President's Monday Updates

Monday Updates are weekly messages from President Virginia Horvath to keep the campus informed about current and upcoming events, to follow up on questions you ask, and to address special situations as they arise.

March 18, 2019

 

Fredonia Retirement Incentive
More than 30 employees indicated that they are considering retiring by June 30, 2019, and receiving the benefits offered through the Fredonia Retirement Incentive. Those who indicated their interest have until this Friday, March 22, to submit a letter to Human Resources with their final decision about retiring.
 

Relay for Life This Weekend
On this Saturday, March 23, Relay for Life will once again be held as a fundraiser to support cancer research. Teams and individuals raise funds through games, pledges, and other support, and all are invited to come by Steele Hall on Saturday evening. Teams arrive beginning at 3:00 pm, and the event goes until 3:00 am. Lindsey Anderson is the Chair of this event, which is also supported through Joyce Harvard Smith, Director of the Office of Volunteer and Community Services. The opening ceremony is at 4:00, followed by the Survivors’ Walk and, later in the evening, the Luminaria walk. This Leader article by editor Josh Ranney provides more details about this event, which engages many individuals and student organizations: https://www.fredonia.edu/news/articles/relay-life-takes-stand-remembrance-and-celebration

 

Planning for the Rest of the Semester, Next Fall, and Beyond
After spring break each year, the weeks fly by. But these are critical weeks in staying on track with academic progress and planning for next year. This week, mid-semester grades are due from faculty on Wednesday, and students see their mid-semester grades on Thursday, March 21. These midterm grades allow students to see their academic progress so far, encouraging them to meet with instructors and seek other support services in areas where they need to improve. Advising for undergraduate students begins next week, so it’s a great chance for students to meet with academic advisors not only about their course selection, but their career plans and their next steps toward their goals.

Several other events this week can be helpful for those who are planning to return in the fall, participate in internships over the summer, or look for jobs after graduating. Academic Advisors will be in Cranston Marche on Wednesday, March 20, beginning at 11:00, for any students who want to have lunch with advisors. Beginning at 12:00 on Wednesday, March 20, the Williams Center Multipurpose Room will host nearly 100 employers for a Job and Internship Expo, for those who are ready to seek summer employment or full-time jobs after graduating.

 

Message from SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson about the 2019 New York Business Plan Competition (NYBPC)
“Now in its 10th year, and established to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship at New York’s colleges and universities, the NYBPC is the nation’s largest student collegiate business plan competition. The event draws more than 500 participants comprised of entrepreneurs and student teams from more than 100 colleges and universities. Over 100 new businesses have been started and more than $20 million in venture investments have been stimulated by the NYBPC.

Applications are now being accepted from student teams invited to compete within one of 10 NYBPC Regional Competitions in New York State. Regional finalists from each of several tracks advance to the statewide finals which will take place on April 26th, at the Sage College Armory, in Albany. At the finals, students compete for prize money and recognition, and connect with mentors and potential employers and partners.
 

Last year student teams from SUNY campuses took home eight of the 18 cash prizes totaling $59,000 – including the $20,000 grand prize. The 2019 competition presents another opportunity for SUNY ingenuity and entrepreneurship to shine. Student achievement is a point of pride and focus at SUNY. The NYBPC is a key catalyst for the advancement of entrepreneurship and provides a forum to put on full display the scope, scale, diversity, and spirit of SUNY innovation.  
 

Being part of a competition can have a profound impact on a student’s life and career. For me, the 1975 International Science and Engineering Fair as a high school student sparked my lifelong interest and passion in the sciences. It also gave me the confidence to pursue a degree in science and engineering at Stanford University at a time when few women were in those fields.
 

Please join me in encouraging and advocating for SUNY students at your campus to enter this year’s New York Business Plan Competition.”


President’s Open Office Hours
This week, open office hours are Wednesday, March 20, from 2:00 - 3:00pm and Friday, March 22, from 4:00 - 5:00pm in Fenton 138. These are hours for anyone to stop by without an appointment. If you have an issue you are working to resolve, please continue to meet directly with the person or office who can resolve that with you. But I’d be glad to hear how things are going, to answer questions you might have, and learn about what’s on your mind. All are welcome!


Previous Monday Updates

Heart of Fredonia Award: Barry Kilpatrick

Although I usually present the Heart of Fredonia award during the general campus meeting each semester, this semester’s recipient was not there on Friday, January 18. Prof. Barry Kilpatrick had just returned from a trip to Asia, where along with other faculty from the School of Music he was hearing auditions and meeting with prospective students. At a faculty meeting in Mason Hall on February 19, I presented him with the Fredonia-blue glass heart from Tiffany & Co. and this message: “With sincere thanks and appreciation for all you have done to reach out to international students, to recruit talented musicians, and to welcome and support them when they arrive--and through their commencements--you are truly the heart of Fredonia.” On social media, the School of Music added further congratulations: “Everyone in The Fredonia School of Music would like to take a moment to recognize the incredible contributions, service, and heart of Barry Kilpatrick, Assistant Director and Professor of Trombone and Euphonium, and Brass Area Head. Barry was recently awarded the campus "Heart of Fredonia" award in recognition of his embodiment of the Fredonia Spirit and his work with and support of international students. The School of Music would not be the same without him . . . congratulations, Barry, on this well-deserved honor!”

 

Policy Library Website

Last week in my update about the online Policy Library, I failed to recognize and thank another principal architect of that site: Christopher Taverna, Applications Trainer in ITS. I noted that organizing the Policy Library was a project done by Rob Deemer, but the clear, effective design of the site is due to the expertise with Confluence that Chris brought to the project. Without his hard work, we would not have a functional, searchable site. Thank you, Chris!

 

Legislative Change: NYS Senator Catharine Young Accepts Position at Cornell University

This week Fredonia alumna and NYS Senator Catharine Young announced that after 23 years in public service, she will be joining Cornell University as Director of the New York State Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture at Cornell Agritech. She has served as a Cattaraugus County Legislator, NYS Assemblywoman, and then NYS Senator. Senator Young, who also recently served as the Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, has been a good friend to SUNY Fredonia, always providing a warm welcome to campus representatives who visited her office to discuss issues in the region.

 

Chancellor’s Awards for Student Excellence: Campus Finalists and Award Recipients

I am pleased to announce the list of Fredonia campus finalists and winners of the Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence. This award for graduating seniors across SUNY recognizes academic achievement and leadership; each SUNY campus is invited to submit a specific number of nominations, and a committee at the System Administration level determines the selection.

 

Fredonia Campus Finalists: Alexander Green, Monica Manney, Elinor Meyer, and Kevin Yirinek

Chancellor’s Award Recipients: Celina Kryk and Stephanie Wojnowski

 

Congratulations to all! Celina Kryk and Stephanie Wojnowski will receive their awards at a ceremony in Albany on Wednesday, April 24.

 

Kudos

Congratulations and thank you to everyone who was part of a full range of outstanding events on campus this week. The All College Band (Carrie Pawelski, Conductor) performed on Wednesday, February 27, and the Student Opera Theatre Association (SOTA) had several performances of Opera Scenes at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House this weekend. As one of many events in Black History Month, on Thursday, February 28 a Black Museum in the MPR featured music, unsung heroes, and activities from different parts of African American history and culture. The Mainstage production of Antigone closed in Bartlett Theatre this weekend, with outstanding performances from student actors and strong designs and direction. Visiting artist Dread Scott spoke as part of the Visiting Artist Program on Thursday night. Spring sports began with the start of the baseball and softball seasons, and women’s lacrosse had a victory at home in the cold weather yesterday.

Signature Saturday brought together prospective students and families across several degree programs this weekend, with visitors exploring majors in more intimate conversations than they would have in large open-house formats. In Phoenix this week, an alumni reception brought together Fredonia graduates and friends from different class years. And a three-day visit from Brian Usifer (‘03) had many students engaging with this composer, director, and performer; the Wind Ensemble concert yesterday, directed by Paula Holcomb, included World Premieres of a work composed by Usifer as well as one by undergraduate student, Ethan Fields. I am reminded of the good work that occurs here every day because of the opportunities students have and the faculty and staff who work with them. Thank you to all involved!

 

President’s Open Office Hours

This week, open office hours are Friday, March 8, from 8:00 - 9:00 am in Williams Center S204 and from 3:00 - 4:00 pm in Fenton 138. These are hours for anyone to stop by without an appointment. If you have an issue you are working to resolve, please continue to meet directly with the person or office who can resolve that with you. But I’d be glad to hear how things are going, to answer questions you might have, and learn about what’s on your mind. All are welcome! Because of Spring Break from March 11 - 15, the next open office hours will be announced in the Monday Update on March 18.; 14063

 

Fredonia Retirement Plan: March 1 Deadline to Notify HR

After approval from SUNY System Administration, Fredonia’s VP for Finance and Administration shared the details of the Fredonia Retirement Plan, a campus-based incentive for retirement-eligible, full-time employees to receive a one-time payment (based on years of service) if their last day of service is on or before June 30, 2019. The announcement of the details of eligibility and steps in the process were shared in an email to all faculty and staff on February 19, and the Human Resources website has full information about this program, including the forms that must be hand-delivered to the Human Resources office by 4:30 pm on Friday, March 1. So that those who choose to participate are fully informed of their status and the impact on this choice, the Human Resources office asks anyone interested to call Human Resources (x. 3434) and schedule an appointment right away. Jennifer Costa will meet with employees to discuss their options.

 

University Policy Office

Building on the successful completion of the online Policy Library last year by Rob Deemer, the new University Policy Office (UPO) now has the responsibility of ensuring that policies are available, updated, and archived appropriately. This office, part of Information Technology Services, will focus on the creation of standard operating procedures, the maintenance of local policy documents, and ownership of the Policy Library website with the goal being a standardized process for the creation and maintenance when drafting, updating, and retiring policy documents. The focus of the UPO will be on local policies, but the office will also maintain a dynamic interface to all Federal, State and SUNY policies related to university operations. The UPO is currently prototyping and testing a policy development and maintenance process. Janet Mayer has moved from her former position in ITS to oversee this new university-wide service as University Policy Manager. Please contact Ms. Mayer (Janet.Mayer@fredonia.edu or x4828) if you have any policy development questions or suggestions.

 

Upcoming Screenings of Documentary Film about Fredonia

Among the Hemlocks. Fantastic Stories from Fredonia, NY, a documentary film by Roslin Smith, Assistant Professor of Communication, will be screened on campus and in the community several times over the next two months. This film was an official selection for the Dadahaseb Phalke documentary film festival in Mumbai, India on February 20, 2019. On Wednesday, March 6, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Brown Bag Lunch series will feature a screening as well as a presentation by Roslin Smith, “Conflict and Consequences during the Creative Process.” Food will be available in S204 Williams Center from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm. The film will also be screened at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House on April 4 and at the Lily Dale Auditorium on May 18.

 

SUNY Career Development Organization Award

Congratulations to Jenn Wilkins, Internship Coordinator and Career Counselor, who was recently recognized with the SUNY Career Development Organization Award for Excellence in Employer/Faculty/Community Collaborations. The selection committee recognized Jenn for her creation of the Network on the Go program during Activities Night in Fall 2018. In one and a half hours, just under 400 students were able to talk to employers about their organizations, and learn about job and internship opportunities. According to Tracy Collingwood, Fredonia’s Director of Engagement and Career Development, the award selection committee “praised Jenn for her demonstrated exceptional evidence of creativity, innovation, and effectiveness . . . in connecting and engaging students and employers.”

