Dear Members of the DeSales University Community:
This is the age of collaboration. Just yesterday, DeSales University and Lehigh County announced a collaborative venture to create the first county-wide digital forensics lab in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Don Cunningham, the Lehigh County Chief Executive and Jim Martin, Lehigh County District Attorney, were on our campus for the press conference announcing the opening of the David Petzold Forensics Laboratory. LVAIC, however, is one of our longest lasting and most successful collaborative efforts. I would like to share with you a progress report on our recent planning initiative at LVAIC. If you have any comments or suggestions, please share them with me or with Bob Snyder, our representative to this planning effort. Thanks.
— Fr. Bernie O’Connor, OSFS, President – DeSales University.
PROGRESS REPORT: Spring – 2011
This past fall semester the LVAIC Board of Directors initiated a long-term planning process to enhance academic and administrative collaborations among our institutions. I am pleased to report that at its February meeting the LVAIC Board unanimously approved the progress report submitted by the Planning Committee. The Planning Committee, comprised of a Vice President from each campus and the LVAIC Executive Director, facilitated goal identification, coordinated working groups, and completed the initial phase of the first year planning. I want to share highlights of the three-part report and the next steps in planning for our consortium.
1. Current Planning Projects
The initial task for the Planning Committee was to review the LVAIC mission statement. We have approved a revised mission and vision statements.
Vision Statement: LVAIC makes strong colleges stronger through collaboration.
New Mission statement: LVAIC promotes and facilities inter-institutional cooperation between and among the independent colleges and universities of the Lehigh Valley in order to enrich and increase opportunities for students, faculty, and staff.
The Planning Committee and five working groups completed the first phase of work and proposed short and long term recommendations for implementation. These goal areas are:
- Increase collaborative foreign language instruction using video-conferencing;
- Increase cross registration for undergraduate day students;
- Enhance library opportunities for students, faculty and staff;
- Explore back office efficiencies; and
- Explore block-booking of student events.
The Board endorsed the recommendations for implementation of short term goals in several of the above areas for fall, 2011. The progress report summarizes the findings for each of the five areas.
2. Campus Recommendations for New Areas of Collaboration
The Planning Committee invited campus constituents to suggest areas/ideas for new collaborations. The Board endorsed the Planning Committee recommendations for the eighteen areas. Specific recommendations will be forwarded to the appropriate LVAIC senior leadership groups for further consideration and will be considered for the next phase of LVAIC planning. My thanks to the faculty and staff who offered suggestions to the Planning Committee.
3. LVAIC Past, Present and Future
Over the past four decades, LVAIC’s mission, funding formula and general governance and administrative policies have remained essentially unchanged. Over the coming months, the Planning Committee will study the LVAIC structure and organization to ensure it can adequately support and facilitate the proposed initiatives. The Board also approved the creation of a Coordinating Council that will be comprised of senior leadership from each campus and the LVAIC Executive Director. In July, 2011 the Planning Committee will transition to the Coordinating Council and will oversee implementation of consortial initiatives.
There are many accomplishments of note since its founding in 1969 and this planning process will ensure that LVAIC continues to be successful and integral to enhancing the missions of its members.