Making This a Year We Can be Proud of

Tom Donley

Interim Dean Tom Donley | Photo by Kathy Hillegonds

This academic year has begun unlike any we have experienced before at DePaul. Keeping our community safe—our first priority—compelled the university to substantially limit face-to-face classes, on-campus activities and residence hall living for students this fall and winter. All of our business courses are online, delivered in modalities that blend synchronous and asynchronous learning.

Our faculty have stepped up to embrace online teaching, and we are investing even more into faculty training and new classroom technologies to support the success of our students. These efforts build on DePaul’s decade of experience in online teaching and learning. Over the summer, 50 more of our business faculty members completed the DePaul Online Teaching Series, an award-winning program that teaches faculty best practices for engaging students in online classes. The college also has partnered with the university to upgrade our Loop Campus classrooms with teleconferencing and recording technologies that not only fulfill our immediate need to deliver courses safely and effectively online, but also better position us for the future by offering students more flexibility in how they learn.

Outside of the classroom, the university and our college have expanded remotely delivered career services and engagement activities for both students and alumni. Remote career coaching, webinars, networking events and a wealth of online resources are helping Blue Demons launch and advance their careers in a tough economy. This issue’s main feature focuses on how new graduates and seasoned alumni are building career resilience with this support.

For many of our students, this is an extraordinarily difficult time. The pandemic-driven recession has affected their ability to afford a DePaul education as well as their future job prospects. DePaul did not increase tuition this academic year, waived many fees, and increased financial aid, but there is still great need.

That’s why, as the college’s new interim dean, I am making fundraising for scholarships and strengthening student career mentoring top priorities this year. We’ve made a good start with several recent generous gifts from alumni and foundations. You can join in supporting students by giving to the recently launched Now We Must: The Campaign for DePaul’s Students. I also encourage you to give back by mentoring our students and connecting them to internships and careers.

Another important issue we are addressing involves DePaul’s long-standing commitment to foster diversity, inclusion and equity. To support this commitment, I am working with faculty and staff on our college’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee to expand the presence of underrepresented groups at all levels, from students to faculty, staff and administration.

We face many challenges this year, but our commitment to the DePaul mission remains strong. With your support, we can make this academic year one we will all can be proud of.

Be well.

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