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A Bold Vision

Moving from Hope to Strategic Action

President’s Message

On my first day as president of Arcadia University, I attended a campus-wide protest that, at its core, reminded us of the key values that drive our community—fearlessness, justice, and integrity. This positive energy has helped us move from hope to action, as we establish the building blocks for a strategic plan that realizes Arcadia’s bold vision.


Who We Talked To

To lay the foundation for our vision and strategic priorities, we embarked on a presidential listening tour that connected us with Arcadia’s diverse stakeholders. These meetings—along with all of the impromptu conversations in the Chat, on the Castle stairs, and beyond—helped us understand Arcadia’s challenges, brainstorm ways to build upon our strengths, and envision where the University is headed.


Departments and units, student organizations, leadership and governance groups, stakeholders, and events.

3+ Arcadia Theater productions
5+ Arcadia exhibitions
7+ Arcadia UKnighted events
12+ Individual student meetings
30+ Arcadia Athletics competitions and events
Academic Technology Services
Adjunct Faculty Union
Alpha Epsilon Lambda inductees
Arcadia Athletics
Arcadia Athletics Award Banquet
Arcadia Athletics Golf Outing
Arcadia Edinburgh Center
Arcadia Hillel
Arcadia Improv
Arcadia London Center
Art of the Syllabus exhibition
Athletic Hall of Fame Ceremony
Auxiliary Services
Black Awareness Society
Board of Trustees
Cabinet leadership
Career Education
College of Health Sciences chairs
The College of Global Studies
The College of Global Studies Leadership Guild
Common Read Lecture (Inauguration)
Department of Physical Therapy orientation
Dessert with 22 Knights
Disability Support Services
Diwali celebration
Empty Bowl Benefit Dinner
English Department
Enrollment Management
Faculty Senate
Faculty Senate Executive Council meeting
Family Weekend Carnival and Picnic Lunch
Finance & Administration
Gateway Program students
Glenside Knight: Food Truck Festival (Inauguration)
Global Expo
Graduate and Undergraduate Studies
Graduate Commencement Ceremony
HAPS Program Review presentations
Historical and Political Studies (HAPS) Department
Holi celebration
Honors Convocation
Honors Executive-in-Residence Lecture with Dr. Paul Zeitz
Honors Program
Human Resources
Inauguration Celebration (Inauguration)
Inauguration committees
Information Technology
Installation Ceremony (Inauguration)
Institutional Diversity
International student groups
International Wrongful Conviction Day
Knight Club performance
Knights For Campus Action
Knight Madness
87 Knights to Commencement
Late Knight Breakfast
Learning Resource Network
“Let’s Come Against the Common Enemy Together: Inclusion, Diversity, and Equality on Campus” symposium
Media & Communications Department
Middle States leadership
Move-In Day
Mr. Beaver Pageant
Mural Lighting Ceremony (Inauguration)
New Student Orientation
Open houses
Pan African Studies Program
Parent Council
Presidential Panel (Inauguration)
Pretzels with the President
Prospective students at Scarlet and Grey Day
Provost’s Cabinet
Provost’s Office
Psychology Program Review presentations
Public Safety
Rock the Knight (Inauguration)
Scarlet and Grey Day
School of Education
Semester Kick-Off Picnic
Senior Golden Disc nominees
SGO Executive Board
Society for Castle Restoration
Society for Castle Restoration ghost tours
Sociology, Anthropology, & Criminal Justice Department
Staff Council
Student Government Organization
Student Leadership
Thesis Day/Capstone presentations
UKnighted committees
Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony
University Advancement
University Relations
Visual and Performing Arts Department
Wellness Services
Years of Service Luncheon
Young Democratic Socialists of America at Arcadia


Alumni, donors, friends of Arcadia, peer institutions, media, corporations, and national leaders.

Alumni Association Leadership Council
Alumni Weekend
Black Alumni Association
Bethany Beach Alumni Reception
Florida Alumni Reunions
King of Prussia Alumni Reception
New York Alumni Receptions
Philadelphia Alumni Reception
San Diego Alumni Reception
Washington, D.C. Alumni Reception

