Loyola University Chicago

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Loyola University Chicago

President's Office

February 2002

State of the University Address
President Michael J. Garanzini, S.J.


In September, I promised that I would update you on the developments of the University's efforts to meet its challenges, especially its budgetary challenges, and give you a better sense of where we are headed. The occasion of the last State of the University address was colored by several factors, the events of September 11 and my newness at the University being but two of these.

Part I

A certain relief that our fall enrollment had climbed to 1,424 freshmen also colored that occasion. This, we noted, could be easily seen as evidence of our enduring reputation and attractiveness as a first-rate academic institution in Chicago and the region. A renewed spirit of cooperation among administrators and faculty and student leaders was, therefore, in the air. The signs of our attractiveness and the promise of our reputation plus the cooperative spirit of the first semester have not diminished, I am happy to say. They are, however, being tested as we look squarely at the implications of our budgetary situation. I am grateful to those leaders in the community who have worked diligently all fall and into the new semester to secure our future. Much of what I want to do in this address today is to highlight the accomplishments of those who have worked and are working to make Loyola a better and more attractive, a more welcoming place to study and to work, a university with an increasingly secure future.

Let me begin with a look at projected enrollments. The excellent work of Terry Richards and his colleagues in admissions, financial assistance, and the many offices and departments that assist his operation in recruitment and retention should again pay off for us. To date, we have received more applications than all of last year, which was a record year. Applications for first time freshmen to Loyola have surpassed the 9,000 mark and will likely reach 10,000 before the end of the recruitment cycle. We recently sent out our financial aid offers and are one of the first schools in the region to do so. This success is due to a variety of factors: to the work of Terry and his staff, which I have just mentioned, and to you faculty and students who have helped welcome potential students and their families. If I may cite just one event among the many, the honors recruitment night at the Chicago Historical Society about ten days ago drew a record number of parents and gifted students from around the region, who were addressed by masterful and eloquent talks by Joyce Wexler, Bob Bucholz and one of our best honors students, a Junior, John Grimaud.

An anticipated record enrollment this coming fall does not solve our problems, however, but it does move us closer to solving many of them. When compared with 1992 enrollments, enrollments ten years ago, we have approximately 3,000 fewer students in the University. Our numbers show that we are down almost 2,000 in the College of Arts and Sciences. Graduate programs in the College remain relatively the same as in 1992. To be more precise, in 1992, we had 9,887 undergraduates at our lakeside campuses. That number fell to 6,692 undergraduates, for a loss of nearly 3,200 undergraduates, in ten years. In the College of Arts and Sciences, we had 7,207 undergrads, of the 9,887 total, in 1992, and only 4,764 ten years later, for a loss of 2,500 undergraduate students in arts and sciences. This represents a decrease of 22% in the undergraduate population in general, and a decrease in the College of nearly 33%. An examination of credit hours taught by full-time faculty shows a similar decline in the percentage taught.

Enrollments in the masters degree programs -- including Social Work, Education, the MBA, and the College of Arts and Sciences masters programs -- slipped 550 in ten years from 3,491, ten years ago, to 2,941 last year. In the College of Arts and Sciences, we had 450 masters students in 1992, and 455 in 2001, for a gain of five students. Therefore, our losses at the masters level were really in the professional programs. Today, there are 432 masters students in the College, so this number represents an 18-student loss over an 11-year period. At the doctoral level we have grown from 382 doctoral students in 1992, to 388 today. In other words, there is no decrease in doctoral education. I need to reiterate that our problem is quite evident in these numbers: while we have declined in professional masters students by 550, we have also declined by over 3,000 in our undergraduate population. While there are 2,500 fewer undergraduate majors in arts and sciences, we have the same number of masters and doctoral students in the College.

You heard me explain in my September address that graduate education needs a solid undergraduate base for a variety of reasons, and we continue to press for a better balance in undergraduate and graduate education. Obviously, therefore, the work of our admissions and financial aid offices will help us achieve a balance that will sustain us.

One of our most significant issues in this discussion is, of course, how we fare with regard to faculty numbers. In 1992, we had 645 full-time faculty at all lakeside schools, that is, with the exception of the Medical School. In 2001, we had 594, for a loss of 51. The College of Arts and Sciences had 397 in 1992, and last year had 367, for a loss of 30. We lost another 25 since then at the end of last year. In a normal year, approximately 20 faculty leave or retire. So, through holding down on replacing faculty in this and other colleges, we have managed to reduce faculty by 1/8th, or 16 percent, even though we are down 22 percent in enrollments at the undergraduate level. Faculty numbers have fallen at a rate that is significantly lower than student enrollment numbers. In the College of Arts and Sciences, the total numbers have fallen only 10%.

