Monday, October 21, 2013 Seattle Pacific University


Enrollment Update

Here is the enrollment update based on tenth day numbers.

Tenth day enrollment figures are now in and confirm that this is the largest number of students enrolled at SPU at any time in its history. We have achieved this record with our highest ever retention rate, improving SAT scores, and strong continuing commitment to enrolling a diverse student body. The improvement in the retention rates is particularly meaningful as it reflects your across-the-board commitment to care for our students.

Headcount Totals Autumn 2010 Autumn 2011 Autumn 2012 Autumn 2013
Undergraduates 3,139 3,194 3,238 3,366
Post Baccalaureates 25 24 29 29
Graduates 953 949 828 875
Total Headcount 4,117 4,167 4,095 4,270

Updates from Provost

From Provost Jeff Van Duzer.

Provost Update

With so much going on, it is difficult to summarize the curricular and co-curricular activities on our campus in just a couple of paragraphs!

At a high level, the start of the school year appears to have launched smoothly. While I was off attending my son's wedding, I understand that Welcome Week was well attended and well managed. My thanks to Jeff Jordan, Deborah Sequeira, and Bruce Congdon for filling in for me. My thanks as well to Kathleen Braden for her fine remarks at the Opening Chapel service.

We had 300 students arrive on campus before school started to participate in ASSP's leadership conference. Sixty-eight clubs and organizations participated in Involve-O-Rama, and an estimated 1,600 people went through the food lines at Big Party. Nearly 600 students attended the first Wednesday night Group service of the year.

The Day of Common Learning struck me as one of our best. Dr. Maridada's remarks appeared to have connected with our students and faculty alike. As always, we had a number of very fine afternoon seminars, and this year we also had the privilege of being able to partner with outside organizations.

A number of faculty committees and task forces are now well underway. The campus ministry task force has already met multiple times, and individual members of the task force are busy writing white papers on relevant topics. A new curriculum enhancement task force has been charged to look at elements of the first-year experience, and will be chaired by Gaile Moe. Faculty Status is already at work reviewing tenure files, and Faculty Affairs has been working closely with the Faculty Budget Committee to develop their response to the various features of the charge they received at the end of last year to revisit the faculty compensation system.

Hopefully by now all of you have received the online budget exercise. I realize that you are quite busy at this time of the quarter, but I do hope that you will be able to take a few minutes to experiment with different configurations. As always, I would be very grateful for your thoughts and suggestions. I am hopeful that this exercise will give all of us a better sense of some of the challenges we face each year as the budget is crafted. (My December provost breakfast will focus specifically on budget trade-offs.)

Two last notes. Our community was blessed with a wonderful last recital ("Romancing the Steinway") performed by Wayne Johnson a little over a week ago. The event was "sold out," with a number of folks relegated to the lobby to listen around the corner and watch on TV. Wayne's mastery and humility were simultaneously on display, and we will miss him greatly when he retires at the end of this year. AND our men's soccer team beat the #1 team in the nation!

Update from CFO

From Vice President of Business and Finance Craig Kispert.

CFO Update

Results from June 30, 2013, Fiscal Year End
For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013, SPU's overall assets increased 9 percent to just over $269 million. The majority of the increase in assets was in investment and physical plant categories. The increases were funded by a positive year of investment results for the endowment and operating results without the need to incur additional liabilities. The most significant physical plant investments were the addition of artificial turf to Wallace Field, updates to classrooms and lab spaces, additional card-key access and emergency preparedness items, and office moves and reconfigurations. On the operating front, net student charges (tuition and fees + housing and dining revenues – grants and scholarships) increased 3.8 percent from fiscal year end 2012 to $87.4 million due to tuition rate increases and enrollment results. Once the audit is complete and accepted by the Trustees in November, the financial statement reports will be available online.

Debt Financing
As of the end of the most recent fiscal year end, SPU had $64,555,000 in bond debt outstanding. Before the end of the calendar year, we hope to have refinanced the existing debt as well as borrowed additional funds related to the construction of the Irondale Residence Hall and acquisition of the Wesley apartment structures that have been previously master-leased. The new bond debt balance once this work is completed will be roughly $87 million. By way of context, the highest level of bond debt SPU has had outstanding at any one time is $91.8 million which occurred in November 2005. It is anticipated the new debt structure will provide interest savings to the University on the refinanced portion, and provide a more predictable and attractive interest rate environment for the outstanding debt for the next seven to ten years.

