health Law (the first online degree for the School of Law); and an MA in Pastoral Care and Counseling to be offered in Rome (IPS).
After careful review by the Executive Committee and Finance Committee, the full Board approved a 5.5 percent tuition increase for academic year 2008-2009. You should know that our Trustees carefully scrutinize our financial resources and future needs in order to be sure that any tuition increases are necessary and prudent. The need to keep our salaries competitive and invest in new academic programs and our physical plant made this increase justifiable.
The Board of Trustees heard a presentation and approved ongoing due diligence for the Loyola University Health System to affiliate with Gottlieb Memorial Hospital. Gottlieb is a 250-bed community hospital located just three miles north of our Medical Center Campus. The 37-acre campus also includes a cancer center and a fitness facility. An affiliation with Gottlieb would relieve some significant space constraints at our Medical Center Campus and allow for an expansion of additional private hospital rooms for our patients.
The Facilities and Capital Assets Committee of the Board reviewed and recommended the purchase of about 61,000 sq. ft. of land directly west of our Water Tower Campus. The property, a portion of which is owned by the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, would provide future development options for our downtown campus as we study new facilities for the professional schools, parking, other campus amenities, and space for a Water Tower Campus library.
Our provost, Chris Wiseman, reported on the beginning of the search for the first dean of the new School of Communication and on the upcoming departure of Dean Isiaah Crawford from the College of Arts and Sciences. Board members also saw a list of the 41 new and replacement faculty positions we are in the process of selecting, including four new endowed chairs in CAS and one in law.
Many of our Trustees were able to join the Loyola community for the dedication and blessing of the new Richard J. Klarchek Information Commons. University Library Dean Bob Seal spoke about the building's increased opportunity for connectivity, collaboration, and community for our academic enterprise within this impressive structure. The Klarchek Information Commons will open officially on January 14, when students return for the second semester.
I hope these highlights provide you with an overall sense of our Board's engagement and support of our future planning and direction. There will be an opportunity for your comments and input at the January "State of the University Forum," which you will hear about after the holidays.
Finally, as our students enter their final exams and prepare for their mid-year break, I ask you to remember them in your prayers. This Saturday, we will celebrate the degree completions for over 200 of our undergraduate and graduate students with a ceremony and reception for them and their families. And, next Thursday, December 20, we will present staff recognition awards and recognize Dr. Anthony Cardoza of the History Department as Faculty Member of the Year.
My very best wishes to all of you in these days before Christmas. I look forward to seeing you at our Annual Holiday Luncheon on Friday, December 21, at the Lake Shore Campus.
Michael J. Garanzini, S.J.