End of Year Message to Faculty

Dear faculty members,

As we reach the last week of instruction for undergraduates, a time of the year full of closure, assessment and celebration, I would like to share some end of the year thoughts with you. I often compare the momentum of the academic year to body surfing. We enter the wave, are carried on by its force and are flopped on the shore, panting, and somewhat surprised that we got there so fast. This year, we have all been swept along by a wave which is much like a tsunami in size and force. The effects of the current global and regional economic crisis have forced us to look carefully at our priorities and make necessary changes. I am deeply thankful for the hard work of all at the college to maintain our equilibrium and stay our course. We have all been asked to make adjustments, some of which have been painful. And we have to be ready to plan for further adjustments.

I would like to acknowledge the thorough and effective work of you faculty members this past year. I also want to recognize a number of team efforts this year, in particular, the work of the Core Curriculum Task Force and the Academic Senate. In collaboration with the whole faculty, these two groups have brought to conclusion the three year task of examining and revising our core curriculum. Other faculty committees have been equally active, especially those who have responsibility to participate in budgetary issues, areas in examining academic quality, advising, and curriculum review. And thanks for your individual efforts in serving our students through teaching and advising. Our students and their families have endured the effects of the economic downturn and have been forced to re-evaluate their priorities and commitments. Any support you can offer your students and advisees, whether just listening to their stories, or by helping to direct them to resources available through the College, is greatly appreciated.

We continue to monitor carefully our strategic indicators for enrollment, affordability, efficiency, and momentum on key projects and planning. Our plans for a smaller and more academically capable entering group of new students have been confirmed by the current totals of students making deposits. The number and amount of financial aid offers remains about 10 percent higher than last year at this time. On campus housing numbers for next year are within our projections, but lower than the current year. We should have some clearer indications about returning students next week, when we have totaled the registration numbers from current students. Enrollment for the undergraduate summer session continues to grow and enrollment for graduate and professional programs is on track. I have attached a report from VP Michael Beseda with up to date numbers on enrollment for next year: Link.

I am happy to report that several construction and renovation projects are near completion. The second phase of the Oliver Hall project, which includes a new kitchen facility and a new Faculty/Staff dining room, should be operational by early June. Phase three of this project, a new food court and servery, will be completed by early September. Renovations to Brother Jerome West Hall will be completed by June; Financial Aid, Admissions, the Alumni Office and International Student Programs will be located there. The third major project, renovations to the ground floor of De La Salle Hall and seismic reinforcement of the building, will be completed by early August. This project provides much needed social space for central campus students, and will include lounges, including a larger Hagerty Lounge, a small coffee shop, student offices, and residence life offices. A number of departments and programs will also be moving to new or renovated spaces during the summer. Please consult the weekly bulletin for current information about these moves.

In his talk at the recent East Bay Scholarship Dinner, alum and former faculty member Robert Hass recalled his days as an undergraduate. He said that he was "gifted" with an excellent education by the faculty and staff members at the College. I again thank all of you for continuing to gift our students with an excellent education.

I wish you all a successful completion to the spring semester as well as an active and creative summer. 

In St. La Salle,

Br. Ronald Gallagher, FSC