Monday, October 4, 2010

Doing more with less

Three thousand miles may separate the West Coast from Bloomsburg University, but the distance doesn’t diminish the love and pride our alumni and friends have for our university. I saw this firsthand recently when I traveled to California with Erik Evans, vice president for University Advancement, to meet several alumni and prospective donors.

I enjoy these trips, both short distances and across the country, because they give me an opportunity to see how successful our graduates become after leaving their mark on campus. It also gives me a chance to personally update our Husky faithful on the great advancements our university has made in the classroom, through renovations, scholarly activity, and skilled teaching and learning. Even more important, it’s a chance for me to reaffirm our increasing need for donor support, which helps BU plan for the future and provide financial assistance to students. Today, as many as 80 percent of our students receive some form of financial aid.

Although recent news reports announced the recession ended months ago, it’s no secret the economy continues to struggle. This has direct impact on our university budget as we face decreasing state government support each year. Unfortunately, a change in momentum is very unlikely. With state appropriation to PASSHE schools at an all-time low of 29 percent – down from roughly 40 percent a decade ago – it’s increasingly important to generate our own revenue and become self-sustaining.

The recently unveiled new strategic plan, Impact 2015: Building on the Past, Leading for the Future, emphasizes our need to identify and develop new resources, one of the main reasons for my California trip. This will help BU maintain fiscal responsibility and enhance academic excellence, while becoming less dependent on tuition and state appropriations. As months go by, you’ll hear more about a new initiative, the Henry Carver Fund, named for our first president and geared to raising financial support to meet immediate needs.

Support for our university, both monetary and in-kind, will allow our students to continue to choose Bloomsburg as a place where they can attain a high-quality education that’s within their family’s financial reach. Whether you’re near or far, I hope we can count on your support.

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