Dear Faculty and Staff,
The cold weather and a sparsely populated campus are sure signs that the Holiday Season is upon us. Before we take a break to enjoy time together with family and friends, I wanted to share with you a final update for the semester.
Two weeks ago, I delivered my Annual Address to the University Senate which provided an opportunity for me to share some reflections on our achievements and challenges over the past year. I encourage you to read or view the speech online at the Office of the President website.
We were fortunate to celebrate many accomplishments in 2009 at Villanova University. Whether it was through prominent rankings, published works, awards, championships, individual achievements or group successes, our community worked hard to advance the University and support its mission. And while there is clearly much to be proud of, we must remain committed to working together to address challenges and take advantage of opportunities. As we move forward into 2010, I look forward to collaborating with you to find ways to enhance the experience we offer our students and meet our potential as a community.
At its meeting last week, the Board of Trustees unanimously approved the Villanova University Strategic Plan. The Plan represents more than a year of hard work from many members of our community under the leadership of Steve Fugale, vice president for Technology and chief information officer. Students, faculty, staff, administrators and trustees worked together to identify the goals and how best to provide a framework for our efforts to strengthen the educational experience that distinguishes Villanova.
Those of you who attended the Town Hall Meetings in November had a chance to hear about the Plan, how it has evolved, and how it will be implemented. It is built around five imperatives:
I continue to be very appreciative of your careful stewardship of the University's financial resources. The past year has presented significant challenges to every department as we have cut back on spending and made do with less. There has been a general willingness throughout campus to do what is necessary to help Villanova remain in good financial health which certainly reflects our spirit of community.
While there continues to be a measure of uncertainty about the extent of an economic recovery, we remain cautiously optimistic moving forward. Positive indications in the economy combined with strong enrollment and prudent financial practices across campus led to the lifting of the hiring freeze for open faculty positions earlier in the Fall. These positive indicators continue to be a source of encouragement. Therefore I am pleased to announce that, effective January 4, 2010, I will be lifting the hiring freeze for vacant staff positions.
It is important to note that this is not a complete lifting of the hiring freeze. Rather, we are allowing departments to fill vacant budgeted positions to address critical staffing needs. We are still committed to both ensuring that our University is operating effectively and efficiently and to moving forward in a careful and prudent manner during these challenging times.
Your contributions throughout the year contribute to the spirit of Truth, Unity and Love that defines the Villanova University Community. Best wishes to each of you and your families for a Merry Christmas, a Happy Holiday Season, and a New Year filled with peace and good health.