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Provost Newsletter - July 2017

A Message from the Provost banner

July 2017

Dear Colleagues,

I hope you are enjoying your summer and recharging after another terrific academic year.

I am pleased to share with you some updates and highlight many of the accomplishments achieved at our University this past spring. While only a sampling, these examples underscore the phenomenal work and impact your efforts have on our campus and beyond.

As always, thank you for your many contributions and all that you do to make Villanova such a special place. I am fortunate and proud to work alongside such dedicated, smart and creative colleagues.


Patrick. G. Maggitti, PhD

• Global Interdisciplinary Studies (GIS) will become a department in the fall. The new GIS Department will continue its regular interdisciplinary major while supporting majors in area and gender studies and a new Peace and Justice major. It will continue to offer its language minors and house Critical and Traditional Languages: Arabic, Chinese, Irish, Japanese and Russian.

• 2017 marks the inaugural year for the Albert Lepage Center for History in the Public Interest, established thanks to a historic $10 million gift from Albert Lepage ’69 CLAS. 

• Dean Adele Lindenmeyr established a standing College Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, comprised of nine representatives from CLAS faculty and staff, in addition to three representatives from the undergraduate student body.  

• A new Imaging Center opened in Mendel Hall. The Center is a multi-instrument microscopy lab that serves the Science departments in the College, as well as faculty and students throughout the University.

• The 19th annual Villanova Literary Festival this past semester featured five award-winning poets, playwrights and novelists who visited classes and gave readings on campus.  

• Two student-produced social justice documentary program productions made their debuts this spring. “POSI+IVE,” which examines a South African woman’s struggle to overcome poverty and destroy the stigma of HIV, made its premiere at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center. “Hope Works Here,” which illustrated a nonprofit organization’s healing effect on communities in Camden, NJ, premiered on campus.  

• Received a two-year grant of $200,000 from the Henry Luce Foundation to support an interdisciplinary network of scholars exploring the intersection of religion and politics.

• Successfully recruited more than 250 engineering alumni to serve as mentors for sophomores in the College’s new Career Compass program.

• Dr. Alfonso Ortega will receive the 2017 IEEE ITherm Achievement Award, the highest honor in his field. On August 1, Dr. Ortega will begin his term as Dean of Santa Clara University’s School of Engineering.

• Dr. Garrett Clayton earned a Fulbright Scholars Award and will teach and conduct research in Cambodia.

• Dr. Moeness Amin was awarded a 2017 Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Advanced Defense Science and Technology. He was also awarded Germany’s prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Research Award, which recognizes the lifetime achievements of researchers whose fundamental discoveries and new theories and insights have had a significant impact on their discipline and who are “expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements in the future.” 

• Dr. Jacob Elmer earned the prestigious NSF CAREER grant to continue his gene therapy research.

• Maintained accreditation for the Business and Accounting programs by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International).

• The Villanova EMBA will now be offered in just 19 months with classes meeting every three weeks at The Inn at Villanova University.

• The EMBA was recently ranked as a "Tier One" program by CEO Magazine

• Recognized among the top schools in the nation on the U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best Online Graduate Business Programs ranking, earning the #4 rank

• Quinetta Roberson, PhD, Fred J. Springer Endowed Chair in Business Leadership and Professor of Management, has been elected Vice President-Elect/Program-Chair Elect of the Academy of Management (AOM).

• The Center for Global Leadership and The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia hosted a panel of experts to discuss "Latin America's Role in 2017 and Beyond." The event featured keynote speaker Vicente Fox, the former President of Mexico.

• The DiLella Center for Real Estate created the Nova Next Council, whose members are rising leaders within real estate who will serve as a conduit between students and professionals.

• Erica Chuong ’17 and Chinasa Gift Nwokocha ’17 were selected as Poets & Quants 2017 Best & Brightest Business Majors, which included only 100 students from around the nation.

• Submitted application to the National League for Nursing for re-designation as a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education. 

• Hosted the Dean and three faculty from the School of Nursing in Peking University.

• In May, eight Connelly-Delouvrier Nursing Scholars with faculty members Dr. Bing Bing Qi and Prof. Cathy McDonald had an international experience in Beijing. This is the first Connelly Delouvrier experience in the Peoples Republic of China. 

• Two students and two faculty represented Villanova at the quadrennial meeting of the International Council of Nurses (ICN) held in Barcelona. 

• Continued its series of pop-up discussions last semester. Topics included immigration policy, the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court and criminal justice reform.

• The documentary film 13th, which explores issues of race in the U.S. criminal justice system, was screened as part of the School’s annual commemoration of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

• The Villanova Environmental Law Journal Blank Rome LLP Symposium examined the business, environmental and legal implications of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century legislation. 

