Fall Semester Update

Dear Faculty and Staff,

It is hard to believe that another summer has passed, but our campus is already abuzz with the return of familiar faces and the arrival of new ones. As the fall semester is set to begin, I would like to take this opportunity to update you on several key initiatives at the University:

Staff Compensation Review Project

As the Human Resources department prepares for implementation of the new staff compensation program, I wanted to update you on the final stages of this important project.

The University has set aside $1.3 million over the next two years to make salary adjustments necessary to ensure that staff and administrators are paid appropriately. This new program, consisting of ten salary bands, is designed to be market-competitive and reflect the roles and responsibilities of jobs within the University. Approximately 20% of staff will receive a salary adjustment in the first year of implementation. When combined with the increase in the minimum Villanova wage that was implemented in 2007, nearly 40% of our staff and administrators will have received a market adjustment salary increase over the last two years. If you are receiving a salary adjustment, your supervisor will inform you during the last two weeks of August and a letter will be mailed to your home.

All staff and administrators will receive a letter with their new salary band assignment by the end of September. Since understanding the new program is critical to its success, training sessions will be held for managers and supervisors during September. In addition, a compensation program website will be available for employees to access by the end of September. In the meantime, the Human Resources Department has posted a Compensation Review Project Recap online for your review.

This project is just one element of the University’s efforts to assess the overall compensation and benefits our employees receive. Villanova is committed to being competitive by providing a work environment that attracts and retains the best employees.

Update on the University Strategic Planning Process

I am pleased to report that progress continues to be made on the development of a comprehensive University Strategic Plan. In my April email, I noted that a Steering Committee comprised of faculty, staff, and administrators had been established to facilitate the strategic planning process and that McKinsey & Company was retained to work with Villanova on this important initiative. With input from the Board of Trustees, these groups have been meeting regularly to move the process forward.

The planning process is still in its early phases and no final decisions have been made about our strategic visions and goals. However these discussions have made it apparent that instead of a five year plan, we should be working to develop a plan to guide Villanova over the next ten years. This extended time period will allow for a more effective implementation plan and better alignment to anticipated strategic goals.

As part of the process, we have been engaging stakeholders from across the university community in both meetings and focus groups. This includes the President’s Cabinet and the Deans and members of the faculty, staff, students, alumni and the Board of Trustees as well as interviews with other universities, employers, parents, prospective students and external higher education experts.

In the months ahead, this process will expand to include many more of you. If you are interested in participating in a conversation about the strategy in a focus group discussion, please contact Steve Fugale, Chief Information Officer and Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, at stephen.fugale@villanova.edu.

Part of the process will include aligning the Campus Master Plan (and any other departmental or college plans) with the University Strategic Plan. While there is nothing specific to share at this time, it is my intention to keep the Villanova community regularly updated on this initiative throughout the coming months. Our goal is to complete the strategic planning process in early 2009.

Campus Master Plan Update

As you know, the Campus Master Plan has been in development since 2007. I want to personally thank everyone who has spent time on this project and who has provided thoughts and comments. Without your efforts, we would not be as far along as we are today.

The next step is to share Final Recommendations with the Board of Trustees in October. Even as these Final Recommendations continue to take shape, we are still working to ensure that this plan can effectively serve as a roadmap for improvement of the campus over the next several decades.

An important part of the planning efforts is our cooperation and close coordination with Radnor Township. Villanova is committed to being a valued neighbor to nearby residents and a good citizen of the Township.

The planning process has included numerous committees of students, faculty, and staff combined with input from the Board of Trustees. These conversations have formed the framework for our planning efforts. This Fall, I will schedule a “town-hall” discussion for students, faculty, and staff to provide an opportunity for the Villanova University community to discuss the concepts outlined in the plan.

You will be notified when the next report reflecting the Final Recommendations is available for your review as well as when the “town-hall” discussion will take place. As always, please feel free to review the reports online at the Campus Master Plan Website and direct any questions or comments to: masterplan@villanova.edu.

Reception to Greet Mike O'Neill, Vice President for University Advancement

I invite the faculty and staff to join me at an informal reception to officially welcome Mike O’Neill, Villanova’s new Vice President for University Advancement. The reception will take place Tuesday, September 2 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Presidents’ Lounge in the Connelly Center. I look forward to seeing you there.

In your work here at Villanova, each of you serves as a mentor to our students and as a representative of the values we hold dear as a community. As we welcome the Class of 2012 into the Villanova community this week and welcome back the returning students, I encourage each of you find new ways to embrace our mission and breathe life into our Augustinian ideals of Veritas, Unitas, and Caritas.

Best wishes for a great semester.

image of president's signature
Rev. Peter M. Donahue, O.S.A., President