President Focuses on Building Strength in State of College Address

October 20, 2011

State of the CollegeHartwick College is building strength by strategically focusing on recruiting quality students, fostering student, faculty and staff success, and practicing sound fiscal management — each of which have been priorities of the College administration over the past year. That was the message delivered October 19 by President Margaret L. Drugovich during this year's State of the College Address.

In a sweeping presentation to the College community, Drugovich showcased the achievements of students, faculty and staff, and outlined the ways in which Hartwick will move forward by continuing to build on successes in enrollment management, fundraising and fiscal management.

"In the past three years, we've worked hard to get the fundamentals right," she said, noting a stable enrollment of well-prepared students, including the fall 2011 entering class, which was a record-setter in both size and academic quality.

In part, the strength of this year's class can be attributed to Hartwick's strong reputation. Drugovich cited the College's recent recognition by U.S. News & World Report, Fiske Guide to Colleges, Princeton Review and others for its strong liberal-arts program, study-abroad opportunities and living/learning environment, among numerous other benchmarks.

Drugovich highlighted the receipt of nearly $1 million in outside grants over the past year in support of research, academic programs and campus improvements. She also emphasized a wide-ranging list of student, faculty and staff accomplishments. Since October 2010, Hartwick students have presented at more than 40 national and regional conferences, 21 have received the Freedman Prize, and 12 have been named Emerson International Internship Duffy Family Ambassador scholars. Countless others have been recognized for their work, completed internships in their fields, received funding to study abroad, authored published research articles and been accepted to prestigious graduate schools.

Faculty were noted for their more than 100 presentations, 60-plus book and journal publications, seven awards and recognitions, and numerous performances and exhibitions. Among them, they have received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, and more than a dozen other organizations. Several staff also were cited for presentations at national and regional conferences.

Drugovich also called attention to a summer of far-reaching improvements to the campus, with an investment of more than $1.9 million. The 20-plus major projects since October 2010 included several large paving projects, underground drainage systems, new walkways and steps, HVAC repairs, interior and exterior building upgrades, new flooring and equipment in Lambros Arena and a new Anderson Center for the Arts amphitheater, designed to last 30 years.

The College's largest facilities project of the past year saw more than $1 million in improvements to van Ess Hall, which received new sprinklers, flooring, stair landings, paint, ceiling tiles, fire doors, furniture and walkways.

Beyond Oyaron Hill, Drugovich discussed changes in the economy and their impact on the College. Chief among the issues facing colleges today is financial stability. To help manage those challenges, Drugovich said, the College is focused on strategy. As many families continue to struggle, Hartwick has continued to offer competitive financial aid and scholarship assistance.

"We're trying to do the right thing by these students by giving more and more need," she said.

Over the past three years, Hartwick also has better organized spending, focusing on infrastructure, students, academic offerings and hiring practices, putting the College in a more solid financial position going forward.

Looking to 2012, Drugovich unveiled several future campus improvements and wider-ranging College plans. Among them are expanded programs, upgrades to Slade Theatre and the addition of pre-baccalaureate course offerings next summer.

Following a closing performance by the College's saxophone ensemble, Saxophobia, led by Assistant Professor of Music Jason Curley, Drugovich thanked the several hundred students, faculty and staff in attendance for learning about the challenges that lie ahead and celebrating the progress of the past year.

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,500 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes a uniquely experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a unique January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor's Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Jen Moritz
Phone: 607-431-4038