GARY ROBERTS - PRESIDENT

There is new leadership in place with Gary Anna’s retirement after 37 years of service.

Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel: Erin Kastberg

Assistant Vice President for Budget and Planning: Demetrius Carmichael

Chief Financial Officer: Pratima Gandhi (formerly Bradley’s Controller

Student leaders:

  • Mikki Tran - student body president
  • Malini Wijesinghe - speaker of the assembly
  • Camille Sanders - chief of staff
  • Nolan Ruthe - director of administration

University Senate leaders:

  • Ahmad Fakheri, mechanical engineering - president
  • Mat Timm, mathematics - immediate past president
  • Stephen Banning, communications - vice president
  • Danielle Glassmeyer, English - secretary
  • Bernard Goitein, management and leadership - at large executive committee
  • Teresa Drake, family & consumer sciences - education and health sciences

Joan Sattler, dean of the College of Education and Health Sciences, announced her retirement at end of this academic year.

 Business and Engineering Complex update

Phase one of the new business and engineering complex is on schedule and a little under budget. The building is a $100 million investment that will facilitate interdisciplinary study, innovative opportunities and programming. Developing new programs and collaborations, as well as new teaching and learning styles within all our colleges, is critical for Bradley’s long-term health.

Finances

Last year, the university budgeted a $4 million-plus deficit, due to the small junior and senior classes, but the unaudited actual numbers came in at approximately a $3 million deficit. This year we’re planning for a deficit of $700,000. Also, health insurance premiums will not increase this year, for the 6th straight year. 

Roberts said, “We’re in good shape and our finances are getting stronger.”

However, our future challenge will be student recruitment, due to a shrinking student pool. In eight years, the number of high school graduates drops 15 percent, which means a 25 percent smaller population than what we're recruiting from now.

The Board of Trustees held a retreat earlier this month to address this and other long-term financial challenges related to increased costs, e.g., technology, student support, and a decreased ability of students to pay those costs.

There is no immediate crisis. Bradley is doing well today and should be able to do well for the next few years. But it is imperative that over the next decade the university looks at its business model to see what is sustainable and address these issues now.

The trustees identified several priorities:

  1. Keep academic standards high
  2. Engage promptly in process of program review and prioritization and align resources in a strategic way based on criteria determined through a collaborative process.
  3. Develop more interdisciplinary and collaborative programs; identify new and creative programs to generate new revenue
  4. Use technology creatively and aggressively
  5. Maintain our commitment to intercollegiate athletics

Roberts said the administration will engage the campus in these discussions, but that we need to make sure inertia does not prevent us from making progress.

Safety

The president announced changes to Bradley’s system of safety alerts will be announced in the future. There will be a test of the current system, ForeWarn, Tuesday, Aug. 21. Employees who have not signed up for the emergency alerts should go to bradley.edu/emergency to register their phones. Anyone who does not receive the TEST text message on the 21st, visit the “My Info” tab on MyBU and check the number they have registered.

The BU Police Department offers several safety training presentations that offices and departments can request.

NASA challenge

The NASA Challenge is now in its third and final phase, which will culminate next April when five finalist teams from around the world will come to Peoria to build potential habitats on Mars using 3D printers and natural materials found on Mars. This is a fascinating competition and has already brought Bradley huge national and international recognition. 

WCBU

The cost for relocating WCBU from Jobst Hall is $700,000. Annual costs include $175,000 in direct cash expenses for a total of $360,000 when you add indirect support. Roberts noted his love of public radio, but said the university cannot justify continuing that kind of expense. He added it is almost certain that WCBU will remain on the air and Peoria will continue to have public radio. The administration is looking at this as an opportunity to rethink how public radio should operate in Central Illinois going forward, something that would need to be done regardless of the move out of Jobst.

Ask the Administration

If you have any questions, you can go to: AskTheAdmin.bradley.edu.

Mrs. Bradley

Sculpture professor Fisher Stolz has repaired Mrs. Bradley’s statue, which was unveiled Thursday, Aug. 16.

Bradley magazine

Bradley Hilltopics will now be known as Bradley magazine. There will also be a new digital edition available with regular updates that we will send to students in addition to regular readers. Look for that this fall.

The Bradley Dogs

President Roberts’ wife, Donna Carr Roberts, has written and illustrated a children’s book — the story of the Bradley dogs called “The adventures of Mr. Fuzzy Ears: Searching for a furry friend,” which teaches children to respect and be kind to animals. The profits from Central Illinois sales will go to the Peoria Humane Society. Copies are available in the Bradley bookstore, Amazon.com, and mrfuzzyears.com.

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WALTER ZAKAHI - PROVOST

Provost Zakahi said, “Higher education talks about shared governance, but I prefer to call it shared stewardship,” defining it as “something entrusted to one’s care that we work on together.”

Employees: Bradley welcomed 98 new employees, including 31 full-time faculty; 41 exempt, 26 nonexempt.