Part II

I need to stress an additional feature of our situation here at Loyola. The 1992 budget, like so many budgets since then, was balanced on the back of either the hospital, at least through 1996, and/or through the earnings from the endowment. In short, we have been a family that has never lived within our means, our real means, over the past ten years, but rather by savings and earnings outside the traditional sources of tuition revenue. Schools with external sources of revenue that help keep down tuition, are heavily endowed institutions or institutions with what are called "cash cows," that is, programs that generate significant revenues over their costs. Loyola University Chicago has none. We have done an excellent job, I might add, in holding down tuition for our traditional student, a talented individual coming from the middle class and newly integrated immigrant communities. Again, we have done so on the backs of our savings and the hospital when we had it as such a source. Clearly, we are in a different position now vis a vis other sources of revenue. Our challenge, therefore, if we hope to keep our present programs strong, including our graduate programs, is to grow our revenue through increased enrollment, raise tuition only modestly so as to remain competitive, and hold down costs and reduce spending, and initiate a few exciting projects that show the community we are alive and well.

During the past semester we have identified a little more than 10 million dollars in savings, which will become permanent cuts to the budget we are putting together for the next fiscal year, FY 03. Undergraduate projections are on target for this budget, but our masters level programs in critical areas remain for me a source of concern. Coordinated recruitment for the water tower campus and its professional degree programs is being studied and steps are being taken now to insure a better marketing and recruitment strategy for these programs. Additional savings through re-engineering and more efficiently delivered programs and services is envisioned for the coming academic year, with a goal of balancing our budget by the 03-04 academic year, or two years from now. Much of this can be accomplished through greater efficiencies and a careful look at how we deliver services and programs.

For example, thanks to the work of individuals like Acting Dean Slavsky and the department chairs in the College, we are examining closely how to deliver the curriculum in a more efficient way. Cutting down on quality has not been something we are forced to do, I am happy to say. Blessed with excellent teachers and gifted researchers throughout the University, and especially in the College, the administration of the College, with the cooperation of the departments, has been able to preserve our programs and their high quality by a closer examination of the way we deliver our critical courses. Some of our best faculty already teach freshmen courses. Some courses lend themselves to absorbing larger numbers of students. With excellent faculty in lower division courses, we are able to attract and retain high quality students. Front-loading our program -- putting some of the best faculty in the early courses -- is a sure way of exciting students, attracting majors, and of retaining our excellent reputation for undergraduate education.

In the coming year, the one we are preparing for now, we have to think soberly about the challenge before us. A record low entering class of two years ago will be entering their junior year and a record high freshman class will be entering this coming year, following a record year this year. There will likely be for two years, therefore, record low numbers of majors in most departments, and record high enrollments in the freshmen and sophomore level courses. The dean of Arts and Sciences has had to ask those departments that turned in their traditional course spread and assignment sheets to rethink this dilemma. Higher credit hour demands at the underclassman level and record low credit hour demands at the upper classmen level require rethinking of workload and course-load distribution. He has not asked anyone to change the nature of their profession, abandon their research activity, accept a different Loyola or a different College. He has asked that all faculty chip in and help meet these unusual demands. And, when we look at the credit hours delivered by full-time faculty today as compared to ten years ago, we see that there have been historic light burdens placed on the teaching faculty as a whole in the last few years.

In other words, the declining enrollments that I just cited may be responsible for a distorted or skewed view of the nature of our university. The luxury of faculty numbers that did not begin to decline until recently, even though enrollments declined from 1992-2001 led, I am afraid, to a lighter teaching load and smaller courses. And, if I might add, smaller teaching loads we were not able to pay for except by drawing down the University's savings. It is no wonder that teaching loads could be set at levels below the historic and typical 3-3 level for many. And, when one studies our part-time numbers and the way adjunct faculty were employed in some departments, it is clear that we became more reliant, proportionally speaking, on part-timers to deliver the curriculum.

