Webster’s healthy financial situation is a result of strong enrollment gains and successful fundraising. This fiscal base provides the means to achieving growth in our human resources and physical resources. The well maintained and growing physical facility provides for an enriching environment upon which a strong student life program must rely. This section outlines the health of these various resources.
Operating Results and Ratios
The following table illustrates our financial health and adaptability supported from operations.
|Net income/total operating income||10.9%||8.7%||7.6%||4.3%||12.3%|
|Change in net assets/total net assets||9.4%||11.3%||12.0%||8.6%||22.8%|
|Tuition dependency excluding net assets released from restrictions||90.5%||90.6%||92.3%||90.8%||83.4%|
|Total net assets*||$72,627||$96,914||$108,568||$117,855||$144,751|
*Trailing 000s omitted.
The Net Income Ratio (net income/total operating income) measures operating performance by comparing unrestricted revenues over expenses with total unrestricted income (i.e., whether total unrestricted activities resulted in a surplus or deficit). A Net Income Ratio of 4% to 5% is suggested as the industry norm. As the table illustrates, our operations often exceed the industry norm.
The Return on Net Assets Ratio (change in net assets/total net assets) determines whether the university is financially sound by measuring economic return; information technology compares the change in net assets to total net assets at the beginning of the year. Webster’s 2006 Return on Net Assets Ratio increased to 22.8% from 8.6% in the prior year, largely due to significant contributions from operating activities. The industry standard for the real Return on Net Assets Ratio is 3% to 4%. With inflation running 2.6% from June 2005 to June 2006, Webster maintained a real return of 20.4% in 2005-06. This well exceeds the industry norm.
A decline in the tuition dependency ratio from 90% to 83% illustrates our ability to develop alternative revenue sources. In this case, a successful implementation of the University-As-A-Lender program has infused new operating revenue lowering our tuition dependency. Finally, total net assets have grown on average by 10.3% per year.
This is another example of our overall financial strength from operations.
[EXHIBIT: HLC2b.1 Financials]
These outstanding operating measures reflect our ability to support educational programs and strengthen them in the future. We easily produce resources necessary to start new initiatives such as the Global International Relations (IR) program and fund improvements in current operations, for instance, our investments in the online programs. Operations have also funded a significant growth in capital equipment and the physical plant.
Capital, Debt and Liquidity
Webster University has also experienced a significant expansion and revitalization of our physical plant using a combination of our own cash and debt. Since 2003, we have completed more than $40 million of new buildings and renovations.
The major projects consisted of the Loretto-Hilton Theater expansion, the Loretto Hall renovation, and renovation of the second and fourth floors of Webster Hall, the new Emerson Library, new residence halls in Saint Louis, Missouri and Geneva, Switzerland and the new Community Music School (CMS) building.
As the table below highlights, total property and equipment has grown on average 14.6% per year. While notes and bonds payable have grown on average 7.8% per year, with a significant increase in 2005. The ratios measure the liquidity of the organization.
|Property and equipment*||$66,902||$89,390||$97,327||$98,943||$115,599|
|Notes and bonds payable||$48,745||$48,667||$47,615||$61,784||$65,781|
|Primary Reserve Ratio: |
Available funds/total expenses
|Viability Ratio: |
Available funds/long term debt
Moody's Bond Rating Baaa2
*Trailing 000s omitted.
The Primary Reserve Ratio compares expendable net assets with total expenses. This ratio provides a snapshot of financial strength and flexibility by indicating how long the institution could operate using its expendable reserves without relying on additional net assets generated by operations. Webster’s Primary Reserve Ratio increased to 58.1% in 2006 from 49.0% in 2005. In 2004, Webster fell below the suggested level of a minimum of 40%, due to the large investment in plant in that fiscal year. In 2005, the University’s ratio increased due to a larger balance in expendable net assets that was driven by increased borrowings. Once again in 2006, climbing balances in expendable net assets, due primarily to the year-end operating performance, drove the increase in the Primary Reserve Ratio.
The Viability Ratio is a basic determinate of financial health; this ratio shows the availability of expendable net assets to cover debt should the university need to settle its obligations as of the balance sheet date. Webster’s viability ratio increased to 1.27:1 in 2005-06 from 1.13:1 in 2005. This ratio increased due to the operating performance in 2006.
