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OFCHALLENGE AND CHANGE When Kay and I came to Clark ten years ago, we inherited a strong university with an excellent faculty, fine students, splendid alumni, and — due to the foresight and leadership of President Richard Traina — a promising physical future based on a neighborhood partnership rebuilding University Park. My mandate from the Board of Trustees was for qualitative improvement, to build from this platform a stronger student body, a new generation of faculty committed to students and research, stronger programs, greater national visibility and upgraded facilities. Now I pass on to David Angel an institution that over these ten years, and with his assistance, has improved in all of these areas. I expect therefore the next ten to be better than the last ten, no matter how gratifying these have been. Clark has always had excellent students, doing amazing projects with dedicated professors and embarking on wonderful careers. Looking at recent statistics or hearing Clark faculty praise more recent classes, I know that the bar has been raised substantially. Meanwhile, whereas the University in the 1990s hired relatively few new faculty members, more than one half of the current faculty have been recruited since my arrival. They include dedicated scholar-teachers passionate about their academic fields but fully committed to their undergraduate as well as their graduate students. A few hours at any Academic
John and Kay Bassett have worked in tandem to enhance Clark’s academic and community missions.
Spree Day leaves visitors agape at the number of undergraduate projects that might easily be the work of doctoral students. At the same time, faculty have been developing a stronger undergraduate experience, building from what has been excellent for years at Clark and expanding the access to high-impact learning to the entire student body. This should truly connect for students their rigorous liberal arts education to effective practice, and address the challenges and problems of our world outside the academy. The faculty and administration are also exploring expansion of our best graduate programs and more effective integration of Clark’s research and educational missions.
2000 2001 A look back at some of the key moments of President John Bassett’s 10 years at Clark University.
John Bassett assumes the post of Clark University’s eighth president in July 2000. He would be inaugurated on March 30, 2001. “There’s no school that teaches you to be a university president,” he says. “Learning to be a president is something you do over all the years of your career.”
The Mary McLeod Bethune Multicultural Center opens on the first floor of a refurbished Dana Commons. The Jacob Hiatt Center for Urban Education is awarded a five-year Carnegie “Schools for a New Society” grant focused on high school transformation in Worcester.
Dan Trant ’84 and Jason Jacobs, husband of Jennifer (Traiger) Jacobs ’91, are among those killed in the World Trade Center attacks. In an open letter inviting the Clark community to a candlelight vigil on Sept. 12, Student Council President Rich Fields ’02 writes: “Like those before us who have reminisced about events like Pearl Harbor and the assassination of John F. Kennedy, we too will all remember where we were when we heard about the incredible loss of life that came just a few hours ago.”
Stuart Eizenstat, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury in the Clinton Administration and former ambassador to the European Union, kicks off the President’s Lecture series with a presentation at the Higgins Center.
The first Millennium Leadership Conference is held in November to cultivate the inherent leadership qualities of college students who identify as ALANA (African descent, Latino/a, Asian and Native American).
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We’ve seen some splendid new facilities rise from the ground — a new bioscience center, an academic commons, a residence hall, a new athletics facility, an arts center.
They all complement excellent renovations of older buildings and a physical campus maintained and landscaped in the most attractive — and environmentally responsible — way possible. Building quality began with assuring that everyone on campus shared an appreciation of Clark’s special identity, and that took some time to achieve. Our graduate-research pieces, part of Clark since its founding in 1887, and the liberal-arts-college pieces did not always gel smoothly. Partly through intentional
hiring of the right kind of scholar-teachers and partly through dedication of faculty, staff and trustees to Clark’s success over the last decade, that sense of identity has been more deeply embedded in those of us who make up this special community. That identity became even clearer as we also realized that certain values — a deeply felt commitment to making a positive change in our world, a strong international dimension, and a pedagogy of active learning — bond Clark students and faculty and help define the Clark experience. Out of that can develop a transformative educational experience based on sound personal and social values. So I invite you to enjoy the stories and photographs that follow. They reflect activities and successes of the past decade but promise excellence in the next. Consider students like Marc Benoit ’12 and Hannah Caruso B.A./M.A. ’10 discovering usable new knowledge with faculty members and putting it into practice. Consider alumni like Hang Zhang B.S./M.S.F. ’09, who have gone out from Clark into rewarding and meaningful careers. Get to know new faculty members like Karen Frey and Esther Jones, who mentor their students with care just as veteran faculty members like Doug Little, Susan Hanson and Tim Lyerla have for years. In these pages you will see the strides that have been made at Clark thanks to large gifts from Bill and Jane Mosakowski, Jack Adam, the Kleins, the Lasrys, the Leffells, and others like John O’Connor, whose gift made the stunning HERO projects possible, and the Steinbrechers, who have funded so many undergraduate fellowships. You will more deeply appreciate the educational enrichment that comes from involvement with All Kinds of Girls, the International Gala, the Millennium Conference, the EMS squad, athletic teams, and plays in the Michelson Theater, as well as other Clark signatures like the impact on American K-12 education of the Jacob Hiatt Center and University Park Campus School, the University’s work on sustainability, and Clark’s continuing excellence in psychology.
