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President Victor's State of the College Address

STATE OF THE COLLEGE SPEECH
ALUMNI WEEKEND
OCTOBER 6, 2007
 
GOOD MORNING AND WELCOME HOME. “WHAT IS THE STATE OF OUR COLLEGE?” I AM PROUD TO SAY THE STATE OF THE COLLEGE IS OUTSTANDING!
 
LET ME SHARE SOME GOOD NEWS ABOUT OUR COLLEGE AND COMMEND THE FACULTY AND STAFF FOR A JOB WELL DONE. THIS PAST YEAR HAS BEEN A YEAR OF RECORD ACHIEVEMENTS FOR LAKE ERIE COLLEGE. 
 
LET ME BEGIN TODAY WITH A NOTE I RECEIVED FROM A STUDENT WHO RETURNED FROM OUR INTERNATIONAL STUDY ABROAD PROGRAM. HE SAYS “DEAR PRESIDENT VICTOR…THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME THE OPPORTUNITY TO TRAVEL. IT WAS DEFINITELY THE MOST EXCITING MOMENT OF MY LIFE. I HAVE LEARNED SO MUCH. MY PROFESSOR HAS BEEN THE MOST INSPIRING PROFESSOR I HAVE HAD IN COLLEGE…SHE PLANNED A THOROUGH STUDY TRIP. I THINK THAT OTHERS WOULD BENEFIT VERY MUCH FROM SIMILAR TRIPS IN THE FUTURE. I AM A FORMER HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUT WHO NEVER THOUGHT I’D AMOUNT TO ANYTHING, AND NOW, THANKS TO YOU AND THE REST OF THE LAKE ERIE COLLEGE FACULTY AND STAFF, I’LL GRADUATE, IF ALL GOES WELL, IN MAY. I HAD MY DOUBTS ABOUT LAKE ERIE COLLEGE WHEN I FOUND OUT THEY WERE GETTING A NEW PRESIDENT AND THEN A FOOTBALL TEAM. WELL, I CAN PROUDLY SAY THIS NOW, WELCOME PRESIDENT VICTOR AND GO STORM!”
 
LADIES AND GENTLEMAN, THIS LETTER IS WHAT WE ARE REALLY ALL ABOUT.
 
IN THE AREA OF ADMISSIONS, I AM PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THAT WE HAVE A RECORD FRESHMAN CLASS THIS YEAR OF 355. OVER THE LAST YEAR, WE RECEIVED OVER 1400 APPLICATI ONS WHICH IS ABOUT A 100 PERCENT INCREASE OVER THE PRIOR YEAR. THIS MAKES LAKE ERIE COLLEGE HIGHLY SELECTIVE WHEN THERE ARE A LIMITED NUMBER OF SEATS AVAILABLE. ROUGHLY ONE OUT OF EVERY FOUR STUDENTS WHO APPLIED GOT IN- AND STOOD OUT. AN INTERESTING ASIDE IS THAT WE ARE SEEING A STEADY INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF APPLICATIONS FROM PRESTIGIOUS PREPARATORY AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS. IN FACT, AND I BELIEVE THIS IS FITTING…WE HAVE ENROLLED OUR FIRST MALE STUDENT FROM WESTERN RESERVE ACADEMY – WHICH IS A TOP 10 PREPATORY SCHOOL. AND, ANOTHER FIRST AND NEW RECORD, WE HAD A WAITING LIST OF STUDENTS FOR THIS FALL. 
 
ANOTHER RECORD – WE BELIEVE THIS IS THE MOST GEOGRAPHICALLY DIVERSE CLASS AS THE APPLICATIONS ARE FROM 33 STATES AND FIVE COUNTRIES. STUDENTS THAT HAVE ENROLLED IN THE INCOMING CLASS REPRESENT 21 STATES AND FOUR COUNTRIES. THEY HAVE SELECTED THE FOLLOWING TOP FIVE MAJORS: EQUINE STUDIES, EDUCATION, SPORTS MANAGEMENT, BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION AND PRE-HEALTH PROFESSIONS. THIS DIVERSITY IN MAJORS IS A POSITIVE SIGN AND SPEAKS TO A GROWING BASE OF APPEALING ACADEMIC PROGRAMS THAT WE OFFER.
 
