State of Univ. encourages development

Will Caverly

University President Rev. Edmund J. Dobbin, O.S.A., delivered the annual State of the University address at the Nov. 14 Senate meeting.

During the speech Dobbin focused on the importance of improving the University’s quality of education in the face of a weak economy. He said new programs have started within each college, although, “Some would urge us … to wait for the world to improve [economically].”

Dobbin continued, “The cost [of the new programs] are enormous, but when something is valuable, you have to step up to it … [I am] confident positive results are forthcoming.” He hopes these programs will continue to expand next year.

Dobbin also discussed the recent trend of students staying at the University for five years, pursuing bachelor and master’s degrees concurrently. Students in these programs take a concentrated course load and finish the degrees in less time than if they were taken separately. Dobbin expects the number of students following this path to double by the end of this year. He said this option has become especially popular in the College of Engineering. If the trend continues, half of the engineering students will pursue a five-year dual degree.

Dobbin praised the progress made by each college in developing educational programs. He noted that the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences recently founded humanities and Augustinian tradition departments. He also recognized the joint programs between the College of Commerce and Finance and College of Engineering that have become available for students.

The academic advances fit well into the objectives that Dobbin discussed for the coming year. These include maintaining the distinct, holistic education unique to the University, while enriching the current programs, making learning active through internships and extra curricular activities and creating new links between undergraduate and graduate studies.

Dobbin also highlighted the importance of research within the graduate programs, saying that there is a discovery aspect of research that cannot be found anywhere else.

The Senate meeting began at 3:30 p.m. in the East Lounge of Dougherty Hall.