John Bassett gathers with staff and current and former students of University Park Campus School to celebrate the establishment of the $14.2 million Ruth and John Adam Education Fund, the largest single gift ever made to Clark University. The fund will enhance the University’s efforts to improve urban education.
Also learn about the global impact of work done through the Strassler Family Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, about Clark’s reputation as a national leader in universitycommunity relations, and about the remarkable growth of the Department of International Development, Community and Environment and the Graduate School of Management. The report also highlights the stimulating intellectual environment built by the Difficult Dialogues Series and the continuing prominence of the School of Geography, whose new director, Tony Bebbington, has just become the fifth Clark geographer inducted into the National Academy of Sciences. This last decade has been as good as any in Clark’s history. The next may well be the best ever. David Angel and I invite you to find a way to be part of it.
John Bassett, President
2006 2004 2003
Men’s basketball earns its third consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament. Head Coach Paul Phillips earns his third NEWMAC Coach of the Year title.
Geography Department Chair Susan Hanson is honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award, and Ron Eastman receives the Distinguished Service Award from the Association of American Geographers at a March ceremony in New Orleans.
The $5 million Dolan Field House officially opens in the spring.
Clark University, the University Park Partnership and the Main South Community Development Corporation earn the inaugural Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Partnership Award for their efforts in revitalizing the Main South neighborhood.
2005 On October 22 the Red Sox win their first World Series title in 86 years, and John and Kay Bassett host an impromptu victory party for students at their home, complete with cider and donuts. But the president politely declines the students’ request that he call off the next day’s classes.
The family and friends of Clark alumnus David C. Steinbrecher ‘81 create the Steinbrecher Fellowship Program to provide fellowships for Clark undergraduates to pursue original ideas, creative research, public service or enrichment projects.
The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program is launched at an October 26 reception for students, faculty and staff.
John Bassett publishes “Sherwood Anderson: An American Career,” the first critical introduction to this important Midwestern and American writer in over a quarter century.
Clark breaks ground on Blackstone Hall, an apartmentstyle, state-of-the-art facility that houses junior, senior and graduate students. The building earns a silver LEED Award. Pulitzer Prizewinning author Tracy Kidder speaks about his book “Mountains Beyond Mountains,” detailing the work of Dr. Paul Farmer in Haiti.
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Kay Bassett brought to Clark solid expertise in high tech, and organizational skills that made her a recognized leader among many campus and civic groups. She has been an active volunteer for such organizations as the EcoTarium, Music Worcester, Foothills Theatre, YWCA, Worcester Cultural Coalition (co-chair), the Central Massachusetts Chapter of the American Red Cross (chair) and the Women’s Initiative for the United Way of Central Massachusetts (chair).
Kay Bassett adopted the official title, Special Assistant to the President, when she took up residence with her husband John in the sprawling Victorian on Woodland Street. It’s a title that cannot begin to sum up the many roles she assumed during her time at Clark University. From formulating data security plans with Clark’s Information Technology office to hosting her popular Etiquette Dinner series for graduating seniors to advocating for Worcester’s cultural and civic resources, Kay’s professional skills and personal warmth have served the University, the neighborhood, and the city.
A SPECIAL PARTNERSHIP
The national media descend February 4 as presidential candidate Hilary Clinton speaks to 3,500 people at a rally in the Kneller Center.
John Bassett signs the Amethyst Initiative, a public statement by higher education leaders targeting the problem of binge drinking on college campuses. The Strassler Center celebrates its first decade at the forefront of education and training of Holocaust and genocide scholars.
One of Kay’s long-term goals and biggest challenges was to help build better connections between Clark students and the greater Worcester community, and especially to make the city’s cultural offerings more accessible to students. To this end, she was instrumental in developing the “WOO card” that provides students with discounts at area events.
The International Development, Community and Environment Department becomes the host institution and one of nine partners worldwide in the aids2031 project, looking at the key social, political and economic factors that drive the epidemic.
U.S. Senate candidate Alan Khazei stumps on campus with RFK’s son Max Kennedy. Also in the race, Libertarian candidate and Clark alum Joseph L. Kennedy ’93.
Sigmund Freud’s lectures at Clark earned international attention in 1909 … and again in 2009, as the University observes the centennial of Freud’s visit with an academic conference and symposium, as well as a spirited talk by his granddaughter, Sophie Freud.
Kay helped to develop the first database of Worcester volunteer opportunities for students, and initiated the creation of Clark’s own Community Engagement and Volunteering Center. This center now supports more than 1,000 students dedicating more than 37,000 hours of service each year. The Clark Board of Trustees cited Kay’s role as Special Assistant to the President, writing: “Kay has been a partner with John at Clark and in the community every step of the way during their ten years in Worcester.” The citation recognizes her “unrelenting passion, leadership and commitment to Clark and her adopted city of Worcester.” “ I will be going into a very new environment with many of the challenges and opportunities still undefined,” Kay says of the Bassetts’ new posting at Heritage University in Washington. “But I hope to carry with me much of the ‘change the world’ spirit of Clark, and in particular create opportunities to change the lives of a new group of students.”