ANOTHER RECORD – TO DATE, WE HAVE 170 MALE STUDENTS IN THIS FRESHMAN CLASS VS. JUST 60 A YEAR AGO. 81 OF THESE STUDENTS ARE FOOTBALL PLAYERS. (DID I MENTION OUR FOOTBALL TEAM IS 4 AND 1?) AND, WE EVEN BEAT HIRAM, CASE WESTERN RESERVE AND OHIO WESLEYAN!) FOR THE FIRST TIME IN OUR HISTORY, THERE ARE 55 PERCENT MEN AND 45 PERCENT WOMEN IN THE INCOMING CLASS. LADIES AND GENTLEMAN, IF YOU HAVEN’T NOTICED, THE MEN HAVE ARRIVED AT LAKE ERIE COLLEGE THIS FALL AND, BOY, ARE THEY BIG AND BOY DO THEY EAT A LOT! 
 
ANOTHER RECORD – WE HAVE MORE STUDENTS REQUESTING A RESIDENTIAL EXPERIENCE ON CAMPUS THAN EVER IN OUR HISTORY – OUR ON-CAMPUS AND OFF-CAMPUS OPTIONS ARE MAXXED OUT. THE STAFF DID A GREAT JOB OF FINDING CREATIVE WAYS TO ACCOMMODATE EACH AND EVERY STUDENT WHO WANTED A ROOM.
 
IN ADDITION, WE ARE ADDING WOMEN’S AND MEN’S LACROSSE TEAMS IN THE NEAR FUTURE AND WE HOPE TO HIT THE FIELD IN 2009. THIS, TOO, WILL BOLSTER OUR RECRUITMENT EFFORTS AND ATTRACT NEW STUDENTS TO LAKE ERIE COLLEGE.
 
ON THE FINANCIAL FRONT, WE HAD THE LARGEST SURPLUS EVER IN THE HISTORY OF THE COLLEGE THIS PAST YEAR – A RECORD. I AM PLEASED TO SAY THIS SURPLUS WILL BE REINVESTED INTO ACADEMIC PROGRAMS AND STAFFING. THIS YEAR’S GROSS OPERATING BUDGET INCREASED BY 17 PERCENT AND WILL BE IN EXCESS OF $22 MILLION AND OUR ECONOMIC IMPACT IN THE REGION IS EVEN LARGER. OUR ENDOWMENT FUNDS REACHED RECORD LEVELS THIS PAST YEAR - $35 MILLION TO $40 MILLION DEPENDING UPON THE MARKET SWINGS. AS SOON AS LAKE HOSPITAL MOVES TO CONCORD, LAKE ERIE COLLEGE WILL BE THE SECOND LARGEST EMPLOYER IN PAINESVILLE NEXT TO THE CITY AND COUNTY GOVERNMENTS.
 
WE HAVE BEEN ENGAGED IN A RECORD NUMBER OF RENOVATION AND CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS INCLUDING, BUT SURELY NOT LIMITED TO THE NEW LEARNING FACILITIES AT THE EQUESTRIAN CENTER, COLLEGE HALL, THE FINE AND PERFORMING ARTS BUILDING, AUSTIN SCIENCE HALL, THE MANOR HOUSE, THE FOOTBALL LOCKER ROOM AT JACK BRITT STADIUM, PARKING SPACES AND THE GROUNDS OF ALL OF OUR FINE FACILITIES (AND FLOWERS AND GREEN GRASS!).
 
ON TO ACADEMICS AND THE FACULTY. OUR COLLEGE IS FORTUNATE, INDEED, TO HAVE A GROUP OF INNOVATIVE AND DEDICATED INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE CHOSEN THE PATH TO TEACH OUR STUDENTS AND SHARE THEIR KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCES. 
 
