Our Opinion: Marywood barely makes the grade, earns D on report card


The Editorial Board

The past two semesters at Marywood have been nothing less than a roller coaster ride. The campus community has been through many highs and lows, and with the 2015-2016 academic year behind us, it is once again time for Marywood to receive its annual report card. Let’s take a look at what has happened on campus to figure out if Marywood has made the Dean’s List.
The Good

The Neutral

  • The completion of the Learning Commons brought with it much controversy. The Learning Commons offers brand new facilities for the Communication Arts department, study rooms, an Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS) that maximizes space for books, and large lounge spaces. Although it quickly became a popular spot on campus, it pulled traffic away from Nazareth Hall, which was renovated in recent years. Flyers placed around campus speculated the cost of the Learning Commons and Memorial Gardens as a factor in the university’s financial difficulties.
  • In the fall semester, an anonymous bomb threat forced a campus-wide evacuation. Although a bomb threat falls into the negative category, the way the situation was handled balances out the negative. When the bomb threat was received, students were notified via e2Campus system and residents were shuttled to the Dunmore Community Center.
  • On July 1, Marywood will be led by a new president, Sr. Mary Persico, IHM. Although Sr. Mary spoke of uniting Marywood among other positive goals when she talked to the campus community during several presentations, we do not know what will happen when the change in administration actually takes place.

The Negative

  • Seven first-year faculty contracts were not renewed for the 2016-2017 academic year. Although the original number was ten, there are still seven faculty members who will not be coming back. The cuts were a unilateral decision and violate the core values of the university. The faculty were informed “initially via email” according to Theatre Director Charles Gorden.
  • Budget cuts, particularly the faculty development budget, have plagued the community in the 2015-2016 year. The faculty development budget allows faculty to stay relevant in their concentrations, which directly affects student learning.
  • Marywood began the Strategic Reallocation Process amidst much criticism. The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has criticized the process at other schools, mentioning the cuts made to faculty during the process. Members of the Marywood community have also spoken against this process.
  • The faculty voted “no confidence” in current president, Sr. Anne Munley, IHM, Ph.D., and former vice president of business affairs and treasurer Joseph X. Garvey. The board of trustees continued to support both Sr. Anne and Garvey, despite the faculty vote. This demonstrated a need for transparency and an open dialogue between the community and the administration.

The Grade
Academically, Marywood students have performed well. Winning competitions and maintaining academic excellence are accomplishments to be proud of. However, the administration did not do its part in this group effort. The tension between students, faculty and staff brought on by the administration earns Marywood a D for the 2015-2016 academic year. We recommend better communication and a stop by the tutoring center.