2007 Clark joins the vanguard of colleges to offer gender-neutral housing to students.
The All Kinds of Girls organization for pre-adolescent girls in Worcester recently created the Kay Bassett Leadership Award, named by the group’s Clark student mentors to honor her “constant dedication to the AKOG program and the needs of girls in the community.” Her support provided the group with the opportunity to grow its program offerings and receive a $15,000 grant from the Women’s Initiative each of the past three years.
“There has been some progress, particularly with the launching of the WOO card, but increasing awareness on campus of the special venues in the city has been a slow process,” she says. “This is a self-serving labor since I feel that a vibrant Worcester makes Clark more attractive to our students. Plus, as a resident, I enjoy being proud of my city.”
The new Academic Commons at Goddard Library officially opens on January 12. Students returning to campus for spring semester classes are welcomed to a warm, bright new space for scholarly pursuits — complete with a cafe.
John and Kay Bassett are co-recipients of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette Isaiah Thomas Citizen of the Year Award on February 9 for their contributions to the Worcester community. Sapphire, author of “Push,” the basis for the movie “Precious,” speaks at Atwood Hall as part of the celebration of Black History Month.
Clark diving team member Eileen Garcia ’12 earns All America status and a mention in Sports Illustrated.
Provost David Angel is chosen to become the ninth president of Clark University. Clark announces in April the receipt of a $14.2 million gift in memory of the late Jack Adam to enhance the University’s nationally recognized model for urban education. It is the largest single gift in Clark’s history.
John Bassett is installed as Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities on February 3, in Washington, D.C.
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STEWARDSHIP The term “sustainability” is an awfully big umbrella, beneath which gathers a crowd of initiatives, philosophies and technologies. At Clark, faculty and students have sifted through the clutter to pursue avenues of environmental research with real-world impact. Here are just a few examples: When the world’s political and scientific leaders were called to Copenhagen last December to discuss climate change, Clark was there.
Professor Jennie Stephens of the Environmental Science and Policy program within the Department of International Development, Community, and Environment (IDCE) and Marsh Institute research fellow Philip Vergragt presented their work on the implications of increased attention to carbon capture-and-storage technology as a way to mitigate climate change. Stephens is also a leading voice on wind power, specifically the social and political challenges and opportunities for using it. As the U.S. looks to alternative energy sources, the challenges of deploying wind and other emerging energy technologies are increasingly important in many places, from Nantucket Sound to the Blue Ridge Mountains … and beyond.
For the last three years Geography Professor Karen Frey has led Clark students into the Siberian Arctic to study the effects of climate change on ecosystems throughout the region. The Polaris Project is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for undergraduates to conduct field studies in a variety of arctic environments and record first-hand the changes that global warming has exacted on this remote part of the planet—with ramifications for all of us. On another expedition this summer, Frey and two doctoral students will travel aboard a Coast Guard icebreaker throughout the Arctic to conduct NASAfunded research into how river discharge and the decline of sea ice affect the biogeochemistry of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, which contain some of the most biologically productive marine ecosystems in the world.
Water is the human race’s most valuable resource, but how resourceful are we when it comes to using it wisely? That’s a question being explored by Geography professors Colin Polsky and Gil Pontius, who are leading a HERO (Human-Environment Regional Observatory) study into suburbia’s effects on coastal watersheds. They are directing students to research the way eastern Massachusetts towns manage their water usage, and the connection between the pursuit of manicured “golf course” lawns in some of those towns with the perennial call for water restrictions. The group is using a host of methods — satellite mapping, land use and zoning research, surveys with homeowners, and the modeling of nitrogen runoff to the estuary — to determine the factors dictating water use, lawn care, and environmental management in those communities. The goal is to create a computer model to help predict future land-use and land-cover decisions, and ecosystem outcomes, for coastal regions nationwide. The project is coordinated by Polsky to link with similar efforts underway in Baltimore, Phoenix, Miami and Nashville, thereby giving the Clark work national visibility.
(From left) Students Dan Runfola, Albert Decatur and Abby Kaminski; professors Colin Polsky, Gil Pontius and Deborah Martin; students Ed Harris and Nick Giner.
The HERO program fulfills one of Clark’s core missions: To give students an opportunity to do serious research, and even publish, alongside faculty. In April, HERO students presented their research findings at the annual Association of American Geographers meeting in Washington D.C., winning several awards for outstanding research presentations, continuing a trend of recent years. “ This is a high-impact learning experience. Students come here knowing they will have a shot at doing something valuable, both for the research world and for their personal professional development, even if they don’t become researchers after they graduate,” says Polsky.
“ The HERO program is a way for Clark to walk the walk.”
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COMMUNITY commITmENT Theresa Pickens can sink a three-pointer with effortless grace, or drive by defenders, leaving them grasping at air. During her high school basketball career, when the mood struck — and it struck often — she would drop in anywhere from 20 to 40 points, often while double teamed.
Her senior year playing for Main South, a co-op team combining players from Claremont Academy and University Park Campus School, Pickens was the leading girls’ scorer in Central Massachusetts, averaging 24 points a game. The first-year student was a backup guard on the Clark women’s team, and she’s waiting for her chance to show college opponents what she’s got. With such a deep hardcourt resume, one would expect that when Theresa Pickens walks into the Boys & Girls Club on Tainter Street as a work-study student, she would be regarded with … well … awe. Not so much. That’s because Pickens was a familiar presence at the Boys & Girls Club well before her Clark days. She’s been a regular attendee at the club since the age of five, when it was located in an aging building on Worcester’s Ionic Avenue. For Theresa, who persevered through a rough childhood, the club was a home away from home, and in some
ways continues to be so. The children she mentors flock to her when she enters the gym as they would to an older sister; staffers greet her with shouts of “TP!”