Those faculty who object to taking a 3-3 workload as a starting point for fairness in assigning workload, and who feel that this is somehow destructive of the faculty's historic mandate to teach less and do more research, may be speaking of a privilege that has accrued over the past ten years as enrollments fell and the enterprise was subsidized from sources other than tuition. I am simply asking that we begin a discussion on a more realistic footing, and those of you who did not realize these are the facts underlying a good portion of our 30 million dollar budget deficit this year are not to be blamed for feeling betrayed or confused. What I am asking is that you not blame the messengers who are trying to sustain a discussion and the development of course delivery models that have fairness and economy built into them.

Therefore, I am truly grateful for those chairs, program directors and deans who have been willing to address this issue head-on. Indeed, to be honest with you, I have found a very willing and eager professorate here at Loyola. I have seen only generous faculty who are sincerely tackling these issues and, when given the facts, become most understanding and cooperative. The CARP report noted that the 3-3 work load/ teaching load has been the norm, and that it has been less than stringently applied in the recent past. It also noted that this has led to morale problems and to the perception that some are valued for their research abilities but are not expected to carry their share of the department's teaching responsibilities. I think I speak for Dr. Braskamp and the deans when I say that the implementation of the CARP recommendations continues to occupy our time and energy, but that cooperation has been forthcoming in ways that demonstrate a vibrancy and a realism we suspected we have here at Loyola but have not seen in the recent past.

I might add here that those who are concerned that a 3-3 workload, with room for course reductions for a variety of services and extra duties, and is still over-taxing, need to keep in mind that workload and teaching load varies around the University, with much higher expectations in some units. In places where the teaching load is less than 3-3, as in the Law School, teaching loads are predicated on classes with much larger enrollments in the first year especially. Again, my thanks to Dr. Braskamp, Dr. Frendreis, Dr. Slavsky and the other deans for their willingness to address these issues. They are aware that our biggest task is sharing information and coming to a realistic appraisal of the data, before moving into the thornier issues of how to redistribute workload where necessary.

I believe Dr. Braskamp is forming a faculty committee to examine these issues of teaching responsibilities and workload. I would challenge them first to examine the facts, but to move quickly to an examination of ways to support faculty scholarship, research leaves and more efficient ways to deliver the curriculum in order to preserve our historic quality in all programs, graduate and undergraduate, and to increase the perception of fairness in workload.

Part III

While I am speaking of Dr. Braskamp, I want to take this opportunity to thank this man for his service to Loyola. As you know, Dr. Braskamp has decided to step down at the end of this semester. I can attest from working with him closely over the past seven months that this is a man who truly believes in Loyola and the ideals and mission of this institution. I have seen him become excited over the increasing recognition that Loyola offers a superior education and that the Jesuit charism of service and leadership truly and increasingly characterize what we do and the people who work here. I have seen him tackle difficult issues, deal both compassionately and firmly with individuals, and plan for the future of this institution as if his own life and reputation would be based on our success. Dr. Braskamp took over in difficult times, and he did not become despondent nor shrink from what he was asked to do. I appreciate his talent and his dedication to Loyola, and we will miss him. Thank you, Dr. Braskamp, for what you have helped Loyola become. The search for his replacement, which we will call a Provost, is underway and being lead by a faculty committee chaired by Dean Slogoff of the Medical School.

Now, a great deal has happened since September of this academic year. I would like to name a few of these activities and mention the people who have made and continue to make these happen.

Dr. Marge Beane continues to refine with the vice presidents, deans, faculty and staff, the strategic agenda. It will be posted on our website in March in order for you to see how we have phrased the challenges to which we commit ourselves over the next two-and-a-half years. In late January, approximately 65 faculty, administrators and staff spent the day refining the agenda for presentation to the Board of Trustees next month. Nearly every item is being worked on of the nine goals along with the four-to-six strategic initiatives designed to accomplish the nine goals. I will appoint a council of 30 faculty, students, and administrative leaders to monitor the implementation of the strategic agenda.

To give you some idea of how the implementation is already proceeding, let me name a few projects that hold real importance for us. In shaping our undergraduate program in order that it will be increasingly known for its challenging curriculum and for our commitment to leadership and service, faculty in the Magis program, under the direction of Dr. Alan Gitelson, and EVOKE, under the direction of Lucien Roy, will be working more closely with Student Affairs, University Ministry and the Office of the Freshman Dean, under the leadership of Dr. Linda Heath, to examine ways of orienting new students into the opportunities that these and other co-curricular programs can offer. Our goal is to involve all undergraduate students in these programs by the time they graduate. Calls for an examination of the core experiences here at Loyola are increasingly coming from within the faculty ranks and will require that we establish parameters for a discussion of the core and the core experience, which I believe firmly is owned by the faculty. However, tensions are mounting as program options and pressures for widening the choices for students continues to be a reality that cannot be ignored.