 

President’s Open Office Hours

This week, open office hours are Friday, March 1, from 8:30 - 9:30 am in Fenton 138 and Sunday, March 3, from 7:00 - 9:00 pm in the Reference Area of Reed Library. These are hours for anyone to stop by without an appointment. If you have an issue you are working to resolve, please continue to meet directly with the person or office who can resolve that with you. But I’d be glad to hear how things are going, to answer questions you might have, and learn about what’s on your mind. All are welcome!

February 15, 2019

SUNYAC Tournaments and Championships This Week

Good luck to all of the Fredonia athletes who are competing in SUNYAC post-season tournaments this week! On Tuesday, February 19, the women’s basketball team plays at Oneonta in the first round of the SUNYAC tournament. On Wednesday, February 20, the men’s hockey team heads to Buffalo State in the first round of the tournament. The SUNYAC men’s and women’s swimming and diving championships will be held at Erie Community College in Buffalo from February 20 - 22, and the men’s and women’s indoor track championships will be in Houghton, NY, on February 20 -22. Congratulations, coaches and athletes! Go Big Blue!

Faculty and Professional Affairs Committee

The Faculty and Professional Affairs Committee (FPAC), a standing committee of the University Senate, has the responsibility of seeking input from faculty, professional staff, and others and meeting with me to advise on concerns and ideas. As Christopher Taverna, this year’s Chair, explained in a recent message to all faculty and staff:

 “To effectively be your voice, we need to know what is important to you. Please fill out the suggestion form at: https://goo.gl/c36uQR or contact one of our members with your concerns and suggestions. . . . If you’d like to hear from FPAC on a more regular basis (our goal is to send monthly updates only to those who sign up) please sign up for our email list at http://eepurl.com/diGVj1.

Christopher Taverna (Chair) - christopher.taverna@fredonia.edu

Amy J. Beers - amy.beers@fredonia.edu

Tedi Cox - teodora.cox@fredonia.edu

Derrik Decker - derrik.decker@fredonia.edu

Kevin Hahn  - kevin.hahn@fredonia.edu

Kieran Hanlon - kieran.hanlon@fredonia.edu

Kevin Michki - kevin.michki@fredonia.edu

Todd Proffitt - todd.proffitt@fredonia.edu

Rebha Sabharwal - rebha.sabharwal@fredonia.edu

Thank you to Chair Taverna and all the members of FPAC. I appreciate your interest in bringing concerns forward and working with me and others to address areas that affect the workplace and employees.

 

SUNY Campus Climate Survey

This week, all employees and students received an email inviting them to participate in a survey from SUNY System Administration. Part of that message from survey@suny.edu explains the purpose of the survey: “This survey is intended to gather information about the incidence of sexual and interpersonal violence and knowledge of related policies and resources available on campus. The survey takes about 15 minutes to complete. Your participation is voluntary. You may choose to skip questions, or stop responding at any point.

Your answers are confidential, and will only be reported in terms of groups of employees [or students], rather than as individuals. This survey does ask some questions about sexual and interpersonal violence - both your own experiences, and your experiences with students who have experienced sexual/interpersonal violence. Some of the language used in this survey is explicit, and some people may find it uncomfortable, but it is important that we ask the questions in this way so that you are clear about what we mean. Information on how to get help, if you need it, appears at the bottom of each page and is available anonymously at any time on the Sexual Assault and Violence Response (SAVR) resource at http://response.suny.edu.

Thank you for your honest feedback and responses. Your participation will help make our campus community a better place to live, work, and learn.”

 

Kudos

This past weekend offered many chances to see and hear Fredonians at their best. In addition to the athletic events and recitals and student organizations holding activities, there were several distinctive events in music and theatre. The 9th Annual Choral Festival on Saturday afternoon featured three different choirs--Camerata (directed by Adam Luebke), Fredonia Chamber Choir (directed by Vernon Huff), and Fredonia College Choir (directed by Melvin Unger). Clinician and Guest Conductor Stacey V. Gibbs, who was in residence last week, directed each of the choirs separately and all together as they sang his arrangements of African American spirituals. Kieran Hanlon hosted Bass Fest in Mason Hall yesterday, featuring Joel Quarrington (Principal Bass of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, Ontario and guest Principal Bass of the London Symphony) and Ralphe Armstrong (international jazz bass superstar).  In addition, the Performing Arts Company, under the direction of Melanie McBride, offered three performances of That Face, a two-act play by Penny Stenham, in an intimate setting in Lanford House.

 

President’s Open Office Hours

This week, open office hours are Thursday, February 21, from 10:30 - 11:30 am in Fenton 138 and Sunday, February 24, from 7:00 - 9:00 pm in the Reference Area of Reed Library. These are hours for you to stop by without an appointment. If you have an issue you are working to resolve, you should continue to meet directly with the person or office who can resolve that with you. But I’d be glad to hear how things are going, to answer questions you might have, and learn about what’s on your mind. All are welcome!

 

Call for Nominations: President’s Awards for Excellence and Fredonia College Council Award

DEADLINE: FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22

Nominations for the 2019 President’s Awards for Excellence are currently being accepted in the Office of the President, 138 Fenton Hall. Members of the Fredonia community are encouraged to submit nominations for their colleagues. Self-nominations will also be accepted. There are three categories of awards: President’s Award for Excellence in University Service, President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, and Fredonia College Council Award for Community Engagement. Any questions should be addressed to Denise.Szalkowski@fredonia.edu.

 

Eligibility for the Awards. Any current faculty or staff member who has at least three years of continuous service (full-time or part-time) at Fredonia is eligible. This includes those employed by a college auxiliary or a long-standing grant program.

 

The Awards. The awards recognize employees whose teaching, university service, or community engagement has been exemplary. A $500 award will be presented to each recipient in the form of a check (not added to base salary).

 

Nomination Process. The nomination packet should include 1) a letter of nomination clearly identifying the reason(s) the nominee is considered exemplary and addressing the evaluation criteria listed below; 2) no more than two letters of support; and 3) a résumé, if available. No additional materials are necessary.

 

Evaluation Criteria. The evaluation committee will use these criteria:

1.       Effectiveness in Teaching and Learning, University Service, or Community Engagement

2.       Initiative and Innovation

3.       Continuing Personal Growth

4.       Exemplifying the Spirit of Fredonia

 

Awards Presentation. Award recipients will receive their framed certificates and be honored at a campus-wide luncheon on Wednesday, April 24, 2019.

 

Presentation in the Fall by Excellence in Teaching and Learning Recipient.  In keeping with tradition, the honoree for this award will make a public campus presentation related to that person’s role of teacher/scholar.

 

Commencement Speaker

Dr. Shaun Nelms (Fredonia ‘99) has accepted our invitation to be the speaker at both Commencement ceremonies on May 18! Dr. Nelms is the Superintendent of East High School in Rochester, an institution that is now known for remarkable commitment to student success--along with dramatic results. And a bonus for this proud alumnus and father is that his daughter, Nia, will be graduating that day. If you’d like to see more information about Dr. Nelms, he is featured in the most recent issue of The Statement, available at https://www.fredonia.edu/sites/default/files/section/alumni/statement/Fredonia_Statement_Magazine_2019-01-16_Spring.pdf

 

FREDlanthropy Day: February 12

Tomorrow is FREDlanthropy Day, a special day of giving to encourage all to support programs and students at Fredonia. Through the day, you’ll be hearing from those who have made videos to say why they give and to encourage others to be part of investing in a Fredonia education. If you haven’t seen the videos yet, take a look to see some familiar faces: https://www.fredonia.edu/about/offices/fredonia-college-foundation/fredlanthropy

As always, those who give to the Fredonia College Foundation can direct gifts to support the departments, funds, and programs that they wish.

 

Lanford Presidential Prize

I am pleased to announce that senior Monica A. Manney has been selected to receive the 2019 Lanford Presidential Prize at the afternoon Commencement on May 18. The award, generously created and endowed by President Emeritus Oscar E. Lanford and Mrs. Esther Lanford, recognizes a member of the graduating class who has exhibited balanced achievement and exemplifies Fredonia’s ideals.  

 

Monica, from Buffalo, NY, is completing a B.A. in Communication--Journalism with a minor in Sociology and Applied Research in Civil Rights, and her current GPA is 3.95. Her passions for activism and using her voice to rally change are reflected in her leadership as a student at Fredonia: President of Sister Circle, Events Chair of the Black Student Union and Under This Bonnet, Co-Anchor of WNYF-TV, Fredonia Ambassador, Leader writer, and Upward Bound Tutor. She has been leading efforts for FREDFlo, an initiative to provide sanitary products in restrooms across campus. She has completed internships at Walt Disney World, NBC University, Make-a-Wish Foundation, and Fredonia’s Career Development Office. She is currently completing internships at WGRZ and Spectrum News. She defines her personal mission as “to amplify the voices of marginalized groups and bring truth to her community through avid research and persistent questioning.” A Keeper of the Dream Scholar, Monica is a member of Tau Sigma National Honor Society, Lambda Pi Eta Honor Society, Golden Key International Honour Society, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Black Journalists, the Buffalo Broadcasters Association, and the Buffalo Urban League. Congratulations to the 2019 Lanford Presidential Prize recipient, Monica Manney!

 

President’s Open Office Hours

This week, open office hours are Friday, February 15, from 9:00 - 10:00 am in Fenton 138 and Sunday, February 17, from 7:00 - 9:00 pm in the Reference Area of Reed Library. These are hours for you to stop by without an appointment. If you have an issue you are working to resolve, you should continue to meet directly with the person or office who can resolve that with you. But I’d be glad to hear how things are going, to answer questions you might have, and learn about what’s on your mind. All are welcome!

Thank You for Your Work and Patience

Last week, the polar vortex and snow conditions in Western New York resulted in challenges to all who were on the roads, keeping the campus safe, providing food and support for students, and responding to emergencies, such as burst pipes and relocation of residents. And across the region, those frigid temperatures were a challenge to all. Thank you to all who assisted students and employees and to those who stayed safe by abiding by travel bans in Erie County and elsewhere. I hope that the break from the usual routines allowed everyone a chance to take care of themselves and catch up on studying, sleep, and other activities.

 

Institute for Composer Diversity

Congratulations to Rob Deemer and colleagues on the recent launching of the Institute for Composer Diversity, housed in Fredonia’s School of Music. This Institute is dedicated to the celebration, education, and advocacy of music created by composers from historically underrepresented groups through online tools, research-based resources, and sponsored initiatives. As Prof. Deemer explains, “Andrew Martin Smith and Jamie Leigh Sampson (both Fredonia composition faculty and our heads of database management and marketing and partnerships, respectfully) and I started this project originally to help our composition students know about women composers and composers of color, and it just grew from there!” Located online at www.composerdiversity.com, the website offers conductors, performers, educators, and programmers across the country and around the world tools with which to diversify their concert repertoire and course curricula. This Institute was recently praised as noteworthy by the Washington Post as an initiative “actually poised to bring about change” and by WQXR as one of five “organizations making a difference in Classical Music.” The Institute won the 2018 ASCAP Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Media/Internet Award, presented in December.

 

Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching

Recently two of Fredonia’s contingent faculty received news that the Chancellor and state-wide committee approved their nominations for the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching. Congratulations to Diane Everett, Adjunct Lecturer in World Languages and Cultures, and Andrew Smith, Adjunct Lecturer in the School of Music, on receiving this award! The official campus presentation of their medals will occur at the all-campus meeting in August before the fall term begins.

Happy New Year!

