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'Committed to Community'
A capacity crowd filled the newly renovated dining area of the Gengras Café for Wednesday's Kickoff.
President Harrison shows off the “Committed to Community” mug that was given to faculty and staff at Wednesday's event.
Members of the SOUL initiative, a new sophomore leadership group, model the “Committed to Community” T-shirts that students will receive as part of the new values campaign. The T-shirt was designed by Associate Professor of Visual Communication Design John Nordyke.
Speaking at the Fall 2009 Faculty/Staff Kickoff marking the start of the new academic year, President Harrison touched on a wide range of topics, including the economy, preparations for a possible H1N1 flu outbreak, and an aggressive campaign against drug dealing on campus.
The Kickoff event, which usually is held at Lincoln Theater, took place this year in the newly renovated Gengras Café. Hundreds of faculty and staff members got their first look at the renovated dining area and the gleaming new 5,000-square-foot food court, and they got a chance to sample some of the items that will be served there.
Wednesday’s event also featured remarks from Provost Lynn Pasquerella and the presentation of awards to faculty and staff of the University and its two magnet schools. Be sure to check UNotes on Friday for coverage of the awards and for video excerpts of the President’s and Provost’s speeches.
Read President Harrison's remarks.
Read Provost Pasquerella's remarks.
Statement of Shared Values
In 2007, President Harrison formed a committee to establish a set of shared values that defines the University of Hartford community and sets the tone for the institution’s future. The committee, which was chaired by Associate Professor of Economics Jane Horvath, got extensive input from students, faculty, and staff through small and large group meetings and surveys.
“As a result, they have developed a wonderful statement of shared values that sets a tone and a goal for us as the University of Hartford community,” Harrison said. “This year I am hoping we can make this goal a reality through an organized effort to spread the word, to listen to student, staff, and faculty reactions, and to improve what we do accordingly.” Horvath has been appointed Senior Advisor to the President, with the task of leading this effort.
The statement of shared values is as follows:
"At the University of Hartford we are committed to community. We are an academic community that values integrity, curiosity, creativity, excellence, responsibility, and accomplishment. Enriched by our diversity and our engagement with one another, we take pride in our shared traditions and experiences. We are dedicated to building a culture that respects all of its members and celebrates their contributions as we work together to strengthen our community."
Read the report of the Values Committee.
To kick off the “values campaign,” all students will receive T-shirts, designed by Associate Professor of Visual Communication Design John Nordyke, that say “I am Committed to Community.” In addition, all faculty and staff at Wednesday’s event received “Committed to Community” mugs.
Economy, H1N1, Campaign Against Drug Dealing
In his remarks on Wednesday, President Harrison also said the following:
– While the University must remain vigilant about the effects of the global economic recession, the institution is entering the new academic year in a solid financial position. The size of this year’s entering class is about the same as last year’s, thanks in part to the fact that the University made additional financial aid available to students, Harrison said.
– A total of 32 people (six faculty and 26 staff) have chosen to participate in the one-time, early retirement program that the University made available earlier this year.
– The University is prepared for the threat of an H1N1 flu outbreak. Under the leadership of Vice President for Student Affairs Lee Peters and Director of Health Services Mary Norris, a plan has been developed to respond to a possible outbreak. The University expects to receive limited supplies of vaccine when it becomes available this fall, Harrison said. The University will establish priorities about who receives the vaccine following government guidelines. Faculty, staff, and students will begin getting information about this in the next few days.
– The University is launching an aggressive campaign against drug dealing on campus. “We’ll do that by sending strong messages to our students that we will not tolerate this activity, we will do this by increasing our surveillance (both through technology and good old-fashioned walking around), and most importantly, by educating our students about the dangers of associating with drug dealers. Our Student Affairs and Public Safety staffs will make this issue a top priority this year,” Harrison said.
– The University will be forming a Presidential Commission on the Status of Women, “to look at how we can optimize our opportunities for all women and men on our faculty and staff,” Harrison said. He will provide more information on this initiative in September.