Dec. 1 Council of Trustees Meeting

Ronald Hanaki
Contributing Writer

ESU’s Council of Trustees meeting was held at ESU’s Lehigh Valley Center in Bethlehem, Pa. this past Thursday evening.
Normally, the meetings are held at the Innovation Center on Route 447 in East Stroudsburg.
But an alumni event had been scheduled that evening at ESU’s Lehigh Valley Center, so President Ken Long and the Trustees felt that this was a good opportunity to hold the meeting at ESU’s Bethlehem campus for the first time.
The Lehigh Valley Center hosts classes from the College of Education’s doctoral program in administration and leadership studies and the Athletic Training Department’s Master of Science program.
After taking time off for family reasons, Trustees Chair L. Patrick Ross was there to preside over the meeting in-person. Ross began the meeting by praising Long.
Long served as Interim President of ESU for two-and-a-half years before he was named ESU’s 14th President at the Pa. State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Board of Governors Meeting held on Nov. 2.
“I really don’t know where we would have been if Ken hadn’t agreed to be Interim President,” Ross said.
Ross praised Long’s ability to handle both the academic and public aspects to being the university president.
“This is a new era for East Stroudsburg University,” Ross said.
Ross also thanked Dr. Margaret Ball for serving as the Interim Provost.
Then Long gave his President’s Report.
“A lot has happened at ESU since we last met in September,” Long said.
“With just over two weeks remaining in the fall semester, I can report that the campus has never felt more alive than it has been in years. Student organizations have seen strong participation,” Long said.
Long went through a laundry list of happenings at ESU.
ESU will open its Health Science Simulation Lab in 2023.
A state-of-the-art projector was recently installed in the McMunn Planetarium inside the Science and Technology Center.
The Fine & Performing Arts Center is undergoing renovations to make it more accessible.
The construction of the new student center (the Keystone Center) has started. It is projected to open in the Fall 2024 semester. The total completion of the project is expected to be done sometime in 2025.
The final numbers are in, and ESU’s student enrollment for this fall semester was the largest in four years. Moreover, new student applications for next fall (2023) are up as well.
Long said that ESU is continuing to focus on the 50-60 mile radius around campus in order to recruit incoming students. ESU has doubled the number of high school visits within this radius from last year and will continue to do so into the spring semester.
“I am continuing my meetings with regional superintendents including some of the districts in the Wyoming Valley,” Long said.
Fall sports had a competitive season with ESU Field Hockey winning its second national championship last Saturday. Before the start of the national tournament, ESU Field Hockey was honored with having the top cumulative GPA (Grade Point Average) of 3.584 of all the field hockey teams within its own division participating in the national tournament.
ESU Men’s Basketball has been undefeated through six games and is ranked No. 6 in the Atlantic Region.
ESU’s Women’s Basketball has six wins which has already surpassed the four wins that the team had all of last season.
Mike Terwilliger, the offensive coordinator of ESU Football, coached in his 500th game at ESU in the fall.
Separately, Denny Douds, the former Head Coach of ESU Football, was inducted into the Pa. Sports Hall of Fame.
Long said that upcoming holiday events including the Theatre Department’s stage production of ‘She Kills Monsters’ will be held on Dec. 8, 9, 10 and 11.
A campus-wide holiday dessert social is scheduled for Dec. 15, and the 26th annual MLK Celebration will be held on Jan. 16.
“As you can see, ESU is back with a number of things happening on campus, and we have no signs of slowing down,” Long said.
Long’s President’s Report was followed by a report from the University Affairs Committee.
Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences Nieves Gruneiro-Roadcap and Vice President of Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence Santiago Solis jointly presented a report about the Climate Survey results conducted by the Pa. State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) earlier this year. The campus climate survey results specific to ESU are planned to be shared in February.
In addition, there were updates to enrollment management, and some changes are being made to improve the retention of students. There are also plans to increase parking spaces for students.
Rick Santoro is the Executive Director of the ESU Foundation, and he was asked to address the Trustees about fundraising.
“This year’s fundraising efforts are on par with last year’s at this time,” Santoro said.
But Santoro added that the goal was for it to be higher than last year, so the ESU Foundation is continuing its efforts to raise more funds.
Santoro said that there are three annual and three endowed scholarships already on the books.
The Sheska Soccer Stadium fundraising campaign is also back on. It is a 4.5 million dollar project, and 2.4 million dollars have been raised so far.
In addition, the baseball and softball stadiums at Creekview Park are in need of new scoreboards. So funds are being raised for that as well.
At the end of the meeting, Ross wished everyone a happy holiday season.
The next meeting of the Council of Trustees is scheduled for Feb. 23, 2023.

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