Hiram College

Dear faculty and staff,

Even though summer is whizzing by us, as it always seems to do, I am very pleased to write to you with substantial updates on the projects that so many of us have accomplished together over the last eight weeks. I thank all of you who have rolled up your sleeves and gotten to work.

Here are a few of the huge strides we have made:

  1. The School Naming work group (chaired by Brad Goodner with members Cathy Erbes, Paul Gaffney, Willard Greenwood, Nick Hirsch, Ella Kirk, Jen McCreight, Louis Oliphant, and Janet Pope) sent a list of recommendations to me at the end of June. Together with the Senior Cabinet, I accepted almost every one of the group’s recommendations. Soon, we will finalize the School structure and post this graphic on our website. Thank you to all who helped us get this structure in order.
  2. As we prepare to rollout several of the forthcoming changes, our graphic designer Jenny Taraba and I have worked with several others to create a set of infographic visuals that help explain the New Liberal Arts. These, too, will be posted online soon.
  3. The Sport Management group led by Andrew White, Dave Strukel, and Michael Rebold has presented an outline of curricular and co-curricular ideas that will help them move the new major along. The former pieces will be headed to APC early this fall, but Judy Muyskens and I have the ability to approve their proposed budget, institutional memberships, accreditation groundwork, etc. Thanks to the research and thorough presentation these men made to the leadership team, we are green-lighting a host of resources to be spent the way they have suggested.
  4. Almost two dozen faculty and staff are working on pathways for the core curriculum. Along with many of you, I look forward to seeing and hearing what they will be putting forward as recommendations.
  5. Judy has mapped out a process for soliciting input regarding the appointment of new School Leaders. In the next day or two, she will be sending to all faculty a note that delineates next steps in this regard. The note will include a job description of School Leaders, the corollary stipends, leadership resources, and the like. Look for it soon.
  6. Residence hall renovations are well underway. Renovations will include bathrooms, new carpets, furniture upgrades, and other basic amenities that students justifiably expect.
  7. Technology upgrades continue on campus. The technology project at the Field Station is right on track and soon all of us will be able to use our mobile devices and other resources in most of the high-traffic places there. Century homes are also getting tech upgrades in the near future.
  8. Hiram, in partnership with WVIZ/PBS ideastream, hosted the inaugural Tech and Trek Conference in late June. This three-day conference provided a platform for K-12 and higher ed educators to collaborate in sessions focusing on mindful technology, innovations in teaching and learning, and trekking the areas on and around Hiram’s campus. Matthew McKenna served as co-chair of the event, with Jen McCreight, Garrett Munro, and Litsa Varonis serving on the conference’s planning committee.
  9. June 30 marked the fiscal year end. I can confirm that we broke another fundraising record this year by bringing in $9.8M in cash. This marks the third consecutive banner year. We are immensely grateful that so many of the donors have earmarked their gifts for pieces and parts of the academic redesign and numerous others have made gifts for operating support. Gifts in both categories are extremely useful right now.
  10. We are planning several “moving forward” events in the coming weeks. As part of the rebuilding process, I encourage all of you to attend as many as possible. Please be sure your calendar has these dates to start:
  • Opening Assembly, August 17 (Thanks to a gift from a member of the Board of Trustees, the College will be providing lunch in the Dining Hall for all faculty and staff.)
  • First-Year Institute, beginning August 23 (here is a link to the full schedule; please plan to join the new students at the dinner and square dance)
  • Matriculation Convocation, August 23 at 1:00 pm

As many of you know, there has been nothing lazy about our summer. We are looking to continue the forward momentum once all of the faculty return to campus in a few short weeks. Thanks again to everyone for their hard work this summer on the many amazing projects, events, and planning.

Your President,

President Varlotta Signature

Lori Varlotta