Office of the President

 

Holloway Hall

The State of the University

April 30, 2002

Janet Dudley-Eshbach, President

Last fall Salisbury University launched a marketing campaign with the theme “Think Salisbury University.”   Billboards and newspapers have been carrying that phrase, along with the image of Rodin’s The Thinker.  One connotation is that all of us at Salisbury University are thinkers, a community of scholars and learners.  But the point of the campaign is to get people throughout our State thinking about us, to have SU in their hearts and minds.  When one thinks about Salisbury University, what should come to mind?  The answer to this question points not only to who we are but where we may be headed.  My remarks today will not suggest a dramatic change in direction for Salisbury University, but instead serve as a reaffirmation of our values and of the fact that we are on the right track.

It was just a little over two years ago that I got my first glimpse of this glorious, venerable auditorium on my visit to campus as a finalist for the Salisbury State University presidency.  It’s really a grand place and is so rich in the history of our school.  This auditorium has held commencements and convocations, concerts and conferences, town hall style gatherings, teach-ins, and tempestuous meetings.  Some of our nation’s foremost leaders and opinion makers have spoken from this stage, among them Margaret Mead, Cornel West, Carlos Fuentes, Jane Goodall, Gloria Steinham, Daniel Schorr, and Maya Angelou.  Many people would agree that the Holloway Hall auditorium is easily the best venue on the Shore for dance, theatre and music. 

I count my lucky stars everyday to be fortunate enough to serve as the eighth president to stand before this institution’s august family.  In my first two years here, this auditorium has hosted everything from my first SU convocation (which doubled as my investiture) to Fun Day, from collective bargaining meetings to name change celebrations and the memorial service for one of our most valued friends, Sam Seidel.  Governor Glendening has been here, as has Senator Sarbanes and some humorists and pundits who reminded us all to check our hubris at the door.

Think Tradition:  This is, after all, where SU began, right here in Holloway Hall in 1925--The Roarin’ Twenties, though I’m told they weren’t so roarin’ here on the Lower Shore.  You students who think Salisbury is laid back now, you should have been here when Ultimate Dominoes ruled and fast food was a peach you plucked from the orchards in back of Holloway Hall.

We started with barely 100 students and called ourselves a Normal School.  Today we have some 6,700 students, and who out there wants to call this place “normal”? No, in my mind we are exceptional!

Back in the Twenties, we were much more isolated from the rest of the State:  No Bay Bridge, no cable TV, no Instant Messenger.  We were under-funded from the outset, with our heroic founding president, Will Holloway, battling the bureaucrats in Annapolis and Baltimore for promised funding to even complete this building.  Magnificent as it is today, it had to be built one section at a time.  This is the same way we will build our future.  Then, as now, nothing we have achieved came easily.

Think Resilience, Think Quality:  Despite the many obstacles, magnificent it is today and has been for 76 years, a testament to the resilience and resolve of the people who have studied, taught, and worked here.  The grace, the enduring quality of this building and this auditorium are symbolic of our University.  Pioneer educators founded us with an unyielding commitment to quality at all levels and, most vitally, to the quality of education for our students.

The long-standing commitment to quality resonates louder today than ever at Salisbury University.  We have faced challenges aplenty in our past; we have confronted them collectively and conquered them.  We have recognized opportunities and enthusiastically embraced them.

Like the native Eastern Shoremen, we are a hard-working, clear thinking, no nonsense lot with a wry sense of humor, with a quiet confidence of our effectiveness as a quality teaching institution.  Of late, the national magazines have taken notice—U.S. News, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review—but in our hearts we’ve known for some time we were darn good at what we do, whether it’s teaching, community service, or research.  We don’t get anywhere near the State funding support we should be getting for the quality we deliver, but we’ve never stopped delivering.  And for that, I want to thank each and every one of you for your commitment to Salisbury University.