Best wishes to everyone with the beginning of the spring semester! For many of the new students who started here last week, I hope that your classes so far are giving you a sense of the faculty commitment to your learning and inspiring you to new achievements. Fredonia faculty are passionate about their fields of study and eager to challenge you--whether you are a first-year student or planning to graduate at the end of this semester. Fredonia’s staff are here to support your learning, and they, too, are glad to provide assistance as you focus on academics. I hope to see everyone at Activities Night on Wednesday, January 30, in Steele Hall.

 

A Welcoming, Inclusive Campus Community

Near the end of the fall semester, several incidents on campus were reminders to all about the need to support and welcome one another. Dialogue about difficult subjects--where people may disagree and bring opposing viewpoints--is essential on a university campus, and such conversations can help everyone learn about differences and similarities in human experience. Name-calling, however, and remarks about someone’s identity are not part of productive dialogue, as they can intimidate and silence people. As we work to welcome all to the campus community, I’m grateful to those who speak up and educate others about the effects of their words and actions. Now 18 faculty, staff, and students are engaged in training to be diversity educators through a new program called FRED (Facilitators Reimagining Equity and Diversity), offered through Fredonia’s office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Through a grant from SUNY, these facilitators are working with The Blue Door Group to learn Transformational Intergroup Dialogue, which helps to increase cultural awareness, break down communication boundaries, and increase diversity awareness. The facilitators will learn about their own obstacles in leading and managing diverse groups, while also being provided with an array of practical skills, activities, and exercises to facilitate campus programming and classroom dialogues. Being a welcoming, inclusive campus community is a responsibility we share, and I look forward to having these educators join many of the other efforts on campus--such as the Intercultural Center programs--in promoting greater understanding and celebration of diversity.

 

Winter Weather

For those who are new to Fredonia, the lake-effect snow over the weekend was a powerful introduction to WNY winter storms! Whenever there are threats of weather that may affect travel, we will keep the campus updated about potential cancellation of classes and scheduled activities. Because so many people live on campus, the operations continue, even if classes or activities are cancelled. I encourage all to follow the alerts, make the best choices about driving based on your experience and vehicle, and use tools such as OnCourse to keep up with coursework even if classes are cancelled. The website provides information about policies and New York alert--a free phone and text message service to keep you informed: https://www.fredonia.edu/news/emergencies-closings.

 

Budget Planning and PEPRE Process

As a reminder, the next deadline for the PEPRE process has been extended to February 15, 2019. Those who received notification that a program/office/service they oversee will be evaluated for possible reduction/elimination will now have until that date to submit their responses.

 

Revised timeline for the next steps in that process, which is just one part in the overall budget planning for next year and beyond:

 

  DEADLINE

  Action

  by

  February 15, 2019

  Step 4: Identified units will, if they choose, submit a response to the potential

  elimination/reduction, which can include supplemental, corrected, and/or

  additional data, as well as a rationale for program maintenance. The

  responses will be available for review by the Cabinet and Senate-designated

  representatives.

  by

  March 1, 2019

  Step 5: The President, Cabinet, and Senate-designated representatives will

  convene to review data sets and unit responses and to identify programs

  and services for potential reduction and / or elimination.

  by

  March 15, 2019

  Step 6: The President will then make the final decision and convey the

  decision to the affected unit(s).

  by

  April 2, 2019

  Step 7: The President and Cabinet will work with all relevant stakeholders,

  including governance, to build a feasible communication and logistics plan

  for implementing any planned reduction or elimination of programs,

  respecting potential negative impact on students, faculty, staff, and university

  reputation, while maintaining optimal visibility of the process.

 

In a recent Cabinet meeting, we reviewed all open positions, including those with active searches, to determine whether we should still go ahead with the searches. Because each position meets a critical need, the advertised positions for full-time faculty continue to be searched.

 

Academic Affairs Forums: Tuesday, January 29, and Friday, February 1

Provost Terry Brown will lead two discussions this week of possible models for academic restructuring, and all are welcome to attend one or both sessions: Tuesday, January 29 (12:30 - 2:00 p.m., Kelly Family Auditorium, Science Center) and Friday, February 1 (2:00 - 3:30 p.m., McEwen G24).

 

Proposed Retirement Incentive

In my budget presentation on December 13, I announced a tentative retirement incentive that was awaiting final approval from SUNY System Administration. While we continue to await final approval of a campus-based incentive for retirement-eligible employees, those who are considering retirement should consider meeting with Human Resources to determine options for themselves and their families.

 

Construction and Renovation

The Houghton Hall renovation continues through the winter, with the project anticipated to be complete in Fall 2020. At that time, the departments now housed in Jewett Hall will move to Houghton Hall, and other departments will be moved there in the next stages of developing the Science Quad. Soon after Commencement in May, work will begin on several projects across campus related to air handling, window replacement, and roof replacement. As shown in the drawings below, the lower level of the Williams Center will be updated to reflect new dining trends and options, including kiosk-ordering, updated seating, and a more inviting atmosphere by Fall 2019.

Happy New Year!

Best wishes to all Fredonia faculty, staff, and students for a healthy, happy, and productive new year! I look forward to the beginning of the spring semester classes on Wednesday, January 23.

 

Revised Timeline for PEPRE Responses

Based on the recommendations of several leaders who requested more time, the next deadline for the PEPRE process has been extended to February 15, 2019. Those who received notification that a program/office/service they oversee will be evaluated for possible reduction/elimination will now have until that date to submit their responses. Here is the revised timeline:

PEPRE Timeline: 2018-2019—Revised January 7, 2019

Fredonia’s PEPRE process (Process for Emergency Program Reduction/Elimination) was developed in 2010-2011 through shared governance as a strategic approach to budgeting. As noted in the campus budget presentation on April 30, 2018, we will be using this process to look at strategic reductions and eliminations of programs and services as we plan for the 2019-2020 budget and continue our work in eliminating the structural deficit in our operating budget. To the extent possible, the Cabinet will be using the document that was approved by the Senate. Since that time, however, we have more data available than the process described. In addition, there have been changes in the names and structures of divisions, so we are amending the process so that all divisions are included in this evaluation of the programs and services that may be reduced or eliminated, and all appropriate data will be used. Reorganization is another option that is under consideration, as administrative levels may be reduced or combined.

DEADLINES

  • Action by September 14, 2018
    • Step 1: Based on meetings with VPs, President, and other Cabinet members, the Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment (IRPA) will compile data sets identified for PEPRE Criteria 1 and 2, with Annual Reports, for the past four years.
  • Action by October 15, 2018
    • Step 2: The President, Cabinet, and the Senate-designated representatives will convene to review data sets and to identify a narrowed list of programs for potential reduction and / or elimination. Cabinet will continue discussions of possible reductions.
  • Action by November 15, 2018
    • Step 3: The President will inform identified units and provide each unit with the data sets that have been completed.
  • Action by February 15, 2019
    • Step 4: Identified units will, if they choose, submit a response to the potential elimination/reduction, which can include supplemental, corrected, and/or additional data, as well as a rationale for program maintenance. The responses will be available for review by the Cabinet and Senate-designated representatives.
  • Action by March 1, 2019
    • Step 5: The President, Cabinet, and Senate-designated representatives will convene to review data sets and unit responses and to identify programs and services for potential reduction and / or elimination.
  • Action by March 15, 2019
    • Step 6: The President will then make the final decision and convey the decision to the affected unit(s).
  • Action by April 2, 2019
    • Step 7: The President and Cabinet will work with all relevant stakeholders, including governance, to build a feasible communication and logistics plan for implementing any planned reduction or elimination of programs, respecting potential negative impact on students, faculty, staff, and university reputation, while maintaining optimal visibility of the process.

Budget Update: Thursday, December 13

All are welcome to attend the campus budget update presentation this Thursday at 12:30 in Rosch Recital Hall. Since the November 15 announcement of the narrowed list of programs, offices, and services under consideration for possible elimination or reduction in the PEPRE process, members of the campus community and larger academic and public communities have assumed that programs and departments are cut. However, those who oversee offices and academic programs on this list have until February 1 to respond. I will be presenting updates on Thursday about our enrollment projections and goals, as well as actions we can take to ensure that we continue to offer the degree programs students seek and the support for their success. 

 

Proposed Department of Education Title IX Regulations

Because several people have asked about the implications of proposed changes in Title IX, I asked Bill Boerner, Director of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, to provide information. He has been working with SUNY and other Title IX Coordinators since the U.S. Department of Education released proposed changes to the regulations governing Title IX in late November. He notes that “a 60-day comment period is currently open for all higher education institutions to identify concerns. SUNY’s Office of General Counsel has provided guidance for Title IX Coordinators about the new changes, which do not require immediate action at Fredonia. While it is not clear when the final regulations will be issued and how these may impact New York State colleges and universities, which already have strong sexual violence prevention and response policies, these areas of impact are being reviewed:

  • Mandated responses by university officials

  • General requirements for grievance procedures

  • Notice to involved parties of a sexual violence claim

  • Procedures for investigations, including evidentiary standards, determination of responsibility, and other due process measures

  • Campus response requirements based upon location of incidents.

 

President’s Open Office Hours

I will be available, without appointment, for those who wish to see me at these hours this week:  Friday, December 14, from 10:30 - 11:30 am in 138 Fenton Hall, and Sunday, December 16, from 7:00 - 9:00 pm in the Reed Library Reference Area.

Next Steps in PEPRE and Budget Processes

As I noted in my Update on November 15, we continue the challenging work of reducing the ongoing structural deficit at Fredonia so that we can ensure a sustainable future here. The PEPRE process is now at the stage of certain offices, programs, and services being notified that based on the criteria in that process, all are being asked to seek ways to address ways of reducing costs and reallocating resources to those areas of high demand. As a reminder, this process does not yield immediate savings, but takes several years of reallocations. There are many rumors of academic departments and courses and subjects being cut or of individuals being targeted, but these assumptions reflect many people’s concerns rather than facts.

 

As I meet with SUNY Presidents and SUNY System leaders tomorrow, we’ll be focused in part on the SUNY request in the state budget that begins on July 1, 2019.  I share your sense of frustration here about the impact of state budgets and priorities on the values of quality academic programs and learning in general. Institutions of our size are challenged to work together to promote public education for the public good. We are not a business or a training center. Our institution was founded on the belief that education is a democratic imperative, with students learning not only professional skills but building upon the strength of learning for its own sake--in the arts, humanities, natural and social sciences, mathematics--so that regardless of their careers, graduates are prepared to think and act beyond the skills they might develop in preparation for a particular job.

 

This is a challenging financial model for all regional, public colleges, and the context in New York and other states has been the subject of several recent articles and reports that you may find interesting:  

 

Articles on Public Comprehensive Colleges

 

I’ve shared the link to this Google Drive folder and encourage all to consider how our situation is similar to (and different from) other public colleges and universities. We are not alone in taking on these challenges, but I remain inspired by the commitments of so many people here to work together and implement a strategy for public education for small, learning-focused institutions.

 

I’m saddened to see people attacking one another on listservs, social media, and other venues. These are uncertain times, and many people are frightened for their futures and families, as well as for the ideals that defined their own choices to teach, research, perform, work, and lead in higher education. I understand the anxieties and the impulses to point blame, but I want to advocate even more that we can be better, as a society, when we promote education at all levels and demonstrate the high values of citizenship, public discourse, and social change.

 

When Fredonia students tell me what happens in class, advising, office hours, residence halls, campus offices, or other experiences on campus, I am always hoping that all students have found caring, intelligent faculty and staff who have treated them with respect, challenged them to become more skilled, connected, creative, and responsible, and helped them discover ways to use their skills to solve real-world problems and use their voices to advocate for themselves and others. For me, those are not catch phrases but the promises we make to all students, and I take pride when I hear about how Fredonia's faculty and staff make a difference to students every day.

