President McCarthy Presents Strategic Plan
Published: Monday, October 15, 2012
Updated: Thursday, December 6, 2012 12:12
Dozens of faculty, Student Government Association members, students, and members of the press gathered inside C. Walsh Theatre on Thursday to hear President McCarthy outline the new Strategic Plan, which was approved earlier this year.
President McCarthy walked to the podium without needing an introduction. The packed audience listened as the President introduced the plan. He took time to thank the Strategic Planning Committee for helping compose the plan. The President had previously advertised the Strategic Plan as ‘the new focus and mission for Suffolk University.’
The plan was first outlined into eight core values including: being student centered, though smaller class sizes, opportunities for students after school, scholarly and professional excellence, sound financial management in terms of student cost, higher community engagement, social responsibility, diversity, and integrity.
The President then moved on to the imperatives of the plan. He stressed the importance of increasing graduation and retention rates, financial aid money, and full-time faculty. These were also met with the refocusing of school attention from all of our current programs to a liberal arts education. Many in the audience noticed the absence of the science department on the plans list. “The days of all us thinking we can do everything, are over,” President McCarthy proclaimed. He also stressed the importance of reviewing and improving the current curriculum.
After finishing the text of the Strategic Plan, the President moved on to the Implementation plan. This is how the school is to carry out on a year-to-year basis. It was described a ‘living document’ that would be edited and reissued every year. It included increasing the underrate application pool by 1-2 percent, and decreasing acceptance from 78 percent to 70 percent.
It was also announced that many new faces would make the senior full-time staff. Suffolk is in the middle of hiring a new Vice-Provosts for Student Success, a Chief Diversity Officer, a Vice-Provost for Faculty Development, a Director for the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, a Chief Information Officer, a Senior Vice-President for University Advancements, and a Director of Institutionalized Research and Assessment. The President was also looking forward to forming a University Budget Advisory Committee.
At the end of his speech, President McCarthy announced the plans to construct a new academic building at 20 Somerset Street. Half of it would house science and the other half would house general classrooms. It would also come with a new dining hall. The President was hopeful on bringing the Fenton, Ridgeway, Archer, and Donahue offices into the new building. After the town hall meeting, the President said he hoped that the construction of the new building would begin around next summer.
The remaining time of the town hall meeting was utilized as an opportunity for the audience to ask questions on the plan. Professors led the way as concerns over the future of the science department mounted. President McCarthy left the podium and engaged the people asking questions. He reaffirmed Suffolk's commitment to the study of Science. He reminded the audience that half of the new building would be built for science.
President McCarthy looked comfortable on stage until one question toward the end of the evening. A student attending the Suffolk Law School asked on why students had only been notified of the town hall a day before the event. He said it didn’t make sense for President McCarthy to stress unity between students and the University, if the University wasn’t going to involve the students more. President McCarthy took a deep breath and walked toward the young man. He explained that the e-mail had been sent to the faculty weeks ago, and that due to a glitch, he had not realized that student’s never got the notification. He apologized to the crowd and then sent an e-mail apologizing again the day after the meeting. He made sure students knew that his goal of being transparent is sincere.
This was the fourth town hall meeting held in the recent months. President McCarthy is sending a clear message that he is focused on reinventing Suffolk for a brighter future.