"What I came away with in the simplest of terms is the strong belief that TU is indeed positioned for a very bright future, building upon the past decade of enormous growth and achievement."
Towson University President Kim Schatzel gave her first campus address Thursday afternoon in Stephens Hall Theatre. Among the speech's highlights were the introduction of the new position of Chief Inclusion and Institutional Equity Officer, the creation of a faculty development center, and a new initiative called the TIGER Way.
Schatzel began her address by updating the audience on the progress of the new science facility as well as obtaining a new building for the College of Health Professions, noting there are over 20,000 unfilled health professions jobs in Maryland and,
"We are uniquely positioned to fulfill the state's workforce needs in this industry with the sheer quantity and quality that no other university can match," Schatzel said.
She moved on to discussing what she learned from her first 90 days of listening before outlining the priorities that emerged for her from the listening tour and what actions will be taken to realize those priorities.
"What I came away with in the simplest of terms is the strong belief that TU is indeed positioned for a very bright future, building upon the past decade of enormous growth and achievement," Schatzel said. "But that this optimism is coupled with genuine concerns about the strength and stability of the foundation that we as a university are currently sitting on."
In an effort to address those concerns, she laid out the following priorities:
Beginning summer 2016, the Provost to work with the deans, chairs, and faculty on
a multiple-year plan to create a world-class Faculty Development Center that will
include the Office of Academic Innovation. The plan will include specific funding
requirements for facilities space, technology, collaborative space, seminars, teaching
workshops, and other resources such as staff and stipends to support faculty and promote
academic innovation such as flipped classrooms and problem-based learning in course
Outcomes of this multi-year process will include the beginnings of an operating plan and funding model to support strategic goals such as a financially stable, gender-equitable, and competitive athletics program and expanding, not just maintaining, TU's national and international reputation in arts and communication.
Schatzel also reaffirmed her commitment to creating a diverse, inclusive campus environment and improving the hate/bias reporting process.
"A diverse and inclusive classroom and campus provides that our graduates have learned
to both thrive and support others to thrive in an environment inclusive of race, ethnicity,
religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, and able-ness," Schatzel said.
"In a global economy increasingly characterized by multiculturalism," she added, "Towson University graduates who thrive and support others to thrive in a diverse and inclusive environment will leave our campus better prepared, and thus advantaged for the world of work and graduate education."
Before she concluded her address, which was streamed live on the university's Facebook page, the university's 14th president struck an optimistic tone for the future of the 150-year-old former teachers' college.
"TU does not need to change its path," Schatzel stressed. "TU needs to stay true to its DNA and simply put, Towson University needs to be more Towson, and we need to shout loudly and often that TU Matters to Maryland."