The University-As-A-Lender program and the sale of the CMS building added significant new unrestricted assets to the balance sheet. Experts suggest that a ratio of 1:1 or greater indicates that the institution is healthy -- because it has sufficient expendable net assets to satisfy debt obligations. Experts recommend that the ratio should exceed 1.25:1, further indicating that there is “no absolute threshold that will indicate that the institution is no longer financially viable.” As an institution’s viability ratio falls below 1.00:1, the institution’s ability to respond to adverse conditions from internal resources diminishes, as does its ability to attract external capital and fund new objectives.
[EXHIBIT: HLC2b.1 Financials]
Investments in the physical plant weakened the liquidity ratios for a few years. However, the ratios are on the rebound due to strong operating performance. With the improving ratios and growing resources, we are making plans for future capital projects.
The bullet points below outlined the proposed projects:
- The Webster Works Campaign is raising funds for the construction of a new classroom building for the School of Business & Technology, and construction of a science facility.
- Renovations for Maria and Loretto Halls are planned in the near term.
1. Maria will become a modern residence hall.
2. The current student housing sections of Loretto Hall will become office and administrative space.
- Sverdrup Hall is scheduled for renovation after the School of Business and Technology has moved to the new building.
- A new Visual Arts Studio and an expansion of the University Center are on the outer edge of our planning horizon.
These strong fiscal results were made possible by strong enrollment growth and successful fundraising.
Enrollment and Enrollment Planning
Webster has a successful model and the necessary resources to achieve its enrollment goals. Ten years ago, Webster had a student headcount of 11,756. Between 1997 and 2004, the headcount grew to approximately 19,038 a 60% increase. However, in 2005, the University experienced a flattening in headcount to 18,594 which has now stabilized as of this writing (IPEDS data). Through this period or increasing enrollments, we have also made significant progress in reducing our financial dependence on tuition revenue.
Webster’s enrollment planning process looks at a one- to two-year horizon, and bases its projections on a combination of trending, situational knowledge about a program, a location, localized student needs, and “Budgeting Actual.” Enrollments for the past year are collected for various student subgroups.
Members of the enrollment management team meet with each dean to review the past year enrollments in St. Louis. All things being equal, we will project that the next year’s enrollment will be the actual of the previous year. However, new or eliminated programs, informal environmental scans, or other observations may serve to change the projection up or down.
The academic affairs extended site administration takes the lead in projecting enrollments for the extended campus network using a similar technique. Term-by-term enrollment and fiscal data are assembled and analyzed for the current year to date performance in order to compare to budget as well as to compare to the prior year’s actual performance. This information is sorted and viewed from numerous angles in order to isolate those instances where a campus may not be performing according to expectations or as well as previous years.
Additionally, extended campus 5-year enrollment profiles are prepared and updated on an ongoing basis in order to observe and assess trends over a longer period of time. The annual data as well as the 5-year trend data are used to assess program and other operational performance results and could potentially lead to adjustments in program offerings, site personnel, or other resource commitments.
[EXHIBIT: HLC2b.2 Enrollment Planning]
Worldwide, Webster has a diversified student body. The student population comprises:
- Traditional full-time (defined as 13 or more hours) undergraduates on the St. Louis home campus
- Working adults in St. Louis, undergraduate and graduate
- Working adults in metro locations, primarily graduate
- Working adults at military locations, graduate students only
- Students at international locations
- Online students
Demographic shifts and changes in national economies, for example, affect members of the different groups in different ways. This helps Webster stabilize overall enrollments, despite natural fluctuations in enrollments within any one student sector.
Webster’s organization is responsive and can rapidly accommodate students with new sites. Within this last decade, the University has expanded its network by adding 27 metro and 21 military locations. It has added an exciting new location in Hua-Hin, Thailand, and moved into a high profile, historic location in downtown St. Louis. Most recently, online programs have been instituted with great success.
[EXHIBIT: HLC2b.3 New Campuses]
Freshman/Transfer Students in St. Louis
Between 1997 and 2006, the full-time undergraduate student base grew from 1,772 to 2,592 (IPEDS). When looking at this full-time group from the standpoint of the Webster category called “flat-fee” (13 credits and above, institutional financial aid available to this group only) there has been a slight decline as indicated below.
Several events explain the downturn. First, was the decision to increase net revenue per new student and decrease the student discount from 42% to 37%. In response to the University’s desire to increase net revenue, while regaining recruitment success, the financial aid consulting firm Hardwick Day was hired to help optimize net revenue and recruitment goals. This work is partly responsible for achieving a turnaround in the recruitment of freshmen the very next year.
