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Town Hall Meeting

10/10/2014
New Rochelle, NY (October 10, 2014) Iona College President Joseph E. Nyre, Ph.D., and other senior leaders hosted a town hall meeting to facilitate an open dialogue and share critical information with faculty and staff.  Topics addressed included the health of the College and achievements from the past year, along with a preview of the year to come.

In a continued effort to enhance communication across the campus, the first of two of the town hall meetings was held Tuesday for faculty, staff and administrators. A meeting for students is scheduled for Thursday, November 6, at 3:45 p.m. in Romita Auditorium. While the material presented will be the same, the sessions are held separately to encourage greater opportunity for attendance and conversation.

Tuesday’s town hall was moderated by Hugh Short, Ph.D., associate professor of English, chair of the Faculty Senate and chair of College Council and began with an invocation by Brother Dennis Gunn, Ph.D.

President Nyre delivered a report on the past academic year and highlighted collective campus-wide achievements that included increased student scholarships, recruitment of new faculty and staff, building and classroom renovations, a strong incoming freshman class of 800 students, increased donor support and a stable financial outlook.

After welcoming new faculty and staff, Dr. Nyre noted he considers communication a top priority. By hosting campus convocation, town hall meetings, distributing bi-weekly President’s Updates, hosting open-door office hours on Mondays, faculty lunches, and being increasingly visible throughout the campus, Dr. Nyre is creating opportunities for campus community feedback. “These meetings are vitally important to everyone on campus,” said Nyre. “Sharing information with your colleagues is an equally important form of communication.”

Dr. Nyre unveiled a current rendering of the planned residence hall on North Avenue, which will be a seven story, 300-bed structure with the first floor dedicated to retail and dining space open to the community. The target for completion of the new building is fall 2016.

Several senior administrators followed President Nyre’s presentation with reports from their administrative areas:

Mark Kiselica, Ph.D. provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs, gave an overview of his duties as provost, an update on the seven accreditation surveys underway, as well as the Middle States report due in April 2015. Current initiatives of the provost’s office include diversity, global engagement and support for the teacher-scholar model, and a multicultural lecture series.

Mary Beth Carey, vice president for Enrollment Management, reported successful outcomes for this year’s student enrollment. Highlights are over 9,000 freshmen applications received increased selectivity and improved academic preparedness in the freshman class of 800. The overall enrollment was at 101 percent of budget.

Ann Marie Schettini-Lynch, senior vice president for Finance and Administration, gave an overview of the current budget climate. The fiscal outlook for 2014-15 is healthy and includes a 1 percent salary increase for employees built into the base budget. Due to the diligence of the budget committee, there is a continued commitment to affordability and reinvesting in the future of Iona.

Paul J. Sutera, senior vice president for Advancement and External Affairs, discussed the success of this past year’s annual fundraising totaling over 12 percent from last year’s record number, introduced a new video for the Iona Forever Comprehensive Campaign (the College’s largest fundraising initiative), and introduced the members of the planning committee for Iona’s 75th anniversary celebration which will launch in April 2015.

A question and answer session followed the presentations.