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Reporter's Notebook

October 17, 2009

Reporter's Notebook: College prez offers update

Hartwick College President Margaret L. Drugovich recently delivered a State of the College address.

Several hundred members of the Hartwick community, including students, faculty and staff, gathered in Lambros Arena on Oct. 8 for the first known event of its kind, according to a media release posted on the college's website. A release wasn't issued before the campus-oriented event.

Drugovich highlighted some successes of 2008-09, including a sharpened focus on college priorities, student and faculty successes, external recognition of Hartwick's strengths, the college's position in taking the lead on important issues and doing "the right thing."

Hartwick College in Oneonta is a private, liberal arts and sciences college of 1,480 students.

Drugovich outlined a number of financial challenges met as the college faced the global economic crisis. Hartwick saw a nearly 22 percent drop in its endowment, she said in reviewing budgetary steps taken to meet needs of Hartwick's students, including financial assistance. Drugovich said 35 percent of the freshmen enrolling this year had an average family income of $35,000 or less.

Drugovich said obstacles before Hartwick include demographic shifts, changing regulations and calls for the transformation of higher education nationwide, according to the release. She said Hartwick trustees did significant work during recent meetings and added "celebrate" and "believe" to her list of what the college is to do.

"We're going to create our future," she said in her address. "It is up to us to make it happen. I need you to believe, as I do, that these things are possible. I've seen what this community can do."

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Second-graders in Judi Visnosky's Valleyview Elementary School class each have a ``Totally Terrific Week.''

During the designated week, pupils may bring guests to class, and a spotlight focuses on their interests, Visnosky said. A classroom teddy bear is allowed to go the pupil's home, where the host child keeps a journal for the bear to share with the class, she said.

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