Today I will address some short-term concerns and ask you to join me in taking a longer-term view.  Short or long, 1925 or 2002, the target is still quality and the corresponding values we have placed on a Salisbury University education: excellence, student-centeredness, learning, community, civic engagement, and diversity.  Our mission statement, adopted in 1996, resonates true today.[1]  Physically the campus has changed a great deal in the past decades, but philosophically we remain steadfast in our commitment to quality and our underpinning values.

Think Growth, Think Selectivity:  Our enrollment picture is truly remarkable.  Twenty years ago there were 4,300 students at this institution.  Today there are 6,700.  The number of applications has risen dramatically in recent years and, increasingly, for many students SU is their institution of first choice.  For the first time for the fall 2002 class, we have been able to accept fewer than 50% of our applicants.  We anticipate that the quality of our fall 2002 class will again rise in terms of class rank, SAT scores, and high school grade point average.

When I arrived at Salisbury University, we revised our enrollment projections for the coming decade.  In accordance with the strategic plan of the University System of Maryland, we projected that we would grow in enrollment by 19% over a ten-year period.  Yet just in the past two years, we have already grown by 10%.  To slow the pace of growth, we have put the brakes on, and project a 2002 freshman class of 900 as compared to last fall’s 945.  Even so, the total enrollment at SU will be greater than ever, at about 6,800 to 6,900 students.

We have made the commitment to try to accommodate the demographics of the “baby boom echo,” as it has been called, and the increasing demand for access to Maryland’s public universities.  But we can continue to grow only if our resources and facilities can keep pace.  I am deeply concerned that our funding has not increased sufficiently to offset the enrollment growth we have experienced.

Longer term, I am somewhat optimistic about our funding situation.  Though Salisbury University is the most under-funded of Maryland’s campus-based public colleges and universities, the Board of Regents acknowledged our situation when they recommended to the Governor for fiscal year 2003 a 16% increase in state appropriation for SU, by far the largest increase requested for any institution.  In doing so, the Regents underscored their belief in the funding guideline that was adopted for Maryland’s publics several years ago.  Unfortunately, the national and statewide recession, compounded by the September 11th tragedy, forced the Governor and legislators to adopt a much different scenario for Maryland’s pubic universities.  Don’t believe everything you may have read in the newspapers about increases for Maryland public higher education.  In fact, Salisbury University will begin fiscal year 2003 with State appropriations that are $350,000 below where we started fiscal year 2002. 

Think Efficiency, Think Cost Effectiveness:  Given our performance measures and student outcomes, Salisbury University is the Maryland public university with the biggest bang for the buck.  For some, this may be a source of pride, but our level of State funding support presents huge challenges.

How will we deal with the present budget scenario?   The fiscal year 2003 budget is, at best, austere.  There are no salary increases or merit provided for in the fiscal year 2003 budget.  Regretfully, we will postpone the final phase of converting contingent II employees (those staff who are extended no benefits) to full PIN positions.  This is a great disappointment to me, as over the past eighteen months we have made enormous progress towards giving all full-time employees benefits.  We need not only to convert staff, but also find a way to provide benefits to all full-time faculty, whether or not they are tenure-track.

The hiring freeze will remain in effect, though some limited exceptions will be made for positions deemed essential.  We may slow our participation in the start-up of the Eastern Shore Higher Education Center located on the campus of Chesapeake College.  In light of the current budget, we must focus our resources on the main campus.[2]

Think Creative Budget Strategies:  So what else must we do in the face of lagging state appropriations?  We will, as I said previously, slow the pace of enrollment growth.  In addition, as unpopular as this will be to say, the reality is that tuition and fees will increase.  This is a national trend.  When state appropriations per student falter, costs are often offset by student tuition and fee increases.  Many students are willing to pay more if it means they can attend a public university that still ends up being more affordable than most privates.  Some states throughout our nation are seeing double-digit tuition increases for fall 2002.  In fall 2002, University of Illinois students will face a 10 percent tuition increase; students at the University of Minnesota will face a 13.6 percent bump, while Boise State University students will shoulder a 12 percent hike.  In Iowa, public tuitions rose dramatically mid-year, resulting in an 18.5 percent jump for the 2002-2003 academic year.[3]  While I see nothing that dramatic on the horizon for SU, tuition will likely increase by 5.5 percent for fall 2002 and will continue to rise if State support wanes. 

