Last week we began a new tradition here at Suffolk. The Board of Trustees on Thursday, April 13, dedicated its April “Board Plus Dinner” to celebrating faculty achievement.
More precisely, the board and the senior administrative leadership team held a dinner that included each of the newly tenured and/or promoted faculty from across the University. It was an opportunity to celebrate what each of these faculty members has achieved, to recognize their individual hard work and accomplishments, and in doing so to also honor the work of our faculty broadly speaking and their role at this University, in their professions, and in the communities we serve.
It was a great night of casual conversation and formal recognition simultaneously. And while it was the first such dinner, it will not be the last. The Board of Trustees is committed to honoring each new group of tenured and promoted faculty on an annual basis. A new tradition has been born.
While the dinner was a distinct (not to mention fun) part of the board meetings last week, there are other important actions that I want to share with the campus community. Among a range of activities and votes, one of the most important was that the board approved the FY18 budget. This budget, presented in the context of a five-year budget model, fully incorporates the funding required for the strategic plan initiatives unfolding next academic year. And for the second year in a row, it includes a budget line for salary increases that will roll out in the fall according to a still-to-be-determined process. While the salary increase pool may still not be as large as we might like, it will mark the second year in a row of increases. In addition, the board authorized us to move forward with the INTO partnership that will expand our pathways programs for international students, pending management’s final negotiations with INTO and NEASC approval.
Finally, board members also attended a Student Activities Fair that gave all trustees the opportunity to see a representation of our more than 100 clubs and organizations on campus and to connect with students in an informal way. I know the trustees, administrators, and students who attended all enjoyed the opportunity.
The faculty accomplishments that were highlighted at Thursday night’s dinner were outstanding and impressive, and the same is true for faculty and staff throughout this University. As we enter the home stretch of the academic year, I want to thank you for all that you are doing to advance this institution, and particularly for your support of our students.
Marisa J. Kelly