New Carlow University president ready to guide change
Look for change at Carlow University in Oakland.
Without it, the small university on the steep slopes above Fifth Avenue won't survive, said new university President Suzanne K. Mellon on Tuesday during an interview with Tribune-Review editors and reporters.
Mellon, 61, said the opportunity to lead a university eager to embrace change to meet community needs was part of what lured her to Pittsburgh from Manchester, N.H., where she was executive vice president of St. Anselm College.
“It doesn't help us to wallow in the way things are. We are going to have to move things forward,” Mellon said.
She said she's awaiting the completion of a strategic plan for the 85-year-old school that the Sisters of Mercy founded during the Great Depression. Mellon said it will contain goals such as boosting enrollment, student retention and graduation rates.
The school enrolls about 2,300 undergraduate, graduate and online students.
Her objectives are large and long term: Increase enrollment from 2,300 to 5,000; boost the endowment from $20 million to $25 million, and then $50 million, with emphasis on scholarship money; and establish partnerships between business and academia to boost opportunities for students.
Key initiatives include providing career-oriented degree programs with internships; compressing routes to graduate degrees; and offering certificate programs for mid-career professionals.
Mellon pointed to a combined bachelor of science in psychology, a master's degree in counseling program and the possibility of certificate programs in areas such as analytics.
George Pry, executive vice president of the Pittsburgh Technical Institute and a member of the Carlow board for eight years, chaired the search committee that recommended Mellon.
“She laid out a pretty detailed program and, in the last eight months, she has attended to everything she brought up,” Pry said. “But it's not a thing you turn overnight.”
Carlow's move to transform itself occurs as small private colleges across the country struggle to survive shrinking pools of high school graduates, increasing costs and soaring student debt.
A recent survey of nearly 400 small private colleges, by the National Association of College and University Business Officers, found about half were struggling with declining enrollment, even though the schools provided tuition discounts averaging 45 percent.
Mellon said it will be critical for Carlow to differentiate itself, and marketing will be important.
“We have a well-respected hidden gem in Oakland that we need to shine a light on,” she said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Trac Fabrication all-terrain wheelchairs open world for disabled
- Wedding aboard Pittsburgh’s Gateway Clipper ends in arrests
- Allegheny County’s crime lab ranks among world’s best
- Pa. Monuments license plates revenue to help maintain Gettysburg monuments
- TED Talks event to appeal to Pittsburgh millennials
- Pittsburgh police force’s diversity worsens since discrimination lawsuit
- Pitt, city officials inspecting student housing in Oakland
- Family of Children’s Hospital transplant baby urges feds to change cochlear implants policy
- Water main break in Hill District unlikely to affect nearby school
- White House threat sparks call for wider immigration debate
- Pennsylvania amusement ride website leaves readers hanging