Welcome back to campus! I spent my holiday break relaxing by watching some football, seeing the new “Star Wars” movie, traveling, and reading “Go Set a Watchman” by Harper Lee. I hope you had the opportunity to catch your breath as well.
I am excited for a new year and a new semester and, despite challenges ahead, I am confident that 2016 will be one of our best years yet at Missouri State University.
Four things I’m looking forward to
- Finishing my fifth year as President and starting my sixth year. I am proud of what we have accomplished, but I am even more excited about what the future holds. I am committed to seeing through what we have started and continuing to work together, striving for excellence on many fronts.
- Awarding between 4,000 and 5,000 degrees during the coming year. When I think about the impact these degrees have on the lives of our graduates, I am reminded of the importance of the work of our University.
- Starting a new academic year this fall with, most likely, more than 25,000 students enrolled on our campuses. Many of these students will be first-generation students, international students, non-traditional students, students whose first language is not English, veterans, disabled students and students from historically underrepresented groups. We must do better to serve all of our students, and strive to make all of them feel equally like Bears.
- Completing work on a new long-range plan and a new campus visioning guide. These documents will give us direction for the future and will focus our priorities in six critical areas: academic profile, student experience, diversity, globalization, infrastructure, and funding. Let your voices be heard in the preparation of these documents.
Students will return to class on Jan. 11. Before they return, I want to encourage you to attend our annual staff recognition luncheon on Thursday, Jan. 7 at 11:30 a.m. in Hammons Student Center. We will recognize staff service anniversaries and special awards. Lunch is free of charge.
On the morning of Jan. 6, Planning, Design and Construction and Staff Senate will host guided tours of the Davis-Harrington Welcome Center, O’Reilly Clinical Health Sciences Center and Pummill Hall for members of the Missouri State staff.
If you have not seen these new and renovated facilities, I encourage you to participate in these tours. A shuttle will be available to take you to each building. You can find more information about the tours on the Staff Senate webpage.
Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!