Dr. Yost has embarked on discussions of our graduate programs, in cooperation with the Medical Center, and is deliberating how to make the Office of Research Services more accessible and efficient. I appreciate his careful look at how we might take advantage of our strengths in graduate education and his desire to engage faculty in those discussions.

A draft of an academic plan for the water tower campus schools is in development. As many of you have heard, we will be moving some programs down to the water tower campus because their students are non-traditional undergraduate students or because the program is clearly professional or pre-professional in nature. Some Arts and Sciences departments, incidentally, will increasingly offer undergraduate programs and courses at the downtown campus. A large portion of those losses in undergraduate population that I spoke of earlier were students who attended the water tower campus.

Indeed, the water tower campus holds enormous promise for us as we reclaim our historic role in producing many of the professionals who work in Chicago's vibrant professional class. The lawyers, business people, social workers, teachers and school administrators, experts in communications and media, criminal justice, politics and public service, and I could go on, have come from our professional schools as well as from the College and Graduate School. Wayne Magdziarz has worked diligently, not only to sell the Mallinckrodt campus in order to secure for us the resources we need to do some of the work on this campus, but he has also been overseer to the process of developing a master plan for that campus as well as the lakeshore campus. He is so good at his work that I live in fear that a first-rate development firm will steal him from Loyola. To help keep him from ever entertaining that thought, I keep Wayne as busy as possible with no end of projects, things like developing a campus master plan for undergraduate student housing, a plan for a student center and housing complex at the water tower, a plan for the renovation of the Skyscraper Building, and the development of a master plan for how we will help play a role in revitalizing the Rogers Park neighborhood, especially the blocks that surround us here at lakeshore. Since these plans must follow our academic needs and goals, he is busy working with deans at both campuses to make sure we are planning for the future in ways that make sense to Loyola and to our future academic development.

Among the most exciting plans is a plan being developed by the Dean of Arts and Sciences, Dean Yost, and the faculty of our science departments. Dean Slavsky, Dean Yost and others seized on the idea that a new building, long desired and planned for by the biology department, presented us with a unique opportunity to think about serving our undergraduate population, our life science faculty and enhancing opportunities for all our science-related programs. The proposed life sciences building, which is slated for the spot just next door to the Skyscraper Building, and which is now home for our shuttle buses, soon to be put on a regular schedule, I might add, will be the gateway to science education for our undergraduates. That is, the building is being designed to be maximally welcoming to the new science student, to facilitate the student's entry into research and to facilitate collaborations with faculty. By increasing the linkages with computer science and with philosophy, especially ethics, and by greater collaboration with faculty in psychology, anthropology and nursing, Loyola can be a model of how undergraduate science should be taught, that is, how it should never be divorced from an interdisciplinary setting, nor from the values issues that are raised in endless ways. The founding of a center for teaching science under the auspices of the Academic Vice President's Office will bring the School of Education and the College together in promoting better teaching of science at both the elementary and secondary levels. I know of no institution that is as interested as we are in bringing the basic sciences and disciplines like computer science, ethics, and the helping professions that rely heavily on the natural and life sciences together for the undergraduate. Nor do I know of any institution better poised to impact the teaching of science and the cultivation and preparation of the next generation of scientists than Loyola. Our commitment to a broad and challenging core, plus the opportunities for integrating computer sciences, ethics and a host of other possible combinations makes us the appropriate place to attempt this. We are thus addressing a national and a local challenge, and I need not convince you in this auditorium of its importance.

We are gearing up our development efforts to raise the funds we will need to begin this project. In its final stages, the entire life sciences project will involve not only a new building, but renovated classrooms and labs in what we are calling the life sciences triangle: Damen, Flanner, and the proposed new Life Sciences building. You will be hearing more about it in the near future. But, I want to thank Dr. Yost, Dr. Slavsky, Dr. Doering, and the faculty of the biology department for their leadership in this project. The plan for this endeavor will also be presented to the trustees in March.

