Suzanne K. Mellon, PhD, Installed as Tenth President at Carlow University.
|University Communications||For Immediate Release|
|Drew Wilson, Director, Media Relations|
In Presidential Address, Dr. Mellon Shares Five Overarching Goals for her Presidency and Carlow’s Future
Pittsburgh, Pa. –At her inauguration and installation today as the tenth president of Carlow University, Suzanne K. Mellon, PhD, shared five overarching goals that will shape her presidency and affect the University’s future.
In introducing these goals, Dr. Mellon hearkened to Carlow’s founders, the Sisters of Mercy, who established the school in 1929, just a few short weeks before the stock market crash that ushered in The GreatDepression. “Starting a college for women 85 years ago was in keeping with a legacy of boldness and risk-taking to address community need.”
Dr. Mellon introduced the goals by providing a brief description of the process the University undertook to arrive at them.
“As we move forward, we are finalizing a strategic plan for the University for the next five years,” she said. “It is based on our history and our sense of deep urgency that this is a call to action for Carlow to lead and serve the common good.”
Dr. Mellon described the five goals as having emerged after months of work by the strategic planning steering committee and broad discussion with multiple stakeholder focus groups. The goals are:
1. Accelerate Growth – “We will strategically position ourselves to increase our enrollment across all our programs, in undergraduate traditional, transfer, adult, and graduate programs,” she said. “We will do this through expanding our online footprint regionally and beyond in offering the programs that the community needs.”
Developing new accelerated baccalaureate to masters programs for students who desire to complete a graduate degree in a more expedited and cost-effective manner, a Center for Excellence in the health sciences, supplying southwestern Pennsylvania industry with workers who have the desired skill sets are the ways to accomplish this goal.
2. Optimize Learning – “Carlow is transforming and will continue to transform into a 21st century, high performance learning university that focuses on how students learn best, rather than perpetuating the previous century’s teaching-centered model,” she said.
Expanding opportunities for global study, internships, undergraduate research, and service-learning through partnerships with community organizations are some of the ways of accomplishing this.
“Such service experiences are deeply rooted in our mission, affording our students a profound opportunity to connect their education with active participation in society addressing issues of social and economic justice.”
3. Pursue Innovation through Partnerships –In announcing this third goal, Dr. Mellon said Carlow has a strong legacy of pursuing innovative projects and forward thinking. To expand on this legacy, Dr. Mellon announced the creation of a new “Institute for Women’s Leadership and Empowerment.”
“There is a strong need to address the social and health disparities of women and the role that women’s leadership and voice can have for our community and the world,” she said. “[This institute] will increase the capacity of women to become skilled change agents and social entrepreneurs within communities regional to global. The institute will help empower women – at all levels – who will use their voices to advocate for inclusiveness, justice, and democratized decision-making in their lives and in the lives of others.”
4. Increase Financial Sustainability – WhileDr. Mellon lauded Carlow for excellent financial stewardship in use of its resources, she acknowledged that the University is not a rich institution with a large endowment, and that has an effect on the first-generation college students, many of whom lack the resources to afford a college education..
“We plan to significantly increase our fundraising for scholarship assistance to keep our education affordable,” she said, adding that recently Carlow has raised more money than at any other period of time in its history. “However, we cannot rest on our laurels, and philanthropy will be an increasingly significant part of the Carlow culture in the future.”
5. Transform our Environment – Dr. Mellon said this goal includes the physical spaces on campus, as well as the digital learning environment. The signature component of this goal will be the University Commons project, a complete renovation of the five-story building currently known as Grace Library. The project will begin construction this summer and will be completed in August 2015. When finished, University Commons will feature a 21st-century library –still known as Grace Library – but it will also include innovative collaborative centers for student learning and academic support.
“At Carlow University, it is our commitment to our students that will engage with them in Transforming Lives and Transforming our World,” she said, citing the theme for her presidency. “We all have the capacity to transform lives, to inspire hope and to keep dreams alive. Let us never forget that education – especially at a Catholic university, is about much more than granting degrees. It’s about moving dreams forward, ours and those around us, and in the process making our world a little better than it was yesterday and a little more compassionate than it would be without us.”
### About Carlow University
Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Carlow University was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1929. Offering both undergraduate and graduate programs, Carlow University is a comprehensive master’s institution dedicated to learner-centered education at the collegiate levels and at the elementary school level in the CampusSchool of Carlow University.