Friday, June 26, 2009

Summer with family, friends and new faces

I just returned from a pleasant vacation driving to the state of Washington, where I visited family and friends along the way. A highlight of our trip was seeing two of our three children. Andrew is a senior anthropology/archeology major at our last university, Central Washington University. Our daughter, Laura, flew up from Los Angeles with our two little granddaughters, Finn (4) and Erris (18 months).

My wife, Dr. Robbie Soltz, is leaving from Washington this Saturday, June 27, for a month in western China with a group of students and faculty. They will be studying water resource management and the modernization of remote areas in western China. This program is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and will continue for at least two more summers. BU students with an interest in China are encouraged to apply for this unique, all expense paid, international experience.

This week I have enjoyed welcoming our fall freshmen and their parents to campus and informally meeting some of them in the Scranton Commons during lunch. I am looking forward to welcoming and talking with ACT 101 students during their scheduled orientation next week, June 27 to 29.

Along with freshman orientation and summer courses, BU has been busy hosting more than 1,600 youths this summer who are participating in more than 30 camps on and near campus. Many BU students are helping with those camps. Some of the camps include computer forensics, math and science, summer adventure, migrant leadership and a variety of team sports. It’s certainly an exciting time to be on campus.
There is quite a bit of summer left to enjoy with the fall semester still eight weeks away. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to seeing more new faces come to campus over the next two months.

Friday, June 12, 2009

New agreement in place before vacation

Provost James Mackin and I traveled to Schnecksville last Friday, June 5, to sign a new dual admissions and transfer agreement between BU and Lehigh Carbon Community College. I was impressed with LCCC’s new state-of-the-art Technology Center, where the signing took place. The dual agreement allows students to complete a BU bachelor’s degree in many of the program majors offered on the LCCC campus.

In a time when many students are choosing to attend community college, the BU degree completion programs are quite valuable to time- and place-bound students. It offers students flexibility in class locations. Many of the BU courses offered can be taken on the community college campus. All courses will transfer seamlessly if students follow the established course sequence. In addition, these programs make college affordable for many potential students.

BU also has a dual admission agreement with Luzerne County Community College for our elementary education and exercise science degree programs.

Last week, I encouraged you to take time to enjoy family and friends. Beginning Monday, June 15, I will be traveling to my home state of Washington for a week’s vacation. I am looking forward to spending time with two of my three adult children and my two young granddaughters. I am particularly excited about a road trip to relocate my grandfather’s farm in Indiana and the house we lived in after I was born in Wisconsin. Just like we are proud of the history of Bloomsburg University, I am very proud of my family history and learning more about it to share with my granddaughters.

Have a great week.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Campus stays busy over the summer

Summer vacation has officially begun at Bloomsburg. While campus may be a little quieter these days, I can’t say things have slowed down. Summer classes are in session and we are busy planning for the start of the 2009-2010 academic year. Here are some important changes and additions students, faculty and staff can expect to see this fall.

We have reorganized some departments and colleges to more accurately reflect academic relationships and synergies. The department of audiology and speech pathology and department of nursing have moved from the College of Professional Studies to the College of Science and Technology. And the department of exercise science and athletics joins them from the College of Liberal Arts. By moving these three departments, along with the department of biology and allied health, we bring all of our excellent health science programs together in one college. Also, the College of Professional Studies has been renamed the College of Education, reflecting a unified focus on our core teacher preparation programs.

Bloomsburg is growing to meet the global educational demands and challenges of today. The Council of Trustees endorsed a proposed Master of Arts in public policy and international affairs at today’s quarterly meeting. Following approval by the PASSHE Board of Governors, this program will prepare students for careers in domestic and international policy. We expect the program to attract students not only from Bloomsburg but also from more distant locations, as many courses will be offered online or through teleconferencing technology.

In September, Bloomsburg will offer the Principals Academy for beginning principals. The academy, which meets the Pennsylvania Inspired Leadership core standards, will focus on leading change for 21st century schools. Bloomsburg has long held a distinguished reputation for training leaders in academia. The Principals Academy adds to this legacy and demonstrates our continued success and excellence in teacher and administrator preparation.

We will continue to identify programs of interest to our current and prospective students and provide a wide spectrum of choices in high-quality academic programs. While there is a lot to do before September, be sure to take time to enjoy family and friends, relax, rejuvenate and enjoy the warm summer days that, surely, will arrive soon.