Community building was the theme of the inaugural staff forum held by President Lee Pelton November 8 in the Brown and Plofker Gym.
About 200 Emerson staffers attended the hour-long event, which featured introductions of new staff, an informal talk by Pelton about the state of the College, and a presentation by Vice President for Administration and Finance Maureen Murphy on the school’s financial health.
Pelton discussed moving Emerson from a historic period in which large investments were made in changing locations and improving facilities to a new era of shifting much of the focus to investing in people and programs. He also mentioned several small initiatives that have either been recently introduced or will be soon to help build a sense of community on campus, such as a faculty lunch program, in which people from various departments intermingle; professional development opportunities for staff; a publication that highlights staff achievements; a president’s book club; and an “evening out” program for Emersonians to get together off campus.
Pelton also addressed the strategic plan that was approved by the Board of Trustees last spring and some of its key points, including building the Emerson College Los Angeles Center and making plans for the programs that will operate there, creating a culture of faculty scholarship, and providing a stronger financial base for the College.
Murphy’s presentation on the College’s finances revealed that Emerson is in good financial standing. However, it also recognized the need for identifying new revenue sources in the future. Pelton said his plans for the College include a major fundraising campaign to kick off three years from now at the earliest.
Pelton plans to hold staff forums twice per semester to provide an opportunity for staff members to gather regularly and to keep them informed about what is happening around Emerson. The next forum will be held Wednesday, December 14, in the Bordy Theater.