[EXHIBIT: HLC2c.7 Hardwick Day]
Goals for flat-fee students were again compromised, however, due to the enrollment decline in Webster’s primary transfer recruiting territory, St. Louis Community College (SLCC). Recruitment activities targeted to the SLCC were implemented, yet Webster still missed its recruitment goal by 30 students in 2006. A third factor in the decline has been the policies and actions of Homeland Security, with consequent fall of 38% in Webster’s international student recruitment.
The fourth explanation for the downturn in new freshmen and transfers was the lack of a Webster Web site targeted to prospective students. The Web site is in place, along with the new online application process, and we have experienced immediate increases in inquiries and applications.
Finally, the lack of modern housing facilities also hampered recruitment efforts. This too has been remedied by the completion of the 344-bed residence hall. As of this writing, Webster is on its way to regaining its momentum and achieving the new flat-fee undergraduate recruitment goals.
[EXHIBIT: HLC2a.2 IT Flowchart, HLC2b.2 Enrollment Planning, HLC0.10 Housing Web Site, HLC0.3 Sum and Substance]
U.S. Working Adult Student
Extended U.S. campus headcounts have grown from 6,470 to 11,564 by 2004 (IPEDS Off-Campus Headcount). Campuses added to fulfill unmet educational needs in various locations and the phenomenal demand for the MBA degree conspired to bring enrollment growth to an all time high. Headcounts surged an average of 7% per year between 1997 and 2004.
World events negatively affected enrollments beginning in 2004. Reduction in military students due to the Iraq war, a worldwide cooling in demand for the MBA, and declining international student enrollments due to Homeland Security regulations prevented the achievement of our enrollment goals for working adults in 2004.
Internally, Webster experienced delays in developing a Web site for e-recruitment at a time when competitor institutions were successfully utilizing such tools. This resulted in a year of belt-tightening, and a very unusual enrollment projection for the 2005 year which, projected almost no enrollment growth.
In response, the University undertook major personnel changes within its marketing function and hired a consultant to help reconfigure the marketing area to best meet Webster’s unique marketing needs. The University committed resources to design an audience-based information architecture for a new University Web site.
The admissions areas of the site are now designed to meet the needs of all campus locations, with student personalization and the ability to apply online and receive an institutional response within a few hours. This section of the site won fifth place in the American Marketing Association for admission Web sites in the spring of 2007.
Graduate applications have increased approximately 23%.
[EXHIBIT: HLC2b.4 Lawlor, HLC0.3 Sum and Substance]
Online offerings include 17 fully online graduate programs and certificates offering some 200 course sections to nearly 2,400 enrolled students. Growth has been supported by providing new resources, including course tools, hardware and infrastructure, and professional staff.
Online programs are positioned strategically and exist to complement Webster’s worldwide network of campuses. Rather than a unique competing unit, online programs provide students the opportunity to study with students and faculty from all segments of Webster University including St. Louis, U.S. military and metropolitan centers, and international campuses.
Some students enroll in online programs, but most students taking online courses also study in the classroom. Blended program students realize the best of both environments and gain flexibility to complete their studies while balancing professional responsibilities and personal life commitments with their roles as students.
[EXHIBIT: HLC3c Online]
In 2004, Webster’s international locations began experiencing enrollment declines. The Iraq war, a European recession, a downturn in demand for the M.B.A. degree, and lack of a recruitment-oriented Web site all contributed. Enrollment decline was greatest in Leiden and to a lesser extent Geneva. As of this writing, enrollments have stabilized are on the upswing.
Webster’s Thailand campus is the most popular study abroad destination, with unique degree offerings, such as Buddhist Studies. It has been difficult to grow enrollments.
Tuition pricing makes Webster unaffordable to some. The location, a rural area of Thailand, makes it difficult to get to, and challenges with student housing continue.
Recent personnel changes, including a new director, the opening of the Bangkok center, and re-evaluation of degree offerings will help to offset these difficulties.
[EXHIBIT: HLC2a.6 International Campuses Partners and Partnership Exchanges, HLC0.3 Sum and Substance, HLC3c.16 Study Abroad]
Conclusion and Challenges
Webster’s current approach to enrollment planning has worked well. Recently, we have seen a reduction in the sort of enrollment growth that earlier characterized the institution. As the University solidifies its enrollment goals in terms of student types (graduate, undergraduate, geographic diversity, minority diversity) for the next five to ten years during the next strategic planning process, new recruitment plans will follow, tailored to target the new enrollment goals. In addition to growth in student tuition, strong fundraising has provided the resources contributing to Webster’s success.
