The First Step

A full two weeks have passed since the Chatham University Board of Trustees voted to make the undergraduate college co-ed. In that time alumnae from all over the world have mourned the loss. Now, though the wounds are still fresh and still very real, it is time to turn our collective sadness and frustration into action.

Immediately after the vote, Save Chatham launched a Crowd Hall forum dedicated to soliciting recommendations and opinions on various aspects of using the support generated through the Save Chatham movement to move forward. It is our intent, as Save Chatham administrators, to use the amazing network we’ve created for good. It is our intent to create a real, lasting legacy for Chatham College for Women, independent of Chatham University. To do this, we are asking for your continued support and involvement, and in the next few weeks we will be rolling out some concrete plans for that legacy and ways in which you can be involved, at whatever level you are able to participate.

First, however, we need to determine a new identity. Save Chatham has been an incredible rallying cry, but now is a time to refocus and find an organizational name that both confers the respect we have for Chatham’s heritage and a view toward the future.  Below you will find a poll asking this very question. The selections included in the poll were taken directly from the suggestions provided on the Crowd Hall forum and through email.

The poll will be open until Thursday, May 22nd at 11:59 pm ET. If you would like to vote on our new identity, please do so before then. To be democratic about it, once the initial period of voting is over, if no single selection gets over 50% of the votes, we will have a small run off between the top two choices.

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Dear Esther – The Final Letter

To Chatham University, Dr. Barazzone, and the Board of Trustees:

Today you have made the momentous decision that we said was in front of you. Today you ignored 2000+ alumnae, friends, family, and women’s college supporters and chose to end 145 years of history.

As we stated in the Board Book we submitted to you, the Save Chatham movement was prepared to help out the College for Women in any way possible, if you voted to sustain her. Since you have not, we remind you now of the commitment we made to you in the same document, if the undergraduate college went coed.

“If, however, the Board of Trustees votes on May 1 or any time before June 2015, to make the undergraduate college co-educational, the Save Chatham network will no longer be available to the University for any promotion of University programs, recruitment efforts, or fundraising campaigns. Instead, the Save Chatham movement will be used to examine ways in which the alienated Chatham alumnae can contribute to the recruitment and sustainability efforts of the other women’s colleges committed to maintaining single-sex education and providing the same benefits to which Chatham has heretofore been dedicated.

Just to be clear: we will not be sad for a while and then get over it, as Dr. Barazzone has said, and we will take our seed corn elsewhere.”

We regret that it has come to this. We are appalled that you would turn generations of history over in just over two months and under three hours of discussion today. However, choices have to be made. You have made yours, and now we make ours.

Goodbye our dear alma mater.

Sincerely,

Save Chatham Management

Save Chatham says THANK YOU!

On the eve of the coeducational vote, the Save Chatham administrators would like to take a moment to reflect on the past 72 days. We want to recognize the hard work and dedication that you, over 2,100 alumnae, students, and supporters, have put forth in an effort to save Chatham College for Women.  You have spent countless hours researching and preparing articulate, fact based arguments for the benefits of a women’s college education, specifically the one many of you received at Chatham. You wrote eloquent, thoughtful responses to posts on Chatham’s Feedback blog and emails to the official Feedback email address.  You stood up and spoke at townhall meetings with conviction, passion, and grace about how alumnae could change the future of Chatham College for Women, had we only been given the chance.

Along with all of the hard work you have committed to saving CCW, we want to thank alumnae for, perhaps most importantly, being our Chatham sisters.  We have come together, independent of Chatham University, to finally become the alumnae network we were each promised as students at CCW.  We have been given an incredible opportunity in this unfortunate circumstance to become a strong, devoted, enthusiastic group of alumnae that are truly a force to be reckoned with. Alumnae have created an unbreakable bond in the last 72 days that Chatham itself has been unable to foster in the past.  We want to thank each of you for reminding us of why we went to Chatham – to stand with pride among women like you.

Regardless of the outcome of the vote tomorrow, there will still be work that needs to be done.  But today, having done everything in your power to make a difference prior to tomorrow’s vote, you should be proud of your efforts in the fight to save CCW.  We are incredibly proud of you and, from the bottoms of our hearts, we thank you.

