A Message from the President - April 2013

April 8, 2013

Dear Faculty and Staff:


The spring and Easter breaks are behind us and the temperatures are finally starting to match the season. With the semester moving quickly toward completion, I am pleased to share with you the following information and updates.


Key Items From the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget

At its February 12, 2013 meeting, the Villanova University Board of Trustees approved the Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) budget which includes an increase of 4% for tuition, room and board. The budget also includes an 8.5% increase in institution-funded undergraduate financial assistance as compared to the projected total for the current year. Villanova now provides nearly $83 million in undergraduate financial assistance from its operations, an increase of $18.7 million over the past four years. I invite you to read a letter recently sent to parents of students for more information about the increases to tuition, room and board and financial assistance.

The FY14 budget establishes a salary pool for merit based raises at 2.5%. The budget also contains an additional allocation of $1 million to increase faculty salaries based upon the results of the most recent faculty compensation study. Combined with a $1 million adjustment made in the current fiscal year, a total adjustment of $2 million will be made to faculty salaries as a result of the study. In addition, the budget includes an allocation of $500,000 to support increased staffing in the Advancement Office as part of the University’s Strategic Plan, and an allocation of $350,000 to establish a University Compliance Office.

A reserve of $6.3 million also was established in the budget for FY14. As I indicated in my Opening Address to the Villanova Community in August, an uncertain economy and an evolving educational landscape are challenges that our University and the higher education sector continue to face. Establishing this reserve and maintaining our shared, campus-wide commitment to managing resources wisely will provide critical financial flexibility as we move forward.


Wellness Fair Scheduled

Over the past two years, Villanova has expanded wellness program offerings for faculty and staff. Aggregate data from the 2012 health screening campaign showed that body weight, blood pressure and stress were the three key conditions that most impact our population. It is for this reason, that the University has expanded programming under the NOVAfit! brand. I encourage you to visit the Wellness Fair on Tuesday April, 16 to find out more about what the University has to offer. The fair will be held in the Villanova Room at the Connelly Center from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Further details can be found on the wellness events section of the Human Resources website.


You're Invited to Participate in Leveling Las Vegas

This is a busy time of year with many events scheduled across campus. I try to attend as many as I can and am always impressed with the number of faculty and staff who make time to support our students. Every event is important but I would like to use this message to highlight a fundraiser organized by Level, a student group focused on raising able-ism awareness and changing attitudes on ability. In the past two years, students involved with Level have provided more than ten thousand hours of service to fellow classmates registered in the Office of Disability Services. Targeting academics, social interaction, and physical barriers, the group is working to level the playing field for all Villanova students.

On Monday, April 22 at 7 p.m., Level invites the Villanova community to take part in Leveling Las Vegas, a casino-themed fundraiser in The Pavilion. Proceeds will provide financial assistance, scholarships and support for more inclusive activities such as retreats or service projects—opportunities that every Villanovan should have the chance to experience. Follow this link for more information and to purchase tickets. I hope to see you there!


National Walk @ Lunch Day: April 24

Walking is one of the simplest, safest and most effective forms of exercise, but it can be hard to find time in our busy schedules to participate in physical activity. As a community, we want to encourage physical activity as part of the daily routine. Therefore, Villanova once again will partner with Independence Blue Cross to participate in National Walk @ Lunch Day on Wednesday, April 24. There are two walks scheduled—at 12 p.m. and 1 p.m.—that will leave from the Oreo and follow the walking trail through campus. There will be a brief program before the 12 p.m. walk that will officially kickoff the University’s spring walking program, called NOVAfit! Race the East 2013. Visit the wellness events section of the Human Resources website for further details and to register.


Summer Hours for Employees

The weather is finally getting warmer and summer soon will be upon us. To help our employees and departments plan, I am pleased to announce that Summer Hours again will be offered this year. Full-time staff employees will have the opportunity for early dismissal at 12 p.m. each Friday beginning May 24 and concluding August 9.

Summer Hours are an important component of the University’s commitment to helping employees maintain a work/life balance. I recognize that many departments on campus will not be able to follow this policy exactly as outlined, especially those with 24/7 operations or those with heavy workloads during the summer months. In these cases, my expectation is that department managers will find a way to honor the spirit of this policy by identifying other appropriate opportunities for their employees to achieve the work/life balance intended by the Summer Hours. Please remember that in all cases, the needs of our students and internal and external communities must continue to be served in an exemplary fashion.

I encourage you to visit the Summer Hours policy posted on the Human Resources website for additional information and for a list of the Fridays included in this year’s schedule. Please contact your supervisor or the Human Resources Department should you have any questions.


I am pleased to use my messages to share with you information and opportunities that highlight why Villanova is such a great place to work. The cabinet and the Human Resources department have worked hard over the past few years to improve the benefits we offer with an emphasis upon improving wellness and work-life balance. I have received positive feedback from many faculty and staff on these efforts and am happy to report that others are noticing, too. The American Heart Association recently awarded Villanova its Fit-Friendly Award for a second time while the Philadelphia Business Journal has recognized the University as one of the healthiest employers in Greater Philadelphia. This is great recognition that we can build on as we continue to work together to improve the health and wellness of our community.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy spring.

Sincerely,


file

Fr. Peter Donohue, O.S.A.
President