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Annual Report


President’s Annual Report for the 2011-2012 Academic Year

Prepared by the Reverend Bernard F. O’Connor, OSFS, President

August 1, 2012


For the Exclusive Use of the DeSales University Community


President’s Annual Report for the 2011-2012 Academic Year

The Reverend Bernard F. O’Connor, OSFS

August 1, 2012
[All numbers in the President’s Report are accurate as of July 15, 2012.]
The tough economic times continue to stress higher education throughout the nation. DeSales University is certainly not immune to these political and financial realities. Through the initiative of Kevin Fleming (an alum) we were the host for a presentation by representatives from the Philadelphia Federal Reserve as they completed their first formal visit to the Lehigh Valley to ascertain the vitality of the various sectors of our economy. In their closing remarks, they commented that the strength of the Valley’s “eds and meds” lessened the severity of the recession and heightened the prospects for a quicker recovery than other areas of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Their charts presented a vivid picture of the important role played in the local economy by our centers for private higher education and our systems for comprehensive healthcare. In many ways, we are blessed.
While it is true that higher education is expensive, often inefficient, sometimes duplicative and bloated, it remains one of the most productive systems yet crafted for developing citizens ready and willing to create wealth and opportunity. The website publishes a chart concerning both unemployment rates for 2010 and mean earnings rates for 2009 based upon educational attainment. Earnings are for year-round full-time workers 25 years and over; unemployment rate is for those 25 years and over.
Educational attainment Unemployment Rate in 2010 Mean Earnings in 2009
Professional degree 2.4% $ 146,659

Doctorate degree 1.9% $ 116,305

Master’s degree 4.0% $ 87,913

Bachelor’s degree 5.4% $ 68,812

Associate degree 7.0% $ 49,835

Some college, no degree 9.2% $ 47,484

High School degree 10.3% $ 39,937

Less than high school 14.9% $ 30,958

As the American economy becomes less focused upon manufacturing and more focused on service and high tech industries, the signals to young people become very clear. Quality education is the coin of the realm. And high quality education with solid character formation is golden. This certainly does not mean that we should abandon manufacturing. A well balanced economy is the best for everyone. But until we reinvent our appropriate role in the “making of things” it is good that we have centers that produce excellent educated citizens and quality oases of healing and comfort for the ill here in the Lehigh Valley.
Let me add one additional note before I begin the substance of the annual report. The first students to enter Allentown College of Saint Francis de Sales enrolled in the fall of 1965-1966. When the freshmen who enter DeSales University this coming fall (2012-2013 academic year) graduate in the year 2015-2016, they will signal the completion of fifty years of education at this institution. This is why we have selected to celebrate the 2015-2016 academic year as our 50th anniversary year. Believe it or not, the mission committee of the university began discussions and planning this year for this special future event. During the orientation sessions for the incoming freshmen in June, we shared their special character with them and invited their participation in the many events that will occur when they graduate.
I will again organize this year’s annual report around the goals of Strategic Plan: 2010-2015:

Goal #1: Strengthen the reputation of DeSales for providing quality education.

Goal #2: Improve the appeal of the campus.

Goal #3: Grow the enrollments of the various programs.

Goal #4: Design and implement a new financial plan for DeSales.

Goal #1: Strengthen the reputation of DeSales University for providing quality education.
Quality education is a function of several vital and interrelated factors: sufficient, knowledgeable, and passionate faculty; a critical mass of talented and hungry students; appropriate learning and support environments; enthusiastic and seasoned faculty recruiters; and dynamic leadership. At the present time, we have academic programs that consistently demonstrate the existence of all these factors. We also have many programs that are approaching this goal and need improvement in only one of the key factors. We are seeking to raise them to the level of excellence. We have newer programs that are growing nicely but need time to mature. We have some programs that lack several of the essential items and need attention. This segment of the report will delineate the progress that we have made on goal #1 during the 2011-2012 academic year.
A. Office of the provost/vice president for academic affairs - contributions toward the accomplishment of Goal #1 - Strengthen the reputation of DeSales University for providing quality education.
1. Academic Divisions
a. Division of Business

  1. Under the leadership of Dr. Chris Cocozza, the business division was awarded full accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) after the submission of the division’s quality assurance report.

