College of Charleston President Glenn F. McConnell ’69 recently addressed the College’s Faculty Senate, which is the faculty’s primary legislative body. McConnell touched on several topics, including the strategic direction of the College, enrollment and the university’s work on diversity and inclusion.
Speaking at the senate’s meeting on Oct. 10, 2017, the president provided an update on the College’s action plan for the next four years. Titled “Vision 250: Mind, Body, Spirit,” the plan centers on enhancing the holistic development of students by enriching the academic experience, growing and diversifying the student body and providing students with experiential opportunities that develop them as leaders and prepare them for life post-graduation.
The College has made significant progress over the past year on the implementation of the Vision 250 plan, McConnell said. Among the achievements to date, he noted:
- The establishment of a Division of Enrollment Planning.
- Moving the IT function out of the Division of Business Affairs and reestablishing it as the Division of Information Technology.
- Establishing the Administrative Council, a new forum for the exchange of information among the university’s various constituencies on important institutional issues, policies and strategies. The council is chaired by McConnell and includes a large membership consisting of senior administrators, deans, the speaker of the faculty and other members of the campus community.
- Increased adjunct faculty compensation.
- Introduced the one-semester Charleston Bridge Program that enables qualified students to complete a transitional semester at Trident Technical College before being admitted to the College to earn an undergraduate degree.
- Invested in Crossing the Cistern, a new one-year scholarship program for rising sophomores and juniors that awards up to $4,000. The program is designed to address financial support and to help foster a sense of community among students, particularly students of color.
McConnell also shared his stance on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a federal program that provided temporary authorization for the children of undocumented people to work or attend school in the United States.
“I fully support congressional action that will provide legal status to those once covered by DACA,” McConnell said. “That kind of legislation speaks to our own campus core values of diversity and inclusion. Our students who are covered under DACA deserve to be here, and they deserve a chance to cross our majestic Cistern stage with a College of Charleston diploma in hand.”
The president also highlighted the Class of 2021, which includes over 1,900 students from 11 countries and 38 states, as well as Washington D.C. and overseas military bases. The College’s newest freshman class also boasts nine in-state valedictorians, 13 in-state salutatorians, four out-of-state valedictorians and four out-of-state salutatorians.
McConnell thanked the faculty for their hard work in educating and nurturing students. He emphasized that the College’s stellar academic reputation is the result of the faculty’s passion, leadership and deep subject matter expertise.