It’s too darn hot – or not! It all depends on your perspective. Our campus meteorologist, Eric Horst, is predicting that temperatures could approach 100 degrees later this week, and the heat index may soar above the century mark. Yes, it is too darn hot at the ‘Ville. On the other hand, things are really heating up on campus in so many positive ways. I am excited to share a few developments in this month’s newsletter for your midsummer reading pleasure.
Let me start on an important note, because I received feedback from many members of our campus community regarding the message that I sent out just before last week’s Board of Governors meeting. I want to take this opportunity to offer some context and hope for the future. We all know that Chancellor Greenstein and the board are taking bold steps to address pernicious challenges in the system and to focus the entire team at Dixon University Center on our students and their success. While we hoped for a larger increase from the Commonwealth for next fiscal year, the budget signed into law called for PASSHE to receive a two percent increase. Past practice would have led us to believe that the BOG would pass along a small increase in tuition to our students and their families. The vote to hold the tuition rate constant sent a strong message that we are no more in an environment of “business as usual.” I want to assure you at this time that Millersville University remains on solid financial ground. Based on earlier discussions with the Chancellor, we constructed our 2019-20 budget model assuming a zero-percent tuition increase. I instructed my executive team to enter our budget modeling with a responsible and balanced approach to this new fiscal reality. Our decisions still allow us to be responsive and continue to make progress in key areas that support student success.
I am anxious to welcome Marauders back to campus and greet the newest members of our campus community in a few short weeks. Early indications are that we have a wonderful slate of activities and programs planned to launch our new academic year.
International Academic Partnerships
We are fortunate to have many international partners across the globe. Last month I visited some of our partners in China and explored opportunities for future collaborations. Such partnerships require building relationships which ultimately can strengthen ties and understanding to create connections that will serve our students.
One of the universities I visited was Chongqing Normal University, a consortium partner through the AASCU-sponsored Cooperation on Higher Education and Professional Development (CHEPD) program. The title of my presentation at the conference was “Promoting Programs in Music and Fine Arts: A Language Embracing All Languages,” and I participated in the graduation ceremony for three Millersville's dual degree students through the CHEPD Program. For those of you who follow me on social media, we have some photos posted online.
Some of our newest partners in China are Zhejiang Normal University, Northeast Agricultural University and Guizhou University. For a full list of our international partners, visit the Office of International Programs and Services website.
Last spring, we signed and MOU with Academic City College located in Ghana. This partnership allows us to work together on a variety of programs. Millersville students and faculty will be able to participate in study abroad programs and it also provides transfer and graduate opportunities for students from Academic City College.
Visiting our partners to make sure students and scholars know they are welcome at Millersville is necessary for building these relationaships. It is also important for U.S. universities to continually advocate for our international interests and the importance of global studies. We’re fortunate to have an international service office that helps international students and scholars to get the most from their experience at the ‘Ville.
Domestic Academic Partnerships
In a recent Op-Ed for LNP, I wrote about the importance of higher education institutions partnering with businesses and the local community. Similarly, it is important for us to collaborate with other higher education institutions to provide access and opportunities for all students.
During the spring semester, we signed partnerships with Thaddeus Stevens College of Science & Technology and the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Virginia.
By collaborating with Thaddeus Stevens, we created an opportunity for their business administration students pursuing an associate degree to transfer credits easily into our new online business administration bachelor’s degree program. Through our newly established College of Business, they will be able to further their education while balancing a job in the workforce.
And, for graduates of Millersville University looking to enter the field of medicine, we signed an agreement with the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine for a “Guaranteed Admissions Interview Program.” Qualified MU students will have an advantage for admission into medical school through this agreement. This is a collaboration I am especially proud of, because only 4.5% of applicants are accepted into their program.
Eurofins: A Good Community Partner
Eurofins Scientific is an international life sciences company that provides a unique range of analytical testing services to clients across multiple industries. We are fortunate to have one of their locations, the Eurofins Lancaster Laboratories Environmental, LLC, in Lancaster County. In addition to being a great company and regional partner, they also employ more than 100 Millersville University alums. The MU Alumni Association partnered with Eurofins this spring to hold a mid-week lunch for our Marauder alums.
Our faculty have done a great job partnering with Eurofins to provide our students with internships across several discipnies and several interns transitioned to full-time employees upon their graduation from MU. One of our Council of Trustee members, Holly Trego ’98, was introduced to Eurofins as an intern. She worked her way up and now, after 23 years with the company, she is their manager for IT Solutions. She told me that as a computer science student at Millersville she had access to equipment that helped prepare her for the business world.
Catherine Bachman is one of our alums from 2011 and is currently a Senior Specialist at Eurofins. She says that the people she has hired and worked with from Millersville “have been on top of their game.”