  1. A planning committee comprised of Dr. Sue McGorry, Dr. Gregory Jeffries, and Ms. Joyce Rhoads successfully organized and promoted the 2012 Fleming Institute Ethics Bowl competition. Muhlenberg College, Moravian College, and Penn State Lehigh Valley participated in this year’s competition.

  1. Dr. Chris Cocozza, Dr. Tahereh Hojjat, Dr. Amy Scott, and Mr. Bradley Barnhorst are frequently contacted for interviews, comments, and broadcasts throughout the year by the Eastern PA Business Journal, Service Electric, and WFMZ Channel 69 Television. Their expertise in various business fields from economics, finance, and taxation strengthen the image and reputation of DeSales University.

  1. Dr. Tahereh Hojjat and Dr. Charles Jobs have collaborated with members of the U.S. Department of Commerce and the DeSales distance education and instructional technology (DEIT) team to present seminars on international business and trade entitled Export University - Educating Toward Export Excellence.

  1. This was the twelfth year that Dr. Cocozza supervised the volunteers income tax assistance program (VITA). DeSales business student volunteers completed 371 tax returns for 125 clients, saving them $27,000 in income tax preparation fees while helping them attain $110,000 in refunds.

b. Division of Healthcare and Natural Sciences

  1. Dr. Carol Mest, director of the M.S.N. program, initiated the doctor of nursing practice (D.N.P.) program with the matriculation of seven doctoral students in January 2012. The launch of the D.N.P. program strengthens the image of DeSales nursing as the leader in the Lehigh Valley education of nursing students at all levels.

  1. Dr. Carol Mest will be on sabbatical leave for the fall 2012 semester during which time she will travel to Spain to develop a faculty and student exchange program for DSU’s healthcare programs with the Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia.

  1. The PA Class of 2011 earned a 100% pass rate on the PANCE, the national certification examination for physician assistants. The DSU class score average was higher than the 99th percentile of all test takers.

  1. The PA Class of 2012 team of Allyse Barlow, Jessica Bowell, Tracy Gould, and Melissa Yorty won the Pennsylvania state physician assistant challenge bowl in Erie, PA, which was our PA Program’s ninth state championship. The team competed in the national challenge bowl at the American Academy of Physician Assistant’s annual meeting in Toronto on May 27, 2012, and placed second in the nation, losing by 10 points to the first-place winner, Nova Southeastern University, Jacksonville. Ms. Kathleen Ehrhardt is the team coach.

  1. DeSales free clinic at the Allentown rescue mission celebrated its fifth anniversary in January 2012, and it was recognized by a Pennsylvania state senate proclamation from Senator Pat Browne. The clinic has expanded its services to two nights per week, giving our PA students more clinical experiences. Over 40 community physicians and PAs volunteer their time to supervise our PA students at the clinic. Dr. Wayne Stuart is the medical director of the DeSales free clinic and Ms. Corinne Feldman is the clinical coordinator.

  1. The healthcare and natural sciences division conducted self-studies of two of its undergraduate majors and one of its graduate programs and hosted a three-member visiting team in spring 2012 to evaluate those majors and program. The verbal comments made by each visiting team to the president were very complimentary of the high quality of the academic content; high student satisfaction with the courses and faculty; and faculty credentials, expertise, and morale.

  1. Fr. Peter Leonard, OSFS, dean of graduate education, and Ms. Jane Arenas, clinical coordinator in the physician assistant program, visited Cleveland Clinic to negotiate the acquisition of future clinical sites at that outstanding healthcare facility.

  1. Under the leadership of Dr. Rodger Berg, chair of the healthcare and natural sciences division, and chemistry faculty members Dr. Julie Aaron, Dr. Sara Hayik, and Dr. Francis Mayville, DSU chemistry students made 20 chemistry demonstrations to approximately 1,500 elementary, middle school, and high school students. This was the eleventh year for our highly successful chemistry demonstrations program.

  1. Under the leadership of Dr. Francis Mayville, Dr. Sara Hayik, and Dr. Julie Aaron, natural science club students hosted the annual environment day in the Billera Gym for 395 second and third grade students.

c. Division of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

  1. Three communication students had their papers accepted at the Mid Atlantic Popular and American Culture Association Conference, with Katherine DeMenno’s paper winning best student paper. Communication students also presented papers at the Muhlenberg Social Research Social Justice Conference. Two English students presented papers at the LVAIC Women’s Studies Coalition Conference. Several graduating English majors have been accepted to graduate programs at American University, Lehigh, and Villanova.

