College Updates

Dear Faculty and Staff, 

As more and more faculty and staff return to campus for the start of the fall semester, there is a growing and palpable sense of excitement in our community to see one another again and to serve our students in person. I thank each of you for the unique and valuable contribution you make in supporting the mission of Saint Mary’s.      

In the spirit of keeping you informed, I am pleased to share these key updates—we have been busy this summer preparing for your return and the return of our students. With the support of our Board of Trustees, we are making significant investments and improvements in our infrastructure system, both the physical plant and our digital platforms. Included in the list of capital projects are the renovation of Ferdinand & Camille Ageno Hall and the Madigan Training Room, the modernization of elevators, the replacement of boilers and chillers, the installation of ADA compliant walkways, and the addition of a second egress on campus. In addition, Justin and Mitty Halls, two first-year residence halls, will undergo renovation this fall (Mitty) and next spring (Justin). We are also upgrading the College’s Enterprise Resource Planning System, Colleague, to improve our operation efficiency and better position ourselves for the future. All of these enhancements will serve us well going forward. 

As you know from my recent announcements, there have been several outstanding additions to the senior leadership team. Today, I am pleased to announce another addition to the team. Francisco Chavez, who has been serving as the interim Chief Information Officer, has agreed to serve in this role on a permanent basis. Francisco brings a wealth of expertise and experience to the role and will report to me throughout the fall semester.

Clearly, there have been some rapid additions to the College’s senior leadership and I would like to share with you how these appointments fit into the overall administrative organizational chart. This is a dynamic team, committed to advancing the mission of Saint Mary’s and to increasing communication and collaboration across campus.

As mentioned in an earlier communication, Dr. Corey Cook has agreed to serve as interim provost. Recently, I met with the Faculty Senate leadership to discuss the process for conducting a national search for a permanent provost with a goal of onboarding that person by the start of the spring 2022 semester. I will share additional information on that search in a future communication.

Finally, after careful deliberation and much consultation with key stakeholders, with an aim toward increasing transparency and improving communication, and based on the Lasallian core principle of inclusive community, I have decided to eliminate the President’s Cabinet and replace it with two new bodies: the College Council and the President's Senior Staff. The College Council will meet monthly to discuss and deliberate on large, strategic issues and priorities that are not routinely addressed by other committees and to make recommendations to the appropriate administrator or other body. If you are interested in nominating someone or yourself to serve in the capacity of Staff Representative on the College Council, send your nomination to David Ford at dford@stmarys-ca.edu. The President’s Senior Staff is charged with addressing day-to-day, tactical issues and advising the president on initiatives, issues, opportunities, policies and procedures, and other items of importance to the College. 

Once again, it is my sincere hope and intention that with the creation of these two new advisory bodies all key aspects of the College will be represented and many more people will have an opportunity to make their voices and perspectives known in support of our students and the mission of Saint Mary’s.  

In looking ahead to the new academic year, I am inspired by the dedication and commitment of our faculty and staff to our students. I look forward to seeing you at All Staff Day tomorrow, August 12, or at All Faculty Day, August 23.    

Best regards,

Richard Plumb, PhD
President