I AM PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE WE HAVE A NEW VICE PRESIDENT OF ACADEMIC AFFAIRS AND DEAN OF THE COLLEGE, DR. RICHARD SAX. SINCE MAY, DR. SAX HAS ALREADY MET WITH THE FACULTY TO IMPLEMENT THEIR OUTSTANDING IDEAS FOR NEW ACADEMIC PROGRAMS FOR THE COLLEGE. ONE NEW COURSE IMPLEMENTED FOR THE FALL, IS ARABIC I THROUGH A SPECIAL PARTNERSHIP WITH THE DISTANCE LEARNING CONSORTIUM. OUR STUDENTS WILL PARTICIPATE IN SIMULTANEOUS LEARNING WITH STUDENTS AT OTHER OHIO UNIVERSITIES – A FIRST AT LAKE ERIE COLLEGE. LAST DECEMBER THE COLLEGE WAS AWARDED A $1.3 MILLION DOLLAR GRANT FROM THE BURTON D. MORGAN AND EWING MARION KAUFFMAN FOUNDATIONS TO ESTABLISH THE ‘PUT YOUR PASS ION TO WORK’ ENTREPRENEURSHIP INITIATIVE CREATED BY DEAN ROBERT TREBAR. THIS WAS THE LARGEST GRANT RECEIVED IN THE HISTORY OF THE COLLEGE – ANOTHER RECORD. THERE WERE ONLY FIVE COLLEGES IN THE NATION THAT RECEIVED THIS GRANT AND YOUR ALMA MATER WAS ONE OF THEM. THIS PROGRAM WILL GIVE OUR STUDENTS CUTTING – EDGE SKILLS IN THE WORKING WORLD BY OFFERING CLASSES AND HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE WITH ENTREPRENEURSHIP. ERNST AND YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNER, TIM MCCARTHY, HAS AGREED TO BE ONE OF OUR ENTREPRENEURS IN RESIDENCE. THIS PROGRAM IS GOING TO BE, IN MY WORDS, TOP NOTCH.
 
ANOTHER NEW PROGRAM IS THE ACCELERATED MBA PROGRAM WHERE A STUDENT CAN EARN AN MBA DEGREE IN ONLY 11 MONTHS. WE ARE ALSO PLEASED TO OFFER THE EQUINE ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEGREE – THE FIRST OF ITS KIND IN THE NATION – AND ANOTHER RECORD. ADDITIONALLY, MBA CLASSES ARE NOW BEING OFFERED AT TWO ON-SITE LOCATIONS OF THE PARKER HANNIFIN CORPORATION – THE CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS IN MAYFIELD HEIGHTS AND THE GAS TURBINE DIVISION IN MENTOR.  
 
IN THE NEXT MONTH, WE WILL BE SIGNING AN ARTICULATION AGREEMENT WITH THE DUQUESNE UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW THAT WILL ALLOW OUR STUDENTS TO COMPLETE THREE YEARS OF WORK HERE AND THREE YEARS THERE AND HAVE AN UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE AS WELL AS A JURIS DOCTORATE. THIS IS ONE OF THE FEW PROGRAMS OF ITS KIND IN THE STATE OF OHIO. WE HAVE ALSO SIGNED A SIMILAR AGREEMENT WITH THE NORTHEASTERN OHIO UNIVERSITIES COLLEGE OF PHARMACY AS WELL.
 
WE ARE ALSO ADVERTISING FOR 14 NEW FACULTY POSITIONS TO ACCOMMODATE OUR GROWING STUDENT BODY AND EXPECT ALL OF THESE POSITIONS TO BE FILLED BY THE FALL OF 2008.
 
THESE ARE JUST A FEW EXAMPLES OF THE MANY SUCCESSES IN THE AREA OF ACADEMICS. IN MY OPINION, EVERY ONE OF OUR FACULTY MEMBERS SHOULD WIN THE EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING AWARD AT GRADUATION.
 
IN THE AREA OF INSTITUTIONAL ADVANCEMENT, WE ARE PLEASED TO REPORT ANOTHER RECORD - RECORD LEVELS OF FUNDRAISING AND UNPRECEDENTED LEVELS OF PUBLICITY. SINCE JULY 1ST OF LAST YEAR, WE HAVE RECEIVED $11 MILLION DOLLARS IN GIFTS AND COMMITMENTS. OUR ANNUAL FUND CAMPAIGN FOR THE YEAR ENDED ON JUNE 30 WITH MORE THAN $877,000 IN CONTRIBUTIONS – ANOTHER RECORD AND MORE THAN $160,000 OVER OUR GOAL. 
 