 

When I see what Fredonia students accomplish--in their performances and exhibitions, in athletic and business competitions, in acceptances to graduate and professional programs, in service to the community, in writing, in advocacy for those marginalized in our society--I know that our whole academic village was involved. So many alumni describe that what they found here was a way to discover their own intellectual and professional passions, fired by the enthusiasm and expertise of the faculty and staff who saw their potential and held the bar high. That spirit is what drew me to Fredonia, and why I am committed to keeping our focus on student success as we do this very challenging task of budget management.

 

Fredonia's academic programs are strong, with clear connections between the research that faculty do and the ways students can connect to the community of scholars and artists in their disciplines. At every event for prospective students and families and at orientation programs since 2005, I have championed the value of the liberal arts as the solid foundation for all learning, even as preparation for the jobs that do not yet exist. The word liberal troubles some parents and students these days, as they associate the term with a political position they assume is part of indoctrination in college. But I explain the meaning of the Latin word liberalis: the broad-based education that in ancient Greece made a manfree, instead of enslaved and limited to a particular trade and level in society. Our intense discussion of general education over several decades demonstrates that developing in all students the capacities for critical thinking, careful reading, quantitative reasoning, informed and careful communication, and scientific inquiry is more important than ever. When I’ve asked new students to explain why studying the seven liberal arts allowed ancient people to be free, they can tell me why that kind of education would be important--then and now. Public education, including higher education, is founded on democratic principles that motivate me every day: our society is stronger when people know how to reason, how to express themselves, how to do research and build arguments based on facts, how to understand the science of their own bodies and the earth, how to read statistics, how to understand other people and cultures, how to listen to conflicting opinions and join the conversation, how to confront inequities, how to define and practice ethics.

 

This kind of knowledge should not be reserved as elite education, as some political leaders may suggest, with public education focused solely on workforce training and broader education reserved for those who can afford it. At our Founders Day celebrations in 2017 and 2018, we focused on the case made by citizens of this community that they were willing to invest in the courses of study that teach the habits of mind that promote understanding.

 

The mission of our campus is based on the premises that studying humanities, arts, mathematics, and sciences are essential parts of learning, and the curriculum will continue to reflect that even if some low-enrolled degree programs are eventually reduced or eliminated. In addressing our budget deficit more strategically than a hiring freeze or not filling vacancies, looking at student demand for certain majors or services is the responsible thing to do, even though it is complicated and takes time. There is much more budget balancing work ahead, including looking at ways to reduce administrative costs so that we can invest in the areas that impact student learning more directly.

 

I welcome continued conversations with all of you and value your suggestions. As someone who benefited from public investment in my learning and from talented teachers who inspired and challenged me, I do not want to let this generation of students down.

 

Promoting Your Events

Several people have sent me messages in the past weeks, asking that I promote an event that a student organization or department is organizing. I commend those who are organizing events and do want them to be successful. But we have several ways to do that. You can advertise an event using the calendar tool on the Fredonia website: https://events.fredonia.edu/. You can upload a photo and provide details about what the event is and its location and start time. The more detail you provide, the more likely you are to bring new participants in. Once it’s on events@fredonia, it appears on the website and mobile version of the website. You can easily share to social media. For student organizations, clubs can use Blue News, a portal for uploading event information to mobile apps https://www.fredonia.edu/student-life/clubs-organizations.

 

President’s Open Office Hours

I will be available, without appointment, for those who wish to see me at these hours this week:

Friday, November 30, from 3:30 - 4:30 in 138 Fenton Hall, and Sunday, December 2, from 7:00 - 9:00 pm in the Reed Library Reference Area.

This week the Update is being sent on Thursday, November 15 because of the Veterans Day holiday on Monday and because today is an important deadline for part of our budget process. Please send any questions and feedback to president.office@fredonia.edu.

 

PEPRE Process

Although I usually use this Update to share news and respond to questions from students, faculty, staff, and community members, today I wish to address the status of the PEPRE process, one of several strategies we are using to address the ongoing budget situation at Fredonia. There may be many rumors and concerns about letters I have delivered to a number of people across campus yesterday and today, but those letters were the notifications required by November 15 in the campus-developed Procedures for Emergency Program Reduction/Elimination, or PEPRE, linked here through the Budget Office website. That webpage also has links to Annual Budget presentations I have given in the spring semester each year and the Consolidated Operating Budget Books for multiple years.

 

We are using the PEPRE process to consider strategic reductions and eliminations of programs and services as we plan for the 2019-2020 budget and continue our work in eliminating the structural deficit in our operating budget. Following the process, on November 9, the Cabinet and Senate-designated PEPRE representatives met to review available data on the demand and costs of each program, office, and service. Based on that review, I have determined the narrowed list of programs and services to be considered for potential reduction and / or elimination.  Yesterday and today I informed people who oversee those offices and programs that one or more had been identified for possible reduction and / or elimination. The areas include academic programs, services, and administrative areas across campus. A table at the end of this message identifies the offices, programs, and services on this list.

 

No final decisions have been made on program reduction/elimination. As part of this process,  identified areas will, if they choose, submit a response to the potential elimination/reduction by February 1, 2019. The responses will be available for review by the members of Cabinet and Senate-designated representatives in the next step of the PEPRE process. I will announce final decisions on any program reductions/eliminations by March 15, 2019.

 

Because there are many questions, I want to address several specific areas of concern: academic programs, offices/services, and current searches.

 

Academic Degree Programs. If a decision is made to eliminate an academic degree program, students currently accepted or enrolled in that program will be able to complete their degrees. While admission to an academic program may be suspended, the program will not be deactivated until all students have completed their degree requirements. Courses in a particular discipline may still be offered as part of the curriculum as Fredonia Foundations courses or electives, even if a degree in a program is no longer active.

 

Offices and Services. An office or service listed here is not necessarily being eliminated, but the supervisor of that area is being asked to propose ways to reduce administrative costs and evaluate other ways to provide essential services. The positions of those who currently work within an office or division on this list are not being eliminated as we consider how to deliver essential services in different ways. I have given letters to each of the Vice Presidents and to the Directors who report to me, asking them to work on reducing administrative costs through new efficiencies and reorganization within divisions and across the institution. Last spring we eliminated a Vice President and combined two divisions, and we must continue to explore new alignments to reach our fiscal goals.

 

Current Searches. As we continue to keep our priorities on the quality of student experience, including academic programs, even as we reduce costs, I have decided to take these actions regarding current searches for new faculty and staff:

  • The two open dean searches are suspended, as Academic Affairs considers other ways to provide leadership and support for academic programs.

  • The search for a Development Associate (fundraiser) in Advancement, Engagement, and Economic Development is cancelled.

  • The tenure-track faculty searches are continuing, as each of these positions was carefully reviewed as essential for delivering high-demand academic programs.

I am grateful to all who have worked over the past years and months to engage in these difficult choices and weigh their impacts: members of the Cabinet, the Budget Office, leaders in all divisions, the Senate Planning and Budget Committee, and the members of the PEPRE team.In our advocacy for state and federal support for higher education, we remain committed to the quality of the education that Fredonia can offer, even as we demonstrate fiscal responsibility.

 

Before the semester closes, I will give a budget update presentation for the campus community. Please mark your calendars for Thursday, December 13, at 12:30 pm in Rosch Recital Hall. All are welcome. And in the meantime, please send your questions and comments to president.office@fredonia.edu

 

Programs, Offices, and Services

Considered for Elimination/Reduction

 

Academic Programs--Undergraduate

BA Applied Mathematics

BA Art History

BA Earth Science

BA French

BA French: Adolescent Education

BA Philosophy

BFA Ceramics

BFA Film and Video

BFA Sculpture

BS Industrial Management

BS Mathematical Sciences: Middle Childhood

BS Mathematics: Physics

 

Academic Programs--Graduate

CAS Bilingual

CAS Professional Writing

CAS TESOL

MA English

MA Language and Learning

MM Music Theory: Composition

MS Biology

MsEd Mathematics

 

 

 

Administrative and Support Services

Fleet Services

Phone Service

Professional Development Center

 

Administrative Offices

Office of Graduate Studies

Office of the Provost and VP for Academic Affairs

Office of University Services

Office of Facilities Planning

Office of the VP for Advancement, Engagement and Economic Development

Office of the VP for Enrollment and Student Services

Office of the VIP for Finance and Administration

President’s Office and Reports

SUNY Tobacco-Free Campus Policy at Fredonia

In response to questions I’ve received about people smoking and vaping (using e-cigarettes) on campus, I asked Debbie Dibble, Director of the Student Health Center, to provide background on the policy and its implementation at Fredonia. Here is her helpful response, edited slightly: In June 2012, the State University of New York Board of Trustees passed a resolution to support a Tobacco-Free SUNY policy and the development of New York State legislation that bans the use of tobacco on grounds and facilities and in vehicles owned, leased, or controlled by SUNY.  This recommendation, based on the New York State Clean Indoor Act of July 24, 2003, amended Public Health Law Article 13-E (Regulation of Smoking in Certain Public Areas), encouraging every employer in NY State to provide smoke-free work areas for all employees. Nancy Zimpher, then the SUNY Chancellor, had directed campuses to design and implement strategies toward the goal of being tobacco-free by January 2014. Fredonia’s Task Force developed and publicized a campus policy to ban the use of all forms of tobacco, as well as electronic cigarettes. Signs at entrances of every building noted that Fredonia was a tobacco-free campus. Cigarette collection canisters were removed, and all members of the University community were encouraged to comply with this Tobacco-Free Policy and to remind others of their responsibility. Using tobacco or e-cigarettes on campus is not against NYS law, so those who violate the policy cannot be charged or ticketed. Complaints relating to the implementation of this policy should be referred to the appropriate department head. If a resolution cannot be reached by the department/division head, the matter should be referred to the appropriate campus office which may be Human Resources (employees), the office of the Vice President for the Division of Enrollment and Student Services (students), or Facilities Planning (contractors).

 

All-Campus Appeal

If you attended the 2018 Scholars Breakfast or have been part of one of the many programs that benefit from Fredonia College Foundation dollars, you know that many generous people invest in the success of Fredonia students. And many employees are among them! Recently, you received a letter and brochure from Jenn Michalek, Associate Director of Development, who coordinates the work of Annual Giving for the Fredonia College Foundation. You see the areas of unmet need and can be part of funding an endowment that works to meet those needs. You can make a one-time donation in any amount or set up recurring payroll deductions in any amount by using this secure link: fredonia.edu/payrollgive. As the All-Campus Appeal FAQ sheet notes, your gift of even $1 per pay period will help grow endowments, and potential donors see faculty and staff giving as a sign that they, too, should invest in Fredonia. You can also stop by the Foundation House or call (716) 673-3321 to discuss your gift options as an individual or with colleagues who share your vision for a pooled endowment supporting a need you see. The Nurturing Innovation campaign is steadily moving toward the goal of $20 million, with the current total nearly $16 million.

 

President’s Open Office Hours

In response to requests for opportunities for informal dialogue, I have tried to reserve time each week when members of the campus community can stop by without an appointment to see me. The hours vary each week, given changes in my schedule, but I am trying to have two times each week, announced in each Monday Update. This week, open office hours are Thursday, November 8, from 9:30 - 10:30 am in 138 Fenton Hall, and Sunday, November 11, from 7:00 - 9:00 pm in the Reference area of Reed Library. If you have an issue you are working to resolve, you should continue to meet directly with the person or office who can resolve that with you. But I’d be glad to hear how things are going, to answer questions you might have, and learn about what’s on your mind.