“ I grew up with this staff. They were my support system, my family,” Pickens says. “ I like the feeling of giving back. I need to give that time back.” The Tainter Street facility, and the valuable work that goes on inside it, works in tandem with Clark’s ongoing commitment to the Main South neighborhood through the University Park Partnership (UPP), a grassroots collaboration involving the University, neighborhood residents and organizations, local churches, government officials, the business community and public schools organized around the Main South Community Development Corporation.
The Boys & Girls Club, which opened in September 2006, is a cornerstone of the Kilby-Gardner-Hammond neighborhood that UPP is working to revitalize through a combination of housing and physical rehabilitation, education, economic development and social recreational activities for area residents. It’s become a channel for Clark students to cultivate an active relationship with the community through work-study opportunities and perpetuate the University’s, and the neighborhood’s, success in chipping away at town-gown barriers. Pickens will do her part to ensure that when other Main South children walk through those doors every weekday afternoon and on weekends, they will experience an environment that welcomes, nurtures and matures them. She’s resourceful enough to make an impact on the hardwood the next three years with her fellow Clark Cougars, and on the Tainter Street court with a generation of rising stars.
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REAL-WORLD IMPACT “Challenge Convention. Change Our World.” is more than a motto to Jim Gomes, Director of the Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise at Clark. Those five words are a guiding principle for the Institute, and a call to action.
“ Too often university research sits on a shelf and is never seen,” Jim Gomes says. “We believe that research is often alive, important, and potentially very useful. Our goal is to insure that our research has an afterlife through public policies and practice.”
Bill Mosakowski (l.) and Jim Gomes outside the State House in Boston.
Through the generous gift of Jane and Bill Mosakowski, classes of ’75 and ’76 respectively, the Institute began operation at Clark in the fall of 2007. The mission: Mobilize University research to improve the effectiveness of government and other institutions in addressing social concerns. Since its inception, the Mosakowski Institute has hosted two conferences that have attracted speakers and participants of national prominence. The Institute’s 2008 inaugural conference, “University Research and the American Agenda,” established the vital connection between academic research and some of the most important challenges confronting the nation. Last year’s conference, “Liberal Education and Effective Practice,” challenged traditional conceptions of higher education, and began to offer Clark a blueprint of how value can be added to the traditional liberal arts education, with the goal of preparing students to be engaged citizens and effective professionals after graduation. This spring, in partnership with two Clark professors and several graduate and undergraduate students, the Institute’s Family Impact Seminar Program prepared a report detailing the sometimes devastating emotional and financial effects the recession is having on Massachusetts families and offering strategies to address them. In March, the Institute presented its findings at the State House for an audience of legislators and staff members, with the
hope that the research findings may help spark legislation that can improve families’ circumstances in a poor economy. “ People at the State House are not waiting for the phone to ring with the results of university research,” Gomes says. “You’ve got to take the initiative to approach them, which we did. “We delivered our briefing report to every legislator, and have had several follow up with us. The more we engage with practitioners, the more often a light bulb goes off that maybe people from Clark can help with other problems they’re looking at.” The reach of the Mosakowski Institute is wide. The Institute boasts a varied research portfolio that cuts across the social, environmental and political arenas, with topics as diverse as domestic violence, the development of the biotech industry in Worcester, and Congressional redistricting. As always, regardless of the subject, a critical question that must be answered is: How might this research be put to use? “The research, fundamentally, is the way we help people to understand the world,” says Gomes. “Then, they’re ready to change it.”
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Pictured on facing page (l. to r.), Jeff Schuhrke, Hannah Caruso, Sara Belisea, Professor Jude Fernando and Shelagh Cooley. At right, Ben Wajda ’09 (l.) and Professor David Jordan (r.) with Chukes in Sierra Leone.
Clark students just returning from winter break immediately began to host events and fundraisers to benefit victims. Professor Jude Fernando of the Department of International Development, Community, and Environment, an expert on humanitarian aid who has responded to other world disasters like the tsunami in Sri Lanka, quickly arranged for himself and graduate students Sarah Belisea, Hannah Caruso, Jeff Schuhrke and Shelagh Cooley to travel to Haiti during spring break so they could assist humanitarian organizations and gather data on the relief effort. The group brought with them tents, medicine and vitamins collected from the Clark community, as well as $2,500 raised during a collaborative concert/fundraiser with a local church that they later donated to a Haitian orphanage. Since their return to campus, the five have petitioned the University to partner with Haitian universities with an aim to fund scholarships for displaced Haitian university students, enhance the capacity of Geographic Information Systems and Geography departments at the State University of Haiti, create a long-term partnership with the University of Notre Dame d’Haiti’s Agronomy Department, and develop a Summer Field School/Study Abroad Program at Notre Dame.