We must make every effort not to deal with the budget situation on the backs of our students.  We must continue to argue and hope for a more equitable share of State appropriations, and must do so until our funding comes closer to that of our peer institutions.

Think Supplemental Funding:  What other strategies are available to us?  First, we need to call upon our alumni and all members and friends of the SU community to be more actively involved in making the case to our legislators and other opinion leaders.  We should explore new strategies and strengthen those already in place, through the Government Relations Committee and other groups. 

We also need to look towards other sources of revenue, aggressively pursuing additional grant funds and seeking to return a greater share of income from non-State sources to the academic departments.  We should look for opportunities for collaboration, not just with our neighboring institutions but with high profile, influential, well-funded organizations.  Are there projects for which we might secure federal funding?  Are we in a position to take the lead for rural education initiatives that tap into our strategic location?

We are building on our private-sector fund raising efforts through our Foundation Board.  I will continue to travel inside the State and elsewhere to meet with alumni and other friends of the University to ask for their support.  Despite a difficult economy, the numbers of those giving to SU are up.  In fact, 400 more donors gave to SU this year as compared to the same time last year, and we have the highest alumni-giving rate of all USM institutions at 18 percent.  Despite our successes, we will need to redouble our efforts to court potential benefactors.

A longer-term strategy that could potentially enhance our funding base is the proposal that we move to change the Carnegie classification of Salisbury University by offering doctoral programs.  In the current State formula, we would position ourselves to receive more funding if we were classified as a doctoral campus.  Given present political considerations, it is unlikely that the Maryland Higher Education Commission will give us approval for doctoral programs in the immediate future.  But circumstances do change, and, in our longer term planning, we should be thinking about one or more areas of program strength where doctoral programs might be developed.  We might offer one or two programs designed specifically to meet local needs for doctoral programs.  We might also offer a “niche” doctoral program, one that is unique to Salisbury University and would draw applicants from around the nation.  This type of niche program would enhance SU’s reputation beyond our region.  So, while doctoral programs may not seem immediately feasible, it is not too early to begin to plan for them.

Let us put the current budget situation into context.  We have had some very bad years and some good years.[4]  Fiscal 2003 will be a “not-so-good year,” but it could be a lot worse.  The good years will return, and those who have steadily persevered during the difficult years will be recognized and rewarded.  Let us not forget that at Salisbury University our “bottom line” is not money, it is minds.  And thanks to everything that SU employees and students do, our bottom line is marvelous.  Our institutional reputation is continually improving.

Think Outstanding Faculty and Staff:  The strategic planning and master plan processes should guide us and help us reemphasize our institution’s top priority:  Preserving teaching excellence and undergraduate research activities. We cannot allow the current budget situation to derail us from our commitment to provide high quality academic programs.  With that in mind, we need to turn our attention toward what has long been considered arguably our most valuable resource, the collective quality of the faculty and staff at Salisbury University.  We have successfully hired four new deans, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the chairs of those search committees: Wayne Decker, Victoria Hutchinson, Natalie Hopson, and Polly Stewart and Susan Brazer.  Very special acknowledgement goes to Judy Fischer, Gerri Rossi, Maarten Pereboom, and George Rubenson for their excellent service during the interim period we searched for the new deans.

The challenge to recruit and retain a strong faculty will be huge.  Large numbers of SU faculty were hired in the 60’s and 70’s and are now eligible for retirement.  Those faculty who have brought their passion for teaching into our classrooms for many years and who will be taking well deserved retirements at the end of this academic year are exemplars of our commitment to quality.  Let us give those estimable members of the faculty and staff who are retiring after many years of service an enthusiastic round of applause.