 

Kudos

Congratulations and thanks to all who participated in SUNYAC post-season play, representing Fredonia well and competing effectively in volleyball, soccer, and tennis!

 

On Saturday, November 3, student leaders in Enactus again hosted Girl Scouts from across Western New York for a program that gives troops a taste of college!

 

Congratulations to the faculty, choreographers, and students in the Fredonia Dance Ensemble, which performed the first dance concert in the Merrins Dance Theatre on Friday, November 2!

 

Those who attended the Jazz at Domus Fare dinner and music last Thursday were treated to a standing-room only crowd! Thanks to the work of this organization and the musical talents of Nick Weiser, Kieran Hanlon, and Alec Dube, members of the campus and community had a chance to be part of community-based music events that build on strong traditions at Fredonia.

 

The Third Annual Claudette Sorel Piano Competition was held last Saturday, with finalists from across the country performing in Rosch Recital Hall. The winner of this competition for pianists age 15-18 was Lukasz Yoder, 18, from Los Angeles. Many thanks to Eliran Avni, who led this event, as well as to judges Mary Cobb, Fr. Sean Duggan, Phyllis East, and Anne Kissel.

 


Inspiration of the Week

 

“HATE: it has caused a lot of problems in this world, but it has not solved one yet.” Maya Angelou

 
 

Statement from SUNY about Inclusion

 

In response to two brutal acts of hate-based violence in the United States this past week, SUNY Board Chair H. Carl McCall and Chancellor Kristina Johnson have issued a statement, urging us to stand together in condemning acts of hate. Their complete letter is posted on the SUNY website, but I share this excerpt: “We must stand together in condemning these horrible acts of hate. Violence has no place in our society and hate must not find any foothold in our community. SUNY was founded on the basis of inclusion. We were created to provide a high quality education to any individual seeking to create new opportunities for themselves, including members of the Jewish and African American communities who were being denied entrance to other institutions. It is up to each of us to expose words or actions that foster intolerance of anykind.” On our campus, resources to assist you include this helpful information about Campus Safety and Emergency Preparedness

 

 

Continuing Investigations on Campus

 

Last week, I reported on several instances of written messages in Reed Library and the campus’ engagement of law enforcement to investigate these messages fully. Those investigations, undertaken by the University Police in collaboration with local and federal agencies, continue to examine forensic evidence and follow up on credible leads. Thank you to all for this work. If you have questions or see any suspicious or threatening activity, please call University Police (716-673-3333).

 

 

Experience Fredonia.edu: New Website!

 

Congratulations and thanks to everyone in Marketing and Communications on the successful launch of the new Fredonia website on October 25. This collaborative project, undertaken over the past 10 months with support from the Fredonia College Foundation, brings our website current as a strategic recruitment tool, while continuing to be a vital resource for current students, faculty, and staff. Please continue to send your questions and feedback about the new site to fredonia.edu/feedback

 

 

A Reminder for Advising Weeks--and Beyond
 

As students and advisors meet in the next weeks to plan courses, check degree requirements, and discuss internship and career plans, I think of the many ways responsibility for student learning and student success are shared across departments and divisions at Fredonia. Whenever faculty and professionals meet with students, hear about their goals, and address ways to overcome the obstacles they find, there are opportunities for clear guidance, support, challenge, and encouragement. In her President’s Award for Excellence lecture in 2014, Distinguished Teaching Professor Andrea Zevenbergen offered memorable advice for faculty and students about what academic advising can be--not mental health counseling but listening, observing, and guiding. I was encouraged this week to read a public blog post that has been circulated widely, including by Fredonia faculty and students. Bret Pimentel, a music faculty member at Delta State University, describes what role each of us has to help another through one day on the path to a goal: although he plans his lesson for each student, when he sees signs of someone struggling, Pimentel notes another important role of someone who wants to be part of their learning: “And while sometimes the biggest obstacle between you and your senior recital is sluggish articulation, sometimes it’s crippling anxiety about something else. And my calling is to get you from here to that recital, whatever is standing in the way.” Much of the strength of Fredonia’s teaching and learning is in the ways faculty expertise in their fields becomes part of each student’s knowledge, and the other strength is in that professional judgment that someone is struggling--for whatever reason--and would benefit from being seen, heard, and cared for. When we say that all students can learn and that we all work for the public good, and I appreciate the work that all of you do to advise students and guide them to the resources available from you and others to help them be here tomorrow--and next semester--and to succeed.

 

 

Congratulations, Blue Devils!

 

In the past week, Fredonia athletes have faced the cold and rain to reach some impressive milestones! The women’s volleyball team closed the regular season with two wins on Saturday, heading into the post-season with a 21-9 overall record. They host Potsdam in the first round of the SUNYAC Tournament on Tuesday, October 30 (6:00 pm, Dods Hall). Fredonia hosted the SUNYAC cross-country tournament on Saturday, October 27. The Blue Devils finished seventh of 10 teams. Congratulations to Ethan Francis, who placed fourth and was named the SUNYAC Elite 20 Award winner for having the highest grade-point average of all the competitors in the men's meet. A senior Video Production and Political Science student, he has maintained a 3.95 GPA. The men’s hockey team opened pre-conference play last Friday with a 7-3 win over Chatham. Let’s go, Big Blue!

 

 

Kudos to Recent Fredonia Award Winners

 

For Our Daughters. Several individuals and groups on our campus have been recognized by For Our Daughters, Inc. an organization founded by Mercedes Wilson, who was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer at age 28. Its mission is to assist women aged 11-19 with living longer, healthier lives by taking the reins on their health. Fredonia’s Armand Petri, coordinator of the Music Industry program and his class received the Community Support Award from For Our Daughters for assisting with their fundraising gala by managing their media and social media advertising, as well as sound for the band. Khristian King, executive director of Intercultural Programs and Services, along with student groups Crowned RubiesSister Circle, and Under This Bonnet also received the Community Support Award. Intercultural Center interns and student group e-board members Monica Manney, Leah Dindial, and ReyJeanne Antoine took the lead in raising funds, collecting gift cards, donating gala tickets for breast cancer survivors and volunteering at the fundraising gala. Congratulations, and thank you for this important work.

 

Poumitt Secretarial Award. At the recent Fredonia Secretarial Conference, Karen Begier was recognized with the 2018 Poummit Secretarial Award, which honors the memory of former Fredonia secretary Janet Marks and recognizes an individual who demonstrates outstanding Fredonia attitude, creativity, resourcefulness, leadership, and collaboration. Karen has served Fredonia for nearly 25 years in a variety of secretarial positions and now is Secretary 2 in the Division of Engagement and Economic Development. She also generously serves as co-chair of the Fredonia’s SEFA campaign. Thank you, and congratulations!

 

 

Trick-or-Treat at the Fredonia Technology Incubator: Tuesday, October 30

 

All are welcome to come to the Fredonia Technology Incubator (214 Central Avenue, Dunkirk) on Tuesday, October 30, from 4:00 - 7:00 pm for indoor trick-or-treating, sponsored by Incubator clients, including Playground. There will be a costume contest, haunted house, and candy and non-food items. Please park behind the Incubator via Washington Street. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Reservations are recommended so that staff have an approximate number of participants: https://ftitrickortreating2018.eventbrite.com. There is no cost.

 

 

Veterans Remembrance Ceremony: November 9

 

Our tenth annual Veterans Remembrance Ceremony will be held on Friday, November 9 at 3:30 p.m. in the Williams Center Multipurpose Room. University students, faculty, and staff gather with community members each year to honor and remember veterans. Recognition of students includes the awarding of academic scholarships, as well as the Veterans Scholarship Awards which honor the academic excellence of veteran students. These scholarships are funded in part through gifts to the Fredonia Veterans Honor Roll. With each gift of $50 to the Fredonia Veterans Scholarship Fund, you can submit the name and tour of service of one U.S. veteran to be placed on the this honor roll, which permanently resides on the Fredonia website. Donations can be made online at http://students.fredonia.edu/veteransaffairs/scholarship. Please join this inspiring event and remember those who have served and continue to serve.

 

President’s Open Office Hours

In response to requests for opportunities for informal dialogue, I have tried to reserve time each week when members of the campus community can stop by without an appointment to see me. The hours vary each week, given changes in my schedule, but I am trying to have two times each week, announced in each Monday Update. This week, open office hours are Thursday, November 1, from 8:30 - 9:30 am in 138 Fenton Hall, and Sunday, November 4, from 7:00 - 9:00 pm in the Reference area of Reed Library. If you have an issue you are working to resolve, you should continue to meet directly with the person or office who can resolve that with you. But I’d be glad to hear how things are going, to answer questions you might have, and learn about what’s on your mind.
 

Campus Safety and Notifications

This week’s Monday Update is arriving on Tuesday, October 23, because yesterday and today I sent two email announcements to explain the way University Police and others are responding to written messages found in Reed Library. Although I will continue to use Monday Updates to follow up on this situation, I sent separate announcements about the increased presence of security on campus so that all students, faculty, and staff were aware of the investigation and assured of continued safety. I wanted to be sure that information was not buried in the many other subjects I address in this Update. If you have questions or see suspicious activity, please call University Police (716-673-3333). And if you have not yet signed up for free emergency notifications through NY-ALERT, please enroll at https://alert.ny.gov/ so that you can receive text, phone, or email notifications of emergencies that require immediate action.

 

Trick-or-Treat Inside or Out

Safe Halloween. Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia is once again sponsoring Safe Halloween, indoor trick-or-treat fun that is perfect for families with young children. On Sunday October 28, from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm in Mason Hall, guests are encouraged to come dressed in costume. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

 

Trick-or-Treat at Lanford House: October 31 (4:00 - 7:00 PM). All are welcome to be part of the fun of Halloween at Lanford House (194 Central Avenue), this year with a theme of Scooby Doo! The talented students of FUSITT (Fredonia’s student chapter of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology) chose this theme for decorating and lighting the front of the house, and other students will be on hand to welcome families that participate in the Village of Fredonia’s trick-or-treat. Whether you are taking children around for trick-or-treat or hoping to hand out treats to hundreds of people, you’re welcome to come by. We’ll have a variety of items to give out, and all are welcome to come in for cider, doughnuts, hot chocolate, and a break from the cold. Many thanks to students Jonathan Duchene, Chair of FUSITT, and Rebekah Barse-Nye, who is in charge of decorations.

 

Halloween Costumes and Celebrations

In a recent message to Fredonia students, three offices reminded all of us to think before donning a costume that others may perceive as threatening or offensive. Here is part of the full message from Bill Boerner, Cedric Howard, and the Student Association:

 

“During this festive time of year with Halloween and other fall celebrations, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the Division of Enrollment and Student Services, and the Student Association would like to encourage members of the campus community to think about the impact of insensitive, offensive, or culturally inappropriate costumes. Because our campus is committed to supporting all identities and backgrounds, we wanted to take this opportunity to share some ideas to help inform students’ attempts to dismantle intolerance, stereotypes, bigotry, and ignorance.

 

As you consider your festive attire, please remember the following:

  • Someone’s culture is not a costume.

  • Dressing in clothing or otherwise attempting to depict another’s cultural identity -- for example, ethnic, racial, gender, or sexual orientation -- has been historically intended to denigrate the marginalized group. 

  • Wearing costumes depicting others' identities perpetuates stereotyping.”

 

Thank you for this reminder to have fun but to treat each other with respect.

