“There is something really good here in the water at Towson.”
So said Dr. Maravene Loeschke when asked why she was eager to return to her alma mater and former employer to become Towson University’s 13th president.
She went on to say, “Thank you for the ability to come back and guide you to a healthy future. At least half of that work will be done by you.”
The “you” she was referring to is the Administration and Finance (A&F) Division staff members. She held two meetings exclusively for A&F last month, sharing her vision for Towson and how the division fits into that plan. She asked, “How can I empower you to do your best work?” and “How can I best serve you as president?”
Approximately 175 A&F staff participated in the open dialogue that touched on a variety of topics, from salary compression to the 2016 strategic plan, and even to Dr. Loeschke’s friendship with Gail Price of the Office of Human Resources since middle school.
If you were unable to attend, here are some of the key takeaways:
- Currently, Dr. Loeschke is spending a great deal of time in Annapolis at the 2012 legislative session, lobbying to get the university more funding. She said she is especially concerned with salary compression and the need for more faculty and staff positions. However, resources are in demand for many areas across the university, so she said realigning priorities will be necessary until additional funding resumes, which most likely will not be until FY 14 or later.
- Dr. Loeschke said her decision-making strategy will be based on the needs of the students, who are her top priority. She applauded A&F staff’s current interactions with students, citing one particular student who told her he didn’t mind paying his tuition bill because the Bursar staff were just so pleasant about it. She encouraged us to remember that all of our actions as staff impact students’ lives on a daily basis.
- She stated three over-arching university goals moving forward:
- Becoming the premier institution for teacher education in the nation
- Better connecting our efforts in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) with workforce and K-12 education needs
- Receiving national recognition for leadership development, not only for students, but for faculty and staff as well. A TUSC task force has been convened to look into this on the staff side.
- Dr. Loeschke also shared her strong commitment to shared governance, which to her means communication, transparency, civility, role modeling, and support of each other as a community. As such, she will incorporate feedback from her divisional meetings and her recent survey into all action items moving forward. She said an addendum will be made to the 2016 strategic vision in the coming months to bring the initiatives into better focus.
Many thanks to all who took advantage of this rare opportunity to converse with the president in an open and relaxed forum. It is important for A&F to have a voice, and you helped to do just that.