PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The president of Bradley University on Wednesday said the cash position of the school is “solid” and the school will be reinvesting in faculty and staff after a year of pandemic-related cuts.
Bradley University President Stephen Standifird addressed nearly 350 people, both in person and virtually, at the State of the University Address on Wednesday afternoon. He said the educational institution is in a great position financially to be able to reinstate pandemic-related cuts.
“It’s time to shift out of crisis mode … It’s time to start reinvesting in the organization. I am strongly of the mind you can’t cut your way to success. We move forward as a university by making key investments; investments in things that make the university great, ” he said.
He announced Bradley is bringing back sabbaticals, pre-pandemic teaching loads, professional travel for faculty and staff, and giving a 2% raise to all employees except senior leadership.
The administration has also begun the process of hiring for a newly created position of Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, who will report directly to Standifird.
The “intent is to create sustainable change that makes diversity, equity, and inclusion” essential to Bradley’s culture.
“Our incoming student class this year is 35% students of color, so our ability to track students has always been relatively strong. What we need to do is create a more welcoming, inclusive campus once they get here. So a lot of it is on creating that culture of inclusivity once people arrive,” he said.
Standifird said enrollment numbers have “begun to trend back to pre-pandemic numbers,” and this year is the largest cohort of graduate students since fall 2016.
Bradley was recognized again by the Princeton Review as a top undergraduate institution. Also, U.S. News and World Report ranked Bradley #2 in Midwest regional schools, up from fifth place.