Chatham University Alumni Demonstration Guidelines

protest

 

The following was sent to us from Bill Campbell, VP of Marketing at Chatham, in regards to any protesting being planned for May 1st during the Board of Trustees meeting/co-ed vote.

CLICK HERE FOR THE GUIDELINES: Chatham.Demonstration.Guidelines.4.29

 

Some additional information as provided to us:

*Parking will be available behind Jennie King Mellon library, and there will be people back there to direct you to the appropriate parking spaces.

*Pittsburgh is expecting some rainy weather this week. If it’s too inclement for people to stand outside, the administration has suggested that protestors may use Cafe Rachel to get out of the elements.

*Based on what has been communicated to supporters via the Protest Event listing on the Save Chatham Facebook page, the campus is ready for protestors to show up as early as 9 am.

 

If there are any other questions, we have been encouraged to funnel those through to the campus administration as Save Chatham administrators. Please feel free to post your questions, and we will try to provide answers as quickly as possible.

Dr. Barazzone Responds to the Save Chatham Board Book

The Save Chatham Movement received a response from Dr. Barazzone regarding the Save Chatham Board Book that was sent to all trustees and shared publicly on savechatham.com.  We publish the 4-page response unaltered for your review.  Hope for the future, honor the past, fight for our alma mater.

Click below to download the document or read the embedded version below.

Save Chatham Board Book Letter.4.24.14

SaveChathamBoardBookLetter.4.24.14_page1SaveChathamBoardBookLetter.4.24.14_page2SaveChathamBoardBookLetter.4.24.14_page3SaveChathamBoardBookLetter.4.24.14_page4

Safety Before Leadership

SA definition

The following is a guest blog submitted by a Chatham alumna who, for understandable reasons given what you are about to read, has chosen to remain anonymous. We applaud her for not only sharing her story but for standing up for future Chatham women.

**********

Recently a Chatham alumna posted this article from Huffington Post on Facebook: http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2014/3/31/Harvard-sexual-assault/?page=single

It’s a terrifying, disheartening letter from a female student at Harvard and speaks so deeply to the emotional and psychological scars left by sexual assault and the lack of appropriate programs and policies to help. This is one of many stories I’ve read over the past few years and it’s so difficult to process how this can still be happening to so many. I know these scars. I’m a rape survivor myself. And it was at Chatham during my first year that I put a voice to that assault. Chatham was where I found support and safety, far away from the boyfriend who raped me.

Even still, there’s shame, guilt and fear. As a result, my story is one of so many that’s never been told except to a chosen few. The emotional toll of sexual violence put very real barriers in my journey to become a “World-Ready Woman.”

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. A new campaign, No More, is driving awareness and the White House has established a Task Force to protect students from sexual assault. The Steubenville rape case showed a microcosm of what many are calling “rape culture” in this country. There’s dialog and a push for change, but many don’t realize how pervasive these crimes are.

Here are the facts about sexual assault and rape in the US:

  • About one in five women has been raped in her lifetime and one in 71 men has been raped in his lifetime (from CDCP)
  • Of women who have been raped, almost nine in 10 were assaulted by someone they knew and more than half by a current or former intimate partner (from CDCP)
  • Over one-third of women raped were between 18 and 24 when it happened (from CDCP)
  • According to another study, 44% of lesbian women, 61% of bisexual women, and 35% of heterosexual women experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime (from NISVS)
  • One in every two transgender people has been sexually victimized, and usually more than once, often many times (from University of Hawaii)

I’m appalled and saddened by these statistics. We can do better. We have to do better.

Chatham’s sexual assault policy is detailed on the university website as well as in the student handbook. Crime data at Chatham shows that for the years 2010 – 2012, no sexual offenses, forced or otherwise, occurred at the main campus on Woodland Road. However, it’s important to note that sexual assault is one of the most, if not the most, under-reported crimes and a number of Title IX suits are pending in colleges and universities across the country that allege that these type of crimes are being minimized or worse unreported.

As part of the move to consider going co-ed, one of the main messages I’ve heard discussed is a focus on women’s leadership rather than single-sex education. Not being naïve to the discussions and communications so far about this move, I believe that a co-ed Chatham will be a matter of when, not if. And unfortunately, based on the statistics cited above, it’s very likely that sexual assault will happen on campus.