Development and Alumni Programs
Development and Alumni programs have been an important partner in strengthening the University’s resource base for a number of years. Prior to the 1996 New Tradition Campaign, the University’s Advancement office, which included development and alumni programs, had been successful with several important capital fundraising projects including raising a total of $15.3m for construction of the Sverdrup Business and Technology Center which opened in 1988 and the University Center in 1992.
In 1996, a new Vice President for Development and Alumni was hired and fundraising moved out the office of Institutional Advancement. The new Vice President reorganized Development and Alumni activity to focus on the New Tradition Campaign and restructured existing positions into three functional teams: Alumni Programs; Corporate, Foundation and Government Relations; and Annual, Major and Planned Gifts.
An Advancement Services team was created in order to develop the necessary policies and procedures to support fundraising and stewardship efforts.
The New Tradition Campaign 1996 – 2002
The University’s leadership set an ambitious goal of $30 million for the New Tradition Campaign. The campaign was to fund broad-based initiatives that would propel the institution to a new level of operational excellence. The initiatives included the construction of a new library to accelerate Webster’s academic and technological capabilities, technology improvements, academic program development, endowment and scholarships, and a vision fund to give the university president flexibility to respond to opportunities and needs as they arise.
Individuals provided the greatest proportion of support for the campaign. Nearly half (43%) of this amount was generated through planned gifts, a testament to the success of a new planned giving initiative introduced during the campaign.
Also noteworthy is board member participation - current trustees provided 32 percent of the funds raised from individuals. Campaign analysis revealed the great potential of trustee involvement in campaign fundraising at Webster. In addition to making personal gifts, current and former trustees have proven to be excellent planned giving prospects as well as major players in securing corporate gifts.
|Campaign Initiative||Goal||% Achieved|
|Academic Program Expansion||$2,300,000||147.46%|
|Endowment and Scholarship Funds||$5,500,000||232.05%|
In December 2002, the campaign closed having raised a total of $43 million, exceeding its own goal by $13 million. More than 12,000 donors supported Webster’s growth. Beyond dollars, the New Tradition campaign resulted in a number of other institutional advancements:
- Annual gift income rose from $2 million to nearly $10 million at the close of the campaign in 2002
[EXHIBIT: HLC0.3 Sum and Substance]
- Achieved the University’s first bond rating, expanding the tools available to fund continued institutional advancement beyond revenue and fundraising
- Created policies and procedures that professionalized the fundraising operation
- Grew alumni participation as evidenced by regional alumni chapter development
- Established a successful planned giving program.
Yearly gift income during the past six years reflects the close of the New Tradition Campaign in 2002, a two-year planning phase and the beginning of the quiet phase of the Webster Works Campaign.
Yearly Gift, Grant and Pledge Support
[EXHIBIT: HLC0.3 Sum and Substance]
Webster Works Campaign
Proposed initiatives for the new Webster Works Campaign include construction of a new classroom building for the School of Business & Technology, construction of a science facility to house our growing programs, an endowment for the University’s Community Music School, and growth of the general endowment.
The Webster Works Campaign is still in its “quiet phase,” now under the leadership of new Vice President Faith Maddy, with current plans for the campaign to be announced publicly in December 2007. During this quiet phase, campaign leadership has been recruited and campaign committees have been formed.
Each committee focuses on a particular constituency: Board of Trustees, Corporations, Former Trustees, Alumni and Parents, Faculty/Staff, etc. As of April 2007, members of the campaign leadership as well as the majority of our current board of trustees have been solicited. As of March 31, 2007, the Webster Works campaign had raised $15.6m in gifts and pledges.
Building on lessons learned from the previous campaign, architectural renderings, as well as computerized virtual tours of each of the capital projects, have all been completed as of April 2007. In an effort to maximize the commitment of trustees and other key constituents whose early support will determine campaign success, careful consideration has been given to volunteer management and engagement issues. One result of this has been the production of the University’s first Campaign Volunteer handbook (ATT). As more of the campaign committees become active during the first year of the public phase, maintaining meaningful involvement of trustee volunteers will be an important focus of development activity.
Through careful planning and evaluation and through diligent stewardship of gift revenues, the Development and Alumni Office has established an impressive track record in assisting Webster University to grow its resource base and support quality academic programs.