• The fashion industry’s most pressing legal issues—social media and the Internet, intellectual property and mergers and acquisitions—were discussed at the student-run third annual Fashion Law Symposium. 

• The Joseph T. McCullen Jr. Symposium on Catholic Social Thought and Law focused on Pope Francis’ theological critique and assessment of global capitalism, and reaction to that critique from different of legal, economic and religious perspectives.

• Hosted its annual Leadership Series in June. The 2017 series featured two workshops, each followed by an optional 3-credit hour course.

Workshop #1: Dispute Resolution: Leadership and Problem Solving

Leaders learned improved methods and practical skills for solving problems and neutralizing disputes through learning fundamental theories, exploring practical examples and reviewing modern case studies.

Workshop #2: Leading through Disruption

Students learned how to respond to the new disruptors – narrative collapse and digiphrenia, among others. Through interactive sessions, students learned core ideas and theory to support their leadership growth and understanding.


Enrollment Management

• Received a record number of first-year student applications (21,106—eclipsing last year’s previous all-time high by 22%). 

• Achieved the class of 2021 enrollment goal (with anticipated summer attrition). Deposited students hail from 46 states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia and 20 countries from around the globe. 

• Welcomed 50,000 visitors to our campus community (including Early Action and Spring Candidates’ Days). 

• Hosted 42 school counselors from throughout the continental United States, Hawaii and China for three day “Villanova Works” campus-wide visitation program.

• Successfully implemented the Slate CRM system. The implementation team was recognized with the Work Process Improvement Award.

• Reviewed freshmen class applications a month earlier than before, while concurrently integrating Banner into the new SLATE system. 

• Presented 4,036 award letters electronically to newly admitted freshmen students on March 27.

• Offered Pell Grants and admission to three students under the US Department of Education Experimental State Initiative for Incarcerated Students. 

• Presented at 19 Financial Aid Night programs at local area high schools to help families navigate the financial aid application process.

• Prepared 1,709 undergraduate diplomas and 1,368 graduate and PhD diplomas for the 2016-2017 graduates. All transcripts were updated with the newly minted degrees and appropriate honors. 

• Conducted a successful fall 2017 pre-registration for continuing students in March and supported registration efforts for summer session, which began on May 31. Currently working with incoming freshman and the Colleges to create registration schedules for the Class of 2021.

• Implemented an improved transcript ordering process for current and former student, as well as a new course search tool to replace the SchedulR system for students and advisors.

• Continued to support the University through the completion of various external data collections including U.S. News & World Report.


Career Center  

• 7,100 students and alumni visited the Career Center. As a result, 8,481 students and alumni actively used Handshake, the University’s career management system, which is a 26% increase over last year. 

• 375 employers visited Villanova to recruit students of all academic years and majors, a 4% increase from last year. Employers posted more than 14,500 full-time jobs and 5,000 internships for Villanova students and alumni in Handshake. This was a 36% increase in the number of opportunities over the previous year.

• Welcomed 15 select employers who frequently hire Villanovans to our first Inclusive Hiring Reception to meet with academic units and offices around the University who support diversity and inclusion efforts at Villanova.


Diversity and Inclusion 

• Welcomed students to another round of Inter Group Relations (IGR), with seven sections offered. A full course of Brown Bag lunch programs were also offered and included topics such as “Other Hidden Figures: Celebrating the Roles of Women in Society” and “Looking at Back of the first 100 Days of the Trump Administration.” 

• Hosted the inaugural Teaching 2020 Workshop, an IGR session for faculty and teaching staff members. There were 26 participants who were led through two days of Intergroup Dialogue Work. 

• Working with diversity committees in the various Colleges to share information, best practices and generally formulate a unified diversity and inclusion operation within the University.  

• Visited Google New York to meet with young alums who were active in the cultural organizations on campus. The trip and dinner was a part of the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force in the Alumni Association’s work plan. 


Falvey Memorial Library 

• Development of a master plan for the Library is underway. The project team met with small groups of various stakeholders to gain input from students, faculty, and staff on what’s needed in a redesigned library. Town Hall sessions are planned for this fall to share progress on the design and get additional feedback from the community.

• In support of the celebration of Villanova’s 175th Anniversary, library staff curated an exhibit entitled “Villanova University: 175 years of Commitment to Augustinian ideals of Veritas, Unitas, Caritas--Truth, Unity, Love” of the rarest content from the University Archives. Librarians researched College trivia, which has been shared with the community, and capsule historical biographies of College and University Presidents, featured on signs throughout campus. 

