2018 has not been quiet on the Hilltop. We had some darkest moments this year, yet there were many amazing achievements as well.
Changes in administration
After former senior vice president for business affairs, Gary Anna, retired after 37 years of service, the university took the opportunity to restructure the senior leadership team. Legal Affairs, a new branch led by Erin Kasberg, was added to the senior administration, Pratima Gandhi was named CFO and Demetrius Carmichael was added as the assistant vice president for budgeting and planning.
The statue of Bradley University’s founder, Lydia Moss Bradley, was struck by a driver asleep at the wheel in June. After the accident, sculpture professor Fisher Stolz took the responsibility to repair the statue over the summer. Lydia’s statue was re-installed in August.
Enrollment falls short
After a record-high freshmen enrollment last year, 2018 surprised Bradley with an unexpected enrollment shortfall, which will lead to about $5 million deficit. Although this year’s freshmen enrollment wasn’t too far off the target, the first-year student retention rate was the lowest since 2002 with only 82 percent.
Sports reaches new heights
2018 was a strong year for Bradley Athletics. The year was highlighted by the men’s cross country team qualifying for the national meet and finishing 24th in the country. Also competing on the national stage was the men’s golf team, that won the MVC tournament for the first time in school history. The men’s basketball team made it to the MVC semifinals for the first time since 2010. The volleyball team finished third in the conference and qualified for their first-ever postseason tournament. Also, the women’s basketball team is off to one of their best starts in program history this season. We are excited to see what these teams and the rest of Bradley’s teams can do in 2019.
Professor accused of ethnic discrimination
In October, The Scout reported on an ethnic discrimination allegation against a long-time professor filed by a student. According to the student, he was listening to Spanish music and the professor said “This is America. We speak English here.” No additional information was released by the university citing it’s a personal matter.
Key positions resigned
Former director of forensic program and speech team coach, Ken Young, resigned in late October amidst the conclusion of an investigation into a decade-old sexual assault allegation made against him. One week after, Inn Soo Ahn, the chair of the electrical and computer engineering department and registered sex offender since 2007, announced his resignation after a student-started petition gained over 700 signatures.
Building the future
Bradley’s $100 million construction project of the Business and Engineering Complex saw a lot of progress in 2018.The university hosted a topping off ceremony early December. The placement of the final beam marked a major milestone for the first part of this $100 million project. The building is scheduled to be ready for classes in fall 2019.