The department is poised to be a partner in the success of the Webster Works Campaign as well. Realization of the objectives of new and recent fundraising campaigns – new academic facilities, technological advances, the creation of new academic programs and enhancement of existing ones, and growth in endowment and scholarships helps to attract quality faculty and students, and helps sustain the quality of the University’s academic programs.
[EXHIBIT: HLC0.12 Campaign Information]
The success of our fundraising initiatives and strong enrollment growth have provided the fiscal resources to provide improvements in physical facilities, human resources, information technology, and improved co-curricular programs and support.
Facilities Master Plan
The $40 million of new construction over the last few years completed much of our facilities master plan for the St. Louis campus. Building sites and funding sources have been identified for the proposed buildings listed in the prior section. The University Space Committee was established to keep our short-term space allocations and utilizations in line with our long-term plans.
[EXHIBIT: HLC0.8 Master Plan]
As with most institutions, town and gown relations deserve attention. We are in the process of sharing our long-term master plan with the City of Webster Groves and our immediate neighbor Nerinx Hall High School.
We hope to receive approvals from the city for the proposed building sites. Initiatives to improve town and gown relations include Director of Community Relations and Neighborhood Advisory Council. (Both are discussed in Criterion Five.)
Facility plans are also established for the extended campus network. By working with Equis, our partner for leased real estate acquisition and improvement, we have established standards for the metro extended campus network. The standards include goals for traffic volumes, visibility from interstate highways and standards for interior fit and finishes.
Based on these standards, Equis will help us identify and negotiate leased space for the metro centers. Almost half of the sites have been relocated. We will relocate the Albuquerque, New Mexico; Crystal Lake, Illinois and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina sites within the next year.
Continuous education and professional development of our employee population is indicative of the University’s commitment to lifelong learning. To encourage faculty to develop professionally and to participate in scholarly activities, the pool of professional development funds increased to $2,550 per full-time faculty member for the 2007-2008 academic year.
Operating departments contain funding for staff professional development, conferences, and travel. In 2003, the University implemented a staff professional development program which has been funded at $30,000 annually for staff to attend seminars and workshops where funds may not otherwise be available in their departmental budgets. We have experienced a healthy participation in this program with increasing participation by staff at extended campuses.
The University’s generous Tuition Remission policy provides 100% tuition remission to full-time faculty and staff for undergraduate and graduate courses taken at the University. After one year of employment, this benefit is also extended to an employee’s spouse, domestic partner and children.
Full-time employees at extended campus locations are also eligible for tuition reimbursement of up to $1,000 per academic year for courses taken at other colleges and universities if the course is not offered by their home campus.
Adjunct faculty who have taught for the University for 36 credit hours or 4 years are eligible for tuition remission up to 6 credits per academic year. Approximately 225 employees per year receive tuition remission under these policies.
Staff who earn a degree while employed by the University receive a bonus payment for degree completion: $500 for an associate’s degree, $1,000 for a bachelor’s degree, $1,500 for a master’s degree and $2,000 for a doctoral degree.
[EXHIBIT: HLC2b.6 Benefits]
The University has demonstrated some improvement in the diversity of our employee population but need to continue to set goals and make concentrated efforts to grow in this area. (See Introduction and Background)
To retain key faculty and staff, we must provide competitive compensation and benefits programs. Each year, the Faculty Salary and Fringe Committee and the Webster Staff Alliance Compensation Committee survey their respective constituencies to solicit input on salary and benefit issues. Information from these surveys is used to develop recommendations to present to senior administrators for annual salary increase pools and potential benefit changes.
In 2006, the WSA survey included questions to assess the level of employee engagement. A strong 87% of staff agreed that they are proud to work at Webster University, 87% said they are aware of the University’s mission and goals and 86% are aware of their department/campus goals. Items of concern include only 51% who agreed that they receive an annual performance appraisal, only 43% felt salary increases were tied to performance and 54% felt their salary was not competitive with the local market. Activities will be undertaken jointly by the Human Resources Office and representatives of WSA to address these areas of concern.
Funding salary increases is a top priority in the annual budget process. Faculty salaries are benchmarked annually against AAUP salary data published in ACADEME and internal equity analyses are conducted to ensure both internal and external equity in direct compensation.
Staff compensation is benchmarked against CUPAHR salary data in an effort to maintain competitive salaries for staff and is analyzed regularly for internal equity. A compensation consultant was engaged in 2003 to assist in evaluating and updating the staff classification system. An internal job posting program gives staff the opportunity for mobility within the University.
