News briefs: 1-12-15

Fr. Holtschneider returns from sabbatical

After juggling interim provosts, deans and a president last year, DePaul welcomed back President Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider from his five-month sabbatical in Boston.

Last summer, Holtschneider returned to his alma mater, Harvard University, to teach higher education policy, to write and deliver papers, to chair boards and task forces and to vacation with friends and family. Sabbatical is a period of paid leave for college faculty to study or travel.

Over his sabbatical, Holtschneider was also named chair of the Ascension Board of Directors, the largest Catholic nonprofit healthcare system.

Interim President  Patricia O’Donoghue, reassured audiences in September that the high number of interim positions would not harm the university’s goals.

Over his sabbatical, Holtschneider said he reviewed 105 applications for the provost position, but after the break, he was glad to be back.

DePaul recognized for community engagement

DePaul is one of 11 universities to receive the Community Engagement Classification for 2015. The recognition comes from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, a Boston-based independent policy and research center.

“It is a privilege to be recognized again for the deep networks that connect DePaul University with the city of Chicago, and for our public service mission,” President Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider said.

According to a report, DePaul students deliver more than 500,000 hours of documented community service annually.

The New England Resource Center for Higher Education recognized DePaul in 2006 as a first class-level institution for its engagement with local, regional, national and global communities.

Four candidates left on 43rd Ward Ballot 

Two contenders for the 43 ward alderman election were dropped by the Election Board Jan. 5 because of an insufficient number of petition signatures. Incumbent Ald. Michele Smith, Jen Kramer, Caroline Vickrey and Jerry Quandt are the official candidates remaining.

Steve McClellan, a young first-time candidate, runs a small video production company and worked at the Board of Trade. Though he didn’t garner enough signatures, he filed as a write-in candidate and will continue to campaign.

“I know the likelihood of running your first time is slim to none to win, but I thought to myself, name recognition and getting your feet wet,” McClellan said. 

DePaul enacts strict U-Pass fraud protection

In an email sent to students last week, the DePaul U-Pass Team informed students of efforts by CTA to prevent fraudulent use of the U-Pass.

“Misuse of the U-Pass or use of the U-Pass by someone other than the eligible cardholder will result in confiscation of the U-Pass and suspension of the student’s participation in the U-Pass Program for up to a year,” the statement said.

According to the email, CTA has confiscated U-Passes not matching the picture profile of the cardholder.

“If (a student’s) card is lost or stolen, (the student) is strongly encouraged to immediately report the incident to the ID-Card office to assist in protecting against fraud,” the statement said. 

Oak Forest Campus Closes

After 17 years, a spike in online enrollment closed the DePaul Oak Forest suburban campus.

Between 2003 and 2014, enrollment dropped from 210 to 48 students and from 1,000 to 200 credit hours.

More online class offerings explain the drop of enrollment, Interim Provost David Miller said in an announcement.

Since 2003, online class offerings have more than doubled across the university. Eleven percent of university classes are online, and half of all School of New Learning students are enrolled in online classes.

The campus was opened to provide classes for non-traditional students. Analysts followed enrollment trends and decided not to renew its lease in the Oak Forest shared office building.