ACUHO-I State of the Profession Symposium
American Graduate School (AGS) in Paris, France
Andrea Nolan (principal and vice-chancellor, Edinburgh Napier University)
Art Haywood (PA state senator)
Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges Conference
Barry Dornfeld (principal, CFAR, Inc.)
Baruch College (speaking engagement)
BBC Asian Network
Dr. Bette Landman (president emerita, Arcadia University)
Bill Slotnik (executive director, Community Training and Assistance Center)
Bob Oliver (executive pastor, New Covenant Church of Philadelphia)
Campus Philly Conference
“Changing the National Conversation: Inclusion and Equity” (UPenn)
Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia Luncheon
Cheltenham School District (Board President Julie Haywood, Board VP Joel Fishbein, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Tamara Thomas Smith, Director of Student Services Dr. Cheryl Horsey)
Cheltenham Township Board of Commissioners and Township Manager
Chronicle of Higher Education
CityWide Stories (World Trade Center of Philadelphia)
Community Training and Assistance Center Board of Directors
Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) 2019 Presidents Institute
Diverse Issues in Higher Education
Dr. Elavie Ndura (VP of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Gallaudet University)
Drexel University (President John Fry, Provost Brian Blake, Assistant Clinical Professor Dr. Beth Chiatti)
EducationUSA International
Good Shepherd Penn Partners
Gerri Aaron ’14H (Arcadia honorary degree recipient)
Harvard University Seminar for New Presidents
The Heinz Endowments
Hugh Moulton (Arcadia Trustee Emeritus)
Invest Philadelphia magazine
Isaac and Maddy Stein ’68 (Arcadia Trustee Emerita)
James Korman (husband of the late Trustee Laura Fisher Korman ’89, ’95MEd)
Jim Moran (CEO, Biocoat)
John and Dr. Theresa Rollins (Arcadia Trustee Emerita)
Dr. Joseph Sun (vice rector, Forman Christian College, Lahore, Pakistan)
Dr. Josie Ahlquist Podcast
Dr. Julianne Mamana Boyd ’66, ’17H (Arcadia honorary degree recipient)
Dr. Keith Taylor (president, Gannon University)
Ken Andrews (executive director, Middle Atlantic Conferences)
Dr. Kipyego Cheluget (ambassador, Republic of Kenya)
MAC Conference
Marilyn Cranin ’54, ’96H (Arcadia Trustee Emerita)
Dr. MaryAnn Baenninger (president, Drew University)
Dr. Michael Brown ’19H (Nobel Prize-winning molecular geneticist, Arcadia honorary degree recipient)
Dr. Michael H. Mittelman (president, Salus University)
Miguel Fraga (secretary to the Cuban Embassy, D.C.)
Mona Jha, Esq. (chief diversity officer, Baruch College)
Mónica Byrne-Jiménez (Community Training & Assistance Center)
NAFSA: Association of International Educators Conference
The Office of U.S. Senator Bob Casey, Jr. (Higher Education Roundtable)
“PAMS” meeting with Arcadia, Manor, and Salus presidents
Patrick Toomey (U.S. senator)
Patti DeBow ’02 (former Arcadia Trustee)
Philadelphia Asian Americans in Academia
Philadelphia Business Network
Presidents Experience Lab (Zappos Headquarters)
Robert Cort and Dr. Rosalie Swedlin ’68, ’11H (Arcadia honorary degree recipient)
Ronald Eicholtz (vice president of Finance, Tyco- Rest of World, Integrated Solutions & Services)
Dr. Said bin Nasser Al Salmi (director general, Cultural Affairs of Oman)
Sara Lomax-Reese (president/CEO, WURD 96.1FM / 900AM Radio LLC)
SEPCHE Presidents Retreat
South Asian Review (with Dr. Pradyumna Chauhan)
Southeastern Pennsylvania Consortium for Higher Education (SEPCHE)
Steve Harrison (vice president for Auxiliary Enterprises, Coastal Carolina University)
Steve McCarter (PA state representative)
Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education
Suburban Life Magazine
Dr. Suneet Chauhan ’79, ’18H (Arcadia honorary degree recipient)
Susan Ginsberg Berk ’69 and Lee Berk
Ted Wood (Arcadia Trustee Emeritus)
Templeton Foundation
Dr. Thomas A. Parham (president, California State University, Dominguez Hills)
Tom Foley (president, Association of Independent Colleges and Universities)
Tslis Shtulsaft (director of Hillels in Philadelphia)
University of Edinburgh
University of the Sciences (President Paul Katz, Provost Peter Miller)
Dr. Valerie Arkoosh ‘19H (Montgomery County Board of Commissioners chair, Arcadia honorary degree recipient)
Valerie Smith (president, Swarthmore College)
Dr. Wagner Marseille (superintendent, Cheltenham School District)
William Penn Foundation
William Slotnik (Community Training & Assistance Center)
Won Institute (President Bokin Kim, Dean Gerry O’Sullivan)
World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia
Wyman Fong (Asian Pacific Americans in Higher Education)

This is a sample of presidential engagements over the past year. These lists are not comprehensive.


What We Heard

The shared sense of hope and belonging held by our community members made a tremendous impression on me. Many of our conversations echoed Arcadia’s need for a strong vision that represents our shared values.