[EXHIBIT: HLC2b.5 Compensation Study]
The University’s retirement plan was amended in 2001 to create a safe harbor plan. This re-stated 403b defined contribution promotes greater participation by lower paid employees and increases the University matching contribution to a maximum of 9.5% - a very competitive employer contribution level. Eight-hundred-five (805) of our employees participate in this plan.
Members of faculty, staff and administration serve on the University’s Insurance Committee which reviews and makes recommendations on the employee benefit welfare plans. In an effort to manage plan costs, particularly medical plans, this committee evaluates annual program renewals and makes recommendations regarding carriers, plan design alternatives and cost-sharing.
Through this committee’s recommendations, the University added voluntary long term care insurance and pre-paid legal services coverage to our array of benefit plans.
[EXHIBIT: HLC2b.6 Benefits]
Led by a team of faculty members with administrative support, we approved in 2006 a Parental Leave policy for faculty. This new policy gives faculty up to one semester off, with pay, due to the birth or adoption of a child.
The Civil Rights Committee, comprised of students, faculty, staff and administration proposed a new, single Grievance Policy that would apply to all University constituencies. This policy was adopted in 2006. A new Employee Ethics Policy was adopted in 2004, followed by the introduction of an anonymous Ethics Reporting system in 2006.
[EXHIBIT: HLC0.26 Ethics Policy, HLC0.27 Grievance Policy]
The University enjoys strength in the commitment and longevity of our senior administrative team. Their average length of service is 22.6 years, reflecting a senior team that works well together and promotes a common University culture while engaging in creativity, new initiatives and organizational change. The stability of our senior team contributes toward consistency in leadership toward the University’s mission.
At the same time, an aging population presents multiple challenges to the University.
In 2006, we had 17 faculty and 29 staff over the “normal” retirement age of 65. On the plus side, this promotes continuity in our academic programs and administrative operations and on-going support of the University’s culture. Conversely, if all of those over 65 retired in the same year we are at risk to have some level of negative impact on our programs. Longevity is also accompanied by higher salaries and an inability to regularly infuse the university with new talent.
As more of our employee population nears retirement age, programs have been offered to better prepare our employees for retirement.
We offer monthly one-on-one retirement planning meetings and seminars on Social Security and eldercare law issues. In 2006, we offered Retirement Transition Programs to eligible faculty and staff to enable them to transition to retirement with reduced workloads and full benefits continuation.
Four faculty members and 10 staff members elected to participate in these programs. We will continue to explore retirement transition options to balance the risks and rewards of an aging population.
[EXHIBIT: HLC3b.19 Retirement Transition]
Recognizing that Webster’s future success could be hampered by a lack of appropriate technology, the President authorized a new Vice Presidential position, the Vice President for Information Technology in 2002.
A major reorganization of information technology related groups spread across University departments succeeded in creating a unified Information Technology unit with responsibility for almost all technology functions across the institution. This includes centralized services on the main campus in Webster Groves, as well as across all of Webster’s distributed extended site network.
Information Technology maintains a strong working relationship with the Academic Distance Learning Center and provides “back-end” systems and support for the online instruction. IT also supports the Office Academic Assessment, and was instrumental in introducing technology to support Assessment activities, including the collection and management of student learning outcome data and electronic infrastructure for the pursuit of specialized accreditations. In addition, IT maintains a strong working relationship with the information systems staff of the library.
IT Organizational Areas
Following considerable reorganization, IT is organized into six areas each with a Director, as well as one functional area attached directly to the Vice President’s Office.
Three of the six primary areas can broadly be classified as user (customer) services: Desktop Technical Services, IT Information Services, and Media Center. The other three areas can be broadly classified as enterprise systems support: Networking and Technical Services, Administrative Information Services, and Infrastructure Projects and Services
All of the IT areas support teaching and learning across the enterprise, but direct support is centered in the three User Services areas. The Media Center provides operational support for all of the specialized instructional facilities used by the School of Communications, and support students using these facilities. Instructional Specialists assist faculty to integrate these resources into their teaching and learning activities.
Desktop Technical Services provides direct support for lab operations at all domestic campuses, as well as operational support and staffing of the various computers labs and multimedia rooms throughout the main campus. DTS is the primary support for all desktop and laptop equipment in offices.
IT Information Services provides one Instructional Support Specialist for each School/College. Specialists support faculty in their teaching, learning, research, and scholarship, work closely with the Faculty Development Center, and support the Office of Academic Assessment. This area is also responsible for documentation, training, communication and related activities, as well as the Help Desk operation.
