Hiram College

Dear faculty, staff, and students,

I can tell that most of us have already entered the “race to the end,” as the conclusion of the 12-week is fast approaching and the feeling of “there-is-so-much-more-to-do” is all too present. I am right there with you as I gear up for the many important processes and events that are unfolding in the next few weeks. This note highlights just a few of them.

Sugar Day

I hope you are on your way to this morning’s events that mark the start of this wonderful tradition. I am sending this note a little earlier than I usually do to remind you of the many events scheduled for today. Please see the Sugar Day Schedule attached to this email for specific times and locations.

This afternoon, I plan to see many of you at poster and capstone presentations starting at 1:00pm until 9:30 p.m.

Strategic Planning

Yesterday’s town hall meeting with faculty and staff (sixth of six) brought the listening and vetting sessions to a close, and I am grateful for the insightful feedback offered by those in attendance (slides for the meeting have been posted to Portal). Also, tomorrow marks the last day in the “read and comment” phase. As a reminder, if you have neither attended one of the six listening sessions nor sent written feedback to Phil Eaves (eavespj@hiram.edu) on the summary document, you may do so until tomorrow. The compiled summaries of the work groups are also posted on the Faculty and Staff Portal.

Starting this week, a small group of writers and editors (Willard Greenwood, Jim Vincent, Jen Miller, Jenna Cariglio-Dorris, and I) will review and analyze the long summary document, the feedback from listening groups, and a forthcoming summary of Trustee comments. We will then distill all of that work, translating it into a first draft of the Strategic Plan that will subsequently be reviewed and edited by all members of the College Executive Steering Committee. The edited version of the document will become Draft #2, and that iteration will go to the Senior Cabinet for their review and comment. Cabinet and a small number of Trustees will polish the document (now Draft #3) and present it to the Board of Trustees at the May meeting for a first reading of sorts. The Board will have their opportunity to weigh in at that time and shape the final draft document that will be presented for ratification at the July Board of Trustees retreat.

Tech and Trek

I can honestly say that in all my 32 years of administration, I have never seen a program launched as quickly, albeit carefully and thoroughly, as this one. The ongoing launch is being aided significantly by a powerful (and not to be “messed with”) advisory group called the Transformers. The fearless leader of the group, Optimus Prime (aka Jen McCreight) is joined by Brad Goodner (Springer), Ella Kirk (Hot Rod), Dave Strukel (Soundwave), Litsa Varonis (Signal Flare), Michael Rebold (Bumblebee) and Kay Molkentin (Jazz). They are working hand-in-glove with me to plan all sorts of training and rollout events. These events are specifically geared to the 150 faculty and staff who have applied to be Early Adopters, but many of the events are open to the entire community. A calendar of trainings, workshops, and discussion groups is being coordinated now. It, too, will be posted to respective portals. It will also be preloaded on the iPads of all Early Adopters…how’s that for service?

I am pleased that the initiative continues to garner national attention. Presently, I am penning three articles that will be published in April and May; another one hit the web yesterday at EdSurge (link here). 

Enrollment Activities

I am thrilled to report that Fall 2017 deposits are still up at the very time that our Spring recruitment swings into full season. We have planned numerous events to attract prospective students and their families to Hiram. Please welcome the roaming guests you see and point them in the right direction as they make their way to their next appointment. All the while, be your typical warm and friendly self so they can see the Hiram Hospitality that characterizes our campus.

That just about sums up what many of us having been doing as of late. It feels good to be making strides in so many areas.

Your president,

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Lori Varlotta