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Duquesne University’s Financial, Academic Accomplishments Highlighted

Duquesne University’s 20th consecutive year of operation with a budget surplus, as well as other financial and academic accomplishments, were highlighted by President Charles J. Dougherty in his annual convocation address on Sept. 18.

Ending the fiscal year on June 30 with a surplus, “at a time when many of our peer institutions ran significant deficits,” was notable, Dougherty said. Departments helped to contain costs, along with a general restraint in spending during the last quarter of the fiscal year.

“This positive financial result helped us preserve our running streak of annual surpluses, now at 20 years,” Dougherty told faculty and staff in his annual state of the University address. “I am proud and grateful that, working together, we accomplished this result during the worst economy since the Great Depression, and we did it without any budget-related job losses or program cuts.”

Buoying the financial status of the University was the admission of one the largest freshman classes in Duquesne’s history, “a remarkable feat given the recession,” Dougherty said.

Earlier in the year, financial conditions led Duquesne, and other institutions to withhold salary increases. But with the changing situation, as promised, the salary pool allowing performance-based raises has been restored. The raises, which had been initially based upon a 2 percent salary pool, were increased to a 2.5 percent because they were not distributed for the first quarter, Dougherty said.

In addition, he announced that University Advancement, despite the downturned economy, garnered gifts exceeding $15 million, more than 5.5 percent than the previous year. This second-best year of the capital campaign has caused the campaign to surpass the $93 million mark, Dougherty said. The Legacy Fund for needs-based scholarship gained more than $5.5 million, and planned gifts also increased, as well as pledges to the Duquesne Athletic Fund.

The Young Alumni Council was formed last year to involve graduates from the last 10 years, and the number of alumni events and participation has grown.

Dougherty highlighted achievements of each school, including new programs, such as a formal partnership with an institute in Ghana, scholarly work, reaccreditations, the banner year for Duquesne’s athletic teams and more.

Highlights included:

  • The merger of two provinces of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit, the founders and sponsors of Duquesne, into one American province. With this change, Dougherty said, “More Spiritans will regard Duquesne as their own, and consider working here.” He reported that the largest number of Spiritans in recent memory are living on campus.
  • Increased racial and geographic diversity among students, with more minority and out-of-state students and students with disabilities on campus, almost 500 international students and a near-equal number of Duquesne students studying abroad. The largest number of students in Duquesne history (3,258) is living on campus.
  • Enhanced sustainability efforts with installation of a state-of-the-art ice storage facility and Silver LEED certification for the Power Center, which makes is among the greenest buildings in the city.
  • An outdoor warning system on campus augments Duquesne’s emergency notification system.
  • Dougherty also elaborated on the University’s mission of “serving God by serving students,” both in routine work that contributes to operating an educational system, and in values and learning.
  • “Perhaps the point is captured more easily by saying simply that we serve our students best when we demand excellence from them while providing the guidance and support they need to attain it,” Dougherty said. “After all, since serving students is our chosen path to serving God, we can hardly be satisfied with any standard short of excellence.”

Dougherty’s address is available at www.duq.edu/president/convocation.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.