February 3, 2012

Administrative Staff Council Meeting

February 3, 2012

Kessel Student Center, Butcher Suite

 

The meeting was convened by co-chair Pat Carolan at 9:02 a.m.

 

Guest speaker: President Stephen J. Friedman

 

2011 was our best year in many respects in over a decade. Our operating surplus was more than $7 million - more than double any year since 2000. We turned a corner financially, but we are not home. Pace is a tuition-driven university. We depend upon our ability to attract\retain students. We’re working to bring our discount rate down.

 

There is a decline in the number of high school students in the NE, and in the next 6-8 years the number of high school students in NY will decline, which:

  • Increases competition between local colleges overall
  • Creates financial pressures for families and students
  • Drives price competition in terms of financial aid, and makes it difficult to reduce discount rate.

 

After fours of increases, enrollment was flat this year and new student enrollment was down by 100. This was in part due to a substantial reduction in CAP students. It is fixable and we’ve taken a number of steps to do so.

 

The enrollment management group is also recruiting more vigorously outside the Tri-State area (Southwest, West and South). Recruitment from outside the Tri-State doubled last year. The DYS performing arts program has been the flag carrier for out-of-state students. It raises awareness about Pace in positive way.

 

Currently, indicators for next year’s enrollment such as application and open house attendees up and positive; the final step is the conversion of prospectives to students.

 

President Friedman views the University as very strong, with a great future, and an effective competitor for students, faculty and staff.

 

SAT scores for students were up in both PLV and NYC this past fall. Four students were awarded Fulbrights last year (for a total of 30+ in the last 8 years). Our team from the Economics department competed in the NY Federal Reserve bank competition and came in second, beating Ivy League schools. The number of students having jobs at graduation is 12% above the national average, and we have the largest internship program in the metro-NY area.

 

We are starting to make substantial strides in the relationship between administrators and students. OSA and Financial Aid are a more organized front, and are using ticketing systems to track student questions. There is also a ticketing help desk for questions and complaints in other areas (dorms, classrooms, etc.).

 

Our new Provost is Uday Sukhatme. He is currently vice chancellor at University of Indiana, Indianapolis, which as 30,000 students and 21 schools. There is a reception for him in PLV on February 9.

 

President Friedman spent the first five years of his tenure trying to restore financial stability; the next five years will focus on improving the excellence and relevance of academic program. All of our schools have become increasingly aware and sensitive of their role in the enrollment process (i.e. the programs they offer)

 

Campus reconstruction and renovation is a big and complex project. Phase 1 and Phase 2 depend upon the economy and our financial state when the regulatory process is completed. Phase 1 will begin as soon as we sell BRM because have to have dorms available for 800-1000 students in PLV. This will transform the PLV campus and make it more attractive.

 

A new dorm will open in fall 2013 at 180 Broadway in NYC. This will replace our current dorm space in Brooklyn Heights. Our Brooklyn Heights and BRM dormers are essentially commuters as they are nearby but not on campus. The new dormitories on both campuses will build cohesion and enhance student life.

 

There has been tremendous growth in the performing arts program. We’ve been leasing space from Dance New Amsterdam on Chambers Street, and they have financial issues but declined our offer to take them over. As an alternative, we found a rental building on Fulton Street that will house a 100-seat theater. There will be another entrance for students and faculty.

 

We have received an anonymous gift from a trustee to redo the garden in the Pace Plaza courtyard. The rest of the NYC plan depends on fundraising, Westchester renovations will be financed by BRM sale, the incurrence of debt and a small fundraising campaign that will possibly focus on athletics.

 

It has not been an easy five years, but we’ve come through it well. President Friedman is deeply grateful to everyone here who has worked so hard.

 

Question: Where is the Graduate Center in all of this?

It’s a wonderful bldg but can’t have a facility that is used only four hours a day, four days a week. It’s not economical. We either have to find a way to use it productively or sell it. We lose about 2 million in operating expenses annually. The sale of the Graduate Center isn’t high on list right now since it’s a not a good market in White Plains right now. There are about 180 staff in BRM who will have to move when we sell it, and moving them to Martine was considered, but office conversion is expensive.

 

Question: Actors Studio: Could we get transportation from PLV to NYC for Inside the Actors Studio? President Friedman thought it was a good idea and will look into it. He had previously explored a simulcast in PLV, but this is not a Pace event, it’s a Bravo event.

 

Question: What are the economics behind Hudson Valley Stage Company remaining on campus? President Friedman will look into it. He had hoped that we had a donor to build a theater in PLV, and we have a placeholder in the plans for it, but we don’t have a donor right now.

 

Question: Is there any plan to work more with the Jacob Burns Film Center?  President Friedman met with them, and there have been conversations between the School of Education and DYS and the Burns about joint programs.

