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If you were unable to attend President Hurley’s Town Hall Meeting on Monday, you can read the recap below.

President John J. Hurley hosted his third Town Hall meeting of the fall semester on Monday, November 6. He began his campus update on a high note reporting that Sunday’s open house attendance was 248 – a 25 percent increase from last year’s turnout.  He said that Excellence Within Reach continues to be well known and well received and noted that many parents seemed hopeful that the tuition reset initiative will enable them to send their children to Canisius.

President Hurley announced that the college will embark on a Mission Examen Priority process as directed by the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, the Provincials of the USA and the Presidents of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU). This is a self-study and peer review process based on the document Some Characteristics of Jesuit Colleges and Universities: A Self-evaluation Instrument, which the provincials and the presidents developed and approved to assure the Catholic and Jesuit identity of the colleges and universities in the United States.  The effort will be led by Sandra Estanek, PhD, chair and professor of graduate education and leadership.  Preliminary work will begin in spring 2018.

President Hurley reported that the college is in the process of developing a new campus master plan.  Marco Benedetti, vice president for business and finance, is leading the effort with the services of Cannon Design, and has recently held information sessions for faculty about the process.  There will be several more opportunities for the campus community to provide input to the planning process over the next two months.  The campus master plan will be used to identify and prioritize capital improvements to the campus based on a set of guiding principles and goals that lay out a vision for the campus for the near and long-term future.

Following his talk, President Hurley answered questions from the audience.

Regarding the New York State Excelsior program, President Hurley said that the impacts are not fully known but he expects to have a clearer picture after he attends a Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU) meeting later this week. Larger schools that draw from outside New York State, such as Cornell and Columbia, are not as affected as much as smaller schools such as Canisius.  He reiterated that 22,000 students received Excelsior scholarships. He mentioned that a transfer student from Niagara County Community College to Canisius shared her experience with the Excelsior Program. She received several conflicting letters, including one that said she would receive the scholarship. In the end, she didn’t receive the scholarship because she changed majors.

One staff member asked how current students have reacted to their tuition reset letters. While the Office of Student Records and Financial Services fielded many phone calls to clarify the itemized breakdown of student financial aid packages, President Hurley emphasized that in every case students will pay less beginning in fall 2018 under Excellence Within Reach.

Regarding an update on the retirement incentive, he noted that 34 professors applied and the college reached its financial goal. How that translates into salary savings can’t be calculated until it is determined how many faculty members will need to be replaced.

President Hurley added that he continues to urge Marco Benedetti to prioritize the restoration of the eight percent contribution to the employee retirement plan as circumstances allow.

President Hurley outlined plans for new programs including a new master’s program in data analytics, which he is confident will draw interest and funnel jobs into the financial services and health care industries.  Academic Affairs began the lengthy process of developing a physician’s assistant program, which will help the college break into the allied health fields where there is great demand and opportunity.  The college continues to work with Hanover, a market research firm, to determine additional new programs that would be feasible.

After the Town Hall, the group continued the conversation over donuts and cider.

Submitted by: College Communications