GLOBAL AcTIoN 12
The Clark community didn’t waste any time following the deadly January 12 earthquake in Haiti. Knowing that the devastation was severe, and that rebuilding efforts would take years, President John Bassett and Provost David Angel launched the Haiti Relief Initiative in an effort to organize long-term support for the ravaged country.
While Fernando and his graduate students responded to the crisis in Haiti, another Clark-led contingent traveled to Brazil under the direction of Social-Entrepreneur-inResidence David Jordan. The longtime adjunct professor took 11 Clark students and one alumnus to the Israelite Center of Multidiscipline Support in Sao Paulo to help promote the social inclusion of children and adults with developmental disabilities.
and in January they journeyed to Sierra Leone to dig wells and paint orphanages with Fresh-Hope International Ministry in an area plagued with challenges resulting from a high maternal-mortality rate. These trips, made possible by Jordan’s popular Social Entrepreneurship Field Experience course, not only allowed Clark students to gain valuable real-world experience, but also academic credit through Clark’s Graduate School of Management. This May, with funding from the Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise, professors Jordan and Fernando and three Clark students returned to Haiti to conduct a feasibility plan for the creation of a Small Business Development Center in the region. The center, which would operate in conjunction with the University of Notre Dame d’Haiti, would help the people of Haiti launch small businesses, and forge a partnership with Clark at a time when it is needed the most.
For more information on Clark’s efforts in Haiti, visit www.clarku.edu/haitiinitiative
The Brazil trip was Jordan’s third time abroad with Clark students within the last year. Last spring, they traveled to Ghana to work with autistic and mentally disabled children, 13
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MAKING A DIFFERENcE By sophomore year, Benoit had landed an internship at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, assisting a team conducting genetic research into the connection between the lack of a specific protein in the body and the formation of cancerous tumors. He has since been hired to work on the team full time this summer, giving him an insider’s view of the cutting-edge experimentation being employed to untangle a deadly disease’s terrible secrets. The classroom and laboratory experience trained the biochemistry/molecular biology major to think critically about the lessons imparted by doctors and scientists and put them into practice in a hands-on way.
CORPORATE SocIAL RESPONSIBILITY
On Sept. 24, 2009, the term “hands-on” was given a more literal, urgent context in the ongoing education of Marc Benoit. That night, Benoit, a member of Clark’s student-staffed Emergency Medical Services squad, and fellow EMS colleagues Alex Andersen ’10, Nicholas Foresti ’10, Nicholas Gregory-Bernstein ’10, and Jason Smith ’11 received a call that an 82-year-old man had collapsed outside of Atwood Hall. Benoit was first to the scene and found Arnold Yodice propped up on the steps, not breathing and lacking a pulse. The team assessed Yodice’s condition, then went to work, starting chest compressions, placing an oxygen mask on his face while “bagging” him to assist his breathing, and firing up the defibrillator. Benoit positioned the defibrillator pads on the man’s chest. The machine processed the information and issued a two-word command: “Shock Advised.” Andersen pushed the button.
Marc Benoit ‘12 arrived at Clark University in the Fall of 2008 knowing he wanted to be a doctor, but not sure what field of medicine most interested him. Clark would supply the answer in ways both traditional and unconventional, and with a flash of drama that literally involved life-or-death action.
Following the jolt, the students and a Worcester firefighter continued doing CPR on Yodice when suddenly his hand shot up and pushed the mask off his face. He winked at his rescuers. “It felt like we had been there an hour,” Benoit says, “but the whole thing probably lasted a total of 12 minutes. It was surreal.” The American Red Cross of Central Massachusetts took notice, honoring Clark’s EMS with its Heroes Award. The experience on the steps of Atwood Hall cleared up a few things for Marc Benoit. For one, it solidified his determination to pursue a medical career. He’s now considering enlisting with the international care organization Doctors Without Borders. And yes, he’s chosen his field: emergency medicine. Restoring a heartbeat, saving a life, made it an easy decision.
Those three words without context sound dry, meaningless, perhaps even contradictory. But to Hang Zhang ’08, the words come together as a template for thought, for action. Corporate Social Responsibility insists that companies operate best when they operate with a conscience, and that the men and women who work for them be as ethically disciplined as they are fiscally skilled. The words form the philosophy that drives Zhang as he prepares to immerse himself in the world of business. In his junior year Zhang was awarded a prestigious Steinbrecher Fellowship to study Corporate Social Responsibility — or CSR — at two companies in China, one a U.S. multinational corporation and the other a local Chinese firm. He was inspired to dive into the project after taking the Art and Science of Management course taught by Professor Mary-Ellen Boyle. “ Since Professor Boyle’s research interests are in organization and social change, and good corporate citizenship, she brought the topic of Corporate Social Responsibility into the different aspects of the class,” he recalls.
Zhang, a native of Chengdu, spent two months in China conducting research through detailed surveys and interviews with managers at both companies. He discovered that corporate ethics is an emerging concept at some China-based companies. “They think a company is responsible if it pays its taxes and does what it’s supposed to do within the law,” he says. “ As for the U.S. firm, their employees have a broader understanding and involvement with CSR — including volunteering, relationship with the locals and treating employees nicely.” Zhang earned a Master of Science and Finance degree from Clark’s Graduate School of Management, and this spring will add a Master’s in Accounting from the College of William & Mary before joining PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Boston office this fall as an auditor of privately held companies. He will take the lessons learned in China and at Clark with him into the workplace. “Corporate Social Responsibility will always be an important aspect in my career,” Zhang says. “It’s especially important in the area of accounting since responsibility and integrity are such foundations of this profession.”