 

Houghton Hall Construction

Based on the activity level around Houghton Hall, you can see that this SUNY Construction Fund project is progressing well. The interior and exterior demolition, along with hazardous material removal, was fully completed in July 2018. Construction of new exterior masonry brick and the installation of new window systems is well underway and will continue throughout the coming months, with substantial completion in early 2019. The construction of phase two--which will provide new spaces for Physics, Geology, and Computer Science--is scheduled to begin late Summer 2019.

 

Noises Off

Last week the Department of Theatre and Dance opened a very well done and funny play, Noises Off, by English playwright Michael Frayn and directed by Fredonia’s James Ivey.Audiences enjoyed the talents of the actors in amazing physical comedy, a complex and stunning set, and many hilarious behind-the-scenes perspectives on theatrical production. The show continues on the Marvel Theatre stage through Saturday, October 27. You won’t want to miss this!

 

Feeding Fredonia Challenge

Fredonia hosted the fourth Feeding Fredonia Challenge, a town-wide food donation drive in coordination with the Office of Volunteer and Community Services to assist the Fredonia Food Pantry. The drive took place from October 15 -19. Over 325 cans of non-perishable food items were collected. The Fredonia Food Pantry, which serves residents of Fredonia and surrounding communities as well as Fredonia students, is located at the Fredonia Presbyterian Church (291 Central Avenue). Special thanks to the following student groups and individuals who assisted in these efforts: Alpha Phi Omega, Kappa Sigma,  Jason MarinEmily Staniszewski, and Joyce Harvard Smith (Coordinator of Volunteer and Community Services) .

 

Fall Sweep: Saturday, October 27

The Applied Communication Association and Public Relations Student Society of America in coordination with the Office of Volunteer and Community Services will be hosting Fredonia’s Fourteenth Annual Fall Sweep on Saturday, October 27, 2018. All groups on campus are encouraged to join together in the fourteenth year of our leaf-raking event. Students will be raking lawns in our Fredonia community as a volunteer project as well as building a better relationship with the residents of Fredonia.  Registration and breakfast will be at 9:30 am in the Williams Center Multipurpose room. Followed by a ceremony at 10 am preceding the sweep. The leaf raking will then start at 10:30 am. Groups are required to bring rakes back to LoGrasso once finished raking assigned street(s). Questions can be sent to Shaunna Rospierski or Sage Galisano at: FALLSWEEP14@GMAIL.COM

 

Mini Maker Faire

Fredonia’s third annual Mini Maker Faire brought many families and alumni to Fredonia on Saturday, October 20, in the Science and Williams Centers. Thanks to all the volunteers, makers, student groups, and athletic teams: Delta ChiKappa SigmaBlue Devils Baseball team, Alpha Phi OmegaJason MarinTracy CollingwoodJoyce Harvard SmithErin MroczkaMark SuidaRebekah Bretl, Madeline Burns, and the Office of Campus Life.

 

Ribbon-Cutting Celebrations: Pucci Room and Blue Devils Performance Center

If you haven’t seen the Pucci Room on the second floor of the Willliams Center, please take a look soon! The redesign of the Pucci Room--a collaboration between the Pucci family and SUNY Fredonia staff--was rededicated on Friday, October 19. This initiative has resulted in a new front door for prospective students and families that now serves as a state-of-the-art presentation room during college visits. Moving from the crowded dining room in Fenner House to an impressive, accessible space that holds up to 50 visitors, brings prospective students into the center of campus, with memorable designs that make them say, “Wow!”

 

The room, made possible through the gifts of the Pucci family, features a variety of quality student experiences at the center of our academics, arts, athletics, and co-curricula. Although it is used primarily by Admissions, the Pucci Room is also available for use by current students, faculty, and staff. Any group wishing to use the Pucci Room should contact Campus Life (Williams Center G-114, 716-673-3143) to learn about the conditions and calendar for use. Special thanks to everyone involved in planning this redesign, especially those in Facilities Planning, Facilities Services, Marketing & Communications, ITS, Campus Life, and Admissions.

 

The ribbon-cutting to open the Blue Devil Performance Center in the lower level of Dods Hall also occurred last Friday. This athletic training facility for varsity student athletes was completely redone last summer and is now home to a six-rig station, turf, and functional training space. The Performance Center is a tremendous tool as teams look to develop athletically and improve leadership and communication. Alumni, coaches, students, and staff were on hand to thank Athletic Director Jerry Fisk, Trainer Jon-Ryan Maloney as SAAC Co-PresidentsRyan Dunn and Emily Maguire cut the ceremonial ribbon.

 

Kudos to the Fredonia College Symphony and Grace Jang

On Saturday, October 20, the Fredonia College Symphony, under the direction of the remarkable David Rudge, performed in a brilliant concert in King Concert Hall. The program opened with  Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances and closed with Symphonic Dances from West Side Story. Fredonia School of Music Concerto Competition winner, pianist Grace Jang, was the featured soloist for Schumann’s Piano Concerto. It was a joy to see and hear the talents of Fredonia student musicians, guided by faculty in so many studios who elicit their best work.

 

President’s Open Office Hours

In response to requests for opportunities for informal dialogue, I have tried to reserve time each week when members of the campus community can stop by without an appointment to see me. The hours may vary each week, given changes in my schedule, but I am trying to have two times each week, and I’ll announce them in each Monday Update. This week, open office hours are Thursday, October 25, from 4:00 - 5:00 pm and Friday, October 26, from 1:00 - 2:00 pm in 138 Fenton Hall. If you have an issue you are working to resolve, you should continue to meet directly with the person or office who can resolve that with you. But I’d be glad to hear how things are going, to answer questions you might have, and learn about what’s on your mind.

FREDFlo Forum: Thursday, October 18 (7:00 pm, McEwen 202)

This week, members of the campus community can learn more about an initiative that was covered in The Leader last year. Fredonia senior Monica Manney is inviting individual students, student groups, faculty, and staff to a forum this Thursday on FREDFlo. According to Monica, the mission of this initiative is to “provide free sanitary products in restrooms across campus so as to increase accessibility and create an atmosphere of readiness. FREDFlo is committed to inclusivity, combating stigma surrounding menstruation, and being your period partner.” Although such supplies used to be in machines in public restrooms, the machines were eventually removed for many reasons, one of which is that people who most needed them did not have coins for purchase, and breakage of the machines was frequent. This program, intended to provide emergency supplies for those who are far from their residences, is being led by Monica, with assistance from student groups and from Debbie Dibble in the Student Health and Wellness Center. Like the Food Pantry, this program will be asking for donations to provide this essential service for those who need supplies. All are welcome on Thursday to learn more about this initiative and how you can be a part.

 

Recognizing and Avoiding Student Job (and other) Scams

As part of Fredonia’s participation in the National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), ITS shared last week a cyber security awareness tip that I want to emphasize for all students, faculty and staff: “Beware of Financial Aid Scams.” As Ben Hartung, Fredonia’s Information Security Officer explains, “scholarships, loans, and financial aid packages have become ways for criminals to create scams surrounding their real counterparts. These malicious attackers can attempt to harvest your Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and even charge you for services that are otherwise free, all under the guise of helping you. For further information, please go to https://answers.fredonia.edu/x/IoAQAg . Please direct any additional questions to either of the Co-Chairs of the Information Security Committee: Ben Hartung (Benjamin.Hartung@fredonia.edu) and Amy Beers (Amy.Beers@fredonia.edu).

 

Nominations for the Leadership Development Program

The Campus Life Office encourages you to submit student nominations for the Leadership Development Program.  Mark Suida, Director of Campus Life, explains that this program was founded in 1989 and has a rich history of developing student leaders. The Leadership program offers credit courses, a leadership minor, workshops, internships, project based learning and other experiential learning opportunities.

 

If you know students who would benefit from taking leadership courses, please use this https://fredonialeadership.webform.com/form/17581 link to nominate them by October 24. This program is designed to assist Fredonia students in developing their leadership knowledge and, if interested, pursue a leadership minor through interdisciplinary studies.

 

 

President’s Open Office Hours

In response to requests for opportunities for informal dialogue, I have tried to reserve time each week when members of the campus community can stop by without an appointment to see me. The hours may vary each week, given changes in my schedule, but I am trying to have two times each week, and I’ll announce them in each Monday Update. This week, open office hours are Friday, October 19, from 8:30 - 9:30 am in 138 Fenton Hall and Sunday, October 21, from 6:30 - 9:30 pm in the Reference Area of Reed Library. If you have an issue you are working to resolve, you should continue to meet directly with the person or office who can resolve that with you. But I’d be glad to hear how things are going, to answer questions you might have, and learn about what’s on your mind.

White Inn

Several newspaper articles about the purchase of the historic White Inn have prompted questions about our campus interest in this property, and I’m glad to address this topic. On Wednesday, October 3, theObserver published a front-page story that four Chautauqua County projects had been named priorities by the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) and were moving forward to the state level in the hopes of being funded. Among them was a request for grant funding related to tourism and smart growth to support the purchase of the White Inn from a private owner.

 

Usually when real estate sales are in negotiation, the potential buyer is not named publicly until the sale is complete, as this may jeopardize the sale and the acquisition of grant funding. However, that article noted that the Faculty Student Association (FSA) of SUNY Fredonia is interested in this property as an asset for the community and for visitors to our campus and the region. A follow-up article in the Observer on Sunday, October 7, was based on interviews with Vice Presidents Kevin Kearns and Michael Metzger, both of whom have been engaged in this project.

 

I wish to clarify that it is the FSA, an independent auxiliary of the campus, that is interested in a possible purchase of the White Inn for the benefit of the community and the campus. If the sale is successful, no state funds from our campus operating budget would be used for the purchase or operations of the White Inn. Instead, the FSA, as an independent corporation affiliated with our SUNY Fredonia, would use state tourism grant dollars, if awarded, to acquire and repair the property and would partner with a hotel management company to run the operations of the White Inn. Unfortunately, state tourism and smart growth grant dollars cannot be used for existing state-owned properties, such as all our campus buildings, including those on Central Avenue.  Much of this sale is still tentative, but I can share the thinking that has led to such possible discussions. 

 

Many see this building, now shuttered, as an important landmark for the community, and restoring it to full use would benefit Fredonia and visitors to our campus and the region. Our campus is not going into the hotel business. But as with the Big Tree Inn adjacent to the SUNY Geneseo campus, there may be great possibilities for revenue generation at the White Inn that would benefit our campus, just as the FSA currently redirects funds to campus programs that support students. The revenues generated will not close the structural deficit, but any unrestricted dollars added to the operating budget can help us. There may also be opportunities for student employment and internships at the White Inn. The Jazz at Domus Fare events have brought Fredonia musicians to public spaces off campus, and there may be similar opportunities for the talents of Fredonia students and faculty to be showcased at the White Inn.

 

When the articles mention leveraging the resources of the campus for this project, this does not mean using state operating dollars that support our core mission: the offering of academic programs and support services that lead to student success. The resources are the FSA and the talents of the faculty and students of our campus.

 

Since the White Inn was closed, many people have mentioned to me that the college should buy it. I know that we are in no financial position to do that, so I appreciate the work of FSA Executive Director Darin Schulz, as well as the efforts of Kevin Kearns and Mike Metzger, to explore the possibility of reopening the White Inn using grants and partnerships that could support, not drain from, campus operations.

 

Finally, I want to clarify that although Mike Metzger and I are members of the Western New York Regional Development Council (one of 10 Councils appointed by Governor Cuomo to align funding requests with the economic development priorities of each region), we recused ourselves from discussion and ranking of this project and others from our community. Although we certainly support the use of state tourism funds to acquire and restore a building with such significance in our community, we could not objectively participate in the voting on this funding request.