I urge Dr. Barazzone, the leadership team and the board to make safety a top priority. The assertion that there is a policy in place and that no assaults have been reported is noted; but changing the dynamic of the undergrad experience by admitting male students will require attention to this and many other policies. Because sexual assault is an under-reported crime and we have very recent examples of how those policies fail (see: Harvard), I urge you to ensure that Chatham’s policy in action will protect survivors and provide swift action against those who attack anyone on Chatham’s campus. I urge you to proactively reach out to students about counseling and group support, continue awareness and prevention programs, require police training to learn how to investigate allegations of assault with dignity, and ensure the Chatham community is engaged in efforts to support victims and understand the effects of sexual assault, regardless of where it occurs.

Student safety in the college environment is an important and pressing issue and one that should be considered as critical as food and shelter. Without it, Chatham’s goal to create “World-Ready Women” after the co-ed move will not be realized, regardless of leadership institutes and other women-focused initiatives. Many share my concern that without a detailed actionable plan for the entire shift to co-ed undergrad, Chatham is planning to fail. Maybe this plan exists, but we haven’t seen it. As Chatham moves through this transition, please use the Harvard story as a cautionary tale. With all of the competition for students and declining enrollment across the board, ask yourself: can Chatham afford the same mistakes?

Dear Esther – Part 10

Dear Esther,

At recent town hall meetings, you have noted several times the recent decline in alumnae donations and participation in the annual fund. As you have described, the alumnae participation rate in the annual fund currently sits around 22%, translating into around $1M in annual revenue.

Consider the following quote from the founder of the Kresge Foundation, Sebastian Kresge (yes, the same Kresge Foundation that has contributed several million dollars to Chatham in recent years in matching capital campaign challenge grants and after whom the Buhl Atrium is named):

“Giving away money is not an easy job. Money alone cannot build character, or transform evil into good; it cannot restore the influence and vitality of the home; neither can it maintain the valleys and plains of peace. Spent alone, it might as well stay in the vaults…it cries for full partnership with leaders of character and good will.” [1]

Alumnae donations cry for partnership with leaders of character and good will, and on this front, you have fallen short. We believe that Chatham has failed to implement a strong resource development foundation, poised for future growth and funding diversification necessary to support and sustain CCW. Lack of donor communication, alumnae engagement, poor staff retention and inefficient fundraising methods have led to the significant decline of fundraising. As donors and engaged alumnae, we expect accountability from our alma mater to be good stewards of our donations with a keen awareness of future fundraising trends and best practices. We can assure you that with key strategic improvements in advancement efforts and engagement, our dollars will follow.

WHAT WE KNOW…

Fact: The cost of replacing a senior-level development manager has rippling effects on the fundraising success of an organization. According to Cygnus Applied Research, the inclusive cost of turnover of one senior-level manager is now estimated at $952,300 on average (including the time to rebuild donor relationships, training/onboarding time and recruitment costs, impact on fundraising activities during the transition time, etc.). [2]

You read that correctly. Nearly $1 million per staff member. Consider for a moment the turnover in Chatham’s advancement department just in the past few years: three VPs of Advancement, a couple of Annual Giving Directors, a Planned Giving Director. Given this new research, Chatham’s poor retention of senior-level advancement staff has slighted millions in potential revenue growth and alumnae engagement. Each time a staff member transitions prematurely, donor relationships and alumnae engagement suffers dramatically. By understanding the full impact of staff transitions, additional resources and support focused on the retention of key staff will have significant impact on the amount of donations CCW is able to secure.

Fact: Those who volunteer with an organization are twenty times more likely to make a donation than those who do not volunteer. The donations made are, on average, larger than the donations given by those who do not volunteer. [3]

There is common saying used in fundraising circles – “ask someone for money and they will give you advice. Ask someone for advice and they will give you money.”

Alumnae engagement is essential to fundraising success. More alumnae engagement translates to increased donations, plain and simple. The Save Chatham administrators have gathered anecdotes from many alumnae throughout the past several months about their attempts to volunteer with no response from CCW. Whether it’s serving as a class agent, participating in scholarship interviews, attending college fairs or coming to campus to participate in an event, volunteer opportunities are endless at Chatham. Engaging alumnae in volunteer efforts is a simple, low cost strategy to increase donations. When you turn down a volunteer or fail to effectively engage her, you in turn negatively impact donations.

