Invitation to Engage07/18/2016
Interim President Matthew J. Wilson
Last week, I spent significant time meeting with members of the University and local communities about our desire to move forward. This listening tour will continue for months and plans are to supplement it with interactive forums in which you can openly share your thoughts and ideas for enhancements to the University.
Your optimism and messages about moving onward and upward are very encouraging. Your energy and enthusiasm have bolstered me, and will do the same for others. Let’s maintain that positivity as we face the extraordinary challenges before us: the projected loss of significant revenue associated with the downturn in student enrollment, and potential need to forego some good things in the near term for the greater good in the long term. I am confident we will succeed if we build upon tradition and reclaim our future through unity, mutual respect, student prioritization, quality offerings, innovative approaches, flexibility and collective action.
What I have heard
Almost universally, there is a strong desire to quickly band together, build upon our traditions of excellence and take action. In fact, I want to publicly thank everyone who is already taking action to move us forward. Some of you have even woken up in the middle of the night to send me concrete ideas about how to reach more high school graduates, attract more nontraditional students, enhance our international programs and embrace new programs that meet market needs. If we match action to this ingenuity, we all stand to benefit.
In addition to my charges to colleges and departments, I invite each of you as individuals to provide your input and ideas for consideration. We have incredible talent and ability on our campus, so tapping into this pool is a necessity. Please use the link below to submit concrete ideas about how we can address our most immediate concerns, including new: (1) recruiting and retention strategies; (2) revenue generating ideas; (3) cost savings measures; (4) shared governance enhancements; and (5) communications improvement. Multiple submissions are welcome.
Your direct input will be forwarded to the tiger team of 20 campus representatives to consider and perhaps include in its recommendations.
Please join with me in exploring ways to overcome the challenges and reverse the negative trends before us. Let’s all unite, put aside any differences, and redouble our efforts to quickly reclaim our future. I sincerely appreciate your willingness to contribute to this very important endeavor, and look forward to working with you in this regard.
Matthew J. Wilson