Passion for the Climb Essays
Heartfelt personal essays show the countless ways in which the passion for the climb manifests itself in Colgate people.
Capstone essay: Our 13th Prayer
By James Allan Smith ’70
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The Office of Admission has shown that being able to offer more financial aid packages to promising students has a direct impact on the overall quality, selectivity, and diversity of the student body, making Colgate more competitive. Another major accomplishment in enhancing Colgate’s competitiveness has been the attainment of a 9:1 student-faculty ratio.
The Colgate experience, while adhering to its core, has developed and adapted considerably over the past 20 years, with the hiring of acclaimed new faculty, the expansion of new international and entrepreneurial experiences, and significant investments in new technologies, along with the experts to manage them.
Some alumni have recently expressed concern that the number of employees on campus has grown dramatically. However, careful and conservative management of resources has kept the student-to-employee ratio in check. The ratio in fiscal year 2011-2012 was 3.38 to 1, as compared to 1991, when it was 4.11 to 1.
Despite the addition of important new facilities, including the Case Library and Geyer Center for Information Technology, the Robert H.N. Ho Science Center, Little Hall, Persson Hall, and the Trudy Fitness Center — and the more than doubling of the number of alumni in the past 20 years, to over 32,000 — Colgate continues to be thoughtful about adding personnel.
“Fine liberal arts schools like Colgate, which focus on personal interaction and attention, are, by their very nature, highly labor-intensive enterprises, but we very closely scrutinize the need for every incremental expenditure,” said David Hale ’84, vice president for finance and administration. “Over the past 20 years, our resource allocation has remained remarkably consistent. Academic programs, administrative support, student services, and housing and dining all have maintained their percentages of the operating budget — despite the fact that we nearly doubled our financial aid expenditures since 2003 from $24.3 million to $42.4 million today.”
According to Hale, Colgate’s conservative fiscal policy, resulting in 49 consecutive years of balanced budgets, serves the university well when it comes to attracting talented students and retaining top faculty and staff.