Office of the President
Friends and Colleagues:
Welcome back and happy New Year! I hope all of you were able to enjoy the holidays with your family and friends over the Christmas break.
We have a busy and exciting semester ahead of us as Fairfield enters its 75th year, with celebrations to formally begin in February and to continue into the fall of 2017. I’m honored to be serving as Interim President during this auspicious time, and look forward to working with you all in the coming months.
I wanted to draw your attention to some of the exciting initiatives that are currently underway and other developments of interest to the community.
CONSTRUCTION HAS BEGUN!
This is a really exciting time for expansion and growth of our campus footprint, as well as for the improvement of some of our existing facilities. I am sure you will notice work is full-steam ahead around the John A. Barone Campus Center, in the Quad area, as well as preparations underway for a new parking garage on the footprint of the existing parking lot at the Kelley Center. Our goal is to have a new residence hall ready for occupancy in August of 2018, with the parking garage ready for use by the end of this year and a brand new dining facility in Barone, “The Tully,” by the Fall of 2017. We will do all that we can to minimize disruptions as work gets underway. As a reminder, please review the parking communication from October that outlined the logistics plan.
TULLY FAMILY GIFT NAMES NEW DINING FACILITY – “THE TULLY”
The major upgrade to the Barone Campus Center I mentioned above is slated to be completed in its entirety in 2018, and will include a significantly expanded dining area, a new coffee shop, and an overall expansion and refresh. It’s going to look terrific and will be architecturally in tune with the RecPlex. A recent leadership gift made by The Daniel and Grace Tully Foundation, solidifies that the new dining facility will be named effective immediately The Daniel and Grace Tully Dining Commons, or in short, “The Tully.” Daniel Tully is a former University Trustee and the former chairman and CEO of Merrill Lynch. Mr. Tully chaired the first and second annual Fairfield Awards Dinners and has been a longtime supporter of the University. We are excited and grateful to the Tully family for their ongoing generosity and long-time support of the University.
CLASS OF 2021
We have put a lot of energy and creativity into our recruitment efforts this year. I am delighted to report that these efforts have resulted in over 11,000 applications for the Class of 2021, the largest pool of applications in our history. We anticipate at this point that we will succeed in meeting our goal of over 1,000 first-year students. Congratulations to those working in the Office of Undergraduate Admission and their partners in Marketing and Communications for their excellent work.
NEW Doctorate of Nursing Practice Program in Midwifery and Kanarek Center for Palliative Care
I’m pleased to report that our newest doctorate of nursing practice program in midwifery has been approved by the State of Connecticut, and we are anticipating an accreditation visit soon, with the expectation that we will enroll our first class in the fall. Fairfield has an excellent reputation in developing leaders in nursing and healthcare, and with the introduction of this new program — one of only a few in the country — we continue to uphold that tradition.
We are also greatly anticipating the opening of the new Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies in the fall of 2017, which will also be home to Fairfield’s new Kanarek Center for Palliative & Supportive Nursing Education. Palliative Care programs and services benefit patients who have a life threatening illness and who require supportive care, pain and symptom management from a multidisciplinary healthcare team to enhance quality of life.
The presidential search process continues on schedule. So far we have collected extensive feedback from alumni, faculty, staff, students, parents, University trustees and others, on the key priorities and challenges facing the incoming president, as well as the key competencies and experiences central to any successful candidate. We are researching the market extensively to identify the best possible candidates. Our consultants, informed by this input, have started to meet with potential candidates and will continue to do so in the coming weeks. To follow the process go to the Presidential Search Committee website.
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. CONVOCATION
Finally, a reminder that our annual Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation is on the horizon. Fania Davis, a social justice activist, Civil Rights trial attorney and restorative justice practitioner, will be this year’s keynote speaker at the Convocation on Wednesday, Jan. 25 at the Quick Center at 7:30 p.m. Davis is a leading national voice on restorative justice. Restorative Justice is based on a “desired set of principles and practices to mediate conflict, strengthen community and repair harm.” This Convocation is a significant and solemn event in our annual calendar, where we gather as a community to renew our commitment to social justice and to diversity, understanding and civility in our relationships with one another and our neighbors. I strongly urge you all to participate.
This is a very brief summary of some of what is before us in the coming weeks and months. I thank you all for your dedication to Fairfield, and I look forward to working with you all in the weeks ahead.
Lynn M. Babington, PhD, RN