Final Budget
With the passage of the tenth day of Autumn Quarter, work will begin on the 2013-14 Final Budget that will be presented to the Board of Trustees for approval at their meeting in November. The Final Budget updates the Preliminary Budget used to start the fiscal year. This planning phase provides an opportunity to measure the accuracy of the annual enrollment assumptions in the budget following the start of Autumn Quarter, and allows us to make adjustments to the budget as necessary to make sure we continue to manage operations within the means available. We are able to make additional budget investments if the updated projections based on the start of the school year exceed the Preliminary Budget expectations, and contemplate appropriate budget reductions if the updated projections fall short of the Preliminary Budget expectations. Based on what we know following the tenth day of classes, it is expected that the updated enrollment projections will exceed the assumptions reflected in the Preliminary Budget. The Senior Leadership Team will evaluate the enrollment results and make a recommendation to the Trustees related to any Final Budget adjustments. Results of the Final Budget adjustments will be reported once approved by the Trustees in November.

Strategic Goal #3. Your Feedback Needed

Your feedback is needed for Strategic Goal #3, "Vital Christian Identity and Purpose."

Strategic Planning

Goal 3: Vital Christian Identity and Purpose

1. Assess and redesign, where necessary, current University Ministries model to ensure a vibrant, engaging, and effective complement of programs and services to meet the needs of current students and the university community.

2. Embody the University's vision and historical commitment to human flourishing through a cross-unit, inter-disciplinary effort to address local and global issues, e.g. homelessness in Seattle or the shortage of water supply in certain regions of the world.

3. To be developed through further campus engagement and conversation this fall.

1. What feedback or thoughts would you offer on the objectives listed above?

2. Post-November, we will be developing strategies and action steps to support the fulfillment of each objective. Are there any you would offer for consideration at this point?

3. What additional objective(s) would you offer for us to achieve the goal of "Vital Christian Identity and Purpose"?

Simply email your responses to


"The Gospel According to Stephen King" With Professor Jeff Keuss Kicks Off New Creative Conversations Series

Creative Conversations is a new series of events hosted by the SPU Library in which members of the SPU community share scholarly and creative works in progress. The series launches Thursday, October 24, in the Library Reading Room, 3-3:40 p.m. Jeff Keuss, SPU professor of Christian ministry, theology, and culture, and associate dean of Seattle Pacific Seminary, considers the themes of stories by one of America's favorite horror novelists. Bring your curiosity and join the conversation. More

Faculty, Staff Invited to Lecture at NetVUE Conference

Faculty and staff are invited to a public lecture titled "Vocation as an Organizing Theme for Campus Life" by Lynn Hunnicutt, director of the Wild Hope Center at Pacific Lutheran University.

On October 24-25, SPU is hosting the regional NetVUE conference with faculty and staff from seven different schools. The Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE) is a nationwide network of colleges and universities formed to enrich the intellectual and theological exploration of vocation among undergraduate students. This initiative is administered by the Council of Independent Colleges, with generous support from the Lilly Endowment Inc. and members' dues. The theme for the conference is "Weaving Vocation into Campus Life: The Warp and Weft of Holistic Education."

Faculty and staff are invited to a public lecture titled "Vocation as an Organizing Theme for Campus Life" by Lynn Hunnicutt, director of the Wild Hope Center at Pacific Lutheran University. Her lecture is Friday, October 25, at 3:30 p.m. in First Free Methodist Church.

Read more about the conference at the website. More

Guest Chef on Campus

On Friday, October 25, Sodexo welcomes Chef Walter to Gwinn Commons. From 11 a.m.-2 p.m., he will be cooking German-themed specialties including wedding soup, potato pancakes, pork and sauerkraut, and other dishes. Faculty and staff are invited to Gwinn Commons for lunch. (Regular lunch price applies.) Chef Walter is visiting as part of Sodexo's Global Chef program, which brings authentic international cuisine to campuses.

