Campus Connection

News for the WIU Community February 3, 2006   Vol. 21 No. 10

President Goldfarb's Spring 2006 Letter

Dear Campus Community,

I hope that everyone had a wonderful winter and a happy holiday season. As we begin the spring semester, I'd like to welcome back faculty, students, staff and community members. I would also like to take this opportunity to reflect on the fall semester and look forward to the remainder of the academic year.

Our university is undertaking a remarkable number of new facilities projects. Last fall the state released $12 million for Memorial Hall's renovation. In January we received more exciting news from the governor's office when $2.4 million for the architectural and engineering planning for our Quad Cities Riverfront Campus were released. The governor visited our current WIU-QC campus to announce the release as well as discuss other capital projects for the state. While we have yet to receive the planning funds for our Performing Arts Center in Macomb, we will continue to strongly campaign for them.

The University is also moving forward on various facilities and life safety projects, including construction of a multicultural center, improvements to the student section of Hanson Field, and a facility for document production and inventory storage. At the Board of Trustees January 26 teleconference proposals to upgrade elevators in two residence halls, to begin the state-mandated sprinkler installation in six residence halls, and to expand our campus recreation center were approved.

I am pleased that our new First Year Experience (FYE) program, which is designed to help freshmen transition into the university, was implemented in Fall 2005. The FYE program provides enhanced classroom learning environments, courses with enrollments of 20 or less students, and dynamic extracurricular programs. As part of the FYE, "Fast Food Nation" author Eric Schlosser visited Western in November to discuss his book, which was the First Year Experience summer reading. We continue to enhance graduate programming and have admitted our first doctoral students into our new program in Educational Leadership.

During the Fall 2005 semester, our students, faculty and staff completed a variety of noteworthy projects and activities that illustrate Western's commitment to our core values of academic excellence, educational opportunity, personal growth, and social responsibility. Our campus communities also supported the current University theme, "Global Challenges and Personal Responsibility," by sponsoring and participating in numerous projects in the Macomb and Quad Cities areas.

Students rallied to rename and dedicate a Go West bus in honor of Rosa Parks, and the campus community worked together to raise money and gather donations for breast cancer awareness, St. Jude Children's Hospital, local food pantries, Hurricane Katrina relief efforts and much more. While we had many outstanding examples of student success and accomplishments during the Fall 2005 semester, I did express concern about the small number of students who engage in disruptive behavior in the Macomb community. I need to emphasize that such behaviors will not be tolerated by our city or our university. Please take seriously your responsibility to be a good neighbor and an involved citizen.

This continues to be an exciting time in the history of Western Illinois University. In spite of the difficult budgetary times, we have made great progress on our key initiatives. Our strategic plan goals continue to be examined and implemented and our Cost Guarantee as well as other successes have been highly visible statewide, regionally, and nationally.

I look forward to working with the University community in 2006 as we continue to make progress. Please know how much I appreciate all of the support we receive from students, faculty, and staff.

All my best wishes,
Al Goldfarb, President

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