1. Spring semester numbers:Down a bit in traditional UGUp from budget in graduateAt about adjusted ADEP budgetSteve Lyons reports that first-time full-time retention rate from fall to spring is 96%; 5% better than last year.We should hit our budgeted bottom line of 1.5M.
2. At their chapter meeting last Saturday, the Sisters reconsidered the College's request to turf the soccer field behind the monastery for soccer practice and games, and for football practice. (Games off campus.) This is by far the least expensive of all our options. Please join me in thanking Sister Lois for her leadership and all the Sisters.On a related note, The College's first-ever Homecoming complete with football - Ignite the Tradition! is scheduled for the weekend of October 3-5, 2008. The Saints football team will host Crown College on Saturday, Oct. 4, 2008 at 5:30 p.m. at Griggs Field - UMD.
3. Enrollment numbers for next fall:While our MN private college counterparts report a first time freshman application increase of only 1% over last year at this time, we are showing an increase of 37% - we have 412 more applications than we did last year. 25% of this increase is students recruited by the football staff.Deposits are up 22% (41 students) over last year.Applications are up in all our markets, except for the Range, including a 78% increase in applications from students from outside Minnesota. (230 v. 129). Our reputation is spreading!
4. Construction update on Burns Wellness Commons: delivery issues for precast walls. Anticipate completion date of Sept. 1 or Oct. 1.Construction update on St. Paul ADEP site: 12 offices and reception area, 3500 sq. ft.Science feasibility study. $15M over four years. Beth working with Larry McGahey and architect and Brekke on 25,000 sq. ft expansion.
5. Upcoming board meeting. In addition to tenure and five-year rolling contract decisions, and approval of tuition, room and board for next year, we will be bringing to trustees proposals forA new undergraduate Spanish majorAn MBAA master's degree in Athletic TrainingAnd a proposal to discontinue our Master's program in Education and Curriculum Instruction.
6. Items from Human ResourcesThe first phase of the comprehensive staff compensation study that was started in October is nearing completion. The salary surveys have been completed and most jobs have been matched to this market data. Meetings with supervisors will be scheduled in March. When and how the results of this study will affect each staff member will be communicated to individuals by the end of March.We are making good progress towards diversifying our employee population across our campuses. This effort is important to us as an institution - and not just to meet Affirmative Action compliance requirements, as we've already achieved those. Our diversity efforts need to continue going beyond the numbers. We need to continue to show our commitment to building a multicultural organization that provides our faculty, staff and students improved learning and work environments. Doing so also enables us to better respond to the communities we serve and to prepare our students to Touch the World. I encourage you to continue building a culture in which we can all succeed.
7. Campaign to Reduce Student Drinking bears fruit:Number of students in alcohol incidents in fall 06 = 245, in fall 07 = 90!Costs of alcohol related vandalism in fall 06 = $2500; in fall 07 = 0!
8. Working on an update of our Website. A mockup will be available in coming weeks.
9. New campaign: Direction for Life.We have a new ad campaign whose slogan is 'Direction for Life.' This phrase amplifies on the fact that, central to St. Scholastica's distinctiveness, is our ability to help students find a sense of purpose in life.In Hardwick Day research from a few years back we came out extremely strong in this regard compared to peer and even aspirant institutions.This campaign is in place for a while in our traditional student recruitment publications. As it is being rolled out in advertising, it accomplishes two broad aims for the College.One, it raises awareness about us, increases perceptions of value for the cost, builds our brand.Two, it works for traditional student recruitment through highlighting real-life examples of successful current students and young alumni.
10. In the end, our work is about helping shape people who will do good in the world. This is meaningful and important work, and we are all in it together. I urge you to set high standards, to support our students in realizing those standards, to help our students confront life's largest and most important questions, and to model our Benedictine values. Let's have a good semester!