Fact: The lowest cost and most effective fundraising growth strategy is to retain current donors. [4]

According to the most recent Fundraising Effectiveness Project study, more than 60% of donors who stopped giving to their organization reported that they did so because they did not feel as though the organization cared about them. Donor retention and continued cultivation of current donors is critical to any effective fundraising program.

Consider this – the average retention rate of donors from the first year they give to the second year is 22%. That’s right. Only 22% of donors continue giving after their first gift. However, if you can retain that donor through the second year, 60% of them will make a donation in the third year. Consider the number of donors in recent years who have made their first gift. What have you done to acknowledge and cultivate those donors?

Best practice research in effective donor retention shows that for optimal donor retention, there should be two “touch points” within the first 90 days of a donation and at least one more in the first year. Touch points can include an acknowledgement letter, a thank you call, a letter from a grateful scholarship student, an invitation for tour of new campus facilities or a simple e-mail.

Let us illustrate this point with a story we have heard from an engaged alumnae donor. A few months ago, she received a solicitation call from the student phone-a-thon of the university she attended for her Master’s degree. She told the student that she gives quite a bit of money to her undergraduate alma mater and wanted to keep her support with Chatham. The alumnae decided to make a small gift of $75 just so her participation could be counted. Two days after she made her gift, she got a handwritten thank you note from the student. Two days after that, she received a thank you letter from the head of the fundraising department. A week after that, she received a bumper sticker with another thank you letter explaining how her donation was already hard at work supporting scholarships. She was so blown away by their follow through that she made another donation.

The fact of the matter is, she has never received a thank you note for any of her donations to Chatham. She has donated several thousands of dollars since she graduated five years ago and served as a class agent for several years. Aside from a credit card or tax receipt, she had never received a thank you letter from Chatham for her donations.

How are you, Chatham, making donors feel that you care about them? Why should we continue to donate? Communicate, acknowledge and cultivate, and the dollars will easily follow.

Fact: The number one reason people don’t make a donation is because they haven’t been asked. [5]

This seems incredibly basic, but the simple fact remains – many alumnae are simply not asked to make a donation. In particular, we have heard several sources report that GOLD alumnae (Graduates of the Last Decade) are not solicited for a donation unless a current e-mail address is on file. The Save Chatham administrators have also fielded many comments through our various feedback channels with reports from alumnae who have not been solicited for donations since graduation.

With increasing channels to connect to alumnae, there simply is no excuse. Efforts to update alumnae records and enhance prospect research and alumnae communications are not only a necessary strategic focus for current fundraising goals, they are critical to serve as a pipeline for future major donations. Smaller donations now can be major donations later. To quote an anecdote from a leading fundraising research firm, SeaChange Strategies, “we may not be the shiny, red paint on the Porsche. But [we] are indeed the engine of a growing and thriving fundraising program.” [6]

WHAT WE BELIEVE…

With fundraising focused on engagement of alumnae using a donor-cultivation strategy instead of the current method of passive, intermittent solicitation, the fundraising potential of CCW alumnae could improve significantly. Alumnae donations suffered as a result of institutional failings in staff retention and a strong advancement strategy focused on CCW. We as alumnae are committed to CCW. We believe that by increasing engagement with alumnae, you can make big strides in increasing your donor base and fundraising goal. Attempting this after the coed vote will be too late and will have disastrous results.

WHAT WE WANT…

A delay of the Board of Trustees Vote.

As we have noted in previous blog posts, a transition to coeducation will only continue to be detrimental to fundraising efforts. Given the poor track record of fundraising efforts in recent years and the lack of focus on donor retention and alumnae engagement, we believe the coed vote should be delayed by at least a year. In that time, we ask you and the administration to provide us with the following:

  • A strategic fundraising plan that includes a comprehensive strategy focused on donor cultivation and alumnae engagement.
  • A staff retention strategy to recruit, engage and retain the right talent to implement fundraising goals
  • A comprehensive strategy for alumnae engagement through advancement and volunteer efforts

You have asked for our feedback, Esther, but are you and the Board really listening? If so, you will take this letter to heart and act upon our requests.