  1. The Spanish faculty have expanded the curriculum with additional courses in Spanish for heritage speakers and elementary and intermediate Spanish courses with career components for health professionals and for media and arts. The Spanish faculty is currently developing Spanish certificates for students in the healthcare professions.

  1. Two new courses were developed for inclusion in the criminal justice curriculum: CJ 270 Computer Forensics & Cyber Crime, taught by detective Joseph Pochron, and CJ 362 Survey of Forensic Science, taught by Dr. Todd Bricker. The first course was developed to explore interest in possibly creating a digital crime track/major in the criminal justice program. The second course was added as a supplement to the forensic science component of the criminal justice and forensic psychology programs.

  1. The National Security track, created by Dr. Andrew Essig, held its National Security Book Dedication Ceremony at the Trexler Library in November 2011. The collection numbers approximately 1,000 books on topics including espionage, intelligence, global politics, the Cold War, and the Vietnam War.

  1. Mr. Al Sproule, who served as chair of the social sciences department until his retirement from that position in 2008, has retired from his position of director of the master of science in criminal justice (M.A.C.J.) program effective in August 2012. Both programs profited immensely from Mr. Sproule’s strong leadership, broad and deep experience in the criminal justice field, common sense, wisdom, and affable personality. Dr. Todd Bricker, chair of the social sciences department, will take on the additional responsibility of director of the M.A.C.J. program.

d. Division of Performing Arts

  1. During the spring 2012 semester, visiting teams evaluated the dance, theatre, and tv/film departments. Each three-member team featured a balance of arts educators and professionals uniquely qualified to assess the division’s three departments. Each of the teams was extremely impressed by the quality of the academic majors, the students, and the faculty, as well as the high quality of the performing arts division’s performances.

  1. Patrick Mulcahy, professor of theatre and producing artistic director of the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, received the 2012 Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Performing Arts at the Allentown Arts Commission’s annual Arts Ovation Awards luncheon in May.

  1. Act 1’s 2011-2012 season was once again a critical and popular success. The 12 distinct dance, choral, film, and theatre productions offered 100 ticketed performances which were attended by over 27,500 patrons. The number of season subscribers grew to 1,829, an all-time record high for the department. Income reached an all-time high of $374,552. The 27,577 tickets sold in 2011-2012 exceeded the number of tickets sold in 2010-2011 by 538.

  1. On April 2, 2012, the DeSales theatre department presented its second New York Showcase at the Playwrights’ Horizon Theater in New York City. In attendance were approximately 50 theatrical agents, managers, casting directors, and television casting executives. Nine of the 11 students who performed received offers of interviews with casting directors, managers, and agents. One student received 12 offers, and another student received 8 offers.

  1. Lee Butz’s photograph of senior theatre major Abbi Snee from Act 1’s production of “Of Mice and Men” was selected for the cover of Dramatics magazine’s 2012 College Theatre Directory. The Allentown Art Museum presented a major exhibition of Butz’s photos of Act I and Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival productions in October and November of 2011.

  1. The dance department participated in the New York City College partnership program, which brought together students from five colleges and universities to show student-choreographed works and receive feedback from professionals in NYC as well as from each other.

  1. Senior dance majors worked with the LEVYdance Company, a professional dance company from San Francisco, learning the company’s repertory and performing with them at the end of the week. The week-long event culminated in two well-received performances: one at DeSales University and one at the ArtsQuest Center at Steel Stacks in Bethlehem.

  1. The 12th annual student film festival was the first festival presented in high definition 1080p. This is currently the highest standard of distribution using Blu-ray as a master source and projecting the visuals on a screen.

  1. The attendance and response to this year’s DeSales screendance festival increased dramatically. This was especially true for the Saturday evening screening of the 48 hour screendance challenge student films. Six teams totaling over 40 students worked on the films together. The challenge encouraged greater dance department and tv/film department collaboration and artistic cross-pollination.

