A Message from Dr. Wylie
Dear Students and Friends,
As you read this letter, only a couple of weeks are left in the semester. As I reflect back on this year as a whole, I see many highs and a few lows. As the cartoonist Charles Schulz said in a Peanuts cartoon: “It is the best of times, it is the worst of times, for it is college!”
The positives are overwhelming, here are just a few: the opening of our brand new Gerrish School of Business and Judge Science Center and the strengthening of our ties to the science and innovation community through the Life Sciences Consortium of the North Shore; the acquisition of the new facility for Nursing and Health Professions; the amazing accomplishments of our student athletes with their work with Team Impact and their Gull Revolution; and the addition of new PhD, Masters, and Bachelor programs to our curriculum. It was a year of truly good things for Endicott. Student engagement in music, theatre, dance, community service, and club activities reached new highs.
Certainly the most troubling events of this year were those surrounding the wellbeing of our students. As a community, we felt the horrible pain and loss of the death of one of own that affected many of us more than we can ever express. Later, we experienced a senseless punch that severely injured another of our students and created a media storm of negative publicity for our College.
Less significant (yet infinitely more polarizing) are the inconveniences our community tolerated as we sought to improve our campus and carry out reasonable operations needs. We felt the constant disruption caused by the construction at the Callahan Center (remember the Christmas lights?). We heard the blasting as the solar lot was completed- its opening delayed for months. And yes, there was always the search for parking spaces and the resulting tickets for violating parking regulations.
As you know, I’m not extensively active on social media, but I do occasionally see your tweets and posts. It often gives me a better understanding of student opinion that I can’t get anywhere else, which is a great plus. However, it also can lead to frustration when I see the nature of complaints and the language that accompanies them.
In recent weeks, I have read such statements as:
“ EC, get your act together, the parking s****.”
“Only 200 animals could design this f***ing parking system.”
First, I find it disturbing and insulting that almost every entry uses words that in my day would have resulted in “a mouth full of soap”! Second, I agree, it would be nice to have more parking in more convenient locations to where you want to be, but let me assure you we’ve worked extensively with planners to ensure this current layout is as efficient as it can be. And as I have mentioned before, there are more than enough parking spots on campus for all of you, they just may not be as close to your building as you would like.
“Room draw s****. We are paying $40,000 and deserve f***ing good housing.”
“Don’t build the night club, build a f***ing dormitory.”
I understand that you and your family are paying a lot of money for your education. I wish it could be less expensive. But before you publicly trash EC, compare our costs to other private colleges - we are among the lowest of our peer group. We also award $25,000,000 (1/3 of our expense budget) in Endicott financial aid to help defray costs as much as possible.
And yes, you are right. I could remove the expense of designing and building a night spot, which will be about $250,000. With that money, I could build an entire three-bed room. Yes, each newly constructed bed costs $80,000 to build when constructing a residence hall. It requires massive planning and funding.
And a last thought on housing: I urge you to consider the efforts of our Residence Life staff, who will be hard at work all summer making sure our housing assignments are as accommodating as possible. They deserve many thanks for enduring the negativity that surfaces around housing and for responding with such helpfulness.
“The food s****!”
I am not going to justify the quality of food in the dining hall. It is the same food service used by many colleges. Unfortunately, this has been a difficult year with construction and countless interruptions. However, the end is in sight: the $14,000,000 building will be ready in September. Hopefully, next year no one will complain when we’re in a beautiful new Callahan! A special note of appreciation to the students who understand the difficulties under which a very caring and dedicated food service staff has worked. They have been spectacular!
Enough about the few negatives, what’s coming for next year?
- Construction of the Ice Rink and Activity Center will begin in June and will be completed by August, 2015.
- Construction of the new 250 plus bed Village (apartments and townhouses) will begin in July and will be completed by September 1, 2015.
- Roadways and sidewalks will be added.
- New faculty and staff will be hired in necessary areas.
- The night spot, for want of a better word, will be completed by November, 2014.
Yes, 2013-2014 has had highs and lows. Three things seem to never change: first, the great success our alumni have in getting jobs in their area of specialization; second, our high enrollment, retention, and graduation rates, which are among the strongest in our peer group; and third, the reputation our students and graduates have earned because of skill, performance, and commitment.
I want to thank each of you for making our community very special. Best wishes to those of you who are graduating and enjoy the summer for those of you who are returning.
Thank you for a wonderful year.