I AM PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE TODAY ANOTHER RECORD IN FUNDRAISING TODAY – IT IS SIGNIFICANT AND HISTORICAL. LADIES AND GENTLEMAN, WE ARE PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE WE HAVE SECURED A $4 MILLION GIFT FROM AN ANONYMOUS DONOR. THIS IS, INDEED, THE LARGEST GIFT THE COLLEGE HAS EVER RECEIVED. 
 
THIS GIFT REPRESENTS MORE THAN HALF OF THE PROJECT FUNDS NECESSARY TO COMPLETE THE AUSTIN SCIENCE HALL RENOVATION. MANY OF YOU WERE STUDENTS WHEN THIS FACILITY WAS BUILT AND NOW YOU WILL SEE THIS BUILDING TRANSFORMED INTO A NEW SPACE WITH A GEORGIAN FACADE THAT WILL HOST STATE OF THE ART CLASSROOMS AND LABORIATORIES FOR THE LIFE AND SOCIAL SCIENCES. STAY TUNED FOR MORE INFORMATION. WE ARE GRATEFUL TO THESE GENEROUS BENEFACTORS WHO WISH TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS. THEIR EXAMPLE IN PHILANTHROPY WE HOPE WILL INSPIRE OTHERS.
 
OTHER GOOD NEWS IN ADVANCEMENT - OUR INCREASED PUBLIC AWARENESS AND INCREASE IN STUDENT APPLICATIONS IS DUE IN NO SMALL PART TO THE EXTENSIVE MARKETING CAMPAIGN WE BEGAN A YEAR AGO USING RADIO AND BILLBOARDS. THE RESULTS (IN INQUIRIES AND CAMPUS VISITS) SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES – ALL WERE AT RECORD LEVELS. GOING FORWARD, WE WILL CONTINUE TO IMPLEMENT SIMILAR MARKETING STRATEGIES; HOWEVER, THEY WILL BE MORE FOCUSED BILLBOARDS FEATURING OUR OUTSTANDING ACADEMIC PROGRAMS AND GRADUATES.
 
WE ARE ALSO PROUD THAT LAKE ERIE COLLEGE HAS BEEN FEATURED IN STORIES IN THE NEWS HERALD, LAKE COUNTY BUSINESS JOURNAL, THE PLAIN DEALER, THE AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH AND USA TODAY. THE STORY OF LAKE ERIE COLLEGE HAS REACHED AS FAR AS SOUTH AMERICA, SCANDINAVIA, CAMBODIA, THE MIDDLE EAST AND EVEN CHINA. 
 
TELEVISION HAS DISCOVERED LAKE ERIE, WITH STORIES ON CLEVELAND CHANNELS 3, 5 AND 8 AND THE FOX NEWS SHOW ‘STUDIO B WITH SHEPARD SMITH.’ AND LAST, BUT MOST CERTAINLY NOT LEAST, LAKE ERIE COLLEGE APPEARED IN A FEATURE ARTICLE IN THE US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT’S 2008 EDITION OF AMERICA’S BEST COLLEGES – A FIRST - AND WE WERE NAMED ONE OF THE PRINCETON REVIEW’S BEST MIDWESTERN COLLEGES FOR 2008!
 
NEXT, OUR GOALS. WHERE ARE WE GOING? THE FOLLOWING ARE ONLY A FEW OF THE ITEMS THAT I AM ENCOURAGING AND I AM ANTICIPATING WILL BE ADDRESSED BY THE STRATEGIC PLANNING COMMITTEE IN THE COMING MONTHS. OUR PLAN AND THE RECOMMENDATIONS FROM VARIOUS COMMITTEES FROM THE BEGINNING WAS TO GROW ENROLLMENT TO 1200 FULL-TIME STUDENTS AND NO MORE THAN 1500 STUDENTS TOTAL IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS ALLOWING US TO GROW AND REMAIN HIGHLY SELECTIVE. ACHIEVING THIS BENCHMARK WILL ALSO GIVE US ADDED FINANCIAL STRENGTH AND PROVIDE THE RESOURCES NECESSARY TO CONTINUE TO OFFER CUTTING EDGE PROGRAMS AND DELIVER A HIGH QUALITY EXPERIENCE FOR OUR STUDENTS. WE WILL CONTINUE TO INCREASE THE ACADEMIC REPUTATION OF OUR INSTITUTION, RENOVATE OUR HISTORIC CAMPUS, CREATE A SAFER CAMPUS ENVIRONMENT, AND OBTAIN EVEN MORE CHARITABLE SUPPORT FROM OUR ALUMNI AND FRIENDS. 
 