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“We’ve sought answers by nurturing practices that encourage reflection, question assumptions, deepen engagement, support listening and creative collaboration, and open new possibilities for effective action.” The project has built awareness and skills of dialogue among faculty, staff and students, and integrated dialogue into courses across the curriculum. Through symposia, lectures, and workshops, the Difficult Dialogues project has also fostered lively and constructive public conversations on a host of challenging topics including race and ethnicity, gender, religious tolerance, the state of our democracy and climate change. This fall, the program tackles the subject “Slowing in a Wired World,” a wide-ranging examination of our electronically-accelerated environment and its impact on our brains and lives.
DIFFICULT DIALoGUES It can be argued that we live in the Age of the Shout-down where civil discourse has been replaced by verbal blood sport, aided by a 24-hour news cycle, a polarized political landscape, and a horde of fire-breathing TV and radio talk show hosts emitting enough hot air to float a zeppelin. In a culture that rewards loudness over lucidity, can probing yet reasoned conversations about challenging, controversial topics thrive above the din? They can, and do, at Clark. The Difficult Dialogues initiative was launched in 2005 with funding from the Ford Foundation; Clark was one of 27 schools chosen for the grant from a pool of more than 700 nationwide. The mission: To create a culture of dialogue on the campus in which we reflect on our own discourse and ways of thinking. To take some of the toughest issues of the day, and explore them in conscious ways, where the ability to listen is as highly valued as the expression of one’s own thoughts. “Implicit in the work has been the question of the ‘deeper purposes of higher education’ and the skills and values of citizenry — of the nation and the world,” says Difficult Dialogues Director Sarah Buie. 16
“ There has never been a time when it’s been so important to improve the discourse between people and give us a deeper understanding of each other,” Buie says. The dialogues help bridge the divides that can separate us a little too conveniently. Their mission continues. No shouting necessary.
STUDENT FAcULTY CONNECTION
The longtime professor wasn’t directing the actors, wasn’t murmuring their lines under his breath or worrying if they’d hit their marks. He sat and watched from the audience, and it was from the seats that he took notice of first-year student Molly Hale ‘00 on stage. Ray Munro had taken a sabbatical from the Theater Arts program, but he’d returned to Clark to watch a student show. He knew talent when he saw it.
This year, Munro was casting for “Kimberly Akimbo,” a dark comedy about a wildly dysfunctional family that would be staged in Westchester, N.Y.
“She just stood out,” Munro remembers.
He called on Molly yet again, this time to portray a mother so unsettled by her daughter’s rare disease that she succumbs to all manner of ailments and accidents (real and imagined) in a painfully awkward plea for attention.
For the next three years, Munro and Hale would collaborate on a host of ambitious productions. When he needed a star for the Ibsen play “Rosmersholm,” he called on Molly. When it came time to cast the title role in “St. Joan,” there was only one choice. Molly again. Their paths diverged after Hale’s graduation in 2000, yet the two kept in contact over the years, something not uncommon for Clark faculty and students who often maintain the connection forged in the classroom as the students move into the wider world. Hale spent eight years in Chicago immersed in the improv scene and moved to Los Angeles two years ago to pursue a TV and film career.
“ I wanted a particular edge, that sort of relentless improv energy,” he says. “I knew Molly was right for this.” Their collaboration earned a glowing review in The New York Times, whose description of the production as “sweet and biting” alludes to the edgy quality sought by the director and embodied by the actress.
“ Ray is my favorite director to work with,” Hale says. “He’s very intuitive, very aware of human behavior. That’s what makes his plays real.” For his part, Munro would welcome another opportunity to work with his former student. He is, after all, partial to talented Clarkies.
When professors Paul Ropp and Esther Jones recently met for coffee at Acoustic Java to reflect on their Clark careers, it was with no small measure of irony.
“The Turkish government is keeping me busy.”
OF EXcELLENcE Ropp was retiring after 25 distinguished years teaching Asian studies, while Jones was just finishing up her first year as an English professor. More than 50 percent of the Clark faculty has joined the staff during John Bassett’s 10 years. In that time he has met the challenge of hiring fresh, talented teachers to succeed veteran professors who depart with enviable records of professional accomplishment and dedication to the University. Despite the differences in their academic disciplines and time served, Ropp and Jones express very similar sentiments about Clark and the reasons why they’ve embraced the institution — diversity of ideas, a sense of campus community, and, perhaps most importantly, the high level of student commitment in the classroom and beyond.
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“ The students at Clark are engaged in the world around them, especially with social issues,” Jones says. “I see it more here.” Ropp talks of Clark students’ inquisitive natures, noting that they are never reluctant to venture into the unknown, which includes enrolling in his courses on China. “The students often come because they haven’t studied Asian history in high school and they want to know more,” he says. “They have a real sense that China is where the future lies.”
