President announces "Together Towson" initiative at Spring Address

By Pam Gorsuch on April 12, 2018

In a speech focused on TU’s momentum, President Schatzel shared major institutional achievements as well as plans underway to strengthen connections with the Towson community

In her 2018 Spring Address, President Kim Schatzel delivered inspiring remarks on Towson University’s institutional strength, announced a new initiative to increase connectivity with the community, and shared plans for future campus growth.

“If there is one word that embodies Towson University in 2018 it is the word momentum,” Schatzel said. “We see strong evidence of that momentum all over this beautiful campus...the word is out, and the national recognitions prove it.”

Schatzel presented compelling statistics on increased student applications and graduation rates as signs of Towson University’s continued growth and academic strength. She also shared news about athletic success on and off the field. The women’s lacrosse team is undefeated at home and on track for a fourth straight NCAA tournament appearance, and TU student-athletes placed second in the nation in the NCAA Team Works community service competition.

Schatzel highlighted a range of recent national recognition for Towson University. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) reaffirmed its accreditation of TU’s business and accounting programs—the highest business school honor held by less than one percent of schools nationwide. Faculty in the Jess and Mildred Fisher College of Science and Mathematics and College of Education received highly selective national grants for their Cyber Corps and EMPOWER programs. TU led this year’s Board of Regents faculty awards, earning a third of the awards for faculty excellence—more than any other University System of Maryland institution.

“Momentum is not just about moving—it’s about moving forward,” Schatzel said. “Leading in the right direction. World-class teaching as well as research. Standing as an anchor in our community and a sought-after partner that is committed to making a difference. That is what makes these accolades meaningful. That is what our outstanding faculty is doing, and that is how TU is leading in a way that sets the standard for higher education in this nation.”

Together Towson Initiative

As a leading proponent of advancing Towson University’s role as an anchor institution in Greater Baltimore, Schatzel used her Spring Address to announce the Together Towson initiative. Together Towson will strengthen and support Towson University’s connectivity with the Towson community. It includes dynamic development—like converting the Marriott hotel into a residential gateway—as well as engaging experiences and core commitments with communities and businesses to support our neighbors and drive economic development for Towson. The Together Towson initiative signals TU’s commitment to being a key stakeholder in the growth and development of the greater Towson area for many years to come.      

TU’s SPIN bike share is an example of a Together Towson program that’s already strengthening the connection between Towson University and the Towson community. In the first month after it launched, the campus community biked nearly 2,000 miles on SPIN bicycles.  

“In the coming months and years, Together Towson will continue to grow and take many forms.  New buildings, housing options, stores and restaurants, and arts and recreation are all examples of projects underway or those that are possible.” Schatzel said. “So stay tuned, because there are great things ahead for Together Towson.”  

Campus Development

Schatzel has a keen eye for development, so it was fitting that she reported on future Towson University construction and the results of the 2018 Maryland legislative session. The legislature maintained funding for the new Science Complex—the university’s No. 1 priority—and approved funding to drastically improve and redesign the south campus athletic fields northwest of SECU Arena. The fields will be updated with turf and spectator stands to allow for five times the number of usable practice hours. The project will also include a new women’s field hockey field.

Some of the other #GreatThingsAhead that Schatzel shared are the New U, a complete renovation and 85,000 square-foot addition to the University Union, and the conversion of the TU Marriott at 10 West Burke Ave. into a residence hall with 200 beds for transfer students. These projects, as well as forthcoming developments including a new College of Health Professions building, mean that over the past year and looking ahead to the next six years, TU will invest more than $700 million into its physical plant.

“By now many of you are used to seeing cranes and cones around campus,” Schatzel said. “While construction does pose challenges, it is a tremendous sign of the vitality of our campus and the confidence that the chancellor, regents, governor and legislature have in the world-class scholarship and teaching happening right here at Towson University.”

Updates on Presidential Priorities

Schatzel dedicated a portion of her address to providing progress reports on several of her eight presidential priorities.

As Towson University’s capital campaign enters the final planning stages, Schatzel reported that University Advancement has already secured the campaign’s first multimillion-dollar gift commitment. The early gift is a major point of distinction as the team builds a culture of philanthropy and recruits leaders for the forthcoming campaign.

Schatzel indicated that great progress is being made in the development of a world-class, lifelong Career Center. This priority has progressed from the planning to the implementation phase. There are now three new sections of a core curriculum course on career exploration, a career fair dedicated to TU alumni, and new nontraditional networking opportunities for students and employers, including a first-time joint service project.

In addition to updates on these priorities, Schatzel shared information on the university’s BTU initiative, which now has partnerships with more than 300 organizations in Greater Baltimore. Earlier this year, Towson University expanded its partnership with the Maryland Army National Guard, becoming the first university in Maryland to formally partner with it.

Schatzel’s remarks also included an update on efforts to build a more diverse and inclusive campus. She shared that TU’s fall 2017 incoming class was the most diverse ever, with 44 percent of first time, full-time students identifying as racial and ethnic minorities. New hiring and retention practices are being implemented to support and encourage faculty diversity and inclusion, and Schatzel emphasized her continued focus on this presidential priority.

The address was given Wednesday, April 11, in the Center for Arts recital hall and was livestreamed to the campus community.

To close the address, the president shared her belief on the most powerful elements of Towson University’s momentum.

“What is the very best about Towson University is faculty members who are not just world-class scholars in their fields but avid mentors and trusted advisers, students who use their ingenuity and ambition to boldly go where no one has gone before, life-changing opportunities that spring up on our campus each and every day, and the impact that TU makes on the world of knowledge innovation and culture. These are the heart of our success and the fuel for our momentum.”

Read President Schatzel’s Spring Address (PDF).