The parting of numerous revered senior faculty is occurring at most colleges and universities throughout the country, meaning that SU will face strong competition in attracting new faculty.  Some of our faculty search committees at SU are already reporting extreme difficulty in their recruitment efforts, though at present this varies greatly among disciplines.  If we are to be successful, SU must offer competitive salaries and a standard course load of three courses per semester.  While we all agree that faculty workload issues must be addressed, let me quickly add that it will take some years to achieve this goal.  To get there, some tough decisions will need to be made.

Our faculty are one of the great strengths of this institution.  This year Dr. Michael Bardzell (Department of Mathematics and Computer Sciences), Dr. Diane Davis (Health Sciences), Dr. Elizabeth Rankin (Nursing), and Dr. Michael Waters (English) received Distinguished Faculty Awards and deserve special appreciation.  Provost Buchanan and I are working with the Faculty Awards Committee to find ways to enhance the recognition this award signifies.

Our staff also deserve special recognition.  There are those who were nominated for Regents’ awards this year:  Melanie Stefursky, Lawanda Dockins-Gordy, Karen Penuel, Regina Holmes, Marylane McGlinchey, and Donna Test.  In the physical plant, employees recently receiving recognition include Elizabeth Wallace, David Lake, William White, Virgil White, Linda Jones, Cynthia Corbin, Joanne Dashiells, Theresa Bailey, Tyrone Downing, Damaris Moore, Abdellahy Abkelbaset, Jesse Collins, Iris Reynolds, Charlene Collins, Richard Wallace, Mary Sheppard, Beatrice Hearne, and Terry Jones.  Let us give a special round of applause to these and other staff who do such a good job for all of us at SU.

The reputation Salisbury University enjoys today is due to the long-standing commitment and hard work of our faculty and staff. 

Think General Education, Think Liberal Arts:  At a time when vocationalism at some colleges in our nation is being promoted as a “quick fix” to current economic woes, we must remind ourselves of the value of a liberal arts education, of our long-standing commitment to general education, undergraduate research, critical thinking, an appreciation of the arts and sciences, and the values of responsible citizenship. 

Think Accountability:  It is not enough that we say we do a good job at educating our students.  Increasingly we are expected by accrediting agencies and other groups to demonstrate the “value-added” of a SU education.  In January 2002 many faculty and staff came together at a forum on assessment to consider how to move forward with the types of outcome measures that ensure we are achieving our goals for student learning. I commend Bryan Price and the members of the Assessment Committee, Memo Diriker, Fred Kundell, Darrell Mullins, and Carol Wood for their work on the assessment effort.  We know intuitively that our academic programs are strong, but the assessment of student outcomes will provide us with ways of demonstrating this to external constituencies and help us be even better than we are today.

Think Shared Governance, Think Community:  As with academic programs, there are many other areas in which we at Salisbury University can maintain our traditions while successfully adapting to change.  Ours is, and always has been, a community that works together.  While the impact of collective bargaining is uncertain, our campus is enjoying a period of relative harmony.  The SU administration and faculty, staff, and students have reaffirmed our belief in shared governance.  Yes, there have been setbacks and bumps in the road, but I am firmly committed to openness and collaboration with all campus constituencies.  SU was cited by the Council of University System Staff as one of three “exemplary systems” of shared governance in a recent report to the USM Board of Regents.  So, when things do not always go well, let us have patience in working through difficulties; let us not jump to conclusions about the presumed intent of other parties.  Good faith goes a long way towards building community.  In particular, I wish to thank Linda Beall, Rich McKenzie, Sean Ofeldt, Martin Korade, and Elizabeth Curtin for their leadership for our shared governance groups.

Think Excellent Facilities, Think Beautiful Campus Environment:  Input from all campus constituencies will be essential as we begin the process of updating the campus master plan. We must continue to insist upon a physical environment that is both pleasant and contemplative, one that has a planned civility and evocative aura to it.  New facilities are urgently needed to meet the current student population and are all the more critical considering our anticipated enrollment growth.  The new 145,000 square foot Henson Science Hall will be dedicated on September 5th.  Next, our most pressing need is for a similarly sized building to replace the existing Caruthers Hall.  This project is in its early stages, with planning funds currently in the budget for fiscal year 2004.  In light of the State economy, many capital projects will be delayed, yet we must keep this project on track.  Let me point out that a new building is much more than bricks and mortar—it represents a major enhancement of academic programs offered in new or newly renovated facilities with the opportunity to make a powerful aesthetic impact on the learning environment. 

