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Father Greenfield Outlines Exciting New Partnerships and Projects in State of the University

by Janelle Hill Jan 30, 2020

Exciting new changes are coming to campus in 2020 and beyond.

Father James Greenfield, OSFS ’84, president of DeSales, outlined his vision for the future to a packed crowd of students, faculty, and staff in his second annual State of the University address.

He began by reciting a quote from Saint Jane de Chantal that appeared on the cover of The President’s Report: United together by the bond of peace and charity.

“Here at DeSales, we must be united in peace and charity because these virtues provide us with our mission-centered foundation for our work as students, faculty, and staff. Without peace and charity, I dare say, we won’t exist.”

 Fr. James Greenfield, OSFS ’84, President of DeSales University

Fr. Greenfield focused on the key categories of academics, temporal affairs, and student experience. He pointed to the new neuroscience major and graduate program in higher education, among others, saying new academic programs has to be the mantra if we want to bring in students.

He also announced that beginning this August, DeSales is partnering with Temple University/St. Luke’s School of Medicine to allow first-year medical students to use the gross anatomy lab in the Gambet Center. The University will also look to attract new students with the Norene and Tony Salvaggio Honors Scholarship Program.  

As far as the budget goes, Fr. Greenfield said the University is in “incredibly good space” when it comes to operating revenue, but he expressed concern about the freshman discount rate. The University plans to hire a firm to design strategies to deal with that rate more effectively and creatively. 

DeSales spent $14 million on major summer projects, including the new baseball and softball stadium and renovations to Brisson and Campbell halls. It’s also investing more than a million dollars in wireless access across campus, which will be made through the summer.

Plans are also in the works for another major makeover—an official main entrance to campus, which will include a bridge and a plaza at Preston Lane and Landis Mill Road.

“We’re going to have a beautiful entrance to this campus finally. We want to have a place that’s the center. It’s going to look phenomenal.”

 Fr. James Greenfield, OSFS ’84, President of DeSales University

He also announced that the University is in dialogue with the Greater Valley YMCA to explore the possibility of bringing a Y to Preston Lane, across from the public library.

The moment that drew the most applause from the crowd was when Fr. Greenfield announced the transformation of Tucker House into the DeSales University Pub.

“I’ve been hearing from the day I got here: ‘Father Jim, we want a pub.’ Wawa on Passer Road, eat your heart out,” he quipped, referencing the new convenience market being built at Route 309 and Passer Road.

Fr. Greenfield also outlined the five goals of the University’s strategic plan: to deliver the best student experience; to recognize the contributions of faculty and staff by offering fair, competitive, and just compensation and benefits; to improve educational products and services through the core curriculum; to enhance revenue growth and community engagement and optimize the use of campus buildings; and to be the leading Catholic regional university by strategically partnering to expand programs and grow profitability.

Fr. Greenfield also emphasized the importance of an open dialogue with the campus community. To that end, he is planning two listening sessions for students and two for faculty and staff in the coming weeks and months.

For more photos from the State of the University, visit our Flickr album.