Faculty Convocation recognizes accreditation
Seton Hall’s annual faculty convocation, is designed to welcome new faculty members and to celebrate the accomplishments of tenured members of the community, was held on Friday, Sept. 14 in the Jubilee Auditorium.
This year’s convocation recognized the strides the University has made toward once again attaining accreditation by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The gathering also urged professors to take an active approach to teaching as opposed to just going through the motions.
“It is our responsibility to teach students to take responsibility for their futures, but that future is also ours,” Dr. David B?©n?©teau, Chair of the Faculty Senate said in his opening address. Speaking on the importance of motivating students to take a personal stake in their futures, B?©n?©teau also said “We, the faculty, are on the front lines of motivating that will.”
The keynote speech was delivered by Dr. Susan Nolan, Chair of the Department of Psychology. Her address explained the nature of the Middle States Association, the importance of accreditation and Seton Hall’s progress on the path to earning it. “We tell Middle States who we are, what we do, and we are evaluated in light of that,” Nolan said.
Nolan said that accreditation is important because it allows the University to show students and their families that Seton Hall is a special institution, and that it allows the community to uphold the “capital U university.”
Another key focus of the speech was the practical necessity for accreditation, according to Nolan.” Without accreditation, we are not eligible for federal funding,” said Nolan.
Nolan also said how spearheading Seton Hall’s accreditation efforts has affected her personally, saying that she has become hyper aware of assessment in all aspects of life. University President Dr. A. Gabriel Esteban’s address followed the keynote speech. Esteban shared how his personal experiences have bound him to Seton Hall and led him to make it the best institution possible.
“The personal experience that had the most impact on me was the tragic off-campus shooting of Jessica Moore, a promising sophomore,” Esteban said.
Esteban then said how the outpouring of support from the University community strengthened his belief that Seton Hall is a special place that deserves nothing but the utmost dedication from its faculty.
“The quest for excellence requires that we must push forward,” Esteban said. “We must work as a community, not as individuals, if we are to achieve our goals.”
Esteban ended his address by saying that the University must rise up to meet the challenges of modern society if it is to duplicate its current success.
“As the world changes around us, we need to adapt or be passed over,” Esteban said.
The convocation was ended with the presentation of the Albert Hakim Faculty Service Medal, given to the faculty member who does the most to “advance the status and interests of the faculty.”
This year’s medal was awarded to Dr. Debra Zinicola, associate professor in the Department of Education.
Joe Grogan can be reached at email@example.com.