Renovations will soon begin in Devilbiss Hall.  We also need a new library or a major addition to our existing library.  Our library is, literally and figuratively, at the center of our University. New, enhanced space is also needed for the Perdue School of Business.  The master plan update must also include space for additional parking and a new field house.  Plans are already underway to renovate existing residence halls, and additional facilities are needed if SU is to retain its character as a residential campus.  We must also be open to exploring the feasibility of adapting existing buildings off-campus to meet our needs. 

A comprehensive look at our campus facilities might also throw the president’s house and adjoining property into the mix:  Is our current usage the best and most cost effective use of 1116 Camden?  If in the future the campus needs room to expand, could these four-plus acres be put to better use? Is the concept of a president’s campus residence becoming anachronistic, dating back to the days when the University administration was expected to act en loco parentis?  The recent controversy regarding the Towson University’s president’s residence raises important considerations about taxpayer resources and how State property should be used. 

All new project proposals and other ideas pertaining to our campus grounds and buildings should be considered in the context of the facilities master plan, which in turn is driven by our academic priorities.  Our strategic planning process will help guide us.  All of you will have an opportunity to speak with the consultants who will be assisting us as the facility master plan is updated.  Forum groups will be coordinated during the summer and early fall months.  Provost Buchanan and I are greatly impressed with Bryan Price’s work in institutional research and assessment, and we will be asking that he assume an even larger role in our strategic planning efforts.

Think “Wired”… or Wireless:  As we make plans for the campus of the future, information technology needs loom large.  For the first time ever, Salisbury University has been included in Yahoo’s listing of the nation’s most wired campuses.  We are also already using wireless technology.  Our IT achievements were also recently noted in the Chronicle of Higher Education, albeit explaining how “on a shoestring” SU provides services campus users sometimes take for granted.  We are, of course, delighted with the acknowledgement, though once again we are the example of the University that does more with less.  Other Maryland public universities have a student technology fee in place; Salisbury University likely will adopt such a fee in the coming months so that we can continue to provide services at the level students have come to expect.

We currently have 42 “smart” classrooms, but will soon have 78.  Our internet costs have increased fivefold since 1997.   We must also keep current with Blackwell Library  e-databases and technology.  The average technology fee, according to a recent survey, is $229 per student; ours will likely be $100 per year, and will be used for upgraded computers in public labs, internet enhancements, and for user support services.

Think International Education, Think Cultural Awareness:  All of us are perhaps less sanguine about trying to predict the longer-term future in light of September 11 and the turmoil in the Middle East.   It is, however, increasingly apparent that tolerance and an understanding of other cultures will be key to the global economy.  Like Sputnik in 1958, the attacks of September 11th brought to the fore the need for international education and the importance of global competence among U.S. citizens.  We have a long way to go. We must come to understand why our country inspires so much anger among the peoples of some nations.  Fighting terrorism around the world will require much more than a strategy based on military defense.  Our nation’s system of higher education must produce a citizenry that is globally competent--this should be one of our strategic goals at SU.  To accomplish this, we should seek to promote foreign language and area studies, enhance institutional linkages abroad, increase opportunities for study and internships in other countries, bring larger numbers of international students to our campus, and ensure that our curriculum in some way furthers our students’ cross-cultural understanding.