Sincerely,

The Save Chatham Movement

[1] http://kresge.org/about-us

[2] http://www.cygresearch.com/afp/DCL-Handout-AFP-Int-2014.pdf

[3] Wang, L., & Graddy, E. (2008). Social Capital, Volunteering and Charitable Giving. Voluntas, 23-42.

[4] http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/412731-Donor-Retention-Matters.pdf

[5] http://www.strengtheningnonprofits.org/resources/e-learning/online/identifyinganddevelopingdonors/Print.aspx

[6] http://seachangestrategies.com/missing-middle/

Dear Esther – Part 9

Dear Esther,

You repeatedly stated at the townhall meetings that alumnae donations and participation have declined rapidly in recent years. In the Campus Community Presentation shared at the town halls and on the Chatham Feedback blog, the administration cites that, for 2013, 1525 (of 6000 total) alumnae financially donated to Chatham and that only 22.6% participated in College for Women events and opportunities.[1] However, you did not ask alumnae how the transition to a coeducational college would impact their giving and volunteering. Don’t worry, Dr. Barazzone, your World Ready Women collected and interpreted the data for you.

WHAT WE KNOW…

On March 26, the Philadelphia Chapter of CCW alumnae released a survey via social media and email requesting alumnae to provide information and opinions about CCW and the potential transition to coeducation. There were 231 alumnae who provided responses.[2]

Alumnae participation varied across class year, as shown in Figure 1. Given that the survey was only distributed electronically, there is a slight bias towards alumnae who have graduated more recently from CCW and a greater response from earlier generations of Chatham women would have been more effectively collected had the survey also been provided in hardcopy by mail.

Alumnae Participation by Class Year

Of those alumnae completing the survey, only one was unaware that the Board of Trustees is considering changing CCW to a coeducational college. When asked about their opinions of a transition to coeducation, 12.5% of respondents were in favor (n=29), 73.2% were opposed (n=169), and 14.3% were uncertain (n=33). While these numbers are limited only to the participants of this particular survey, the results suggest that a majority of alumnae are opposed to a transition to coeducation.

Perhaps the most relevant information collected on the survey relates to alumnae giving through financial donations and volunteer activities. While you have repeatedly said that not enough alumnae financially support the college as it is, these survey results show a nearly equal number of Chatham women who donate and do not donate. When asked if they currently contribute financially to CCW (n=227), 49% of alumnae answered yes (n=111) and 51% answered no (n=116). Alumnae reasons for giving or not giving at the present time are shown in Figure 2.

Alumnae were asked if CCW becomes a coeducational college, would they contribute financially to the coeducational college. Of the 229 respondents, 15.3% said yes (n=35), 62.4% responded no (n=143), and 22.3% were uncertain. This means that 76 of the 111 alumnae who currently give to CCW would either no longer donate financially or be uncertain about their future donations. If this trend were to hold true across the 6000 alumnae of CCW, this means that 3744 alumnae would take their seed corn elsewhere. If applied specifically to the 1525 cited in the Campus Community Presentation, over 1000 of your current alumnae donors would be unsure about donating to a coeducational Chatham or would not donate at all. How will you support any kind of undergraduate program with less than 500 alumnae donors?

Current Financial Donations

You have also suggested that alumnae support in engagement, recruitment, and other activities has been limited. This is true – of the 229 respondents, only 47 alumnae currently participate in volunteer activities for Chatham College for Women, while 182 do not. However, when asked why alumnae do not volunteer, the overwhelming response was that, “I was not asked” (108 of 181 respondents). How much engagement can the administration expect from alumnae when you aren’t actively inviting them to support CCW, particularly those who are unable to donate financially at the present time?

Similar to the future giving responses, there is a clear decrease in the number of alumnae who would continue to volunteer. Of the 230 responses relating to participation in future volunteer activities at a coeducational college, 7% said yes, 62.6% said no, and 30.4% were uncertain. Across the entire CCW alumnae body, this trend would mean that only 420 alumnae around the world would commit to participating in volunteer activities at a coeducational Chatham.

WHAT WE BELIEVE…

Of those alumnae who participated in this survey, an overwhelming majority opposes the transition to a coeducational college. You may think there are just a small number of angry alumnae who repeated call, write, and express frustration with the lack of transparency – this is unsupported by real data.