Academic Preview This Week

On October 24 and 25, SPU will welcome more than 150 prospective high school juniors and seniors to campus for Academic Preview. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions greatly appreciates your assistance in welcoming these visitors to campus. For more information and a sample schedule, visit the website. More

Gwinn Commons Dining Hall Group Meal Requests

If faculty or staff are planning a group meal (Monday-Friday) in the Gwinn Commons Dining Hall, Conference Services is happy to help. Conference Services is now coordinating meal service arrangements for all internal groups made up of 11 or more people when charged to an SPU account. This will streamline service to make sure your group has a pleasant dining hall experience.

Conference Services needs to receive meal order information at least two weeks ahead of the scheduled meal. At that point, a preliminary order will be placed. The department must make Conference Services aware of their guaranteed number no fewer than five days before the scheduled meal, and this number will be submitted as final. As we know, guest numbers do tend to change; we can extend service to 10 percent over the guaranteed number up to 200 guests, or 20 additional guests for groups of more than 201.

Meal tickets will be distributed to guests, which will then be collected by the dining hall cashier. Conference Services will provide an official count of meal tickets collected and bill the department accordingly. Departments will be charged for the guarantee number or actual count of guests (if higher) immediately following the event.

Conference Services looks forward to working with you. You can request meal service in Gwinn Commons at any time by filling out an online form on the Conference Services website. If you have any questions, or would like to plan meal service on the weekends, contact Conference Services at 206-281-2187 or Visit the website for more information. More

2012 Alumni Survey Available

The 2012 Alumni Survey results are now available on the Information and Data Management's website under the Faculty & Staff page. Under “Unique Reports," select the box titled “University Research/Surveys." More

Winter, Spring Reservations at Camp Casey

Winter and spring reservation requests are now being taken for the Faculty/Staff House at Camp Casey Conference Center on Whidbey Island. The dates of stay are January 6, 2014, through June 16, 2014. Reservation requests are due by November 5, 2013. The winter/spring requests are selected by lottery and are not affected by summer stays at Casey. If you have questions, contact Camp Casey at 866-661-6604 or Visit the Camp Casey website to request a reservation. More

Looking for Story Ideas for Response Magazine

“Helping Youth Flourish" is the theme of the next issue of SPU's Response magazine, which will tie into this year's Day of Common Learning. The magazine will be telling stories about efforts to help young people thrive and achieve their full potential. Are you doing work related to this theme? Or do you know someone in the SPU community (faculty, staff, student, alumni, or donor) who has a story to tell related to this theme? If so, send your story ideas to

Free Flu Shots Available

Flu shots are now available in Health Services, located in Watson Hall. Current staff, faculty, and dependents (age 15 years and up) who have Cigna coverage through SPU may receive their annual flu shot free of charge as part of the preventive care benefit. For those not covered by Cigna, the cost is only $25. Make an appointment by calling 206-281-2231.

Cigna Session on October 22

From Human Resources: Did you receive your Cigna ID card(s)? If you signed up for the HDHP/HSA, did you receive your debit card(s)? Be sure to start your registration at Your user ID and password should be the same as those used to complete the health assessment (survey) in May. If you don't recall your user ID and password, use the "Forgot" links. If you never registered, use the button "Register Now." Add the mobile app "mycigna" to your Android or iPhone.
Finally, attend a session on Tuesday, October 22, at noon in the Library Seminar Room with a representative from Cigna. The portion applying to both plans runs about 30 minutes, and includes information about with its tools and resources as well as tips or techniques for how to get the most out of your plan. For HDHP/HSA participants, you will receive an additional 30 minutes of information specific to your HSA.

Upcoming Home Athletic Games

Thursday, October 24
Men's soccer vs University of Mary, Interbay Stadium, 4:30 p.m.
Women's soccer vs Saint Martin's, Interbay Stadium, 7 p.m.

Saturday, October 26
Men's soccer vs South Dakota School of Mines, Interbay Stadium, 7 p.m.
For all the latest in Falcon sports, visit the website. More

Faculty/Staff Bulletin Deadline

The Faculty/Staff Bulletin is published every Monday during the academic year. Deadlines for submissions are Thursdays. If you have information or event news, send it as soon as possible to Faculty/Staff Bulletin editor Tracy Norlen at Submissions may be edited for clarity. The next deadline is Thursday, October 24. The next Bulletin will be published Monday, October 28.