Our campus, like the nation, is becoming more multicultural and diverse.  We have made some important progress since I launched our diversity initiatives in January 2001.  Tony Jemison is doing outstanding work as Special Assistant for Diversity and Affirmative Action/EEO, bringing together our campus community to create a more inclusive environment and to promote understanding of cultural differences.  International education efforts are moving forward under the leadership of Rob Hallworth, Director of International Education, who works closely with Agata Liszkowska, Coordinator of International Student Services.  Our new international flag project in the corridor between the Commons and the Guerreri Center will be dedicated on May 9th.  The Link of Nations is a celebration of the many nationalities represented in our SU community.  These initiatives are all aimed at making SU a more representative and more global community, one that celebrates diversity.  Regardless of their chosen field of study, all SU graduates must be prepared to live and work with diverse groups of individuals and in cultural settings that may be different from that which they experienced growing up.

Think Leadership Development:  Also important to our students’ future success are the leadership development opportunities provided at Salisbury University.  This academic year saw the opening of the new Scarborough Student Leadership Center, a focal point for the development of leadership skills.  Many SU students have told me how proud they are to host events in the new building, and individuals from all over the State are becoming familiar with our unique way of promoting leadership and the activities of Greek organizations on our campus.  We are profoundly grateful to alumnus Mike Scarborough for his generosity in making this facility possible.

Think Positive Town-Gown Relationships:  Another campus priority in the coming years is to enhance town-gown relations. The University community makes up roughly 10 percent of Wicomico County’s population, most of it centered in Greater Salisbury.  Some friction is inevitable.  But the Salisbury community has come to the aid of its University several times over the years, playing crucial roles in the ‘60s and ‘70s when some would have closed the campus altogether.  We owe a debt of gratitude to those members of the larger community who have demonstrated unwavering support of this institution over its lifetime. 

We need look no further than our own campus for tangible evidence of that support in recent years:  Our four schools have been endowed with multimillion dollar gifts by members of this community, people who believed in our commitment to quality and to this region. 

Think Service to the Larger Community:  The University’s contributions to the community are many.  We are involved in every dimension of community life—educationally, economically, culturally, socially, athletically, spiritually.  Our business outreach appendage, BEACON, and our Department of Geosciences masterminded a public transportation system for the Lower Shore.  The Sea Gull Century is the region’s largest annual tourism event.  Our students contribute some 300,000 community service hours on an annual basis, recently cleaning the banks of the Wicomico River.  When ten Buddhist monks from Drepung Loseling monastery were here last fall, over 5,000 guests visited our campus to see the monks at work and to attend their lectures, concerts and ceremonies.  The list goes on:  PACE, ShoreCorps/PALS, Habitat for Humanity.  The campus abounds with unsung heroes whom I am honored to call colleagues.

Think External Relations:  Good external relations are important not just from a public relations standpoint, but also to help assure the institution’s financial health.  SU was selected to be among the Community Partners participating in the Perdue-Kresge Challenge program.  We have a fundraising objective of $800,000, to be shared between the Ward Museum, the Center for Conflict Resolution, the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra, the Nabb Center, and the Seidel Scholarship Challenge.  This is a two-for-one match program that will benefit and help create financial stability for non-profit ventures on our campus and in the greater Salisbury community.

During my first 18 months as SU’s eighth president, I decided to re-evaluate the role of our Board of Visitors, whose functions overlapped with those of the SU Foundation Board and Alumni Association.  The former Board of Visitors was quite large –35 members—and composed primarily of alumni.  That group has been disbanded.  Should we one day reconvene the Board, what I have in mind is a smaller group, perhaps 8-10 members, made up of regional and state community and business leaders who can be strong representatives for SU’s interests and who can also advise me on community-related matters.

Think Student Learning and Success:  The decade ahead brings us new challenges and changes, yet there are important traditions to nurture at Salisbury University.  Student learning and academic excellence will continue to be the central focus of our mission, and quality in everything we do is our core value.  Civic engagement, service learning, and undergraduate research are trademarks of a Salisbury University education.  Some writers on the future of higher education have forecast that the traditional, campus-based university will not survive the coming decades.  They are wrong.  Even in this cyberage, universities with a strong faculty and staff who are committed to students and their success, universities that are committed to building community, and universities that can reaffirm their traditions while responding to and even leading change will survive.  Salisbury University will not only survive, we will thrive.