 

Question: With the increasing Latino/Hispanic population, will we be pursuing that population and also will we be recruiting in South America? Yes. We have a large number of international students in the MBA program and in SCSIS. Until recently, our international population was largely in graduate school. We’ve had an increase in the number of international undergraduates, particularly from France and Brazil. We have an aggressive recruiting program in Latin America. The Provost’s office has established a Hispanic Task Force. Demographic projections nationwide indicate that Latino/Hispanics is the only group projected to increase. We as a country need to get as large a group of Hispanic-Americans into the higher education system and to address income inequality in America. The level of education attainment is related to income levels and unemployment. For example, the unemployment rate for accountants is 3.4%; for people with professional degrees it is 1.9%; nationwide for Bachelors degrees it is 5%; and for those with no high school degree it is 15-20%.

 

Question: How does this impact our tuition? How do we recruit these students if they can’t pay and we are trying to keep discount rate contained? In general, international students have a higher net tuition than domestic students. The cost of private higher education and increasingly public education is the biggest issue facing us. Tuition has increased more than healthcare costs over time.

 

Before President Friedman’s tenure, Pace’s tuition increased 12%, then 14%, then 19%. When President Friedman looks at the economics of the University, to make more $ or give raises, etc., we have to raise prices, cut costs, and admit more students. For the first third of the past decade we lost students and raised prices. We have cut costs. There’s no way to change our cost structure. We have a 300+ million budget. While there is tremendous structural bias towards increasing tuition, we have to explore other alternatives (iPace, blended education).

 

 

Announcements

Rachel Carpenter, Director for SDCA

There are 60 student organizations on campus. Each semester, SDCA receives about 8-10 requests for new student organizations. They help retain students. All student organizations are required to have a full-time faculty or staff advisor.

We have great org advisors. We also have some advisors who handle 4-5 orgs. Some students don’t know who to ask, or where to go to find advisors. On Feb 15 at 12:20PM in Gottesman, there will be a meeting to explain more about what the role entails. There are many different levels of involvement. It is a flexible structure created to meet the needs of both the students and the organization advisors.

 

Question: Do you have meetings of the advisors? Yes, and we are putting into place an organized advisor training. Current advisors have been invited to a pilot training and other training sessions are planned.

 

Question: Is there a PPT or training that can be shared? Yes. In addition to the Feb 15 session, they might hold a second one and they also are meeting with interested parties individually.

 

Question: Are advisors responsible for student group actions if they misbehave? No, SDCA deals with that and the advisor is notified.

 

Question: Is there a list of student organizations available?
On the SDCA website under “student involvement” there is a list of organizations with mission statements.

 

Karen Watkis

Daffodil Days is a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Daffodils and potted plants are available. Orders must be in by March 2, and delivery is scheduled for March 22. Please spread the word. Volunteers are needed to coordinate the campaign and to deliver daffodils. Please email kwatkis@pace.edu.

 

Committee Reports

Karen Buckwald

Treasurer’s Report: We have $5100 in our budget remaining for picnic.

 

Karen DeSantis

Faculty Council

There was a quick meeting in December. Interim Provost Feldman spoke about faculty being paid below average salary in the CUPA. There was a presentation on the Master Plan, and another on Student Success. Faculty did their own faculty satisfaction survey. Results will be available soon. A volunteer is needed to represent staff on Faculty Council after this year.

 

Fran O’Gara

The Benefits Committee has not met.

 

Anna Fishman

We had the picnic on a Wednesday instead of a Friday last year and had a great turnout. The tentative date is Wednesday, June 13. Anna will be sending email for the first get-together of volunteers. We had a Bingo theme last year and still have all of the chips, etc., and can do it again if people are interested. Email afishman@pace.edu if you want to volunteer.

 

Additional Announcements

There is a basketball doubleheader on Wednesday, Feb 8: Women play at 5:30PM; Men play at 7:30PM.

 

Carol Turco, Student Affairs: Please nominate students who have been active and involved in campus for Commencement Awards.

 

Angelo Spillo, Environmental Center: There is a new Green Pace Award. It will be awarded for doing things to make Pace a green, sustainable institution and move in a sustainable direction, EMAIL

 

Dan Robinson, Financial Aid: Financial Aid held Financial Aid Express in Kessel and had two staff members on hand to help students with quick financial aid questions. They have also started the Financial Aid Newsflash, a newsletter that includes general information and timely topics, as well as Financial Aid Screencasts which provided information online for students.

 

Kathi Reczek, Health Services: Health Services can treat faculty and staff. The have nurse practitioners on staff who can write prescriptions. There is a copay. They are located in Goldstein Fitness Center.

 

Bob Lazer, Organizational Learning and Development: Save the date for June 7, which is a day of training and development at the Graduate Center. It involves the Office of Diversity, ITS, Finance, and Human Resources coming together to hold a series of trainings.

 

Connie Giamei, Staffing and Recruitment: We have secured a contract with a Vendor of moving and relocation services; Whalens Moving and Storage. Discounts will be available to students, staff, faculty, and alumni.

 

Our April meeting is currently scheduled for Good Friday. If there are no objections, it will be moved to April 13.

 

Question: What staff members are being recognized at the Employee Recognition ceremonies? Where is the list? It will be posted shortly.

 

The meeting adjourned at 10:30AM.