A Community of Stewardship, A Culture of Philanthropy
We would not be able to continue to grow as a University community without the generosity of our friends and benefactors. This past year, the University celebrated the successful completion of its Pride, Passion, Promise Campaign, which raised over $128 million dollars to support our endowment, annual funding, and capital building projects. Tracking strategic indicators shows a dramatic increase in faculty grant submissions over the first year of our 2010-2015 strategic plan; grants sought for other University programs have also increased. Some of the grant dollars received are featured in the Cura Personalis and Magis sections of this report. The Panuska College of Professional Studies introduced a new developmental series on "Mastering the Art and Science of Grant Writing" for faculty and administrators within the college in 2010.
Fall Scranton Street Sweep, an annual event, is a way for the students of our University to include that area of our community in campus life by making a positive impact on it.
Buildings & Byways
Our commitment to improve the living and learning spaces on our campus has prompted a series of substantive investments in our buildings and grounds. This fall, the University will welcome students into Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J. Hall, a brand new upperclass residence hall that add 400 beds to the University's housing options, and will also host a new campus fitness facility. Located on Mulberry Street, a key artery to and through our campus, Pilarz Hall will expand the University's ability to provide on campus housing for upperclassmen, helping us to reach our goal of increasing the number of students in our residence halls. Surrounding this facility, additional work was completed to replace crumbling sidewalks, introduce new lighting, and add crosswalks to enable visitors and members of the University community alike a safer way to navigate this busy thoroughfare. The University also completed a several renovation and expansion projects on both the Commons and Royal Way, closing some vehicle access avenues, to enhance pedestrian access and safety, and connect this central part of our campus more directly to other areas, including the new science center. View a map of our changing campus.
The University continues to invest in improving and building its technology infrastructure. In 2010, the University launched a new mobile "app" and mobile web site to serve the needs of our students and to help others connect to and share in the Scranton story. The Scranton "app" has been downloaded over 7,600 times since its release. The University's information technology and public relations' areas are working together to develop and implement other new mobile applications in a number of areas. Cutting edge educational technologies have been implemented in the new science facility, where some classrooms will be the first on campus to be equipped for lecture capture. Building on the investments made during our last strategic plan, several significant infrastructure developments were completed this past year, including a conversion to our enterprise data and planning system and all related structures, a migration years in the making. This conversion will have a major impact on a number of electronic programs used to conduct University business, creating a more robust, modern, and efficient set of business practices, and better positioning information technology to support departments' future needs. This past year, hundreds of data reports have been converted using the new Argos software tool to more efficient, effective formats for academic and administrative departments. This tool will continue to be developed over the next few years into a valuable, self-service means for those relying on University data to access the information they need, and to drive business intelligence efforts across the University.
Faculty and staff development form a key part of successful organizations. Just as we provide growth opportunities for our students, we seek to provide opportunities for our staff and faculty to mature in their professions. A cross-campus effort resulted in the development of a new performance management program for staff, identifying performance competencies tied directly to the three themes of our strategic plan, and emphasizing developmental goal setting. The program is being piloted this year. In 2010, the University launched a staff retirement window program to benefit longstanding staff members who were considering retirement from the University. The program provided financial incentives to ease the transition into retirement for those who chose to take part. The program also provided the University a strategic opportunity to assess and adapt structural and functional staffing and processes in areas of the institution with high numbers of retirements, including the opportunity for reallocation fo resources, to enhance efficiencies and effectiveness.Sustainability and "green" efforts have been growing on campus for the past several years (some "growing" quite literally, with the addition of Founder's Green and Dionne Green to our campus commons during our last strategic plan). Sustainable practices have become a key focus for the Weinberg Memorial Library, led by the Library's new "green team," which has taken a number of practical steps to streamline operations to reduce waste and consumption of electricity, moving a number of services to online formats, and partnering with local agencies to promote earth-friendly activities in our region. The University's Sustainability Task Force partnered with two local publications - the Northeast Business Journal and Electric City - and the City of Scranton and Scranton Tomorrow leadership group to host an Earth Day Fair in April 2011, providing a venue for local businesses to highlight their own green activities and sustainability initiatives.