Think Vision:  The most successful universities of the future will be those whose faculty, staff, and administrators can act with greater openness.  They will embrace change while reaffirming the importance of tradition.  And they will believe in and practice their mission and vision.  Let us today recommit to providing the best learning environment possible for our students.  Let us rely on teamwork in helping all members of our community succeed.  Let us work toward open and honest communication and a willingness to face all issues. Let us show respect for every individual.

Whatever other changes may occur over the next ten years, Salisbury University will continue to be known for its exceptional faculty and staff, talented students, currency in information technology, cultural awareness in a global society, community and business partnerships and, perhaps above all, the mentored and engaged learning that takes place here.

Allow me one quick story that recently was shared with me.  We had some elementary school students on a tour of our campus for a glimpse of college life.  They walked across Red Square on the way to Holloway Hall, entered the side entrance, walked through the Great Hall with its elegant paneling, and continued through the Social Room in all its splendor.  Then they were shown into this beautiful auditorium. One boy, his head spinning, marveled,  “Where are we, Harvard?”  Are we Harvard University?  No, Michael, we are not, and we can certainly understand why you and many others are now thinking “Salisbury University.”

We must not allow the current budget situation to dim our view for the future or to dampen our vision of what we can achieve together.  In view of all that is right about Salisbury University, let us be thankful and look to the future with hearts that are light.  Permit me to close with the chorus of a song written by one of my favorite pop poets, Jimmy Buffett:  “It’s those changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes, nothing remains quite the same.  With all of our running and all of our cunning, if we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane.”

Think: Tradition, resilience, quality.  Think:  Mentored and engaged learning.  Think: Tolerance, multicultural understanding, bridges to the larger community and the world. Think: Currency in information technology and knowledge management.  Think: Accountability.  Think: Service.  Think: Exceptional students, faculty and staff and accomplished alumni.  Think:  Exciting challenges.  Think:  Bright future.

Thank you.

[1] Mission Statement:  “Salisbury University’s mission is to cultivate and sustain a superior, student-centered learning community where students, faculty, and staff are viewed as both teachers and learners, and where a commitment to excellence permeates all aspects of University life.  We recruit exceptional and diverse faculty, staff, undergraduate and graduate students and support them as they work together to reach the University’s goals.  Serving Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic region, we are concerned participants in responding to the educational, economic, cultural and social needs of our community and believe that service is a vital component of civic life.  Our highest purpose is to empower our students with the knowledge, skills, and core values that contribute to life-long learning and active citizenship in a democratic society and interdependent world.”

[2] At this juncture I feel compelled to explain the difference between capital funds, funds specifically allocated for capital projects such as fencing and signage, and appropriations earmarked for operating expenditures.  Capital funds cannot be used for operating expenditures.  In accordance with State policy, we submit proposals for funding for capital projects in a process separate from that used for on-going operating funds.  Whatever funds are approved through the capital process must be spent on the designated project.  Taxpayers and others are sometimes understandably frustrated to see capital projects move forward when operating dollars are level or even reduced, but, as a public university, we at SU must act in accordance with State policies.  Any funds we received for campus projects should be seen as a bonus above and beyond our operating funds.  We compete for capital funds with the other public universities in Maryland and should be pleased when we are successful in attaining capital funds to enhance our campus.

[3] Tim Goral, “There’s a Hole in the Bucket,” UniversityBusiness, March 2002, p. 35.

[4] The Maryland Higher Education Commission recently reported that average yearly salaries throughout the University System of Maryland went up by 6.2 percent between fall 1999 and fall 2000.  Since 1994 MHEC reports that faculty salaries have increased by 41.7 percent.  Of the thirteen USM institutions, Salisbury University ranks ninth, and we experienced a 4.8 percent average increase in faculty salaries between fall 1999 and fall 2000.  Out-going Chancellor Langenberg recently reported that in FY02 the USM faculty salaries overall reached the 85th percentile of comparable public institutions (according to AAUP data).  Unfortunately, SU faculty salaries in FY02 were only at the 74th percentile as compared to our peer institutions.