Hello campus community,
It is with pride that I update you on the good work of our students and programs. On Friday, Shippensburg University awarded its first doctorate. Jolinda Wilson successfully defended her dissertation and will graduate in May with her Doctorate in Educational Leadership. I am also thrilled to announce, as of Fall 2018, the Honors Program will become an Honors College. Under the direction of Honors Program Director, Dr. Kim Klein, the program now meets the characteristics as defined by the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC). Honors College will increase enrollment through recruitment and retention, strengthen relations with Honors alumni, and bolster the university’s reputation for quality and excellence.
Today, I had the pleasure of speaking with our scholar-athletes at the annual luncheon in which the athletes honor faculty or staff who have been supportive of them during this academic year. This year, 158 athletes were recognized for success in the classroom as they have maintained a 3.25 or higher GPA while competing for Ship athletics. They have been equally successful in their sports. Our field hockey team took its second consecutive National Championship, the third in five years, and it looks like Ship is poised to bring home more championships this year.
With an undefeated record at home, men’s basketball heads to the first round of the PSAC playoffs tonight. Yesterday, our indoor track and field teams won the 2018 PSAC Indoor Track and Field Championships. It’s the second straight year, and the sixth time overall, the Raiders have won both the men’s and women’s titles in the same season. It’s the eighth straight title for the men’s team and the eighth overall PSAC championship for the women. At the meet, and close to my heart, senior , broke the conference record in the 60-meter hurdles. Also over the weekend, Raider wrestler Evan Ramos secured his spot in the 2018 NCAA Division II National Championships, to be held in two weeks, after he defended his regional title for the third year.
I am proud of the success of all of our students in their pursuit of excellence and I have been working to ensure we have the structure in place to facilitate success for every student. As you may recall, in the last few months as we have been shaping the new Enrollment Management and Student Success division, Dr. Dave Lovett has been asked to assume roles as needed. Today, I announce that Dave assumes a permanent position as senior associate vice president of Student Affairs. Dave will assume the role March 1 in advance of the retirement of Roger Serr to ensure a smooth transition in May. He will supervise the Office of the Dean of Students. Donna Gross, who has been acting as Interim Dean of Students, now assumes that position permanently. During her interim service, she also was navigating her job as director of Orientation. As we ramp up orientation efforts, that position will need full-time attention, so I have appointed Jen Milburn as interim director of orientation. I have launched an immediate search for a permanent director of orientation. The director of orientation will report to the associate vice president for student success. Sara Shupp, who has served in various capacities at the university, has been named director of student conduct and will report to the dean of students.
We will immediately begin the search for an associate vice president for Student Success. Each of these moves aligns with my priority of ensuring student success. My commitment to this priority is unwavering. I am grateful that this campus community is equally committed as evidenced by colleagues who have eagerly stepped into new positions to further the cause.
We are making great progress as these waves of change move us in the direction of offering a higher-quality student experience to develop the most successful students possible. We have more waves to make together as we continue to increase efficiencies and reduce redundancies to best serve our students.
I want to extend my deepest appreciation and well wishes to Robin Maun as she announces her retirement. She has served the university for twenty-five years, most recently as executive assistant to the president. For more than nineteen years, Robin has served administrators, faculty, staff, and students in overseeing the president’s office and activities of the university. Robin’s last day will be March 30, but we will not let her get away without celebrating her. Stay tuned for specifics for her send-off.
Last week, I had the privilege of joining Chancellor Whitney as we testified during the budget appropriation hearings in Harrisburg. Following the Senate hearing, I joined the chancellor and hundreds of system students, faculty, staff, and alumni at a press conference where we proudly proclaimed that our students are #Prepared4PA. Ship pride was evident as alumnus Matt Steck and I talked about the Ship experience and the caliber of our students. This university is re-establishing itself as a leader in this state, and I could not be more proud to steer the ship.
President Laurie Carter