These services are provided for the entire university, but a large component is dedicated to the support of faculty and students, including first-line support for all online students.
Networking and Technical Services, Administrative Information Services, and Infrastructure Projects and Services are enterprise systems areas and support the entire enterprise of Webster University. Those are headed by two Directors and the Infrastructure Architect, respectively.
There is one function attached directly to the Vice President’s office—which supports the entire university including academic and administrative functions. This is the function of IT Budget and Procurement support for IT as well as some generalized office support.
As mentioned earlier, the Vice President is a member of the Administrative Council and is involved in those regular meetings and work. The Vice President also attends and participates in the weekly Academic Affairs Council—as well as other specialized groups across the enterprise (for example, the Extended Campus Advisory Council).
Growth in IT Staffing
The institution continues to make significant investments in IT staff—adding staff resources to better support institutional initiatives and the increasing dependency on technology.
The most significant of these was to increase the level of instructional specialists support form 3.5 FTE to 7 FTE. Recently, staff has been reallocated. One of the specialists is now assigned full-time to the faculty development center, and one full-time staff member is now assigned to the Office of Academic Assessment.
About a year and half ago, the institution made a commitment of three additional FTE staff in Administrative Information Systems in order better to support on-going projects and initiatives, especially without jeopardizing the ongoing operational support of current administrative systems.
Overall, IT also continues to reallocated staff resources as positions become open. These are in an effort to ensure that the maximum support matches the shifting needs of the institution.
Two major growth areas have been in Help Desk and in Desktop Technical Services. Both of these areas provide direct support for students, faculty, and staff worldwide. In particular, university resources have been used to turn many part-time positions into full-time positions in these areas.
[EXHIBIT: HLC2b.7 IT Organization]
There are numerous examples of how we’ve built out the infrastructure — in particular to ensure business robustness and continuity — including the overhauled data center with uninterruptible power supply and backup generator, the expansion of that data center, investments in addition hardware for clustering and failover, the development of some disaster recovery co-location agreements in the coming year, the addition of a second major Internet pipe from a second provider, and the re-architecture of connectivity between sites and main campus to ensure their continued access to the Internet. Further information related to information technology can be found in exhibit information technology: Information Technology Directions
Webster University allocates appropriate resources supporting a successful co-curricular program. The number of flat-fee undergraduates in St. Louis has increased significantly (64%) from 1,358 in 1996-97 to 2,222 in 2006-07.
In response, Webster has expanded housing (six apartment buildings and two new residence halls added, from 260 spaces to 710) and increased staffing (1 FTE in Health Services, 1 FTE in Counseling funded from an eliminated position, 5 FTE in Housing paid for by new housing revenues, and 2.75 FTE in Athletics due to new sports being added to boost enrollment).
In addition, four therapy rooms are now available for counseling students, Athletics staff now offer physical activity courses, and additional funding has been provided for athletics. This includes facility needs, coaching wages, and safer modes of transportation. Improvements were made in the off-campus facilities rented for the use by the baseball, softball, and golf teams, although the on-campus facilities remain sorely undersized.
Of special note are the increased opportunities for significant learning opportunities outside the classroom, including improvements made in student employment program and in student life programming (MCISA, Campus Activities, and residential programs). Students involved in the student leadership development program increased from 90 to 125.
Added women’s soccer and men’s swimming. Dropped swimming in 2007. Plans to add track and field and men’s cross country. Grew from 117 student athletes to 199. Increase in GPA from 3.16 to 3.30. Competitively, went from bottom third of conference to top school in conference, winning the Conference All-Sports Award seven out of the last eight years. Increased full-time staff from 4.5 to 7.25 FTE.
Campus Dining Services
Sodexho hired in 1997. Significant growth in meal plan, from 240 to 430. All four facilities were newly added or renovated since 2003.
Grew from 4 to 5.5 FTE and took on student employment program. Added workshops and services for extended campus students and alumni. Appointments increased from 885 (28% alumni) to 2,494 (50% alumni). Presentation attendance decreased from 1,354 to 1,232. Moved into Garden Park Plaza.
Counseling and Life Development
Added an assistant director who also serves as sexual offense advocate, by eliminating one position in UC/SA. Consolidated and added therapy rooms. Lost access to department associate when housing moved out. Growth in students served, from 219 to 457.
