Dear Marylhurst community,
As 2015 comes to a close, it’s the perfect time to reflect on the amazing accomplishments of Marylhurst University, and to look ahead to the next year. As the Board of Trustees, comprised of alumni, Sisters of the Holy Names, and community partners, we are excited about the direction this university is headed and the work done so far to move in that direction.
We want to commend President Rose and her team as we work together to uphold the mission and values of the Sisters and university while building upon Marylhurst’s legacy of academic excellence. By working with the newly-formed Faculty Senate on curriculum review and master academic planning, Marylhurst has a more predictable and collaborative environment focused on the needs of our current and future students.
We are also proud of faculty and staff who worked together to bring forward a 2015-16 budget that restored earlier pay cuts, some retirement benefits, and professional development funds while balancing our budget and keeping Marylhurst debt-free. A significant part of balancing that budget included a departmental restructure that reduced administrative overhead and established equity in workload among our faculty. These efforts help keep tuition affordable and position the university to offer competitive and essential programs and degrees for our students.
With change it is not surprising that we’ve heard a few concerns. We understand these concerns are coming from a place of love for this university. Through this period of change we want to make sure the facts don’t get lost. One understandable fear expressed by some students is that they may lose programs as we go through our master academic plan. The master academic plan is actually designed to identify areas for university growth, and as always, our dedicated advisors stand ready to advise each and every student through their degree pathway to graduation.
We want also to address another concern in particular because it’s the most incorrect: the mission and values of this university are being undermined. As the Board, we look at each initiative, strategy and plan and hold them against the mission and values. No decision made by President Rose and her team has in any way undermined the mission and values of Marylhurst.
These are challenging times in higher education, but these challenges are not unique to Marylhurst; they are nationwide. We have to be smart to protect the unique qualities that are Marylhurst and forge ahead to meet the demands of our students’ expectations. This will require us to work together and continue to have in-depth dialog around key issues such as strategic growth, diversity, program development and campus access. In order to make that dialogue inclusive and transparent, the Marylhurst community now has a blog about all things academic. We hope you will subscribe, and be part of the productive effort to grow our university: blog.marylhurst.edu/academics.
We have great optimism that 2016 will be an incredible year for Marylhurst. We have the right team under the right leader to transform Marylhurst into the modern American university that combines much-needed liberal arts skills with career-focused, professional studies. Our small class sizes and care for students continue, through our dedicated faculty and staff. Thank you for the support and intelligence you bring to the university, whether you are faculty, staff, students or alumni. You are what make this university great, and together, we will celebrate our 125th anniversary in just two and a half short years.
Scott Bolton (MBA ‘02)
Chairman, Marylhurst University Board of Trustees
Scott Bolton is the current Chair of the Board of Trustees for Marylhurst University. He is the Vice-President of External Affairs for PacifiCorps. Learn more about the members who make up the Marylhurst Board of Trustees.