“We’re developing important skills to work in the real world and engage in social innovation in global environments.” Student

“I’m excited about the future. I hope we continue to teach students that small, thoughtful choices make the difference.” Alumnus

“We must develop a vision around problem-solving—our students are dedicated to making societal contributions.” Faculty Member

“The future of Arcadia includes engagement in the local community and strong connections with constituents in the area.” Staff Member


A listening tour would be incomplete without extending our conversations and engaging a wider audience through social media. The feedback provided through these channels was invaluable as we determined which challenges and opportunities to focus on.

Connect with me to share your Arcadia experiences.


Why We UKnighted

Our conversations revealed three key areas we needed to immediately address as a community:


Promote financial literacy related to Arcadia’s budget among diverse stakeholders.


Improve communication, build trust on campus, and establish a collaborative approach to strategic planning.


Evaluate direct-report units and develop a set of practices in support of shared governance.

Arcadia UKnighted

Arcadia UKnighted—a collaborative, campus-wide movement aligned with our efforts to facilitate open dialogue—was instituted to address these areas. Our first UKnighted working session on April 20, 2018 led to the establishment of a Budget Task Force, Shared Governance Committee, and Aspirational Committee.


What We Accomplished

April 2018

The campus-wide working session on April 20 brought 300+ community members together. We launched the Arcadia UKnighted initiative; created an interactive, online forum; planned meetings, events, and workshops; and convened committees and task forces to recommend next steps for the University. My monthly Presidential Update was instituted to ensure a consistent flow of information.

May 2018

A recruitment strategy was implemented to cultivate a strong Board of Trustees. We welcomed three new members to our Board: Elliott Roth, Dr. James Wagner, and Alexandra Mamolou ’14M. An initial contract was developed for the Adjunct Faculty Union. Metz Culinary Management joined Arcadia as the University’s new dining services provider.

June 2018

The UKnighted committees built momentum throughout the summer. The University upgraded its facilities through capital projects, including remodeled residence hall bathrooms and a renovated DNA lab, 3D design studio, athletic training center, and aerobics room.

July 2018

The Budget Task Force hosted financial literacy sessions; the Shared Governance Committee researched best practices; and the Aspirational Committee gathered information from all units. Evaluations began for offices that report directly to the president, including University Advancement, University Relations, and General Counsel.

August 2018

We hosted our first summer retreat for Trustees. A new global program, Second-Year Study Abroad Experience (SYSAE), was introduced. Arcadia’s Class of 2022—including 472 students, with an additional 72 new transfer students—moved in.


September 2018

Students, faculty, and staff celebrated the start of the academic year at a Semester Kick-off on Haber Green. The Board set 2018-19 Presidential and University Goals. Arcadia submitted its Middle States Self-Study draft. External evaluations for presidential direct reports were scheduled for Enrollment Management, Student Affairs, and Academic Affairs.

October 2018

Our Inauguration theme, “Reimagining Our Higher Education Community: From Inclusion to Justice,” sparked conversations on diversity, accessibility, and the future of higher education. $1,295,053 was raised by mid-October (FY19), including $600,000 pledged by Trustees at Inauguration and contributions from 1,042 Knights during the University’s four-day giving event, UKNIGHT 4 Arcadia. Arcadia also yielded the highest number of applications at an October open house in 10 years.

November 2018

Academic Affairs established an Innovative Programming group and a Resource Assessment group. An Open Expression Task Force was formed to address free speech within the Arcadia community. We launched searches for a Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and a Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations. For the ninth consecutive year, the Institute of International Education ranked Arcadia first in the nation for study abroad participation.


December 2018

A goal was set to build a stable budget around a first-year class of 520 students; as of December, first-year applications and offers of admission ran 12% ahead of last year. At a UKnighted session on Dec. 11, 150+ community members explored social impact as part of Arcadia’s lived values. The Aspirational Committee released a vision statement draft, compiled community feedback, and helped establish a Social Innovation Task Force. Across the pond, I met with students, faculty, and staff at Arcadia’s centers in London, England, and Edinburgh, Scotland.

January 2019

The calendar year finished with fundraising totals tracking ahead of last year. Gifts received as of Jan. 13 totaled $1,411,578, with an additional $362,500 in pledges committed for FY19. Faculty and staff earned more than one million in grants to enhance campus life and academic programs. Faculty Senate hosted a UKnighted meeting on Jan. 15 to identify high-impact initiatives. Arcadia graduated its largest Doctor of Physical Therapy class in history (188 students).

