The President’s Webinar Update


Daniel Myers Misericordia University President

Sarah Badorf England, Multimedia Editor

President Dan Myers connected with the campus community via a Zoom webinar on Feb. 14 to offer the latest updates on developments regarding the university.

The president conducted an exercise with the university’s board of trustees on the key learning goals of a core in order for them to understand a “good solid undergraduate Misericordia education.”

“I think it helped them understand why we have the core and what we are trying to get out of it,” Myers said.

Myers also noted part-time tuition rates have been set for next year.

“We proposed a modest increase after holding them steady last year,” he said. “We do need to raise rates some because we are facing an inflationary moment.”

The board voted on promotion cases for faculty and emeritus status and Myers expressed that, “all were approved without any discussion; it was very straightforward.”

The board approved a new mission statement, constructed through the work of the mission and values committee and many others in the Misericordia community.

The new mission statement reads:

“Misericordia University, a Catholic liberal arts institution founded in the tradition of the Sisters of Mercy, cultivates a transformational educational experience that promotes intellectual curiosity and critical thinking in a supportive and inclusive community, inspiring all students to engage in a life of service and global citizenship.”

Myers expressed enrollment is at the center of attention of both the board and the administration.

“It’s very important to enable all of the other things that we want to do with this university, so it’s been a high focus for all of us,” he said. “There’s been a lot of initiatives that have been introduced; we’re looking at new majors and new athletic opportunities that people have proposed that we are trying to put together.”

Myers emphasized many of those opportunities won’t come to fruition until the fall and, possibly, not until the fall of 2023. He did, however, assure the board that developments are “a little bit ahead of where we were last year in terms of applications, admissions, and deposits.

“We’re pushing very hard on yield because we didn’t have these new opportunities to try and help us drive more applications this year because that happened earlier,” he added. “We have a lot of things we are trying to do to try and convert more of those students over.”

Myers reported the university hasn’t had a further decline in enrollment and has reorganized the marketing operation by hiring new people to help market the university.

Myers feels it’s important that people of the community or anyone who knows Misericordia to repost things about the university on the social media platforms they use.

“We’re trying to make really intentional efforts in all of those different platforms to get Misercordia’s name out there and try to attract students and their families who might be interested in coming to Misericordia,” he said.

Myers admitted the decision to allow students to return to in-person learning after a Covid-19 lockdown was a “nail biter” but he felt the right decision was made. He feels the university was able to keep the virus under control with the number of new cases dropping each week. He stressed, however, the importance of the continuance of mask wearing.

Myers reported work on the strategic plan continues to move forward. Central themes and some objectives have been identified and specific initiatives will start to popular those objectives, assuring the board this work will continue during the spring semester. Key performance indicators for different initiatives will soon be initiated across campus.

“We want this to be an active part of what’s going on,” he said. “We want to be tracking it and we want to have a way for us to check in all the time to see how

we’re doing, so we are working with a consulting firm to help us with the strategic plan,” Myers said, adding the plan should be done by the time of the June board meeting.

Efforts are continuing on pieces necessary to return tenure which would require the board to reinstate the ability for administration to award tenure to faculty members.

“I want to be clear. That doesn’t mean that we will be able to award tenure immediately when that happens because there’s another piece that has to do with the ratios to the tenure track to non-tenure track faculty and that has to be met in order to do that,” Myers said. “We will be looking at those measures and trying to understand if we have really gotten them right. And if there’s alternative ways of looking at what we’re doing so we can understand how tenure fits into our faculty profile in the best possible way.”

Myers ended the meeting on a high note by congratulating Misericordia’s athletic program for having 135 student-athletes on the academic honor roll in, putting Misericordia at the No. 1 spot in the conference. Thirteen student-athletes were named All-MAC and Kaylee Sturans, a member of the girls soccer team was named scholar-athlete of the year.

The webinar has been recorded and is available on my MU for those who would like to listen.