Dean of Students Office
Emergency loan program was expanded to include Money for Textbooks program, and the number of students served has increased from 423 ($56,000) to 1,858 ($353,834). The number of student problems and judicial cases handled by the dean’s office has increased significantly.
Added one full-time nurse to keep up with demand. Eliminated services for faculty and staff due to increased student demand. Growth in students served, from 849 to 2,419. Added one treatment room and enhanced student health insurance.
Multicultural Center and International Student Affairs
Departments were merged in 2002. International Student Success Committee was formed to work on retention issues. Number of students grew from 146 to 350. Event attendance grew from 665 to 2,000 annually. Size of space was reduced.
New Student Orientation
Number of student orientation leaders grew from 10 to 30. Number of student attendees grew from 320 to 380.
Residential Life and Housing
Significant growth in housing facilities and staffing. Grew from 260 residents in old facilities to 610 in much newer facilities (apartments and two new halls). 710 spaces will be available in Fall 2007. Staffing grew from 2 FTE to 7 FTE.
University Center and Student Activities
Staffing was reduced to accommodate a need in Counseling. Sound and lighting in gym and Sunnen Lounge were improved. Dining facilities renovated. Growth in events held in UC from 1,722 to 3,260. Growth in fitness center usage from 26,730 to 29,581. Individual usage of pool declined from 8,499 to 7,295. Memberships in recreation facilities declined from 281 to 187. Attendance at student events sponsored by Campus Activities increased from 1,700 to 4,988. New student activity fee was implemented in 2006. Student organizations grew from 24 to 64.
Overall Growth of Student Affairs
Staffing in the Student Affairs departments (excluding part-time coaches) increased from 25.5 FTE in 1996-97 to 35.5 FTE in 2006-07, primarily due to: 1 FTE transferred over from Financial Aid, 1.0 FTE in Health Services to meet growing needs, 5.0 FTE in Housing paid for by new housing revenues, and 2.75 FTE in Athletics due to new sports being added to boost enrollment.
The overall budget for the Student Affairs units has grown by 22.8% over the last 10 years. The growth has been primarily due to annual salary increases, reclassifications, FLSA mandated wage increases, new sports added, and increased revenues in areas such as Health Services and the University Center. The operating budgets for Student Affairs, excluding salaries, benefits, and wages, actually decreased by 16% during this time period, when adjusted for inflation.
[EXHIBIT: HLC2c.9 Student Affairs Financial Resources]
Significant Physical Changes Since 1996-97
Blimpie Subs n’ Salads (1997, renovated 2007), Webster Village Apartments (1998) housing 270 students, south end of Loretto Hall (1999) renovated for 87 bed spaces, Multicultural Center and International Student Affairs renovated and reduced in size due to Registrar’s office relocation (2002), Jazzman’s Café (2003), Marletto’s Marketplace replaced Maria Cafeteria (2004), WOW Café and Freshens (2006) replaces Gorlok Grill, East and West Halls (2006) housing 343 students, Counseling offices consolidated on Loretto Hall 1st floor (2006), treatment room added to Health Services (2006). Maria and Loretto Halls were shut down as residence halls in 2006.
Many achievements have been realized. Athletics has been a noteworthy success. Webster has competitive teams in more sports, with consequent enrollment gains. The GPA of student athletes has increased, while programs have succeeded in competition, winning the All-Conference Sports Award seven out of the last eight years.
Housing and dining facilities are much improved, and there is more and better space on campus for students to hang out and attend events, notably Emerson Library, the Webster Village Apartments, and new residence halls. Finally, the student activity fee, the formation of the Student Activities Council, RA programming, the merger of Multicultural Center and International Student Affairs, the development of the RHA, improvements in New Student Orientation, the growth of student organizations (from 24-64), and the addition of the Summer Freshmen Registration Days program have helped bring about significant growth and improvement in student life programming.
Challenges for the Future
Meeting the growing demand for campus housing – a renovation of Maria Hall is planned, but nothing else is on the horizon. Continuing the growth in Athletics – planned additions include track and field and men’s cross country. Expanding the University Center – the current facility is inadequate to meet the needs of athletics, event planners, and students looking for places to relax and socialize.
Departments are spread throughout the campus; students could be better served and greater collaboration could be achieved by locating these departments in central location: MCISA, Counseling, Health Services, and the Academic Resource Center. Meeting the needs of students for key services, with limited staff and financial resources. Determining priorities for the provision of career-related services. Assessment of student learning outcomes.