Hello from the hill,
In the days just prior to the start of the current academic year, my staff and I convened a campus town hall meeting, as we customarily do, to bring faculty and staff members together for a status report on the College and for a look at the challenges on our near horizon. The mood at these occasions is typically upbeat, as Champlain continues to thrive, even amid the global economic downturn. The tone at this year’s kickoff meeting was similarly positive—that is, once everyone released the collective breath we had been holding in anticipation of our fall 2009 enrollment numbers.
I am pleased to report that those numbers are strong and that the institution is in good health. In fact, the class of 2013 is the second-largest incoming class in the College’s history.
Naturally, I credit Director of Admissions Ian Mortimer and his team’s agility and drive in matching so many promising students with Champlain College in a highly competitive recruiting climate. As I consider how well the College has weathered these stormy economic times, it is clear to me how deeply such agility and drive run through our institution. Nearly every member of our learning community—without question, every department and academic division—has made a special contribution, over the past year or so, toward distinguishing Champlain College as a national leader in professionally focused higher education.
The articles in this issue begin to tell the story of how this small college on the Hill is managing not only to survive the present conditions, but to grow in innovative ways that fortify its health moving forward. The Continuing Professional Studies (CPS) division, as one article illuminates, is opening doors to a Champlain College education for adult learners by offering academic programs closely tied to marketplace demands—and delivered by industry-savvy instructors leveraging the most effective learning tools available. The Career Services office, the subject of another article, contributes significantly to the College’s success by helping new job seekers and alumni alike approach the job market with confidence, recognizing that the new economy calls for new job-search strategies.
My position affords me an in-depth look at these and other initiatives quietly sharpening Champlain’s competitive edge. A mere walk across campus, however, reveals a vibrancy and optimism nearly impossible to miss. One finds it in historic campus buildings being restored to grandeur; in a bold new campus statue of our old friend and namesake, French explorer Samuel de Champlain; and especially in the ebullient smiles of today’s students—forging onward to tomorrow’s careers.
I expect that the institution will experience additional successes, along with new challenges, in the semesters to come. For now, I am delighted with where the season finds Champlain College, and I thank you for your continued support.
Dr. David F. Finney