Ropp may be retiring, but he will continue to teach at Clark on a part-time basis. His advice to Jones at this early stage of her career? Follow your passions when conducting research, and find ways to expand your involvement with the Clark community beyond the classroom. Both tout the value of a liberal arts education as the underpinning of critical thinking and analysis at a time when both attributes are sorely needed. Ropp notes that many academic disciplines are so entwined that one’s major is often just a launching pad to great things. “ When somebody asks me what they can do with a history degree, my standard reply is, ‘Everything,’” he says with a grin.
“I like that,” Jones laughs. “I think I’ll borrow it for English.”
For his crusade, Akçam was dubbed by a leading newspaper columnist as
“the conscience of Turkey.”
Taner Akçam, Ph.D., smiles a bit when he says it, but this type of “busy” — frequent TV, radio and newspaper interviews, including a heated live appearance on the Turkish equivalent of “Meet the Press” — he could do without.
Still, he knows the media presence and the controversy it can engender is an inevitable distraction in his pursuit of intellectual truth, political courage, and historical integrity at their highest levels. Akçam, the Kaloosdian-Mugar Chair in Modern Armenian History and Genocide Studies at the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark, has long demanded that his native country of Turkey acknowledge its role in the systematic extermination of 1.5 million Armenians in 1915, sometimes referred to as “The Forgotten Genocide.” This year, which is the 95th anniversary of the massacres, he sent an open letter to the Turkish prime minister urging the government to rescind its nearly century-old policy of denial.
In April he coordinated a groundbreaking conference at Clark that brought together leading scholars in the field to discuss their findings and set a direction for bringing them into the public forum. Akçam came to Clark from the University of Minnesota in 2008 because Clark University is “the center of attraction” for genocide studies. Here, he says, he found a campus-wide system of support for his work that’s absent at many larger universities where departments can be like islands unto themselves. That backing is invaluable, as his relentless efforts toward Armenian genocide earning official recognition in Turkey are now as much a moral calling as an academic pursuit. “This is beyond being a normal scholar,” he says. “It’s a vision now, a mission. I’m driven to make this right.”
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OF GRoWTH AND INVESTMENT Despite the continuing effects of the 2008-09 “Great Recession,” the University is entering the 2010-11 year in a robust financial position, and by all measures considerably stronger than at the turn of the century in 2000. President Bassett and the Board of Trustees have responded well to the challenges presented throughout this 10-year period, and have succeeded in maintaining financial equilibrium while greatly improving our campus facilities, technology, academic programs and support services for our students. Let us review briefly some summary data supporting this conclusion, using financial measures from both 2000 and the current 2010 year (as of April 30). Financial Strategy and Operations Vice President for Budgets and Planning Andrea Michaels has worked with the President and the Board Strategic and Financial Operations Committee, chaired by Fred S. Anton ’68, in developing and managing an operating budget plan that identified revenues in excess of expenditures for all 10 years of the decade. Their efforts continued Clark’s financial strategy requiring such balance for every year since 1973-74. The revenue shortfall experienced by many colleges and universities in 2008-09 was minimized, as 2008 revenues of $97.2 million were reduced only to $97.1 million the following year. Budgetary reductions were thus minimized, and we were able to fund a small compensation increase in the Fall of 2009. Tuition and fees continue to represent by far the largest portion of Clark’s revenues, and our tuition increases have been relatively modest over the last few years in response to the substantial financing challenges faced by our students and their parents. Financial aid packages have increased slightly each year, and our discount rate this year reached 39 percent, resulting in an average 22
tuition rate paid of $21,000 per student. When combined with student room and board charges, student fees net of financial aid represented just over 70 percent of all revenues, a ratio that has increased from 66 percent in the year 2000. Endowment income used to support programs and financial aid increased from $5.8 million in 2000 to $13.0 million in 2009. Although revenue growth was constrained when compared to our own aspirations for quality improvement, our annual spending for all programs, including instructional, research, support, administrative and external, has grown at rates that average between 3 percent and 4 percent in excess of inflation over this decade. Our financial operations and services are guided by our Controller and Director of Business and Financial Services, Kathy Cannon. For the last five years, we have had our financial records audited and certified by the firm of Grant Thornton LLP, reporting directly to the Board of Trustees Audit Committee, which was chaired again this past year by Lawrence S. Hershoff ’71. Enrollment and Retention With Clark’s reliance on undergraduate tuition and fees, there are no more important measures of our institutional and financial health than student enrollment data. Fall undergraduate enrollment increased from 1,869 in 2000 to 2,190 in September 2009, and early projections for 2010 are for a robust and academically talented group of students. Net tuition revenue has increased from $28.6 million ($15,700 per student) to $46.1 million ($21,000 per student) over this same period. These improvements have occurred while simultaneously increasing our student quality and selectivity measures. We are also pleased to report that retention rates have improved consistently throughout the decade, and have moved from 85 percent (first year to second year) in 2000 to 90 percent and 88 percent the last two years. These gains are also driving higher our four- and six-
FINANCIAL MEASURES TEN-YEAR COMPARISON 2000 - 2010 (AS OF APRIL 30, 2010)
OPERATING BUDGET ExPENDITURES
NET UNRESTRICTED ASSETS
TOTAL NET ASSETS (EqUITY)
AMOUNT IN MILLIONS
The positive financial results described above are largely the result of improved student demand and a series of admissions, marketing and, especially, academic enhancements developed and introduced over the past 10 years.
