From the President

Filled with challenges and opportunities, the 2008/2009 academic year at Notre Dame College was scarcely ordinary. In many ways, it was a great year – strong enrollment, solid budgets, several wonderful choir concerts, art shows and speakers, winning athletic teams, a new “Dean’s List Dinner”, the first “President’s Lecture” and “The Books That Changed the World" seminar series’ inaugural session all made it memorable.

Of course, the economic implosion of September and October 2008 contributed its share to the year’s challenges. One of the benefits of Notre Dame’s decision five years ago to radically reduce endowment spending is the College’s relative immunity to the immediate impact of the economy’s downturn. While other institutions have had to cut budgets, freeze salaries, lay off staff and thwart initiatives, Notre Dame, fueled by its enrollment growth, has maintained a steady state.

However, as we look to the fall and the 2009/2010 academic year, we will be monitoring enrollment very closely. Families are finding paying for a private college education to be an ever greater challenge. Now, more than ever, your support will be necessary to help the College fund financial support for its students. In order to weather these difficult economic times, the College must both seek new and creative ways to provide its students financial support and, at the same time, find new and creative ways to maintain its enrollment and institutional progress. Toward the first goal, all of the proceeds from this year’s Notre Dame Medal dinner honoring Bishop Emeritus Anthony Pilla will be directed towards helping current students pay their college expenses.

In order to continue to support the College’s enrollment growth, we have built two new residence halls that complete a residence quad similar to the one envisioned by the original campus architect in 1926. North Hall, an apartment-style hall housing 84 students, opened in January. South Hall will open its doors to 204 students in August. In addition, we created new office spaces and classrooms in the Administration Building, constructed 215 new parking spaces and expanded the Falcon Café.

Further, with the development of the only scholarship football team in the Cleveland metropolitan area the College has placed a secure floor under its new student recruitment. Falcon football, along with our new marching band, will help develop a vibrant campus atmosphere. It will build closer relationships with our alumni, young and old, and with the Greater Cleveland community. Additionally, the College is exploring two options to enhance the quality of the intercollegiate experience for our student athletes: 1) a possible move to Division II of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and 2) the formation of an All-Ohio private college athletic conference. The latter, consisting of mission-centric institutions committed to the same values as Notre Dame College, will greatly benefit our student-athletes by reducing travel time and missed classes due to travel.

At the heart of all these decisions is our commitment to deliver a quality education. With the development of Notre Dame Online, this education will soon be available to a larger audience. In the fall of 2008, the Education Department began offering its graduate technology endorsement classes online. In February 2009, the Ohio Department of Higher Education approved delivery of the complete Master’s of Education degree in an online format; ultimately, all graduate classes will be available on the Web. Over the summer, the first undergraduate courses will also go live, potentially allowing students across the country to take classes at Notre Dame College.

While we continue to grow, we strive to maintain a mission-centric education rooted in the tradition of the Sisters of Notre Dame. Our faculty and staff create a distinct Notre Dame experience educating a diverse population for personal, professional and global responsibility. In this edition of Notre Dame Today you will meet five employees who live the College’s mission everyday. They are just a small sample of the devoted people at our beloved institution. It is because of their commitment that Notre Dame is a place where tradition meets innovation!


Andrew P. Roth, Ph.D.

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