Dr. Barazzone, in an interview with the Pittsburgh Post Gazette on February 18 [3], you stated, “”Our alumni love Chatham and will support Chatham after a period of being sad about this necessary change.” The data and statistics do not support your sentiment. A majority of alumnae will not simply forgive and forget, and more than 60% have already stated that they will no longer support Chatham, financially or otherwise.

WHAT WE WANT…

A delay of the Board of Trustees Vote.

Given the lack of opportunity for alumnae to increase their financial donations and participation in events and opportunities to support what we now know is a failing CCW, we believe the coed vote should be delayed by at least a year. In that time, we ask you and the administration to provide us with the following:

  • A long-term fundraising goal, with restricted use on the funds solely for CCW, for alumnae in order to lessen the financial strain CCW has placed on the rest of the University.
  • A detailed listing of recruitment events for alumnae to volunteer at to serve as a representative of CCW and the necessary support by the administration (e.g., informational materials) to carry out those activities.
  • A comprehensive strategy for engaging alumnae of CCW, regardless of the coed decision, given that the administration has repeatedly ignored or diluted their questions and concerns regarding the coed vote.

You have asked for our feedback, Esther, but are you and the Board really listening? If so, you will take this letter to heart and act upon our requests.

Sincerely,

The Save Chatham Movement

 

[1] See PDF version of the Campus Community Presentation (pages 43-44): http://blogs.chatham.edu/chathamfeedback/2014/03/05/campus-community-presentation/

[2] The total number of responses used in the following data calculations may vary from the total 231 participants. Some questions allowed for multiple responses, and respondents were not required to answer every question.

[3] http://www.post-gazette.com/local/breaking/2014/02/18/Chatham-U-trustees-approve-resolution-to-study-going-all-coed/stories/201402180194#ixzz2ystoLPs9

Dear Esther – Part 8

Dear Esther,

You repeatedly stated at the town hall meetings that you did not want to talk about detailed data and instead preferred to speak about the trends. Using our World Ready skills in analysis, we did some forecasting for you, a data set that seems to be missing from previous communications from the administration, so we can speak about the trends at large, as you’ve requested.

WHAT WE KNOW…

Enrollment isn’t going to get any easier, regardless of who you’re trying to recruit.

First, we know that the overall number of children in the United States will decline over the next fifteen years. As the Chronicle of Higher Education puts it, for every 100 18-year-olds nationally, there are only 95 4-year-olds[1]. Figure 1 shows children who are nearly ready for higher education (1 or 2 years away from college) to children currently in elementary (13 or 14 years away from college). To read the graphs below, the line starts with children who are very close to starting college all the way through children who are just starting kindergarten and will be ready for college in 14-15 years.

Figure 1 (Data from The Chronicle of Higher Education[2])

popunder1

A declining number of potential students means that all colleges, not just Chatham, are going to have to be particularly mindful of their target populations.

However, examining the total college-ready population doesn’t tell the whole story. Diving into the data and stratifying it by race alone provides a potentially more interesting trend to examine. As we can see in the series of charts below, the number of white children are declining while most other race groups hold constant or have slight growth.

Let us first look in Allegheny County, PA [3]. Within 15 years, the white population will decline while most of the others are projected to have modest growth.

allegheny2

When we step back and look at the 200-mile radius around Chatham [3], the picture doesn’t change much (even with normalized data). We still see declining numbers for white students.

trendsbyrace2

Second, we know that Chatham predominantly recruits white women. Figure 4 illustrates actual first-year enrollments from 2001 to 2009 [4]. As you can see, enrollment of non-white women does not even approach that of white women.

chatham actual 2

While Chatham talks an excellent game about diversity and inclusion, true racial diversity is hard to find on Chatham’s campus. As noted in The Chronicle of Higher Education, small private institutions with an enrollment that is almost entirely white will “need to diversify in order to maintain enrollment.[1]”

Based on enrollment trends, the inclusion of men isn’t likely to be the panacea it has been made out to be during our discussions. Males are less interested in attending college[2] than females. And as this Chronicle of Higher Education article states, “[f]emale students across all racial and ethnic groups graduated at higher rates than did their male counterparts…” If the goal is not just to get students onto campus, but to retain them through completion of their degree (and then continuation into Chatham’s grad program if appropriate), focusing on bringing more men in will not necessarily do the trick.

