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Archive Notes - May 2009

has finally reached the North Country. We have begun the
end-of-the-year cycle of honors and awards ceremonies. Seniors are
excited and a bit daunted by the prospects of leaving campus. Others
are preparing for exciting adventures over the summer. As we reach the
end of the academic year, I wanted to share a few things with all of

I am very pleased to announce that we have reached our
goal for new first-year students. The Admissions staff has done an
extraordinarily good job this season. Currently, all data indicates
that we will be close to the fall 2007 25-year record-breaking
first-year class when the fall semester begins. This means we should
enroll in the range of 820-840 first-time, full-time freshmen this
fall. Moreover, our selectivity remains high, with test scores and
GPAs comparable to the last few years. Obviously, the staff will
continue to contact accepted and deposited students to confirm their
attendance in the fall. During our summer orientations, we will all
work hard to ensure that the new students find the help they need
getting settled on campus, choosing the best classes for their
curriculum, and adapting to their new college life.

In recent
days, you may have seen television ads for our summer session. We are
anticipating a solid enrollment. In trying economic times, people
frequently invest in their education in anticipation that when good
times return, they will be better prepared for a good job. Similarly,
there are plans to run ads this summer to encourage people to apply to
our graduate programs. Our graduate applications are consistent with
this past year?s, but not growing in the way we would like, or as we
had projected. Certainly, economic conditions have impacted certain
groups of prospective students disproportionately. This has caused
some of our graduate programs to be under enrolled.

The boards
of the Potsdam College Foundation and of the Alumni Association
recently had their meetings on campus, including an all-day retreat.
During the retreat, the various board members heard a presentation
regarding the feasibility of the College beginning a comprehensive
campaign in the next few years. The Administrative Cabinet will be
studying the feasibility report and the recommendations of the
Foundation Board as we look to a new campaign. This campaign will help
to significantly enhance student learning, improve conditions for
faculty, and provide scholarships. I am very excited about the way in
which this campaign can help us transform the campus and implement the
Bicentennial Plan. In addition, the boards heard presentations by
students regarding the importance of scholarships in student success,
student and faculty research, opportunities for study abroad, and the
Presidential Scholars program. I can report that the board members
were quite simply ?blown away? by the students. Our students are truly
phenomenal and are the very best advocates for charitable giving to the

The Administrative Cabinet is putting the final touches
on the budget for the 2009-10 fiscal year. The figures presented at
the April full faculty meeting have not changed notably. Slightly more
funds have been allocated to Academic Affairs, Institutional
Effectiveness, and Advancement, as I reported at the Faculty Senate
meeting on April 30. Over the summer the Cabinet will continue to
monitor the budget, study the report of the Faculty Goals and Planning
Committee, and see how we can use the Bicentennial Plan to assist us as
we plan our way through the current budget difficulty. Just as we
began to plan for the downturn in the budget before it came to pass, so
now we need to create the college of the future, based on our strategic

The Steering Committee for the Performing Arts Building
has made recommendations for the allocation of space within the new
building. The architects have presented several concept drawings
designed to capture the essence of the new building and place it
physically on campus. Once the general orientation of the building is
resolved, and how it articulates with the Crane complex and the rest of
campus, the architects will begin to create more detailed designs for
the committee to evaluate within the programmatic needs already
developed. Without doubt, this building has the potential to
significantly transform the campus. Not only will it heighten our
awareness of the excellence of our Theatre and Dance program, but in
the spaces vacated elsewhere on campus, we also can provide new areas
to enhance other excellent programs.

This summer, there will
be numerous construction projects on campus. The parking lots on the
north side of campus will be repaved, as well as Potsdam Drive and Lake
Placid Drive. The water main and sewer lines that run near Dunn Hall
will be replaced, along with the patio on the Quad side of Dunn. The
classrooms in Kellas will be renovated with new desks and furnishings,
along with Stowell 211. These are just a few of the projects that will
occur this summer. As I have noted several times before, although our
operating budgets are restricted due to the economic downturn, the
funds for critical maintenance and the new building are in place, but
cannot be used for any other purpose.

I hope that each of you
has a restful and productive summer. It will be a busy place here on
campus, with construction, summer session, and various camps and other
programs. One of the highlights of the summer will be the Annual
Alumni Reunion Weekend, July 9 ? 12. This year, we will be featuring
returning athletes as one of the themes of the Reunion. I do hope that
some of you can join us in the celebrations. I look forward to seeing
each of you on August 27, at 9 a.m., in the Snell Theater for the
Opening Convocation and State of the College address.