 

Columbus Day and Indigenous Peoples Event: TODAY at 7:00 pm

Tonight, student and Resident Assistant Kordell KeyAndre Hammond is partnering with the Native American Student Union to host an intellectual exercise led by the Intercultural Center's Executive Director, Khristian King. It will be held in the Williams Center MPR from 7:00 - 8:30 pm. This program, called “Columbus Day: The Truth Tho,”  is intended to assist students and faculty in becoming more knowledgeable about the legacy of Christopher Columbus and more aware of the lasting effects European settlement has had on Indigenous Peoples of North America.

Campus Food Pantry

Thank you to everyone who donates time and non-perishable food items to be distributed each Wednesday from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Williams Center Information Desk (first floor). This response several years ago to the issue of food insecurity for students has resulted in this ongoing program.

 

Fall Break

I hope that the Fall Break--with no classes on Thursday, October 11, and Friday, October 12--gives everyone a chance to take a breath and a rest, allow more time for studying and work on projects, connect with family and friends, and enjoy some of the beauty of autumn. If you’re traveling, stay safe! If you’re here on campus during the Fall Break, I hope this is a good opportunity to catch up on all you’re doing!

 

No President’s Open Office Hours This Week

In response to requests for opportunities for informal dialogue, I have tried to reserve time each week when members of the campus community can stop by without an appointment to see me. The hours vary each week, given changes in my schedule, but I am trying to have two times each week, and I’ll announce them in each Monday Update. This week, because of other schedule commitments and Fall Break, I will not have any open office hours until the week of October 15.

 

Kudos

Freedonia Marxonia. Thank you to Cindy Yochym and everyone involved in planning Freedonia Marxonia 2018! This week-long series of events, funded in part through a Fredonia College Foundation endowment by the Hahn Family, has continued since 1987. In addition to screenings of two Marx Brothers films, the series included an art contest, lectures, and fun for anyone who’s ever been greeted with “Hail, Freedonia!” and wants to know why. The exhibit in Reed Library continues through October 21.

 

Concerts. In the past week, we’ve been treated to concerts by the All-College Band, conducted by Carrie Pawelski, and the Fredonia Wind Ensemble, conducted by Paula Holcomb. The first FREDSong competition for songwriters, organized by Rob Deemer, led to a concert this past weekend. Thank you to all involved in these performances and to those who performed in recitals and other events through the School of Music.

 

Athletics. Congratulations to the women’s tennis team, which is advancing to the SUNYAC Tournament with a 12-3 record on the season! Good luck next Saturday as you take on No. 1 seed New Paltz! And it was also a great weekend for the women’s volleyball team, who swept Oneonta and Potsdam and now have a 5-1 SUNYAC record. Please check the Athletics webpage for more news about teams and upcoming schedules.; 14063

Building Toward Student Success: Tuesday, September 25

 

I encourage students, faculty, and staff to attend a campus presentation tomorrow (Tuesday, September 25, 2:00 - 3:30, Williams Center S204) to learn more about the current status of the Building Toward Student Success project. Provost Terry Brown explained in a recent message to the campus that “a Working Committee and Steering Committee worked diligently in 2017-2018 to create a vision and philosophy for equitable and inclusive student success in student services at Fredonia. The outcome of the team’s planning efforts will be shared along with updates on building renovations.

 

“Student support services at Fredonia are currently located in at least eight buildings across the campus. As a result, students often travel from building to building looking for the right office or department to assist them. Furthermore, the physical discontinuity creates challenges for student support services to work collaboratively in support of students. One-person offices work without support, creating inefficiencies in the organization. Fredonia’s initiative, Building Toward Student Success, will centralize student support services in two adjacent buildings. Daniel Reed Library will be renovated to house an academic commons sufficient to support 21st century learners, and Jewett Hall will be renovated to house a one-stop Student Success Center. Physically aligned with the Williams Center, these buildings will form a student success corridor in the heart of the campus. With support from the Fredonia College Foundation, Fredonia engaged student service design experts, brightspot strategy, which has extensive experience working with universities.  They helped us develop a comprehensive plan for a new model of student services to be delivered in renovated spaces on campus.” As we consider the best ways to provide services so that students can focus on learning, I’m grateful to those who have engaged in planning about this and encourage all to provide input as they plan next steps.

 

 

 

SEFA Campaign Underway

 

Thank you to Ray Rushboldt and Karen Begier, co-chairs of the 2018 State Employees Federated Appeal (SEFA) campaign, which was launched last week. This is an appeal for all state employees to join forces in supporting the work of non-profit organizations that make a difference to so many people. Fredonia is the largest employer in our area, so this is a chance to show that we care about those in the communities we serve. As Karen and Ray write, “We all know of someone who has been touched by one of these agencies at one time or another. If not yourself, maybe a family member, a good friend, or a neighbor! Please take this opportunity to thank that agency by designating your donation to them specifically, and help to ensure that they will continue to be there in the future when someone is in need.” You can also direct your donation to United Way and allow that agency to determine where there is the most need. Last year we were successful in exceeding our goal of $47,000, and with even greater participation, we can do it again! For details about campaign areas, agencies, and ways to make your pledge by one-time or recurring payroll deduction, please visit the Fredonia SEFA website: www.fredonia.edu/sefa.

 

 

 

President’s Open Office Hours

 

In response to requests for opportunities for informal dialogue, I have tried to reserve time each week when members of the campus community can stop by without an appointment to see me. The hours may vary each week, given changes in my schedule, but I am trying to have two times each week, and I’ll announce them in each Monday Update. This week, open office hours are Friday, September 28, from 8:00 - 9:00 am in 138 Fenton Hall. Because I am traveling Sunday for an accreditation visit, I will not have Sunday evening office hours in Reed Library. If you have an issue you are working to resolve, you should continue to meet directly with the person or office who can resolve that with you. But I’d be glad to hear how things are going and learn about what’s on your mind.

 

 

 

Kudos

 

Fall semester programming is in full swing, as you can see from even a quick glance at the busy calendar in events@fredonia! Congratulations and thanks to Erin Willis and all those who organized and participated in the Study Abroad Fair on September 17! Thank you, Mike Igoe, for giving a presentation on "Why the U.S. Constitution Matters In Our Everyday Lives" as part of Fredonia’s Constitution Day events last Monday--and thank you to Angela McGowan, Chair of Fredonia’s American Democracy Project for organizing this and other events.

 

 

 

Kudos to all who made the September 22 Exploration Day a success: Cory Bezek, Kate Huff and the teams in Admissions, everyone who gave tours and participated in the Mingle, a capella group Premium Blend, and the faculty who provided mini lessons: Ziya Arnavut, Pat Astry, Ralph Blasting, Caty Creeley, Linda Hall, Mike Jabot, Paul Mockovak, David Rankin, and Peter Tucker. Also on Saturday, Fredonia Radio Systems hosted Rockin’ the Commons in the Village of Fredonia, with live music, games, food, and basket raffles to raise money for Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

 

 

 

Congratulations to Lei Huang, whose research was recognized on September 18 with Fredonia’s  William T. and Charlotte N. Hagan Young Scholar/Artist Award. At that event, Sam Mason was recognized with the Robert M. Kasling Award and delivered the Kasling lecture, “Transformations: A Scientific Journey.” That was a big day for Sam, as the Heinz Family Foundation announced that she is the recipient of the 2018 Heinz Award for Public Policy. 

 

Last week, in addition to welcoming a number of guest speakers (Myron Glick, Tim Rasinski, Heather McKeever, Rich Ryan, and Carol Pulver), Fredonia also had the world-renowned Canadian Brass on campus for a master class and public concert! With conference competition heating up for men’s soccer, women’s soccer, women’s tennis, cross country, and women’s volleyball, there was much to cheer about last week. Good luck in the week ahead, Big Blue!

 

 

Revision of Search Guidelines Process

Last week in the University Senate meeting, there were a number of questions about the current work to review and revise the Search Guidelines that are used to assist departments, offices, and search committees in the hiring process. With thanks to those who have agreed to serve on the committee, I want to clarify that there has been confusion about the charge to that committee and whether it is an initiative from Academic Affairs. Because Provost Brown and Human Resources Director Michael Daley were not able to be at the Senate meeting, I fielded questions and incorrectly reported that the charge to the committee seemed to come from the Provost and HR Director. I apologize for that error. In actuality, Provost Brown was not leading that effort, and there was no formal, written charge to the committee. There is now a need to identify clearly the goals, timeline, and scope of their work.

 

What was first perceived as a simple update of the Guidelines to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations and to clarify internal procedures for using the electronic application system has evolved into a more complicated process, with opportunity to review and potentially revise some of the procedures in that text. Issues related to searches were raised by academic department chairs last spring, so this is a good opportunity to take time to review the document thoroughly and revise it as appropriate. Because these Guidelines are used to hire faculty and professionals across divisions, I have developed a formal charge to the committee, which includes opportunities for review of a revised draft by the Cabinet, the Senate Faculty and Professional Affairs Committee, and the University Senate. I will be scheduling a meeting with the current committee members soon to review the draft charge and determine whether, given the expanded scope of the work, they wish to continue. I will also be directing the committee to identify a co-chair to work with Mike Daley, and, as was suggested in Senate, I will invite the University Senate Chair to appoint another member to the committee.

 

PEPRE Process Update

The Process for Emergency Program Reduction/Elimination (PEPRE) is continuing according to the schedule shared previously. As a reminder, this process was developed in 2010-2011 through shared governance as a strategic approach to budgeting. As noted in the campus budget presentation on April 30, 2018, we will be using this process to look at strategic reductions and eliminations of programs and services as we plan for the 2019-2020 budget and continue our work in eliminating the structural deficit in our operating budget in the years ahead.  Across all divisions, data sets for Criteria 1 and 2 are being collected, and the Cabinet and Senate-designated representatives will be reviewing this information in preparation for discussions in the next few weeks. Here is a reminder of the timeline in the PEPRE guidelines, with specific dates for this academic year:

 

by

September 14, 2018

Step 1: Based on meetings with VPs, President, and other Cabinet members, the Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment (IRPA) will compile data sets identified for PEPRE Criteria 1 and 2, with Annual Reports, for the past four years.

by

October 15, 2018

Step 2: The President, Cabinet, and the Senate-designated representatives will convene to review data sets and to identify a narrowed list of programs for potential reduction and / or elimination. Cabinet will continue discussions of possible reductions.

 

Enrollment Services Town Hall Meeting: September 27

All are invited to an important upcoming event: a Town Hall Meeting to discuss enrollment and recruitment. As explained by Dan Tramuta, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Services, “we continue to build upon the record-making new undergraduate student recruitment enrollments of the past two years and reach for even greater success in Fall 2019.” This Town Hall meeting will include a re-cap of the 2018-19 recruitment cycle and enrollment planning for Fall 2019 and beyond. In addition, updates from Admission Recruitment and Operations, New Student and Transition Programs, and Financial Aid will be provided. The meeting, rescheduled from a previously announced date, will be on Thursday, September 27th at 4:00 pm in the Williams Center S204. In his invitation to the campus, Dan noted, “We appreciate your continued support with our new student recruitment efforts and we look forward to continuing the conversation at the Town Hall meeting.”

