Monday, February 23, 2015

A landmark day reveals a brighter future

We recently celebrated a day that will long be remembered as a milestone in the history of Bloomsburg University when we announced our very first endowed professorship, thanks to the generosity of Ed and Julie Breiner and their gift of $1.9 million dollars.

Ed and Julie, both members of the Class of 1977, have shown how much they value the education they received here by giving back, both through this endowed professorship for the Department of Nursing and through a scholarship established two years ago in tribute to the degrees they earned in accounting and biology.

For Bloomsburg University, there is no stronger endorsement of our mission and the lifelong impact we have on our students than the support of our alumni. Ed and Julie Breiner exemplify the devoted alumni who give back to our institution as both a way of saying “thanks” and a way of looking to the future.

Why an endowed professorship is so important?

It is no secret recent economic conditions have had a long-lasting effect on the operating budgets of colleges and universities … especially public universities, like Bloomsburg. It also is no secret talented, experienced professionals can command a much higher salary in the private sector than we can pay them as faculty.

An endowed professorship levels the playing field so we can attract highly qualified professionals to share their knowledge and expertise with today’s students … the next generation of professionals in their field. Ed and Julie’s endowed professorship supports the Department of Nursing and a new senior faculty position. Our goal as a university is to recruit and retain the very best faculty to teach and mentor our students. Ask any alumnus: “Who had the strongest impact on you during the college years?” Without a doubt, you will hear the name of a beloved faculty member … someone who challenged them to reach further, to dream bigger, to accomplish more than they ever dreamed. That is the impact of Ed and Julie’s gift.

With the changing health care environment, the need for talented, well-trained nursing professionals has reached an all-time high. This professorship will enable us to create a new senior faculty position and, with the commitment of funding from the Bloomsburg University Foundation, to support that faculty member’s work outside the classroom in areas such as research, conference attendance and participation, specialized equipment and other agreed-upon expenses that otherwise would not be covered.

An endowed professorship, quite simply, allows our institution to compete successfully for the best and the brightest … so they can teach and mentor our best and brightest.

#CollaborativeLearning #SenseOfCommunity

Friday, January 30, 2015

Building momentum for a great year

It’s always good to end a year on a high note, and Bloomsburg University did just that in 2014 with several fundamental accomplishments in addition to conferring more than 2,000 degrees.

Just before the fall semester ended, we got word our College of Business had been reaccredited for the second time by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, known as AACSB International. Initially accredited in December 2004 and reaccredited in 2010, the College of Business is one of 716 business schools in 48 countries and territories — less than 5 percent of the world’s business programs — with AACSB accreditation.

A few weeks before, we received good news about another reaccreditation. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education accepted our Periodic Review Report and reaffirmed accreditation. Middle States is a voluntary, non-governmental, membership association dedicated to quality assurance and improvement through accreditation via peer evaluation. Its accreditation instills public confidence in institutional mission, goals, performance and resources through its rigorous accreditation standards and their enforcement.

Momentum continued into the New Year as BU was notified that we were honored with a Carnegie Classification for the first time. We were one of 240 U.S. colleges and universities awarded the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s 2015 Community Engagement Classification, which demonstrates an institutional commitment to volunteerism and community involvement. More than 350 colleges and universities have attained the designation.

Further illustrating our commitment to civic engagement, we were also named to the President’s Higher Education Honor Roll for Community Service for the fifth consecutive year. The honor roll recognizes institutions that achieve meaningful, measurable outcomes as they place students on a lifelong path of civic engagement and help solve community problems.

As we begin a new spring semester, I look forward to celebrating many more accomplishments – a few of which, I suspect, will be aided by Presidential Strategic Planning Grants. I recently approved grants through the Strategic Planning and Resource Council (SPARC) to the following six projects totaling $169,500:
  • A real-time water quality monitoring station for Fishing Creek, Steve Rier
  • A model program to attract quality STEM transfer students from community colleges, Toni Bell
  • BU Institute for Liberal Arts: Educating for Life, Phase 1, James Brown
  • Center for Leadership and Engagement, Ed Valovage
  • Sports Leadership Academy, Stephanie Anderson and Susan Kocher
  • Center for Visual and Performing Arts, Steve Clickard
We’re off to a great start in 2015!

#CollaborativeLearning #CoCurricularLearning #SenseOfCommunity