• Villanova neighbors–John F. and Susan B. Smith–generously donated 55 rare maps and plates to Falvey Memorial Library’s Special Collections. These items will significantly enhance the scope and depth of the existing rare cartographic holdings of Special Collections. A number of maps are available for viewing in Villanova University’s Digital Library; public exhibitions of the maps will commence in the coming months.


Honors Program 

• Helped host Presidential Scholar applicants, as well as more than 300 prospective students and their families during Early Action weekend. 

• This past spring, Honors hosted Ross Douthat, columnist from the New York Times.

• Entered into a partnership with VSB’s Mentor Program to create innovative mentoring experiences for Honors students.


Office of Planning and Institutional Research

• Continued work with UNIT, the Registrar, the Provost’s Office, individual Colleges and departments, and faculty leaders to take the administration of CATS nearly fully online.

• Facilitated Villanova’s participation in a number of key surveys including participation in a triennial national survey of college and university faculty, a national student health assessment survey, and surveys of students, faculty, coaches, and key staff members regarding alcohol use among students.

• Executed the exit surveys for graduating seniors, graduate students, and third year law students (3L’s).



• Held a Research IdeaBounce® and a Teaching and Learning IdeaBounce® in partnership with the Provost’s Office this past spring. Each event included elevator pitches from faculty, students and staff and a networking reception so attendees can connect, receive feedback and collaborate. 

• Formed the Villanova Entrepreneurs Capital Club to provide new investment channels for Villanova faculty, staff, student and alumni startups. 

Pitch Day 2017 welcomed over 100 judges on campus and hundreds of students, alumni, staff and faculty throughout the day to pitch, present, judge, connect and collaborate. The event featured two new programs – the Creativity Challenge and Virtual Reality Competition. Both students and faculty/staff were able to participate in these new competitions.

•The Idea Accelerator expanded to include new public patio/programming space for the Villanova community. To share ideas for how to use this space, please email

• Terri Boyer, EdD, '95 CLAS was appointed as the Institute’s founding director and will begin at Villanova in August.

• Benefactor, Anne Welsh McNulty ’75, received an honorary degree at the 2017 Commencement.



• The University Summer Grant Program received 49 proposals from 55 faculty and allocated about $280,000 to fund 24 proposals. 

• The University Conference Travel Grant Program received 22 proposals and allocated about $45,000 to fund or partially fund all eligible faculty travel. 

• Two VERITAS Faculty Research Program proposals were awarded and four faculty were supported through the Subvention of Publications program. 

• The spring 2017 semester-long proposal writing workshop was a great success. Faculty from across three Colleges participated, and over the next few months they will be putting the finishing touches on their proposals and submitting them to federal funding agencies. A fall 2017 workshop will be held. 

• Continue to work with McAllister and Quinn to identify funding opportunities for our faculty, employ them for grant writing support, and work to increase our faculty and academic profile on Capitol Hill. 

• Villanova was named an associate member of Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU), a consortium of more than 120 PhD-granting universities nationwide and in England. ORAU partners with major universities, industry clients and the government to find innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. As an associate ORAU member, Villanova students and faculty will have access to scholarships, research grants, travel grants, science and technology events, high-performance computing and collaborative opportunities. Visit the "Securing External Funding" page for more information.

• Received a record 1,717 nominations to the Presidential Scholars Program. A record 23 awardees have accepted and will join Villanova in the fall. 

• Awarded 31 students (61 applicants) the Villanova Undergraduate Research Fellowship (VURF) for research in the summer of 2017, and was also able to accommodate numerous requests for undergraduate research on-campus housing, supporting 62 grant-funded students. 

• At least 20 students have been accepted to nationally competitive external research opportunities at institutions such as Princeton, Purdue, Carnegie Mellon, Harvard, Notre Dame and the Smithsonian.  

• The fourth annual Spring Research Expo showcased undergraduate research and student accomplishment in innovation and creativity. 

• Funded 45 students to travel for research and conferences, including four students who presented research findings at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) using CURF Research & Travel Grants. 

• 32 students won major national scholarships, fellowships and grants. Our students broke the Villanova record for number of winners and honorable mentions with three prestigious awards: the Fulbright Summer Institute, the Boren Scholarship and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Villanova was once again a Fulbright Top Producer—#1 ranked producer in our last year in the master’s category.

• Offering various professional development opportunities, including PRIM&R workshops and in-person sessions covering various aspects of grant management. Visit the Office of Research Protections (ORP) for dates.

• Hosted Villanova’s first annual Research Ethics week, focusing on the protection of human subjects. Planning for next year’s event is underway, covering the life cycle of a research project.  

• Welcomed Joanna Myerson, Associate Director of Research Compliance, who brings experience in the protection of human subjects and will be working to elevate our research regulatory programs, and Brett Regan, Senior Contracting Specialist, who supports the research faculty with expertise in sponsored research agreements, data use agreements, reliance agreements and other contractual arrangements.