Many other projects are in various stages of planning, but these have been just a few to communicate to you that we are serious about moving forward into the future with a more disciplined and a more focused style, building on our strengths and on the work of others who have gone before us. I am very appreciative of the support shown by the faculty council, for example, for their diligence and desire to understand, work with and help find solutions for our challenges. We are launching a series of discussions on governance and are about to host several conferences, such as the conference on poverty and the university, one in the fall on the Jesuit mission in higher education today, to name but a few. Thanks to the work of Dr. David Ozar, who has taken the lead in organizing the conference on poverty and the university with a superb faculty committee, this will be a significant event in the life of our institution. The faculty council's conference on the Jesuit mission in higher education next fall also promises to be engaging and important for ourselves and others.

Part IV

Just a few announcements and thanks to several individuals who have served us and served us well. Fr. Reuter, as many of you know will be stepping down and will go out to the Medical Center to continue his ministry within the Loyola family. His leadership of University Ministry has been excellent and will be missed. Dr. Mary Ann McDermott will be leaving her position as director of the Center for Faith and Mission and returning to her position at the School of Nursing. She too has been a significant and stable leader for many years, and I thank her for her service. She will be replaced by Professor Micael Clarke, so Mary Ann's legacy is in good hands. Thank you, Dr. Clarke, for taking over the Center. We are in the process of a search for a Vice President for Mission and Identity who will work with faculty, staff and students on all three campuses through coordination of campus ministry, the Center for Faith and Mission, and various programs that best promote our identity as a Catholic and Jesuit institution.

Dr. Stephen Freedman, the Dean of Mundelein College, as many of you know, is stepping down to become vice president for academic affairs at Gonzaga University in Spokane. He, too, will be missed. A search committee, under the chairmanship of Dr. Linda Salchenberger, is looking for his replacement.

Our Medical Center continues to thrive. Increasing threats from cuts to the Medicaid budget have forced us to cut back on personnel at the center. While 54 positions have been eliminated, the vast majority of these are through not filling open positions. Morale remains high, however, and planning continues on expanding the ambulatory care facilities. Elements of a master capital plan are being put in place for this campus as well.

Finally, last week, 60 individuals, 30 faculty and staff, and 30 student leaders spent the day taking the pulse of Loyola's services and program for students. These individuals talked candidly about their frustrations and their hopes, their disappointments and their dreams for Loyola. We are compiling the results of these deliberations. We are looking at our student affairs programming, the quality of life on campuses, and the places for improvement, and we will spend the next year addressing, with the help of everyone involved, those problems that are within our immediate grasp and power. Some problems clearly call for concerted community interest and action. Let me name but two. Students resent what they call "the Loyola Shuffle," that is, the tendency in offices all over the University to send students with an honest question or need to someone else. The University puts phones and computers on each of our desks: there is little excuse for sending someone elsewhere for a solution or a service when we can at least be sure that the best person to address this issue has been identified and is available. No one can be expected to know the answer to every question let alone be responsible for providing every service. However, a student-focused university cannot tolerate treating its most valuable asset as intrusions or as annoyances. The students are not interrupting our work; they are our work. Besides, this is what makes working at Loyola enjoyable, the chance for all of us to be helpful and to educate.

Second, students are concerned about our availability. They would like to see more of us at their events, participating in their activities and helping out as mentors in their academic and co-curricular life as well. I know that many of you feel stretched, and I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge that most faculty spend a great deal of time with students, and the students appreciate that. I would also be remiss if I did not tell you that they are looking for a community experience that includes you. So, to the extent that you can be involved and are, you are appreciated and admired by them.

I have taken enough of your time. I hope this snapshot of activities and issues has been helpful. I also hope that it increases your faith in this academic community and your admiration for those colleagues who make it possible for us to succeed and to thrive. This exercise has certainly helped do so for me.

Since a venue such as this does not lend itself for a frank discussion, I am open to your input via email, through your dean, or even possibly a forum where a limited number of issues or a single issue can be discussed.

I will close by saying that not only am I grateful for the dedicated and talented people that serve us here at Loyola, faculty, staff and students alike, but I am also excited about the future. I see us turning a corner. The groundwork for this future is being built on the cooperation and enthusiasm so many of you bring to your service here at Loyola each day, in the classroom, meeting room, in your work with students, mentoring and counseling, as well as teaching them. The groundwork for this future is being built on a solid academic reputation for excellence and committed service. In countless small and large ways, so many of you bring pride and honor to this university. I am grateful for all your hard work, your patience and your willingness to chip in and help, to criticize and to cajole, and even to work harder for Loyola in the days ahead.