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Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Final fall 2022 undergraduate enrollment and student demographics

In previous messages, I’ve provided in-progress updates on undergraduate recruitment and enrollment numbers. We now have the final results to share. 

Topline: The college’s undergraduate enrollment is around 12,700 this fall. That’s down 300 students since last fall and over 1,000 since fall 2019. 

As reported previously, we have been doing well with recruitment of freshman students, regularly exceeding our target. However, transfer student numbers have declined in what appears to be a permanent shift.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Results from 2021 employee engagement survey

(Originally posted March 30, 2022. Updated November 21, 2022.)

In fall 2021, the University conducted its latest version of the Employee Engagement Survey. Results are available at the college level and, where there were at least 5 faculty or staff respondents, at the unit level as well. 

The results can be useful for department and office members to identify areas for follow-up action, and I encourage you to do so. For units where there were fewer than five respondents on a question, you can still use the overall college data to highlight some areas for possible discussion.

Monday, October 31, 2022

Pursuing excellence in all aspects of our mission

The CLA Constitution states that the college’s core values include “freedom of thought and expression; respect, diversity, and social justice; excellence in all we do; and efficiency and adaptability in the achievement of our mission.”

Pursuing excellence in all aspects of our mission lends itself to periodic review of what we do and how well we do it.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

The research and creative work of CLA speaks to front-page news

The past several weeks have brought numerous fundamental public issues to the fore, including those decided in Supreme Court decisions on issues including abortion rights, concealed carry of firearms, immigration, and more. These issues riveted our attention and generated a range of deeply-felt reactions and responses across our CLA community that stretches to nearly 20,000 students, staff, and faculty. President Gabel wrote a thoughtful message to the University community concerning the Dobbs decision regarding abortion rights and Roe v. Wade on Friday of last week, the day of the decision. I encourage you to read it if you have not done so already. 

On all these issues, and more, the faculty, staff, and students of CLA are deeply engaged through research and creative work from a variety of perspectives, disciplines, and analytical and methodological approaches. They are bringing light to the issues and deepening our understanding. They are engaging with community partners who care deeply about these issues as well. And they are showing our students how productive discussion and analysis of crucial matters, in the tradition of the liberal arts, is conducted. It is a sign of our strength that this work can inform the policy and advocacy environment and that our students have first-hand experience with faculty exploring these issues in depth. I have long said that it should matter that an undergraduate student attends a research college and takes classes with the people who write the articles and books, who create the literature and performance and art, and who run the experiments and labs on the front-page news of the day. The recent set of issues that have been in the forefront of our attention reinforces the advantage our college brings to our students and highlights the significant contributions that a college like ours makes toward solutions to pressing social problems. 

Budget update as fiscal year 2022 concludes

With summer fully underway, I hope you are finding opportunities to recharge, renew, and relax. To wrap up the academic and fiscal years, I have a few items to share with you. 

Good budgetary news: Central has provided funds to cover $5 million of the tuition and fee shortfall we experienced in FY 2022. I am grateful for this support. While we will not know until all of our end-of-year fiscal year accounting is completed whether we will need to draw from collegiate balances to balance the FY22 budget, these funds from central are a significant boost.

Monday, March 14, 2022

Two years ago our world changed

Two years ago this week, the University began its move to working from home in response to the pandemic. Regarding how we work and interact with each other, the world in many ways feels very different from the world we knew in March 2020. 

The shift to remote work in March 2020 required us to determine how best to meet the needs of students and colleagues during the first 18 months of the pandemic. In July 2021, the Office of Human Resources (OHR) launched its Work. With Flexibility. program. CLA embraced that approach. In my view, this new approach to our work has been effective. Flexibility will continue as a key vehicle to produce increased wellbeing, autonomy, and job satisfaction, and to assist with hiring and retention. 

Monday, February 28, 2022

Budget update and FY23 Compact process

As we move toward Spring Break, I presume your thoughts may be of warmer temperatures, birds singing, flowers emerging. Snow melts, grass turns green, and leaves appear on the trees. And the University engages in the annual Compact/Budget process. And thus is it written. 

With apologies for the length, I will take this seasonal opportunity to provide you with an update on the college budget and an overview of the Compact process.