WHAT WE BELIEVE…

Opening the undergraduate gates to men will be a short-sighted effort at stemming the enrollment decline over the next 15 years and create a missed opportunity for a more coherent, well-planned marketing and recruiting strategy to be developed and implemented.

As we previously discussed, the current strategy of the University appears to be focused on the Graduate and Sustainability schools while Chatham College for Women is left as an afterthought. If Chatham is an educational institution that must be supported equally by its three parts, then a misguided attempt at increasing enrollment in any one of those parts could be disastrous. You maintain that the misguided attempt means remaining a single-sex undergraduate institution. We argue that the mistake is putting all of your faith on male students.

From the numbers above, you can see that a more coherent Chatham strategy for dealing with the impending downturn in the college-ready population could be, and should be, increasing diversity among the women it enrolls. Specific efforts to enroll currently under-represented populations of women of color could lead to a significant increase in the overall undergraduate population while not abandoning the mission set forth by the Reverend William Trimble Beatty to provide “women with an education comparable to… ‘colleges of the first class.’”

WHAT WE WANT…

A delay of the Board of Trustees Vote.

Given the declining pool of white women over the next fifteen years as prospective students at CCW, we believe the co-ed vote should be delayed by at least a year. In that time, we ask you and the administration to provide us with the following:

  • A full explanation of current recruitment strategies, including how students are targeted, and what process and tools are used for following up with interested students.
  • Any details provided to the Board of Trustees in regards to how the college would recruit men and how many men the undergraduate college could expect to bring in over the next five years if the co-ed proposal is adopted.
  • A detailed recruitment strategy, regardless of the co-ed decision, that will focus specifically on increasing the enrollment of women of color.

You have asked for our feedback, Esther, but are you and the Board really listening? If so, you will take this letter to heart and act upon our requests.

Sincerely,

The Save Chatham Movement

 

[1] https://chronicle.com/article/Demographic-Data-Let-Colleges/144101/

[2] https://chronicle.com/article/Young-Women-Are-More-Likely/133980/ (90% of high school males say they want to attend college compared to female’s 96%.)

[3] https://chronicle.com/article/Who-Will-Reach-College-Age-in/144061/#00/0-1

[4] http://www.education.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/higher_education/8684

We Ask the Board of Trustees to Delay the Decision to Go Co-ed

The following is a statement by Chatham alumna Sandy, Kurtizky ’73 about the impending co-ed decision. In it, she references the statement from Philadelphia area alumnae we posted earlier in the week.

**********

The trustee’s comments at last month’s Philadelphia Town Meeting at the Union League resonated with me, and I know both trustees who spoke invested a great deal of time, energy, and thought into your individual decisions to propose Chatham change to a coeducational undergraduate institution.

As Trustee Terri Dean said last month, I have considered this issue with my heart, but I have reached a different conclusion with my business head. Members of the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the Alumni Association have sent a letter to the alumni members of the Board, with the hope it will consider our request; we ask the Board of Trustees to delay the decision to go coed for a year, to enable our entire community to come together in an effort to begin to solve some of the challenges facing the University’s undergraduate enrollment.

As you may have heard, it was announced this afternoon (Saturday, April 5th) that Carlow is investing $15.7mil in its “first major construction in more than a decade”. Their new Institute for Women’s Leadership and Empowerment will “increase the capacity of women to become skilled change agents and social entrepreneurs within communities regional to global”. The article by Bill Schackner of the Post-Gazette cites a 9% enrollment of male undergraduates and a 14% enrollment of male graduate students. (The quotes in this blog are from his article.)

President Mellon of Carlow identified a “strong need to address the social and health disparities of women and the role women’s leadership and voice can have for our community and the world”. CCW has provided its World Ready Women with the “capacity…to become skilled change agents and social entrepreneurs within communities regional to global” for 145 years. We respectfully ask that the Board representatives reconsider its position and grant the 1 year postponement for this vote.

Thank you for your consideration,

Sandy Kuritzky, ’73

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Standing with Sandy are thousands of Chatham women, the following included!

Flee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HollyH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jaya

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sarah W

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maureen