Tag: President John A. Fry
Feb. 3, 2017
From President to President
On Jan 27, President Donald Trump issued an executive order banning immigration from seven Muslim majority countries. Travel into the United States for people from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Libya, Sudan and Yemen became prohibited, and the order initially also included legal green card holders. While the Trump administration has backed off on the stance against green card holders, the poorly conceived and chaotically enforced bill shook the country.
Mar. 13, 2015
Campus master plan brings The Study
On the northwest corner of 33rd and Chestnut streets, site work will soon begin for the construction of The Study at University City, a 212-room boutique hotel that will be developed, owned and operated by Hospitality 3 and Study Hotels. When The Study opens in late 2016, it will be the first time in Drexel University’s history that visitors, family and friends of the University community will have the opportunity to stay in a high-quality, full-service hotel located right on our University City campus. In addition to 212 rooms, the 145,000-square-foot hotel will feature approximately 7,000 square feet of banquet and meeting space, a 105-seat corner restaurant and bar and a state-of-the-art fitness center. What makes this project truly special is that it brings so much value to the Drexel campus without requiring a single penny of investment by the University. Hospitality 3 is developing the hotel at their sole cost under a ground lease agreement in which the developer pays annual ground rents to Drexel. Indeed, The Study at University City is similar to Chestnut Square and The Summit, which are also funded entirely by a third-party developer (American Campus Communities) at no cost to Drexel, and also generate annual income for the University in the form of ground rents. These mixed-use projects are all part of Drexel University’s strategy of partnering with private developers to enhance on-campus housing, dining, retail and amenities while reserving University funds and debt capacity for investments in our core academic mission. The recently completed Gerri C. LeBow Hall, as well as completed renovations of Stratton Hall and Nesbitt Hall and the current renovations of Bossone Research Enterprise Center and 3101 Market Street, are just a few examples of the investments Drexel is making to enhance academic and research spaces throughout campus. Meanwhile, as Hospitality 3 prepares to begin construction at 33rd and Market streets, I am pleased to report that the functions of the James E. Marks Intercultural Center have been relocated just a couple blocks north to 33rd and Arch streets, in the Paul Peck Problem Solving and Research Building. Located closer to the residential core of campus with an accessible ground-floor entrance for all visitors, the ground floor of the PPSRB was identified as the ideal new location for the programmatic offerings and services of the Intercultural Center. For now, all of the critical functions of the Intercultural Center are operating on the ground and third floors of the building. New spaces for these functions are being designed on the ground and second floors as part of a larger PPSRB renovation. Second floor spaces are expected to be complete in fall 2015; these will include the St. Katharine Drexel Chapel and related spaces. The Muslim Prayer Room, Interfaith Chapel, office space for other religious support staff as well as the Office of Equality and Diversity and the Student Center for Inclusion and Culture and LGBTQA Student Center are planned for the ground floor. As we continue to implement the campus master plan, we will diligently seek ways to maximize University investments to advance Drexel’s core academic mission. Partnering with third-party developers like Hospitality 3 to fund developments that enhance the campus quality of life is just one of the strategies we are using to achieve that goal. James R. Tucker is the senior vice president of administrative and business services. He can be contacted at [email protected]
Feb. 6, 2015
President John A. Fry announces major changes at ‘town hall meeting’
President John A. Fry fielded questions from students Feb. 2 at a “town hall” meeting in the Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building organized by the Undergraduate Student Government Association. Though turnout was low, Fry spoke on several pertinent topics including the newly instated application fee, the future of the online education program, the controversial then-imminent demolition of the James E. Marks Intercultural Center and future plans for campus.
Oct. 17, 2014
Invest in the university, not the president’s wallet
The topic of administrator salaries is not an uncommon one when discussing the price of a college education. Only five years ago Drexel University was home to one of the highest-paid university presidents in the country, Constantine Papadakis, who earned a base salary of $805,000 each year. While his efforts to improve the University do not go unappreciated by students, faculty and staff, it is easy to feel a sense of dissatisfaction with that six-figure number. Could funds like these be better allocated to different areas of need within the University? NBC News reported Oct. 14 that a university president had decided to take a hefty pay cut and reinvest his salary into the school. Raymond Burse, interim president of Kentucky State University in Frankfort, will lessen his $349,869 salary by $90,000 in order to give the University’s lowest-paid workers a raise. According to the report, Burse’s actions will result in a $3 per hour pay raise for 24 employees. Selfless actions like Burse’s should serve as an example to other high paid officials, both in and outside the education system, to better focus on areas of need. Investing in employees is one of the most encouraging courses of action to take, and we’re proud to see Drexel stepping up in a similar way. Earlier this week, Drexel announced major changes to its retirement plan for faculty and staff. The decision came after the University conducted a study and found that the current plan for employees was not adequate for effective retirement savings. This shows that the University takes the time to evaluate current processes and make improvements where need be. The most significant change to the plan is that the University will match each individual’s savings by up to six percent of their salary, and offer an additional three or five percent contribution depending on the individual’s age. The new plan applies to all full-time benefit-eligible Drexel faculty and staff, allowing them to increase their savings by four to six percent compared with the current plan. While this action demonstrates that the University cares about its employees and is willing to invest in their future, we’re sure other courses of action can result in similar improvements overall. Just as the University reviewed its retirement plan, extraneous salaries and other fund allocations should also be evaluated. President John A. Fry’s base salary for 2011 was valued at $679,217, according to the Department of Education. We do believe Fry is working hard to improve the image of the Office of the President. He’s taken substantial efforts to reduce the overhead of the office, opting to forgo the endless entourage and personal assistants. We appreciate his humility and his continued initiatives to further improve the University, but perhaps some of the numerous bonuses and excessive salaries could be reallocated to better ends? Academic institutions ought to work to better the conditions of their employees and students instead of padding officials’ wallets.
Feb. 14, 2014
Interim dean proves to be best pick
President John A. Fry announced in an email Feb. 12 that Frank Linnehan will serve as the permanent dean of the LeBow College of Business. Linnehan has been serving as the interim dean of the college for the past 18 months while the University searched for a new dean.
Jan. 10, 2014
Fry rejects Israeli academic boycott
President John A. Fry released an official statement Dec. 27 on behalf of Drexel University, stating that the University will not be following the example of the American Studies Association in boycotting Israeli universities.
Nov. 22, 2013
Triangle Talks with President John A. Fry
The Triangle: What’s your full name and where are you from?
Nov. 6, 2013
New development will be largest in Drexel history
Drexel trustees, faculty, students and partners gathered Nov. 1 to celebrate the ceremonial groundbreaking of the largest building project in Drexel history. The upcoming mixed-use development at 34th Street and Lancaster Avenue is a $170 million investment that will feature student housing, retail locations and a dining center.
Nov. 1, 2013
LeBow hosts fireside leadership chat
Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business presented a fireside chat Oct. 28 featuring alumnus Dominic J. Caruso, class of 1980, corporate vice president of finance and chief financial officer of Johnson & Johnson, along with Drexel President John A. Fry.
Oct. 18, 2013
Growth of Drexel mirrors growth of squash
2010 was a pivotal year for the future of Drexel University. President John A. Fry was elected to his position, and it seemed like the construction began almost immediately and the building blocks were put in place to become a world-leading modern university. Little did we know at the time that there were more plans brewing in the athletic department, and the sport of squash would be a major piece of the broader Drexel puzzle.