February 2019

As of February 2019, giving totals were up by nearly 10% over this time last year, notwithstanding the historic $8.6 million gift from Dr. Ellington Beavers ’93H. With suggestions from the community incorporated, the Board approved our Vision and Lived Values statements. The Middle States Evaluation Team visited campus to meet with the standards committees. Advancing our leadership searches, the University elevated the Chief Information Officer role to a vice president and Cabinet-level position.

March 2019

We announced that faculty and staff salaries will increase by 2% across the board this July. Placing students at the center of every University decision, we addressed issues related to recruitment, retention, financial aid, and academic efficiency. These efforts continue to help us gain valuable information for our strategic plan, which will ensure Arcadia is prosperous.

April 2019

On April 2, we celebrated a year of community engagement and intellectual fearlessness on campus. Students, faculty, and staff welcomed 1,292 guests to campus for Scarlet & Grey Day on April 6. We worked to expand innovative programming and research opportunities, including hybrid online programs and a collaborative project with Agri-Kind Hemp. We were pleased to come to a collective agreement with our adjunct faculty members that will serve as a long-term benefit to our University community.

May 2019

Acceptance Day on May 1 closed with undergraduate deposits up 16% from last year. The Class of 2019, comprised of more than 800 undergraduate and graduate students, welcomed families and friends to campus for CommencementWe announced that, in Fall 2019, Arcadia will launch co-educational Esports and Track and Field programs as varsity sports. Key senior leadership positions were filled, including a new Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Jeff Rutenbeck, Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations, Brigette Bryant, and Director of Strategic Initiatives, Joseph Sun


What Inspired Us

Innovation and collaboration are imbued within the Vision and Lived Values defined by our community. In addition to compiling feedback for these statements, our Aspirational Committee reflected on our collective interests—highlighted in the socially innovative stories below—to set priorities that will guide all that we do at Arcadia.

Making a Social Impact

Students Rejuvenate Homeless Shelter

The Creative Expression Art Outreach organization put their paint brushes to work at St. Raymond’s House.

Knights Open Food Pantry

The Knights for Nutrition Committee addressed food insecurity among students.

Lunavictoria Publishes Illustration to Help Migrant Families

Julia Lunavictoria ‘18 used her scientific illustration skills to support families separated at the U.S. border.

Tutdeal Addresses Refugee Crisis

IPCR’s Nyamal Tutdeal ’18M—who fled Sudan at age six—moderated a panel that brainstormed solutions to the Sudanese refugee crisis.

Arcadia in Cape Town

A new program in South Africa encourages students to pursue social entrepreneurship careers.

Park Fights Poverty Through Internship

Rachel Park ’21 is interning with The Borgen Project, a nonprofit dedicated to ending world hunger.

Business Students Support Hurricane Maria Recovery

Arcadia’s International Business and Culture class auctioned furniture to support organizations in Puerto Rico and Dominica.

Our Vision, Our Dream, Our Passion

Arcadia University’s pioneering, global, integrated, liberal arts, and professional learning experience cultivates leaders who are intellectually fearless and uniquely prepared for life and work. Our highly regarded, values-based learning community reflects the world in which we want to live.


Where We’re Going

Our strategic plan will align with themes that emerged from our community work:

Students at the Center

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We will develop creative recruitment strategies, scholarship and service opportunities, high-impact initiatives (including hybrid online programs and new athletic opportunities), and long-term plans for student success.

Boundless and Exemplary Academics

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We will maintain a learning environment that disrupts traditional pedagogical strategies; unpack the complexities of resource deployment to position ourselves for growth; and identify academic priorities to continue providing a distinctive educational experience.

Local, National, and Global Engagement

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Our vision will call for us to effect change in local and global communities through our individual and collective resources. Arcadia UKnighted and our recently launched academic innovation grants will support such work.

Collaborative Leadership

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Strong leadership and financial health are inextricably intertwined. We will continue to support shared governance, foster a sense of belonging and trust on campus, and model financial scenarios based on desired outcomes.

Each deliberate phase of the strategic planning process will bring Arcadia closer to reaching its full potential. Together, we will build a resource-rich community of practice based on shared values, passions, and concerns.



    April-August 2019

    Preparation and concepts.


    August 2019 - February 2020

    Project structure: Engage community in goal development.


    January - April 2020

    Draft, share, and revise the final plan. Present plan to the Board of Trustees.


    May - July 2020

    Implementation: Align strategic plan with budget and department/unit objectives.

I look forward to collaborating with you to realize our vision.

About the President’s Report

The 2019 President’s Report chronicles a year of engagement strategies and community endeavors that culminated in Arcadia’s vision and priorities. Through this self-renewal process, we are strengthening campus leadership, pursuing high-impact opportunities, and inspiring a values-based culture.

Office of the President
Grey Towers Castle, 2nd Floor
450 S. Easton Road
Glenside, PA 19038