• The three-year renewal period for investigators who completed CITI modules on Responsible Conduct of Research and Financial Conflict is fast approaching. To refresh your certification, visit the ORP.


Teaching and Learning 

• A new initiative for interdisciplinary course development and team teaching across Colleges and Schools was announced, with the first call for proposals scheduled for October.  

• A pilot redesign of a Tolentine “vintage” classroom will take place this summer allowing faculty to experience an improved teaching environment and provide feedback for future renovation of classrooms. 

• Seven second-floor classrooms in John Barry Hall are receiving updates to enhance the teaching and learning experience.

• In addition to professional staff being added to VITAL, the Writing Center, Learning Support Services, the Office of Education Abroad and Academic Support for Athletes are in the process of hiring a tutoring coordinator to expand opportunities for our students and provide capacity in other groups such as the Center for Access, Success, and Achievement (CASA) so they may expand services and continue their excellent retention and graduation efforts.

•  Awarded the Model of Excellence Award, which recognizes colleges and universities who strive for institutional excellence through student access, retention and success.

•  Hosted 85 students along with family and friends at the Inaugural Wildcat Crossing Recognition Ceremony. The event recognizes diversity in all of its forms represented among the study body at Villanova and honors the determination and resilience our students have demonstrated in overcoming the unique challenges of culture and difference. 

•  Working with the Career Center to rollout the ACE Program, a professional development program geared toward sophomores in CASA to increase confidence through a strength based approach.

•  Continue to support current pipeline programs: REACH, VIEW and College Day in an effort to provide access to students from underrepresented populations.

• Filled a new position for Learning Support Services to help determine reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities and provide academic support through workshops and one-on-one academic coaching.  

• Working with UNIT colleagues on a new management tool specifically designed for University disability offices. Once fully operational, faculty and registered students will be able to access accommodation letters and test proctoring schedules and appointments online.

•  Provided services for 1,340 visits, bringing the total visits for the academic year to more than 3,800—the second highest number of visits ever. 

•  Created a new workshop on how to use the computer algebra system, Maple.  

•  Developing an online program for the summer that will provide algebra/pre-calculus remediation to help make sure all students enrolled in MAT 1500 (Calculus I) are prepared for the course.

• 3.289 Spring 2017 Semester GPA for all student-athletes. This is the 28th straight semester with a term GPA greater than 3.0 (14 years).

• 20 student-athletes with a 4.0 and 23 of 24 teams with spring 2017 GPA greater than 3.0.

• 423 student-athletes with spring 2017 semester GPA over 3.0 (75% of athletes)

• Villanova’s NCAA Graduation Success Rate is 94% and ranks among the highest in the nation.

• 15 teams earned public recognition awards for NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) for ranking in the top 10 percent of their sport nationwide. Villanova continues to be one of the nation’s elite universities for its combination of academic achievement and athletic performance. There were just seven Division I programs nationwide to earn as many as 15 public recognition awards, and that total also was the most among BIG EAST schools.

• This summer, more than 380 students will study in a variety of countries from Chile to South Africa to Greece and China in 31 different cities.

• More than one-third of our summer students are also participating in international internships and many of the Villanova summer programs include experiential learning components which encourage students to apply their learning outside of the classroom. 

• In the fall semester, there will be 253 students studying abroad, which represents a 34% increase over last fall semester. 

• Spring Faculty Teaching Community: Teaching for Learning: A group of 10 Villanova faculty formed a teaching community to apply research-based, active learning-centered teaching approaches in their courses. The faculty took on a student’s role as they directly engaged in approaches such as writing to learn, graphic organizers, reading strategies, and peer learning.  

• 2017 Teaching and Learning Strategies Program at Villanova: More than 140 Villanova faculty, representing all Colleges, came together to demonstrate, share, and discuss a range of innovative instructional strategies for in-person and blended learning environment. The day-long program offered 15 interactive sessions, eight round table discussions, and concluded with a reception, poster session, and academic resource fair. 

• The Faculty Forum entitled Our Students and Their Academic Experiences, facilitated by Randy Weinstein, Associate Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning, kicked off a series of ongoing campus conversations about student engagement in academics.  


• Provided 4,605 tutorials during the academic year, serving all Colleges. 

• Faculty participated in the second two-day, intensive writing retreat. Faculty engaged in pre-writing, drafting and revising book proposals to book chapters, articles and even co-authored manuscripts. 

• Based on the positive feedback from the first two writing retreats this academic year, the Writing Center plans to host three to four writing retreats each academic year.

Office of the Provost

Tolentine Hall, Room 103
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085
Phone: 610.519.4520
Fax: 610.519.6200

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