Article by Mvududu, Sink Published

An article by School of Education professors Nyaradzo Mvududu and Chris Sink was recently published in Counseling Outcome Research and Evaluation. The article is titled "Factor analysis in counseling practice."

Maier's New Book

Professor of English Jennifer Maier's new book of poetry was recently published by University of Pittsburgh Press for the Pitt Poetry Series. Now, Now is concerned with questions of time and memory — how our perceptions are shaped, moment by moment, within the continuous meeting of past and future — of what happened, and what has not yet happened, but will. Learn more about the book online. More

Strong, Koskela Contribute to Book

Doug Strong, dean of the School of Theology and professor of the history of Christianity, and Doug Koskela, associate professor of theology, each contributed to the recently published book The Cambridge Companion to American Methodism. The book was edited by Jason Vickers with Cambridge University Press. Strong's chapter is titled "American Methodism in the Nineteenth Century: Expansion and Fragmentation," while Koskela wrote the chapter "Discipline and Polity."

Scheuerman's New Book

A new book by Assistant Professor of Education Richard Scheuerman was recently published by WSU Press. Harvest Heritage explores issues of Northwest agrarian heritage in the context of culture, science, and nutrition. A companion volume Harvest Homewill soon be published and will explore the spiritual dimensions of these topics. Learn more about the book online. More

Schermer-Sellers Presents at Conference

Director of Medical Family Therapy Tina Schermer Sellers presented a TED Plenary at the 13th annual Collaborative Family Healthcare Association meeting in Denver, Colorado, on October 12. Her talk was titled "What's Sex Got to Do With It?" and challenged primary care providers to improve the sexual health information they provide their patients.

Baker's Article Published

Bruce Baker, assistant professor of business ethics, had an article published in the online journal of the Oikonomia Network titled "What's So Spiritual About Capital?" The article is a theological reflection on the meaning of spiritual capital. Read the article online. More


Alsbury on KPLU

Thomas Alsbury, professor of educational administration and supervision, was interviewed on NPR affiliate KPLU-FM (88.5) about the upcoming Seattle School Board race. Read the short interview online. More

Parrotts in U.S. News

Co-directors of SPU's Center for Relationship Development Les and Leslie Parrott were interviewed about their new book in the latest U.S. News & World Report magazine. The article, “For a Better Bond, Learn How to Fight Right," reviews some of the principles in their book The Good Fight: How Conflict Can Bring You Closer. Read the article online. More

Maier on KUOW

Professor of English and poet Jennifer Maier was recently interviewed on local NPR affiliate KUOW-FM (94.9). Jennifer talked about and read several of her poems. The interview will be broadcast throughout the year, and the first story aired on October 20. Read and listen online. More

Lim in University Business Magazine

Micro-Systems Analyst James Lim was interviewed for story in University Business magazine. The article is titled “Seattle Pacific University prepares for new school season with Hitachi projectors." Read the article online. More


Fall Colors on Campus

From SPU Master Gardener Jeff Daley. The month of October brings a blaze of color to the landscape. Like a giant paintbrush making very broad strokes, our campus changes from its summer greens to rich golden yellows, vibrant reds, and copper oranges with burgundy hues. The shortening of daylight hours and crisp evening temperatures signal the internal time clock of plants and trees to go dormant prior to winter. As plants go dormant, they begin to store energy in their root system for next year's growth. Photosynthesis slows, and the green pigment in chlorophyll decreases, allowing the true color of the leaf to shine through in the autumn sun. I have many "favorite" trees and shrubs that put on brilliant color displays in the fall, but let me narrow it down to just three. (Select the link at the bottom of the article to see the specific trees.)

For bright yellows, you can't beat the Katsura tree Cercidiphyllum japonicum. The extra bonus of their cotton candy fragrance is something to look forward to. You will find Katsura trees planted on the west side of the library next to the stairs at Gwinn Commons. (Top photo.)

A tree with beautiful reds and light orange, a guaranteed fall showstopper every year, is the Liquidambar styraciflua or Sweet Gum, we have them planted along the Dravus parking lot. (Second photo).

The fun mottled yellow and red combination leaf of Parrotia persica, the Persian Ironwood tree is just beautiful. You will find a row of Ironwood trees along the east side of the Library and a couple in the north Weter Hall courtyard. (Bottom photo.) More

Volume #41, Issue #35 | Published by: University Communications

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