January 2014

Dear Faculty and Staff:

Welcome back! As we mark the beginning to the Spring 2014 semester, I am pleased to share with you the following information and updates.

Register Now for the Seventh Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

I am pleased that the beginning of each semester at Villanova is highlighted by a Day of Service in partnership with organizations and schools throughout the region. Next Monday, January 20, hundreds of members of the Villanova community will come together for the seventh annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. Volunteer registration is available online through Wednesday, January 15, so sign up now for this powerful and positive way to start the year. Visit the Center for Peace and Justice Education website to learn more about the other events planned as part of this year's Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration, including the keynote speech on January 21 and  Freedom School on January 23.

Manage Your Health and Wellness in 2014

Annual health screenings for faculty and staff will be held on campus the weeks of January 21st and January 27th. Completion of these screenings and a personal health assessment (PHA) qualifies you for premium incentives on your medical benefits for fiscal year 2015. In addition, participating faculty, staff and spouses will have an opportunity to receive a $200 VISA gift card by taking action to improve their health through the NOVAfit! Points based program. This new feature extends the program to incorporate rewards for taking action to improve your health in 2014.

In December, the 2014 Wellness Program Guide was sent that highlights everything currently available to you through the NOVAfit! program, including the NOVAfit! points, PHA and health screening process. I encourage you to take the time to become aware of everything that our NOVAfit! wellness program has to offer. Further details regarding this program can be found on the Health Screening Information page of the HR website.

Announcing the Launch of the Diversity and Inclusion Website

I am proud to announce the launch of the new diversity and inclusion website, www.villanova.edu/diversity. The website has been designed to celebrate what makes each of us different and what brings us together as a community by highlighting the wide range of student initiatives, cultural organizations, academic programs, faculty research, service programs, and invited speakers on campus. It demonstrates our intellectual and civic commitment to the topic of diversity, illustrates the work we do on campus that connects us to diverse communities near and far, and provides each of us with opportunities to learn more and grow in our understanding of differences.

Inclusivity and diversity are important components of the Villanova story. I encourage you to peruse this site and become more involved with inclusion initiatives at our University.

Introducing Leyda L. Benitez, University Compliance Officer

I am pleased to announce that Leyda L. Benitez has joined Villanova University in the newly created position of Compliance Officer. In this role, Leyda will be responsible for the day-to-day coordination of compliance efforts regarding the policies of the University and external organizations, including requirements of federal, state and local laws, as well as encouraging the highest ethical standards of conduct for those who represent the University and act on its behalf. She will report to me and the Audit and Risk Committee of the Board of Trustees, and will work closely with offices throughout the University to build on existing compliance practices. The Office of University Compliance will be located in Tolentine Hall, Room 205.

Leyda joins Villanova from Florida International University in Miami where most recently she served as the Senior University Counsel for Compliance, Governance and Knowledge Management. In that role, she was responsible for advising on new laws and trends impacting the institution and higher education generally with the objective of better enterprise management of legal obligations and regulatory requirements.  She also was the institution's founding University Compliance and Privacy Officer and was responsible for the design and maintenance of the its compliance and ethics program for over nine years. In addition, Leyda served as the Associate General Counsel at Baptist Health South Florida from 1999 to 2004 and as the Assistant General Counsel at the University of Miami from 1991 through 1999. 

Leyda is admitted to the Bar in Florida and New York, and is an active member of the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics and the National Association of College and University Attorneys. She received her Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, from Yale University and her Juris Doctor from the Columbia University School of Law.

Please join me on Friday, January 24 from 4-6 p.m. in the Presidents' Lounge in the Connelly Center for an informal reception to officially welcome Leyda to Villanova.

May 2014 be a successful, rewarding and productive year for each of you. Thank you for all that you do for Villanova!



Fr. Peter Donohue, OSA