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100 100 100
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$0 100 200 year graduation rates, both of which have300 considerable lag times for data reporting. Our six-year graduation rate has improved from 72 percent to 78 percent, with further advances already in place for the coming years.
Facilities and Technology Other sections of the President’s Report will address in more specificity the facilities and technology enhancements of the last 10 years. Overall square footage has been increased from 1.5 million to 1.7 million, and technology operating budgets have seen funding increase from $1.4 million to $3.9 million. Capital investments in both areas, much of which have been supported by generous gifts from our alumni and friends, have allowed for very substantial improvements in the academic program and student life facilities we are able to offer to our faculty and students. These investments are especially visible at the Traina Center, the Dolan Field House, the Lasry Biosciences Center, Blackstone Hall and the Academic Commons. Improvements to our firstyear residence halls and the construction of the John and Kay Bassett Admissions Center will continue these strong efforts this summer. Endowment As noted above, we have seen excellent growth in our endowment’s valuation, due both to gifts to the University made with a perpetual funding objective and some excellent investment management guided by the strong Investment Committee working on behalf of the University and its Board of Trustees. The portfolio was negatively impacted by the events of 2008-09, and our June 30 reporting date reflected a loss of 16.5 percent. For the decade, however,
500 500 500 500 500 the annual average investment return was 6.3 percent, a record that placed Clark in the 10th percentile nationally. For each of the one-, three-, five-, and ten-year reporting periods ending on June 30, 2009, our portfolio returns exceed university endowment national averages by between 2 and 3 percentage points. Throughout the past 10 months since the reporting date, the valuation has recovered considerably, leading to the current $280 million level. As noted above, this has allowed for income from invested funds to grow at levels in excess of underlying budgetary growth. The Investment Committee was chaired this past year by Trustee Robert J. Stevenish.
Continuing Challenges Our reasons for optimism can be found throughout the President’s Report detailing substantial progress over the last several years. Challenges are also apparent, as we work to develop a financial model that is consistent with a lower growth in the world and domestic economy, and with a student demographic that is both somewhat reduced in number and facing its own financial pressures. Clark faculty, staff and students all seek to achieve higher levels of quality programs and facilities, and demand for additional financial aid and improved compensation is well justified. We have enjoyed wonderful support toward meeting these objectives from our alumni, the Board of Trustees, parents, faculty, staff and friends, and expect that with this much-appreciated support and goodwill that we will continue our rapidly rising trajectory. James E. Collins Executive Vice President and Treasurer
THE NEXT CHAPTER
“ We are confident that David Angel will provide the leadership to open a new chapter for Clark. He is an innovative thinker, a disciplined executive, a passionate teacher and a continual learner, an articulate presenter, and the embodiment of the values we hold for the University.”
M o T I o N f o R T h e fA C U LT y A S S e M B Ly , A P R I L 2 1 , 2 0 1 0
– William S. Mosakowski, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, on the appointment of David Angel as the next president of Clark University.
Motion: on the occasion of the retirement of John Bassett from Clark University and the departure of John and Kay to a new chapter in their story:
The inauguration of David P. Angel as the ninth president in the history of Clark University will take place on September 24, but by then he will already have been on the job nearly three months, and it could even be argued his training began when he joined the Geography Department 23 years ago. Serving as provost since 2003, Angel has worked to strengthen Clark’s undergraduate programs, and raise the research and graduate profile of the University. Under his leadership, Clark University conducted a major review of its undergraduate liberal arts curriculum and will introduce distinct program changes in fall 2010 to better prepare students with the intellectual, social and practical skills required to address the complex challenges of a rapidly changing world. 24
In recent years Angel, a pioneering researcher on industrial environmentalism and clean technologies, has helped steer Clark’s many innovations in campus sustainability. he is a key architect and is overseeing implementation of the University’s Climate Action Plan, which commits Clark to totally eliminate campus greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2030. This is an exciting time at Clark University. As a new decade approaches, David Angel, the faculty and students will put into practice his vision for the next chapter at Clark, which will continue to challenge convention and change our world.
The faculty of Clark University marks with gratitude the service that John and Kay have rendered to Clark and to our city. for ten years President John Bassett has been a genial leader and friend, representing with warmth the humane mission of Clark University here and abroad. In his time our campus has been renewed physically and our faculty has been enlivened by the appearance of a new generation joining our community of joyous teacher-scholars. our student body has become more skilled and our campus has projected a vision of global as well as community engagement. During his tenure and with his guidance our educational mission has been enriched and our community life has been enlivened. We have embarked on a vital renovation of Liberal Arts education for the new century. Kay’s work with the United Way, the Colleges of Worcester Consortium, and the Worcester arts community has been of good service to our city and our commitments to engagement.
For all these good things, we, the assembled Faculty of Clark University, on this the 21st of April, 2010, give heartfelt thanks to John and Kay Bassett and wish them well on their journey. Unanimously approved on April 21, 2010 from Robert J.S. Ross, Professor of Sociology
Published on Jun 16, 2010