Zakahi introduced Jobie Skaggs, who serves as the new interim associate provost, as well as Demetrius Carmichael, assistant vice president for budget and planning. Zakahi thanked Molly Cluskey — who previously served in this role — for her work and for helping him understand Bradley’s culture during my first two years. He also thanked his staff: Linda Pizzutti, Tracy Zuercher, and Laurie Vincent.

Joan Sattler joined Bradley in 1977 as an assistant professor and will retire after 41 years of service. She led the College of Education and Health Sciences through the Westlake expansion and has championed online education. Bradley has more than 900 online graduate students thanks to her vision and leadership.

Notable achievements

  • The strategic plan is off to a great start. This fall marks year two of implementation.
  • There is a classroom in Morgan Hall that has the same kinds of technology as will be found in the new business and engineering complex. This room is for faculty training.
  • Erin Kastberg has developed an interim consensual relationship policy, which will be in effect until a policy is approved by University Senate
  • The Office of Institutional Effectiveness, directed by Jenny Gruening Burge, will coordinate university-wide assessment activity and will assist with the Higher Learning Commission accreditation, among other duties. Learn more at bradley.edu/institutionaleffectiveness
  • Student Success: The Provost’s Office is sharing data with the Educational Advisory Board with the goal of developing a model to improve and predict student success in order to increase retention and graduation rates.
  • Higher Learning Commission Accreditation Visit: Zakahi’s office is currently focused on writing an Assurance Argument, demonstrating Bradley meets the five criteria for accreditation. The visit will take place during the 2020-21 academic year.

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JEFF BAKKEN - ASSOCIATE PROVOST FOR RESEARCH AND DEAN OF THE GRADUATE SCHOOL

On-campus enrollment

Fall 2017: 500

Fall 2018: 320 (currently)

The numbers aren’t final, but the decline is largely from a lack of international students, due to the current social and political climate, as well as student debt. The number of F-1 student visa applicants fell 29 percent, which means 250,000 fewer students studying in the U.S. The college aims to expand its outreach to share the message that international students are welcome, safe, and will have opportunities for majors, research and internships.

Online enrollment

Fall 2017: 677

Fall 2018: 851

 Strategies for growth include developing new online programs, e.g., Ed.D. in Education Administration which debuts fall 2019, more courses for adult learners, as well as certificate programs.

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JUSTIN BALL - VICE PRESIDENT FOR ENROLLMENT MANAGEMENT

First-year students: A 9.5 percent increase in the number of applications has yielded a projected class of 1103 new students. This will be the 2nd most ethnically diverse class in Bradley history. The goal is to maintain a class size between 1,080-1,100 students

Transfer students: The numbers are slightly down, but Admissions is partnering with community colleges to bring in more transfer students.

Testing: Admissions is migrating from the ACT to the SAT to evaluate prospective students

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RENÉE RICHARDSON - ASSOCIATE VICE PRESIDENT FOR MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS

Bradley pride and brand awareness

Every institution has an image and reputation to uphold that starts from the inside out: students, alumni, faculty, staff. Bradley University has a strong brand that brings a $310 million economic impact to community annually.

Bradley Brags, a pocket-sized primer on what makes the university outstanding:

  • Top 10 Midwest Regional University
  • Real-World Experience
  • Personalized Education
  • Top 10 Student Engagement
  • Money Well-Invested
  • A Place to Call Home
  • Lydia Moss Bradley 

The Office of Marketing and Communications’ services include design, photography and videography, social media, graphic design, writing/editing, Bradley magazine.

The office partners with Admissions. When it comes to recruitment, the research indicates an institution’s website is everything. Please continue to work with the Office of Marketing and Communications to keep your content up to date. Share story ideas at omc@bradley.edu

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ERIN KASTBERG - VICE PRESIDENT FOR LEGAL AFFAIRS AND GENERAL COUNSEL

Office of the General Counsel: advises on risk management; contracts, privacy/FERPA issues, policy development, training, personnel matters, student matters. It does not advise on criminal or personal civil matters or matters not related to Bradley or that may create a conflict of interest with the university. Learn more at bradley.edu/general-counsel.

Open enrollment for insurance and flexible spending will be Aug. 27 through Sept. 7. The Benefit Fair will be Wednesday, Sept. 5 at the Michel Student Center.

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AWARDS:

A number of awards were given at the ceremony. These include:

The Helen Bartlett Award for Excellence in Service to Students — the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Scholars Program

First-Year Faculty Award — Adam Byerly, lecturer in computer science and information systems

Outstanding Academic Advisor Award — Brad Eskridge, instructor of marketing

This year saw the inauguration of a new award for staff excellence: one for exempt staff, one for non-exempt.

Staff Excellence Awards

Exempt — Pat Campbell, supervisor of administration, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Non-exempt (tie) — Julie Coffey, administrative support, Office of Student Activities; Karla Layne, administrative support, Foster College of Business