Thoughts on the Year Ahead

Dear Faculty and Staff,

As we prepare to enter what promises to be an exciting and challenging year, I want to update you on what has been happening throughout the summer months, and share a few thoughts on the year ahead.

* I have attended several gatherings of alumni and other friends, and found them very enthusiastic about the College. On Tuesday of this week, Alumnus Don Perata, State Senate Pro Tem, hosted a reception at the State Capitol, and tomorrow, Alumnus Paul Boschetto will host a reception for over 200 friends of the College at his Kenwood residence.

* I spent a week at a leadership program in Colorado with fellow chief executives and found the experience insightful and rewarding. In particular, I was able to reflect on feedback from a number of constituencies at the college and to examine ways in which I could enhance my own leadership.

* I led a planning retreat for the Cabinet at Mont La Salle last week. During our time together, it became clear to us all that there are many priorities that need continued administrative leadership and support. Among these are a review of our Core Curriculum (which I have approved); responses to the Fall 2004 WASC visit; discussions of graduate and professional programs -- their structure and organization and a continued review of programming; revitalization of advancement and fund raising; a review of student life programs; and continuing to strengthen intercollegiate, club and recreational athletics.

* Given the many strategic priorities and opportunities before us, Provost Sally Stampp and I have discussed her continuing in her role as Provost beyond the 2005-2006 academic year. I believe Sally's familiarity with many of our ongoing projects will be enormously helpful to the Cabinet and to me since much of my time in the next years will be devoted to fundraising and relationship building on behalf of the College. Respecting Sally's desire for more time for research and writing, she and I have agreed to build in time for her to pursue her scholarly interests while remaining involved in a leadership capacity.

* I will continue to publish letters to the community at the beginning of each month and will include in them information about the major issues to be discussed by the Cabinet in the upcoming month. I will also invite members of the college community to communicate their concerns or questions about these issues to the cabinet member in their respective area. I encourage the entire community to continue to discuss questions and issues in light of the values of our core traditions.

* I would also like to thank the organizers of the very productive in-service day for all College staff during Monday's celebration of the Feast of Assumption. The theme was increasing our commitment to the Lasallian mission in all areas of the College. The day culminated in a Mass and picnic.

* We strengthened our cabinet team by welcoming Brother Stan Sobczyk as Vice President of Advancement. His rich experience as president of Christian Brothers University Memphis, his prior experience in various leadership capacities at Lasallian schools, and his insights about strategic fundraising and development bring valuable expertise to the College. We also welcomed back to campus Brother Dominic Berardelli to lead Parent Relations.

* I am happy to share that Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Frances Sweeney will be taking her long-delayed sabbatical during the spring term. She will return to office in July 2006. Provost Stampp will be in touch regarding a process for determining appropriate leadership of that area during Frances' absence.

I wish a positive start to all faculty, staff and students returning from summer break, as well as those who have been engaged in various programs and activities during the summer.

Sincerely in Saint La Salle,

Br. Ronald Gallagher, F.S.C.