Immaculata University

[Stevens Strategy] facilitated the work of a Task Force charged with developing recommendations to clarify and define shared governance at Immaculata University.

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…Thank you for all your guidance and encouragement through the tasks of the Governance Task Force. I was overwhelmed in September and I appreciate all your support and advice throughout the process. Everything went well in an area that could have been difficult–thanks to [ [Stevens Strategy] ]. It was a great learning experience for me.
– Dr. Barbara Gallagher, Faculty Chair of the Task Force on Governance, Immaculata University

[Stevens Strategy] designed and facilitated the process that Immaculata University used to determine whether its undergraduate college should remain a single-sex institution or become a co-educational one and developed a 5-year financial planning model to support the decision-making process.

I have worked with many consultants during my time in higher education with varying degrees of success. I have noticed that some consultants often have an elitist attitude when dealing with a small school like Immaculata. I did not sense any arrogance or elitism from the folks at [Stevens Strategy].

The staff (Brendan Leonard and Michael Townsley) appeared to be well qualified and anxious to help. They were very professional, had strong knowledge of higher education organizations and issues and good communications skills when dealing with faculty, executive administration and governing boards. The positive interaction [Stevens Strategy] had with the staff and administration at Immaculata is a primary reason for the success of both projects. I found working with John Stevens to be a positive and worthwhile experience and I would recommend their services to other schools. This decision to go co-ed will have a dramatic impact on Immaculata University for years to come.
– Dr. Tom Ford, Vice President, Immaculata University

I found it most reassuring to have a consulting firm the caliber of [Stevens Strategy] in chairing a major task force. John Stevens was most supportive throughout the entire six months of the study. His strong skills as a presenter, along with his experience and knowledge base, proved most beneficial. His understanding of “process” assisted the task force in submitting a compelling, data driven report with openness and sensitivity. With the support and guidance of [Stevens Strategy] the report has been approved by the Board and openly accepted by our many communities. Immaculata University is now poised for an excitingand rewarding future.
– John Wingerter, Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies, and Task Force Chair, Immaculata University

Some colleges serve only one gender. If those institutions are considering changing their policy, they can consider Immaculata University as a model of how to do it. On Monday, after months of studying the issue and discussing it with the various shareholders in the Catholic school, its trustees approved going coeducational. The vote drew little controversy. There were not the protests that have occurred at other single-sex colleges where such a radical change was being considered or put into place…Come September 2005, that…(list of co-educational) schools will include Immaculata University. We hope it means more men and women on the beautiful campus in East Whiteland.
– The Daily Local News, Editorial, 10/29/03

[Stevens Strategy] developed a state-of–the-art comprehensive Institution-wide Policy Manual for Immaculata University.  The policy manual volumes developed included governance and administration, campus community, general institutional employment, faculty personnel, staff and administrative personnel, academics, and students.

[Stevens Strategy] surpassed our expectation in service and insight.  We worked extremely well together and the project was a great success…  I cannot begin to share how delighted I am with the Faculty handbook… The support in working with the university in providing materials, summaries, and best practices so that open meetings, committees meetings, a workshop and the general faculty meeting would achieve their goals effectively has been one of the most significant aspects of the success of this project.

This project has the potential to guide and inform the university for years to come.  The Manual Development Project gave the university a forum to gather its policies and practices and then to publish them in a form accessible to the entire university community.  This provides a form of transparency in operation which generates trust and provides a backdrop for guiding new and current employees in the continuance of the mission as it is reflected operationally in how the university carries out its day-to-day work.
– Sister Ann Heath, IHM, Ph.D., Vice President for Academic Affairs, Immaculata University

We just finished our Middle States Team visit.  I am compelled to write to you because the [policy] manuals were front and center.  These Manuals provided such a clear and accurate picture of institutional practice that it was evident to the visitors that we were serious about transparency and integrity.  I cannot thank [Stephen] enough for [his] guidance with the project.  It was a great honor for me to be a part of that process.  I consider getting you to work with us on the Faculty Handbook to be one of my best suggestions to the President.  What followed will outlive me at the institution as a remarkable accomplishment but also a way of documentation which will sustain the institution in the years to come…You helped us to another level of performance and sophistication as an institution of faith and caring.
– Follow-up Note from Sister Ann Heath, IHM, Ph.D., Vice President for Academic Affairs, Immaculata University

We have used [Stevens Strategy] more than once and would do so again…  [[Stevens Strategy]’s] major strength is comprehensive and practical knowledge of the higher education environment.  This knowledge spans the day to day practical work of an institution as well as the latest changes from regulatory agencies…  Stephen Lazarus had a great skill in keeping a massive project under control and scalable…  A critical and successful outcome was the major changes in the…Faculty Personnel Policies.  Because key faculty leaders were involved in the Volume Team process and dialogs, they were able to lead their faculty colleagues to make major changes in these policies.  Stephen’s expertise and knowledge of the field led key faculty to an appreciation of the need for change.  They trusted his recommendations.
– Sister M. Carroll Isselmann, IHM, EdD, RD, LDN, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Immaculata University