LOOKING AHEAD, I HAVE ASKED THE COLLEGE COMMUNITY TO CONSIDER THE TOP TEN LIST OF NEEDS AND ISSUES FOR HUMANITY FOR THE NEXT FIFTY YEARS. THESE NEEDS WERE DETERMINED BY DR. R.E. SMALLEY OF RICE UNIVERSITY, AND PROVIDED TO ME BY THE VICE CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD, DANA DENNIS FROM THE CLASS OF 1976. THE NEEDS ARE:
  • ENERGY
  • FOOD
  • WATER
  • ENVIRONMENT
  • POVERTY
  • TERRORISM
  • DISEASE
  • EDUCATION
  • DEMOCRACY
  • POPULATION
 
AGAIN, WHAT CAN WE DO WITHIN OUR MISSION TO ADDRESS THESE NEEDS AND ISSUES OF HUMANITY?
 
LADIES AND GENTLEMAN, IN MY OPINION, “WE” HAVE TURNED THIS COLLEGE AND PUT IT ON A NEW AND EXTRAORDINARY PATH IN ONE YEAR – NOT TOO SHABBY. HERE IS HOW I KNOW WE ARE MAKING PROGRESS:
·        A RECORD YEAR IN ADMISSIONS
·        A RECORD CLASS WITH STUDENTS WHO ARE SMART, RESIDENTIAL, GENDER-BALANCED AND HAVE DIVERSE ACADEMIC INTERESTS
·        A RECORD LEVEL OF REINVESTMENT INTO OUR INFRASTRUCTURE AND PROGRAMS
·        A RECORD LEVEL OPERATING BUDGET
·        RECORD LEVEL FUNDRAISING
·        RECORD LEVEL AWARENESS AND PRESS COVERAGE
·        A CAMPUS RESTORED TO ITS ORIGINAL BEAUTY AND SPLENDOR
·        PLANS FOR NEW CONSTRUCTION THAT GENERATES EXCITEMENT AMONG STUDENTS, PARENTS, DONORS AND OUR COMMUNITY
·        NEW ACADEMIC PROGRAMS THAT WILL ADD TO OUR REPUTATION AND SUSTAIN US AS A INSTITUTION OF HIGHER LEARNING
·        AN INCREASED INTEREST IN ALL OF OUR ATHLETIC PROGRAMS DUE IN NO SMALL PART TO THE ADDITION OF FOOTBALL
·        TOWN/GOWN RELATIONS THAT ARE AT AN ALL-TIME HIGH
·        A NEW ESPRIT DE CORP AMONG THE FACULTY AND STAFF WHOM ARE ABSOLUTLEY ENERGIZED AND COMMITTED
 
WE ARE, INDEED, FORTUNATE TO REPORT THESE SUCCESSES TODAY. WE ARE JUST BEGINNING THIS JOURNEY AND THE NEXT 150 YEARS OF LAKE ERIE COLLEGE TOGETHER. OUR FUTURE IS, INDEED, VERY BRIGHT. 
 
LET ME CLOSE WITH A FEW WORDS FROM DR. PAUL WEAVER IN HIS MESSAGE TO THE CLASS OF 1967 THAT APPEARED IN THE TIBER YEARBOOK 40 YEARS AGO. “I HOPE YOUR YEARS AT LAKE ERIE COLLEGE HAVE BEEN HAPPY AND PROFITABLE ONES, AND THAT THEY HAVE FORTIFIED YOU TO MEET THE FUTURE WITH CONFIDENCE AND COURAGE. MAY THIS (YEAR BOOK INSPIRE YOUR LOYALTY, AND CAPTURE FOR YOU THE ENTHUSIASMS OF THE HAPPY DAYS RECORDED.”
 
I THANK ALL OF YOU FOR ALL THAT YOU  DO FOR OUR COLLEGE AND FOR GIVING ME THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE WITH YOU TODAY. IT IS MY HOPE AND GOAL TO CONTINUE TO MAKE YOU PROUD OF YOUR ALMA MATER . 
 
THANK YOU.
Note: This is a news archive and may contain outdated information.


 

   
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