January 2016

Dear Faculty and Staff:

The students have returned, classes have begun and the campus is once again bustling with activity. With the spring semester newly underway, I am pleased to share with you the following information and updates.

2016 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration

Next week, our campus will come together to mark the life and legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., PhD. This annual celebration, highlighted by service, fellowship and discussion, is a wonderful way for our campus to begin the spring semester and work together toward achieving Dr. King's vision of a strong, vibrant community.

Kicking things off will be a Day of Service on Monday, January 18, when hundreds of Villanovans will make it a day on, not a day off, by volunteering at 25 sites throughout the region. Volunteer registration is available online through Friday, January 15. Other events planned as part of this year's Celebration include a keynote address on January 19 delivered by MK Asante, an author, filmmaker, rapper and professor in the Department of English at Morgan State University. The School of Law is also hosting two events next week as part of the University-wide celebration.

Board of Trustees New Members

The Board of Trustees serves as the governing body of Villanova University. It is comprised of alumni and friends who volunteer their time and expertise to provide critical oversight and guidance for the University. Three new members joined the Villanova University Board of Trustees as of January 1, 2016:

  • Carolyn N. Everson, '93 CLAS, Vice President, Global Marketing Solutions, Facebook, Inc.
  • Doug Gaston, Esq., ’92 VLS, Former Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Comcast Cable Corporation
  • Richard J. Kreider, ’83 VSB, Retired Director, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. LP

Carolyn, Doug and Rich’s vast experience and commitment to Villanova make them true assets to the University community. I look forward to working with them, and the entire Board of Trustees, as we work to ensure Villanova’s continued forward momentum.

Parental Leave Policy Changes

I am happy to report that the Benefits Committee recently recommended, and I approved, expanding the University’s parental leave policy. The federal Family and Medical Leave Act allows 12-weeks of unpaid leave time and Villanova currently offers a paid parental leave benefit of up to six weeks. However, time taken beyond the University-paid six weeks or disability leave is currently unpaid. With this new policy, Villanova now matches the most generous benefit offered by colleges and universities for faculty, and the staff benefit is also much more generous than the vast majority of other institutions.

The following provides an overview of the new policy:

  • All employees are eligible for leave from the date of hire.
  • Leave is available to birth mothers, birth fathers and adoptive parents.
  • For faculty, the period of paid leave increases from six weeks to one semester.
  • For staff, the period of paid leave increases from six weeks to eight weeks.
  • Paid time will no longer come from accrued sick time; it will be provided outright regardless of how much sick leave a faculty or staff member has accumulated.
  • The new policy will be effective on August 24, 2016, the first date of fall semester.

I am pleased to offer these enhancements to our parental leave policy, as creating a healthy work/life balance is an important aspect of our University benefits program. More specific details about the changes will be communicated by Human Resources Department in the near future.

Best wishes to each of you for a successful, rewarding and productive semester, and thank you for your continued commitment to Villanova University!



Fr. Peter Donohue, OSA