Provost Marc Roy announces Dr. LaJerne Cornish as Goucher’s new associate dean of undergraduate studies

Jaclyn Peiser
Editor-in-Chief

Samuel Kessler
News Editor

Provost Marc Roy announced in an email to the faculty and staff on Tuesday, Feb. 16 that LaJerne Cornish will assume the role of associate dean of undergraduate studies next fall.

LaJerne Cornish, chair of the education department and chair of faculty, in her office in Van Meter (Photo: Christopher Riley)

LaJerne Cornish, chair of the education department and chair of faculty, in her office in Van Meter (Photo: Christopher Riley)

“I’m very excited. I’ve worked closely with LaJerne in her role as chair of the faculty for the last three years,” Roy said. “She is absolutely wonderful in the way she works with students and her colleagues and I am very excited to have the chance to continue working with her in this capacity.”
The Provost first announced the search for current Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies Amanda Thom Woodson’s replacement in a Jan. 13 letter to faculty and staff. Woodson will meet her two-term limit this spring semester and Roy asked for nominations and self-nominations. According to Woodson, other members of the staff and faculty asked to be part of the interview process, including Woodson’s assistant, the Director of the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) Peejo Sehr, and Frona Brown, the college disabilities specialist. After going through the nomination and interview processes, Roy explained, “LaJerne was the best candidate.”
This sentiment continues across the college community.
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Administration rejects boycott of Israeli institutions

Megan Meluskey
Staff Writer

Goucher College announced its decision to reject the academic boycott of Israeli universities and colleges in a letter to the Goucher college community on Dec. 27.
As 2013 came to a conclusion, the American Studies Association (ASA) endorsed an academic boycott of all Israeli universities and
colleges. The ASA, one of largest and oldest academic associations in the country, works to promote and encourage the study of learning and education across the country.
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Provost Roy visits Goucher Assembly, explains faculty cuts

Jaclyn Peiser
Editor-in-Chief

Provost Marc Roy attended Student Assembly on Sunday, Nov. 24 to present the

Provost Marc Roy talks to students about the budget deficits in the Hyman Forum (Photo: Christopher Riley)

Provost Marc Roy talks to students about the budget deficits in the Hyman Forum (Photo: Christopher Riley)

college’s recent budgetary restraints and subsequent changes with the student to faculty ratio.
About 80 students gathered in the Hyman Forum to hear Roy’s presentation, which began with an overview of the college’s financial shortfalls in tuition net-revenue.
“This year our budget has about six main areas; two-thirds of the budget comes from net undergraduate tuition and fees and housing and dining,” Roy said. “That means tuition after any financial aid you received is factored out… That’s $40 million right there.”
Roy explained that the college’s expenses must equal its revenue. Therefore, when the college budgeted for more students than the number that actually enrolled, they had to re-balance the budget. In addition, Roy explained that within the college’s $59.9 million budget, about two-thirds is designated to salaries and benefits for faculty and staff.
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Students and faculty notice changes in fall 2013 academic calendar

Christopher Riley
Associate Editor

Throughout the semester, rumors have been circulating around Goucher’s campus regarding an extra week being added to the semester.  The first students to move in, Community Assistants and members of the Orientation Committee, arrived on Aug. 15. A week later, on Aug. 22, the campus opened to first year students for orientation. Throughout that weekend, upperclassman returned to campus; classes began Monday, Aug. 26.
“There are a great number of events that need to be included into the calendar each year,” Provost Marc Roy said. The scheduled events range from athletic competitions and religious high holidays to midterm and final exams.
Roy explained that each year, the registrar, Andrew Westfall, creates the academic calendar’s first draft. That draft is then altered by the athletic department, the school chaplain and rabbi, and the academic staff, before the senior staff revises the final version of the calendar.
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Trustees approve budget, expect $1 million cut in 2015 academic budget

Jaclyn Peiser
Editor-in-Chief

The Board of Trustees approved a balanced budget on Oct. 18 that was approximately $2.1 million less than the preliminary budget created this past May. The need to restructure the budget came from an unexpected drop in income for the college. Noel-Levitz, the consulting firm the college hired to predict student enrollment for the 2013-2014 academic year, said the college should expect 52 more full time equivalent (FTE) students than they ended up receiving. The loss in net-tuition, combined with less revenue from housing and dining, forced the senior staff to restructure the budget.
The senior staff continually met to find ways to cut spending throughout the summer and up until the first round of approvals by the Budget Committee on Sept. 30. Next, the Executive Committee reviewed and approved the budget on Oct. 8.
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Facing tuition deficits, administration initiates cutbacks

Jaclyn Peiser
Editor-in-Chief

Goucher College fell short of its projected net-tuition revenue goals this fiscal year by nearly $2 million, forcing senior staff to make tough budgetary and faculty cuts

Data from 2012-2013: The Princton Review

Data from 2012-2013: The Princton Review

in addition to searching for new sources of revenue.
This past academic year, the college contracted with a higher education consulting service called Noel-Levitz to help predict the number of incoming students for the 2013-2014 year. The final goal was 479 first year students and 54 transfer students. With an expected incoming class of 533, the college began to plan the budget incorporating the increased revenue from the incoming class. However enrollment was much lower than anticipated, leaving the college over 90 students short of its goal and with about $2.4 million extra in the budget that they could no longer fund.
The shortfalls in the net-tuition revenue goals, or the total gross tuition Goucher receives minus scholarship, grants and financial aid, has been an issue for private liberal arts colleges throughout the country. And, according to Vice President for Enrollment Management Michael O’Leary, even with the increases in tuition, the current economic situation has resulted in less tuition revenue for the college.
“In the fall of 2011, the average Goucher student provided the college just over $23,000 in net tuition revenue,” O’Leary said. “Fall 2013, it’s just over $18,000. So as prices go up, financial aid goes up. We don’t realize more net tuition revenue through a tuition increase.”
O’Leary explained that each year the college’s discount rate increases because more students need financial aid. In addition, people are questioning the value of going to and paying for a liberal arts college.
“People do not have the home equity they once had in their homes to borrow against and help fund an education,” he explained. “There is a vocal course of people throughout the country who are questioning the value of having a liberal arts education. There is increasing concern on my part, and many people like me, about families’ willingness to pay for private higher education versus their ability to pay. People, in the past, who have the ability to pay, pay.”
In order to offset the deficit, the Board of Trustees agreed to hold at a 5.25 percent spend rate from the college’s endowment, which as of September 30 was an estimated $206 million.

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Don’t let budget cuts force department cuts

Jordan Javelet
Opinion Editor

A few days before classes started, Cognitive Studies professor Charlie Seltzer informed me that because of budget cuts, Cognitive Studies is one of the academic programs potentially on the chopping block.
I’m not a part of the Cognitive Studies department, but I am firmly opposed to the idea that the program should be cut. I took Cognitive Studies 110 with Dr. Seltzer last semester, and I can say without hesitation that it was one of the most valuable classes I have taken during my college career. The course taught me to think about how the brain works in a way that increased my understanding of myself and others and to consider many of the topics discussed in my other courses, including religious faith, social mores, and the aesthetic appeal of poetry. And isn’t that the purpose of any class to broaden one’s perspective not just in the particular discipline one is studying but across the curriculum?
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