Interim President Stephen C. Osborne ’73 held his first Faculty/Staff Town Hall event of the 2018-19 academic year on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018.
Osborne shared his priorities for his tenure as interim president, which are grouped into four areas: campus experience, academic experience, philanthropy, and the College’s 250th Anniversary Celebration in 2020.
- Grow internship and study-away opportunities.
- Continue efforts toward becoming a welcoming and more inclusive campus community.
- Rebrand the Top 10% Program as Cougar Advantage. Cougar Advantage provides automatic admission to South Carolina high school seniors in the top ten percent of their graduating class and includes new financial benefits, such as the College covering the difference in tuition for any Pell-eligible students after their state scholarships and financial awards have been applied to their bill. In addition, the College will provide a $2,000 award to help fund a study-away experience to any Pell student as long as they remain in good academic standing and have earned 60 credits at the College.
- Strengthen faculty/staff morale.
- Under this area, Osborne and the Board of Trustees have provided funds for merit salary increases.
- The College will also award a one-time, $500 lump sum bonus to all eligible permanent employees earning less than $50,000.
- The College has brought back the Staff Professional Development Incentive Program, which provides staff with the opportunity to develop new skills or acquire new knowledge and/or share information with peers relevant to staff job performance.
- Lastly, Osborne has brought back the College’s Faculty/Staff Holiday Party, which has been incredibly well-received by the campus community.
- Stabilize Graduate School enrollments. Steps that have been taken toward this goal include naming Godfrey Gibbison as interim dean of the Graduate School. Dean Gibbison will evaluate successful programs, programs that can be strengthened, and new programs that can be created.
- Expand recognition and publicizing of campus research (faculty and student). Osborne has directed Marketing and Communications to produce a publication touting the remarkable research taking place at the College.
- Raise more private funds for the College, especially for scholarships and study-away opportunities.
- Increase alumni engagement.
- Strengthen our donor stewardship.
250th Anniversary Celebration:
- The College hired project director Cande Cook in September. Cook is meeting with a number of campus employees to discuss the 250th anniversary as well as to solicit ideas for how to celebrate this campus milestone.
- Finalize steering committee structure and membership.
- Begin generating event ideas for large-scale celebrations.
Before opening the floor up to questions, Osborne closed his remarks by explaining how much he has enjoyed interacting with students on campus.
“Each student interaction has energized me and left me feeling inspired by the type of personalized education we provide to our students,” Osborne said. “I’m proud to be the interim president of the College of Charleston and proud to be an alumnus of our world-class university.”
Questions from the audience touched on a range of topics, including creating a more dynamic CofC web site, the school’s relationship with members of the South Carolina General Assembly, which campus facilities are due for renovations, and an update on the College’s presidential search process.
The next Faculty/Staff Town Hall will take place in Spring 2019.