In a new video message to the campus community, Daemen College President Gary Olson emphasizes the success of COVID-19 testing for all students, faculty, and staff and discusses the college’s financial strength, among other key points.
Olson points out that more than 2,300 COVID-19 diagnostic tests have been completed in the Daemen community along with 856 antibody tests.
“Testing everyone is a difficult and time-consuming task, but it is the best way to ensure a safe return to in-person learning,” says Olson. “The system is working but we must remain vigilant. Cases can spread very quickly if people become lax and stop adhering to safety measures.”
Olson reports that Daemen finished last year with a balanced budget and that there were no furloughs or layoffs due to the financial challenges brought on by the pandemic. Although the current academic year will be tight because some enrollment goals were missed, “we will not have the cataclysmic drop that some institutions are reporting,” he says.
At present, graduate enrollment is trending ahead compared to where it was last year at this time, and first-year and transfer student numbers have both stabilized at about 20 students below what the college budgeted for in this academic year. The hope is for graduate numbers to come in above what Daemen budgeted for to help off-set some under enrollment in undergraduate programs.
Olson also reports that the Daemen Board of Trustees has appointed two new trustees: Lana Benatovich, president of the National Federation for Just Communities of Western New York, and Johnathan Graves, assistant vice president at Five Star Mortgage.
The board also approved emeritus status for faculty members Dennis Barraclough, professor of art; Dr. William DiPietro, professor of economics; Dr. Denise Mills, professor of Spanish; and Dr. Kathleen Murphy, professor of chemistry.
In concluding his message to the Daemen community, Olson says, “I wish you luck as you start the fall semester. I am looking forward to another productive – albeit different — academic year.”