Staff and Faculty Hear about Initiatives and Goals

    November 6, 2018

    Staff and faculty came together for the Communication Symposium hosted by Staff Senate and the Office of Human Resources to hear from Jeffrey P. Gingerich, Ph.D., provost and senior vice president of Academic Affairs, and Robert W. Davis, Jr., Ed.D., vice president for Student Life.

    The speakers discussed the future of the University as well as initiatives and goals for their divisions in the months and years to come.

    Dr. Gingerich began his tenure as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Scranton in June 2018. Previously, Dr. Gingerich served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Cabrini University, a Catholic liberal arts institution in Radnor. In his that role, he served as the chief academic officer overseeing four schools offering more than 35 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs. When his former colleagues ask him about his work at Scranton, he expresses his enthusiasm, he said.

    "I'm so excited about what we can do here and what's already being done," he said. "We are the premier institution in Northeast Pennsylvania. We need to stay that way and enhance our reputation nationally."

    Since he began his tenure here this summer, he has been working on the beginning stages of a Strategic Enrollment Plan (SEP), a "continuous and data-informed process" announced by Fr. Pilarz in August. Over the next year, a team of nearly 50 members of the staff and faculty will develop a data-informed, five-year SEP grounded in the University's mission and vision. 

    "I'm so excited about what we can do here and what's already being done."- Jeffrey P. Gingerich, Ph.D., provost and senior vice president of Academic Affairs

    "We have to ask ourselves, 'How are we staying nimble and being flexible?' It's important to distinguish ourselves as to why a University of Scranton education is the way to go," he said.

    In the University's future, he said, he sees an increase in diversity of the student body, faculty and administration as well as a stronger global presence. He sees new programs and the maintenance and growth of existing programs. He also will focus on the new Center for Humanities.

    "The humanities and liberal arts are so core to what we do and what employers want," he said. "They want people who can think critically, talk and write and who can discuss and solve problems."

    Robert W. Davis, Jr., was appointed Vice President for Student Life in 2018. In this role, he is responsible for the overall management of the division which includes Athletics, Campus Ministries, University Chaplain, University Police, the Center for Career Development, the Center for Health Education and Wellness, the Center for Student Engagement, the Counseling Center, the Cross Cultural Centers, Residence Life, Recreational and Club Sports, Student Conduct and Assessment, Student Health Services, Student Government, Dining Services and the University Bookstore. 

    Dr. Davis discussed the structure of the new division, which "situates student-centered functions to collaborate with academic colleagues to ensure that students will all experience that transformation that is at the heart of a Catholic and Jesuit education at Scranton." 

    To do connect and integrate those working with students outside the classroom, he said, he is meeting often with the various departments within the division as well as students to get feedback on the student experience and how it can be improved.

    "If we can focus on what's important  the community, the student experience  as we progress and change, the University will remain the type of home that we — and those before us — have always loved," he said.

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