Kenneth Bell ’97 is the Principal Chemist Group Leader, Eurofins. He started as a technician there, but decided he wanted to further his education and studies chemistry at Millersville.
Experiential Learning and Career Management does a great job of connecting our students and alumni with employers. Using ELCM's Career Connection platform, employers have the ability to post internships, part- and full-time employment opportunities.
President’s Leadership Institute
As stated above, there is no doubt that our higher education environment in Pennsylvania and across the nation is more complex and demanding than ever. The need for committed and quality leadership is crucial at all levels of the institution to advance our mission and live our core values.
To encourage the next generation of campus leaders who are grounded in our EPPICC values, I announce with much pleasure the creation of Millersville University’s President’s Leadership Institute (PLI) effective August 1.
Designed exclusively for ‘Ville faculty and staff, the PLI’s goal is to develop and encourage emerging leaders at the University and build a deep pool of future faculty and staff leaders who will assist in propelling our institution to the next level.
The President’s Leadership Institute will use a variety of learning experiences, including:
- Monthly discussions with our senior leadership team on current issues, internal operations and leadership themes,
- Interactive presentations by leaders to understand different types and styles of leadership,
- Field excursions to learn from our business and government partners,
- Opportunities to interact with key stakeholders and hear how they influence the university and
- Team projects to allow participants to dive deeper into an area of interest.
I will share more about the inaugural PLI class during my September update to the campus community.
Preparing for 2025
Preparations for our next strategic plan that will guide us from 2020-2025 are underway, so we will be ready to engage the All University Council (AUC) as soon as classes start in the fall. The phase teams, which are being formulated this summer, will have specific assignments to focus on. There will be a mission team, vision team, strategic issues team, goals/objectives team and a strategies team.
I am pleased that we have faculty and staff from across many divisions who will serve on the AUC. Heather Keck, our retail and technical services manager in University Dining and Conference Services says she’s excited to serve because it gives her the opportunity to share ideas and to discuss issues with the members of the Council. I agree with Heather when she said having diverse representation will encourage creative thinking.
William “Anthony” Hoopes, our refrigeration mechanic in Maintenance Operations, volunteered to be on the AUC. After three years of “9-5,” he is interested in getting to know the processes of Millersville a bit more in-depth. He says he will bring his “behind-the-scenes” knowledge of being out and about around campus and interacting with faculty and students on a non-academic basis.
We are so pleased to have folks like Heather and Anthony on the AUC. In addition to their contribution to discussions, I am sure they will get a better understanding of issues across the campus, as well as the opportunity to meet and work with faculty and staff from across the campus. I think Anthony summed up my expectations for the AUC when he said, “It’s like we are one family, where one department or one person isn’t more important than the other, everyone’s opinion matters.”
Parking Spaces on Campus
I have some good news to share regarding parking on campus. Beginning August 1, East Frederick Street will become one-way going westbound and there will be parallel parking on both sides of the street. This change will give us an additional 80 parking spaces. We received approval from the Millersville Borough Council in late June to make this change.
In addition, the barrels placed in the left-turn lane at the intersection of Shenks Lane and West Frederick Street will remain throughout the coming semester. To enhance safety in that area, additional signage and lights will be installed. I urge all of our students, faculty and staff to be alert at this intersection and while crossing streets throughout campus and the borough.
Also, a reminder that due to construction at Penn Manor High School, Millersville University will lose the parking spaces in the lower level of the Penn Manor parking garage on Pucillo Drive near Biemesderfer Stadium. During the three-year construction project, a good alternative is the Prince Street Parking Garage.
Millersville Finds Success with Russian Bees
Honeybees have been considered the world's most important pollinator of food crops. It is estimated that one third of the food we consume each day relies on pollination, mainly by honeybees. Recent news reports indicate that a record number (40%) of honeybee colonies died last winter, most of them from mites.
Millersville University started an apiary, a place where beehives and bees are kept, on campus in 2016 with European honeybees. After a couple of winters of losing every hive they had, Dr. John Wallace made the decision to switch to Russian bees, a subspecies of the European bees.
Wallace says that Russian bees are more aggressive than the European bees we had. This aggressive behavior helps them to fight off the mite infections. While they are not as aggressive as Africanized honeybees, they do require more careful management.
The apiary, which is located off the outdoor stairway between Brossman and Pucillo, is run by MU students, Jacob Herschberger and Kevin Faccenda, both senior biology majors. Over the past year and a half, they have put in a great deal of time managing the colonies - hard work that has had phenomenal results in this year's honey harvest. The Entomology Club, under Kevin and Jacob's supervision, recently harvested 100 pounds of honey from the apiary.
Kevin says this is the most honey they ever got and they’ll be selling it on campus this fall.
Something sweet to look forward to!
Enjoy the rest of the summer!