  1. The chair of the tv/film department, Chuck Gloman, had his TV 350 motion picture production class preview their final films at the Rave Theatre in the Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley to an audience of over 200 paid viewers.

  1. A tv/film alumni group has been established to assist tv/film majors upon graduation. The current database has 15 Los Angeles (West Coast) and 10 New York and Philadelphia (East Coast) alumni who can help graduated seniors with their job searches.

  1. Under the direction of J. Bennett Durham, interest in music activities continues to rise. Enrollment in all three campus choral groups is growing as is the quality of the work presented. In addition, enrollment in applied voice and piano has increased dramatically.

e. Subsidiaries of DeSales University
1. The Salesian Center for Faith and Culture
Fr. Thomas Dailey, OSFS, continues in his position as the director of the Salesian Center for Faith and Culture. His annual report highlights the following activities that relate directly to the Strategic Plan: 2010-2015 of the university.

  • The Salesian Center’s online library offers 188 links to Salesian publications relevant to the integration between character development and Salesian Christian Humanism, four of which are newly authored by the staff of the Salesian Center and posted this year. The staff of the Salesian Center has now authored 57 of these publications.

  • The Salesian Center, with the assistance of the office of human resources, guided the newly launched “inculturation” program for new full-time employees at DSU. This program orients new employees to Christian Humanism and Salesian spirituality in a three part process:

  1. normal on-boarding procedures (through human resources);

  2. job specific training and orientation (at the departmental level); and

  3. an introduction to the mission of DeSales University (through the Salesian Center for Faith and Culture).

  • The Salesian Center continued its “Salesian Insights” series open to the entire campus community; five noontime sessions were held, with a total audience of 62 people.

  • Staff of the Salesian Center teach two undergraduate courses (TH 281 with Fr. Pocetto and TH 356 with Fr. Dailey), whose content and outcomes are specifically tied to Salesian Christian Humanism.

  • Through its Forum for Ethics in the Workplace, the Salesian Center has assisted with the development of the Fleming Institute for Business Ethics. Members of the Forum’s board of directors routinely serve as judges for the ethics bowl competition.

  • The university’s interest in Salesian leadership continues to be advanced through the Salesian Leadership Institute, which in 2012 will have graduated six classes of leaders. For the next academic year, the institute will have 12 seniors and 13 juniors enrolled in the two-year program. Participants in the program continue to be heavily involved in student life programming and activities. In 2012 the university’s two commencement awards were given to senior students in this institute. This institute will remain a center for character and leadership thanks to the Ryan Family Foundation, which has agreed, in principle, to donate $385,000 over the next five years to create a permanent endowment (with gifts totaling $500,000) for what will henceforth be known as “The Ryan Leadership Institute, founded by Frank & Jane Ryan.”

  • The Salesian Center for Faith and Culture was very active in the struggle of the Catholic community to respond appropriately to the healthcare mandate by the federal Department of Health and Human Services with the following events:

  1. a continuing legal education event with the St. Thomas More Society summarizing current topics in “Religious Liberty & Public Policy”

  1. a Center Valley Forum on “Religious Liberty and Healthcare” for 274 participants that featured the General Counsel for The Becket Fund for Religious as one of the panelists; the event was front page news in the diocesan newspaper and was broadcast on the Pennsylvania Cable Network

  1. a roundtable discussion on “The HHS Mandate and Healthcare Benefits” for 108 employees of DeSales University

  1. the creation of a special “Let Religious Freedom Ring” campaign, with a dedicated website and a two-week series of events (to pray, learn, and act) during the Fortnight for Freedom

  1. a presentation to the Catholic Business Owners’ Alliance and a homily kicking-off the fortnight of celebrations – both by the Director of the Salesian Center – which were front-page news stories and which were posted as videos on the website and the YouTube channel of the Diocese of Allentown

  1. two panel discussions – at DeSales University and Alvernia University – that included a presentation by the Director of the Salesian Center

  1. five catechetical presentations throughout the Diocese of Allentown, two of which were given by the Director of the Salesian Center

  1. a compilation of online resources on the topic, which now numbers more than 100 links.

2. Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival
[Note: The numbers for the Festival are from the previous summer (2011) since this report is composed during the current summer while the Festival is performing.]

Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival

Summer Festival






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