Marking the official opening of the 2012–13 academic year at Mary Baldwin College, President Pamela Fox issued the annual State of the College address Wednesday, offering evidence of an institution determined to weather any challenge and a governing board determined to reward hard work.
The MBC Board of Trustees, Fox revealed, has designated that the majority of a budget surplus will be directed toward faculty and staff in the form of a one-time bonus.
“Although the amount per person is modest, $500, it nonetheless supports the Board’s promise to direct available resources, made possible by your hard work, back to you,” Fox told the audience of faculty, staff, and student leaders in Francis Auditorium.
MBC is coming off the heels of a history-setting year in fundraising and the launch of new programs in health sciences. Despite a critical spotlight on higher education, Fox said she is reassured that Mary Baldwin stands up to such scrutiny. She pointed toward evidence of the college’s strengths — including countering the trend of shrinking enrollments, upholding academic freedom, and excelling in access and success for a diverse population of students.
“Claims of the demise of small, private liberal arts colleges are greatly exaggerated,” said Fox, who spent her summer months reading 30 books published since 2008 on the state of higher ed. “I sifted through all the recommendations in these 7,000 pages and compared them to MBC. We must watch for threats from multiple directions, but consider the key ways that we buck the trends.”
Read Fox’s address in its entirety here .
Freshmen are arriving by their first-year Gateways this week, and upper class students file in this weekend. Classes are set to begin Monday.