Message From Brother Ronald Gallagher, FSC

Message From Brother Ronald Gallagher,
February 9, 2005
To the Saint Mary's College Community,

At the College Convocation on Wednesday, February 16, we will be welcoming and honoring Brother Vincent Malham, the Vice Chancellor-President of Bethlehem University. Brother Vincent has worked in this challenging position since 1997. I can proudly say than more than fifteen current or past faculty and staff from Saint Mary's College have worked at Bethlehem University since its founding in 1973, so we can truly consider Saint Mary's a partner to Bethlehem. All faculty, staff and students are invited to attend the convocation and reception on the 16th of February, at 11:30am, in the Chapel to honor Brother Vincent and the many members of the Saint Mary's Family who have partnered in this most important educational ministry of the Brothers.

From all reports, it appears that the classes and events of the recently concluded January Term were stimulating and challenging. I was especially moved by the accounts written by students who worked on a variety of service-oriented courses.

At their meeting on 27 January, the College Board of Trustees approved the budget blueprint for the 2005-2006 fiscal year beginning this July 1. The $92 million budget supports our commitment to academic excellence and to invigorating our Catholic, Lasallian and Liberal Arts traditions.

The primary budget assumptions were reached through meaningful and serious discussion in the Budget Committee. These assumptions reflect careful consideration of important internal and external factors. Among these are current and estimated enrollments and revenue for undergraduate, graduate and extended education programs, rising health care costs, and state and federal financial aid packages.

The budget assumptions include:

· An estimated Fall 2005 traditional undergraduate enrollment of 2434, (six fewer than this year) to reflect 745 new students and enrollment trends experienced during the current year in traditional undergraduate programs.

· An anticipated overall enrollment for next year to be at or below that predicted for the current year, based on identifiable trends and current enrollment in graduate and extended education programs.

· An 8.5 percent increase in traditional undergraduate tuition and fees. This maintains our tuition and fees at approximately the midpoint of our West Coast Conference cohort institutions.

· An upward adjustment of tuition in the various graduate and extended education programs.

· A 16.9 percent increase in financial aid for traditional undergraduate students, which maintains the College's level of direct financial aid support to our students at this year's level.

· A 4.0 percent increase in the faculty and staff salary pools to continue to strive to maintain compensation packages competitive with peer institutions. A 10 percent increase in expenditures for all employee benefits.

· A hoped for savings of $1.0 million in operations. I have asked each Cabinet member to work with colleagues in their respective areas to increase institutional effectiveness and to identify savings and economies. This is a significant challenge that I am certain, working together, we can meet.

· The reallocation of $241,000 for intercollegiate, club and recreational sports programs, as the second year step in the recommendations of the Athletic Task Force Report of February, 2004.

Additional budget details will be provided to various constituencies by Provost Sally Stampp, Vice President for Finance Pete Michell, and others in the coming days. The budget for the coming year will certainly be challenging to all sectors of the College and will require all to work together to meet our goals and to find efficiencies and economies in our financial operations.

Brother Ronald Gallagher, FSC