Our Opinion: Marywood shows improvement, earns a C on report card

Our Opinion: Marywood shows improvement, earns a C on report card

Marywood headed into the 2016-2017 academic year with a great deal of uncertainty. There was room for improvement for the university after it earned a D on our annual report card last year.

With a new administration under the direction of President Sr. Mary Persico, IHM, Ed.D., Marywood made strides forward. Not everything that happened was great, though. Let’s take a look at the past two semesters and see where Marywood improved its GPA.

The Good

• There has been more communication between the administration, students and faculty than there had been in the past. Persico said in her inaugural address that she wanted members of the community to “work together for the common good of Marywood.” For the most part, this has been the case. Members of the administration regularly attend SGA meetings and listen to students’ concerns. Persico has been more involved with the students than her predecessor was. She has created a friendly atmosphere between students and administration.

• The Middle States Commission on Higher Education reaffirmed Marywood’s accreditation in March. The accreditation is good for 10 years.

• The Bachelor of Architecture program received its initial accreditation from the National Architecture Accreditation Board (NAAB). The next accreditation visit from the NAAB will be in 2019.

• Tricia Richards-Service, a doctoral student in Marywood’s human development program, became the first Marywood student to receive a Fulbright Research Grant. She plans to use the grant to research breast cancer detection and treatment.

• Marywood received more than $80,000 in donations when it hosted a 24-hour Giving Day in March. The university had 588 donors, surpassing its goal of 330 donors.

• The President’s Innovation Fund reached its goal of 1,500 donors in December of 2016, resulting in a $15,000 donation to the university from Chair of the Board of Trustees Lisa Lori.

The So/So

• The implementation of the Strategic Resource Allocation (SRA) in December brought changes to the university. The five colleges have been reorganized into three effective July 1. Three majors, Spanish, religious studies and philosophy were originally designated to be offered only as minors, but the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee voted unanimously in February to continue to offer the majors.

• Marywood is adding men’s and women’s rugby teams. It remains to be seen what effects this will have. The addition of a sport could financially benefit the university, but only time will tell.

The Bad

• There has been confusion over changes being made within the Counseling and Student Development Center (CSDC). Some students believed that the firing of four seasonal employees was due to budget cuts, but the administration said it was because the CSDC went over its budget. The CSDC was considered a “candidate for enhanced resourcing” in the SRA report, but the administration later decided against increasing the center’s budget.

• The old library demolition was delayed by lack of funds. Demolition was supposed to take place in the winter of 2015-2016; it began this week.

• Students and faculty found porn and an unidentified substance on computers in multiple buildings in March. Campus Safety has increased security following the incidents. There have been no new reports of vandalism since The Wood Word originally reported on it in March.

• Marywood faced multiple infrastructure issues throughout the year. Mold was found in the PAC, the lack of air conditioning in the LAC continued to cause problems for students and faculty during the warm months and buildings and grounds workers placed yellow chains in front of the paths in the Memorial Gardens instead of removing the snow, making for hazardous walking conditions for students who ignored the chains.

• First Stop, which had been located in Regina Hall, closed in August of 2016. Some menu items that had been served there were added to the menus at the Atrium Café in McGowan and Nazareth Dining Hall. The closure led to long lines at the Learning Commons Café.

• Marywood has not yet sold South Campus. As of 2017, upkeep of the building costs the university about $8,000 annually.

The Grade

Marywood seems to be on the up this year, but there is still and always will be room for improvement. Positive relations between the administration and the rest of the campus community and the numerous service efforts and academic achievements at Marywood paint a positive picture, but the lingering problems earn Marywood a C. Don’t give up yet, Marywood. The future is bright.