Founders Day: Wednesday, September 12

On Wednesday evening, we will be celebrating the second Annual Founders Day, recognizing the long relationship of the Village of Fredonia and the campus. Last year we celebrated 150 years since the citizens of Fredonia committed their time and resources to persuade New York State to establish one of four state colleges here, continuing a tradition of post-secondary education that had existed since the creation of the Fredonia Academy (a private institution) in 1826. Last year the program featured a dramatic reenactment of the citizen action that led to the founding of the Fredonia Normal School. This year’s program focuses on two key figures who were instrumental in the history of the institution now known as SUNY Fredonia: Reuben E. Fenton and Juliet Jacobson Anderson Rosch. The program will be held at 7:00 pm on the stage of the 1891 Fredonia Opera House, which was the site of the Fredonia Academy. For those who would like to march from campus, drummers will lead a group from the flagpole outside Gregory Hall, leaving at 6:30 pm and proceeding down Temple Street to the Opera House. The program includes a dramatic reenactment written by Ralph Blasting, who is co-producer to the event along with Kay Stonefelt. Music from the era will be provided by Trevor Napoli, Laurie Tramuta, and Nick Weiser, with additional music from the New Horizons Dixieland Band, led by Kate Levy. A highlight of the program will be a short video of interviews about remembrances of the campus and community: thank you to Town Historian Todd Langworthy and filmmaker Alisha Travis-Daughtery and all of those who took the time to share some of their memories. All are welcome to join in this event at the Opera House (9 Church Street). A reception will follow.

 

New Faculty Program Series

Thanks to the work of Dawn Eckenrode and Judy Horowitz, with input from academic deans, the Professional Development Center has created a series of programs to provide new faculty    with tools they’ll need    to be successful at Fredonia, to navigate their classrooms, and to engage    with their new    community.  Beginning next week and throughout the 2018-2019 academic year,    this comprehensive program will introduce new faculty to Fredonia    culture    as well    as encourage the process of    academic, professional, and pedagogical growth. Fall semester sessions focus    on understanding and    engaging students, being successful    in the classroom and preparing    for the reappointment process. The spring semester    is geared toward scholarship and    creative activity, work/life balance, and other topics. A fuller description of this program, with specifics about the programs, can be found at this link. Dates and times will appear in Events@Fredonia as they are confirmed.


 

Middle States Self-Study Working Group Training

Thank you to all who participated in the Working Group Training held on Friday, September 7. This was the first full gathering of the working groups that will be focused on preparing the self-study required for our campus site visit in the spring of 2020. The self-study focuses on seven standards for accreditation, and each of the working groups will be responsible for assessing and summarizing the campus effectiveness in one of those standards. This is an important process, as achieving regional accreditation is essential for any college or university. Thank you to Middle States Co-Chairs Lisa Hunter and Mary Beth Sievens for your guidance and commitment in leading these efforts.

 

Kudos

Congratulations and thank you to everyone who was involved in last week’s Activities Night! With the addition of the Network on the Go tables to the student organizations, new and continuing students could learn about and choose from hundreds of opportunities to explore interests and be engaged in many ways. Way to go, Spectrum, Career Development Office, Mark Suida, Rachel Martin, and all who set up, performed, and welcomed students.

 

Congratulations to the string faculty who performed in the recent School of Music ExSTRINGvangana recital! As we prepare for the season of concerts, recitals, exhibitions, lectures, and dance and theatrical performances, it’s a great reminder of the many opportunities across campus to be part of exciting cultural programs. Please be sure to post complete information to events@fredonia and to check that calendar so you can join in!

 

Thank you to FSA, Facilities Services, the Teacher Education Club, and Athletics for all you did to make the annual Faculty/Staff Picnic a success! And thank you for all who attended and brought food donations for the Chautauqua Rural Ministry program and the campus Food Pantry. Your generosity makes a difference on campus and in the communities we serve.

And to all of the athletic teams who are playing hard and preparing for the opening of the SUNYAC seasons, go Big Blue! The women’s tennis team, currently 4-0, has been formidable in competition!

 

President’s Open Office Hours

In response to requests for opportunities for informal dialogue, I have tried to reserve time each week when members of the campus community can stop by without an appointment to see me. The hours may vary each week, given changes in my schedule, but I am trying to have two times each week, and I’ll announce them in the Monday Update. This week, open office hours are Wednesday, September 12, from 12:00 - 1:00 pm in 138 Fenton Hall and Sunday, September 16, from 6:30 - 9:00 pm in the Reference area of Reed Library. If you have an issue you are working to resolve, you should continue to meet directly with the person or office who can resolve that with you. But I’d be glad to hear how things are going and learn about what’s on your mind.

Because of Labor Day, this week’s Update is being sent today. Please send any questions and feedback to president.office@fredonia.edu.

 

Activities Night: Wednesday, September 5

For many students, Activities Night is one of the best evenings of the semester! Returning students present information about their clubs and organizations, and new students and others have a chance to sign up. With more than 170  clubs and organizations recognized by the Student Association, Fredonia has everything from Accounting Club and African Student Union to Ultimate Frisbee, Blue Ice Step Team, Live Action Role Playing (LARP), sports, Greek organizations, and many more. Everyone is welcome to come to Dods Grove from 6:30 - 8:00 pm to sign up (if you’re a student) or to support student organizations. In case of rain, the event will be held in Steele Hall.

 

Big Blue Welcome Week

Thank you to everyone who planned and carried out all of the activities and events of Big Blue Welcome Week! These events stretched all through the first week of classes, with pop-up treats across campus: kettlecorn outside Fenton Hall, ice cream outside Thompson and Maytum Halls, smoothies outside the Science Center, coffee and tea in the International Student Lounge (Williams Center), hot dogs and veggie burgers on the Williams Center patio, and donuts between Reed Library and Mason Hall. A few years ago, students joked with me that we should call our institution FEEDonia because there is so much food, and that was certainly true last week. There were many meet-up events, too, such as bingo, speed-friending, and a clock party. This whole week resulted from the creativity and good ideas of a team of people in Enrollment and Student Services, so hats off to you! A community member who had seen the fun video of events produced by Marketing and Communications asked me, “Do your students have any time for class?” Yes. Yes, they do. Several returning students lamented as we were serving up the hot dogs that the ideas of “syllabus day” and “syllabus week” (short information sessions for the entire first week of classes) seem to be gone. “We jumped right in on what we were learning,” they reported. Good! So now that everyone is welcomed--and weltering--wipe the last little bit of the Blue Devil smoothie from your lips and teeth, and keep studying!

 

Yellow Ribbons

Some of you have asked about the yellow ribbons tied around some trees on campus, especially near Rockefeller Arts Center. These ribbons were placed by Prof. Samantha Kenney, Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance, and students and faculty so that we can offer encouragement that one of Fredonia’s alumni will soon be home. Samantha Sayers (B.F.A., Technical Theatre, 2013), disappeared on August 1 while on a solo hike on Vesper Peak in Washington State. Originally from Erie, Pennsylvania, Sam, now 28, had moved to Seattle for full-time work in theatre after several years of professional theatre work across the country. She is an experienced hiker who had successfully climbed that same mountain in the North Cascades, as well as many other hikes. There have been extensive searches of the area since she disappeared without a trace: it’s known that she reached the summit, but she did not return to her car at the planned check-in time. The local sheriff’s department searched for weeks, and now teams of mountaineers with dogs continue to comb the massive area. More than 30,000 people follow the social media sites (#findsamsayers) and scan drone videos and photos in the hopes of seeing any sign of her in the thickly wooded and rocky terrain. Those of us who remember her work on many Mainstage and PAC productions know of her talents on stage and behind the scenes, and we join her family and friends in hoping and praying for her safe return. The website about her and links to the drone footage is www.findsamsayers.com.

 

President’s Open Office Hours

If you would like to meet with me, I am available this week on Friday from 1:00 - 2:00 pm in 138 Fenton Hall and on Sunday, September 9, from 6:30 - 9:00 pm in the Reference area of Reed Library. Faculty, staff, and students are welcome to stop by my office or the library without an appointment. I’d be glad to hear how things are going and learn about what’s on your mind.

 
 

 

Welcome to the New Academic Year!

After a great weekend of move-in and orientation activities, the new academic year begins today! Many thanks to those who planned activities for new and returning students and all who assisted over the weekend in having spaces and people ready. Special thanks to Erin Mroczka (Director of First-Year and Transition Programs) for her leadership in re-imagining orientation programs, held Friday and Saturday; Khristian King (Executive Director of Intercultural Student Support Services) and her team for a successful first Intercultural Street Fair on Saturday; Jerry Fisk (Director of Athletics) and colleagues for organizing the first Big Blue Spirit Night; Kathy Forster (Director of Residence Life) and all the Residence Directors, Residence Assistants, and athletic teams who had a clear, smooth, welcoming process for those moving into residence halls; Reed Library faculty for organizing fun events to introduce new students to the resources and services at the library; and Darin Schulz (Executive Director, FSA) for changing the approach to food service for move-in weekend. After spending time with new students at several events over the past few days, I can confirm that this is a talented and engaged entering class, eager for the challenges of college and ready for all that is coming their way. It is great this morning to see students in classes, benefiting from the efforts of faculty in research, creative activity, and course design over the summer. Let’s all play a role in welcoming these students and returning students and helping them all succeed!

 

All-Campus Meeting Video Available

Thank you to all who attended the All-Campus Meeting on Wednesday, August 22. At that meeting, I provided an overview of some highlights from last academic year and a preview of the work ahead. Chancellor’s Awards were also presented to seven people, and the Heart of Fredonia Award was presented to Mark Kinney. Thank you to Andrea Waisura from Marketing and Communications for filming the entire meeting and for making it available on the President’s Office website: http://home.fredonia.edu/president/addresses. All are welcome to view it and to send comments and questions to president.office@fredonia.edu.

 

Middle States Reaccreditation Timeline

In the United States, all public institutions are required to be accredited by a regional accrediting body, and Fredonia is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Reaccreditation occurs every ten years, when the institution is evaluated according to seven standards. As Fredonia prepares for reaccreditation, Middle States Co-Chairs Lisa Hunter and Mary Beth Sievens, and Executive Sponsor Terry Brown took these steps:

 

  • Identified 3 Institutional Priorities for the self-study: equitable and inclusive student success, continuous improvement through integrated planning and assessment, and financial sustainability
  • Drafted the Self-Study Design, which was vetted by campus and finalized in spring 2018
  • Hosted MSCHE Liaison, Dr. Ellie Fogarty, on campus to answer questions and provide feedback on our self-study design in April 2018
  • Revised the Self-Study Design, which was submitted and accepted by MSCHE in May 2018
  • Formed seven Working Groups, one on each standard, as well as the Middle States Steering Committee
  • Appointed Scott Richmond as the Evidence Inventory Librarian

 

In the 2018-2019 academic year, here is the timeline developed by the Steering Committee, as we prepare for the accreditation site visit in April 2020:

 

  • August 22, 2018: Self-Study Kick-Off with Poster Session during the reception after the All-Campus meeting, so that the campus community can familiarize themselves with the Middle States standards and Institutional priorities. These posters will soon be on display on campus.
  • September 7, 2018: Working Group Training
  • September 7, 2018 - February 28, 2019: Working groups gather, review, and analyze evidence, draft reports
  • November 2018: Co-Chairs attend Middle States self-study writing workshop
  • January - May 2019: Team Chair and site visit dates chosen, Self-Study Design sent to team chair, Self-Study drafted and shared with campus community

Office Hours with the President

If you would like to stop in, without an appointment, I am glad to hold open office hours for conversations with students, faculty, and staff. On most Sunday evenings from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m., I am in the Reference area of Reed Library and available to any who want to stop by and talk, make a suggestion, or ask a question. I have also reserved an hour from 8:30 to 9:30 on most Friday mornings for those who would like to stop in my office (138 Fenton Hall) without an appointment. All are welcome!