A Message from the President - May 2012

Dear Faculty and Staff:

As summer officially sets-in on campus, I am pleased to share with you the following information and updates.

Commencement 2012 - Thank You!
The perfect weather and our beautiful campus combined to provide a wonderful backdrop for Commencement activities this weekend. Each event helped create memories that will last a lifetime for the Class of 2012.

Commencement annually is the largest event that we host on campus and planning begins well in advance to ensure that every event, every experience will be positive for our graduates and their families. I received many compliments throughout the weekend from our guests and I was proud to deflect the credit to you, Villanova’s dedicated staff and faculty. Many members of our community work together to make Commencement a success and while there are too many thank individually, I would like to single out a few departments whose staffs worked very long hours to provide an enjoyable, safe, and fun weekend: Athletics Facilities, the Connelly Center, Creative Services, Dining Services, Facilities Management, the Office of the Registrar, Public Safety and UNIT. My sincere thanks to these departments and to everyone who contributed to making Commencement so memorable for the Class of 2012 and their families.

My office already has received many requests for copies of the Commencement Address delivered by Dr. Shriver. An archive of the Commencement webcast is available online with Dr. Shriver's speech beginning at roughly 50:45. We hope to post the text soon. I also invite you to review online photo galleries from the various Commencement events. Please use the password VUclass12 to access the photos.

Results from the Community Climate Survey
I am pleased to share with you the results of our 2011 Community Climate Survey. The response rate was 46%, with 1,256 Villanovans completing and returning the survey. It is extremely important to me to hear your thoughts and views, and I thank you for taking the time to share them. As promised, the data will be studied, shared, and utilized.

In comparing the new data with earlier surveys, I am encouraged to learn that the University is moving in the right direction with improved ratings in many areas. You show a widespread understanding of our mission, goals, and values, and report that you contribute to and enjoy working at Villanova.

The survey also highlights several areas where attention is needed, such as decision-making processes, and morale within certain areas. The Cabinet is reviewing University-wide data to target opportunities for improvement. At the same time, the heads of offices and colleges listed on the survey will be reviewing their respective results to discuss strengths and examine areas for enhancement.

The full report and summary highlights can be viewed on the Office of the President tab on the myNOVA portal. The full report includes an item by item analysis of the survey divided into academic and co-curricular respondents.

Paper copies of the report are available for faculty and staff in the reserve rooms of Falvey Library and the Law School Library, and in the offices of Facilities Management, Dining Services and Public Safety. Copies of the highlights will be distributed to those who do not have regular access to e-mail.

Phase II: Transformation of the Campus Landscape
Phase II of the Transformation of the Campus Landscape Initiative will take place this summer. The work will focus on the Sheehan/Sullivan Quad and what will become the Kennedy Ellipse - the area in between Kennedy, Corr and Dougherty Halls and the Connelly Center. A new Grotto will also be created in the area in between Austin and St. Rita Halls. The work on the Grotto was originally scheduled to take place during Phase III, but I am pleased that the timeline has been adjusted to accommodate it in this summer's plans.

The work on the various components of Phase II will have staggered completion dates. Weather permitting, the Sheehan/Sullivan Quad will be re-opened by mid- August; the Kennedy Ellipse will open by early November; and the new Grotto will be open by mid-November. Pedestrian flow around these areas will be affected during the work periods. Please visit the Transformation of the Campus Landscape website for more information.

I know that any construction can cause headaches and inconveniences. However, I believe that this initiative is worth the disruptions and the end result will significantly enhance the beauty and character of our campus. Thank you for your cooperation and patience.

Reminder: Staff & Faculty Picnic Tomorrow, Tuesday, May 22
I look forward to seeing you tomorrow at the annual Staff & Faculty Picnic from 11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. in Donahue Hall on South Campus - rain or shine. This event is always a great way to celebrate the end of the academic year with food, fun and fellowship.

Whether it’s contributing to the success of large-scale events like Commencement, providing feedback via surveys or simply performing your job responsibilities every day, I appreciate your time, effort, and commitment to making Villanova the best that it can be. Best wishes for an enjoyable summer.

Fr. Peter Donohue, O.S.A.