I am delighted to welcome students, faculty and staff back to campus. I hope you had
a restful, enjoyable and, in some cases, productive holiday season and winter break.
The fall semester was, indeed, a dynamic time for Skidmore.
We celebrated the public launch of Creating Our Future: The Campaign for Skidmore, an ambitious effort to raise $200 million by 2020 to fund the initiatives that will transform Skidmore's future. The Campaign currently stands at $151.1 million.
A key priority of Creating Our Future is the construction of the Center for Integrated Sciences (CIS), the largest and most ambitious building project in Skidmore’s history. The Center will eventually house all our departments and programs in the physical and life sciences, and its innovative design will foster collaboration across these and other disciplines, transforming teaching and research at Skidmore. It truly will benefit the entire campus.
I am pleased to report that plans for construction of CIS are underway. The permitting process for the first phase is nearly complete and the bidding process has begun. We expect to award the project contract in the weeks ahead. Construction will begin in late spring.
We hosted special guest speakers including psychologist, author, and expert on race relations Beverly Daniel Tatum, renowned singer-songwriter Paul Simon, and leading journalist and author David Brooks, as part of the Office of the President's Community Dialogue Series.
Our faculty, regarded as true mentors by our students, were celebrated widely for their pedagogy and research and often quoted as experts in their fields among national and regional media outlets.
We completed three major searches for cabinet positions, welcoming Sean P. Campbell as Collyer vice president for advancement and Martin A. Mbugua as vice president for communications and marketing; and we look forward to welcoming Michael T. Orr as dean of the faculty and vice president for academic affairs in July. Crystal Dea Moore, associate dean of the faculty and professor of social work, is serving as interim dean of the faculty and vice president for academic affairs. Pat Fehling, professor of health and human physiological sciences, has begun serving as interim associate dean.
I wish you all the best as we launch into a promising new spring semester.