Dear Campus Community,
As we begin the Spring 2007 semester, I want to again express my profound appreciation for the supportive emails, cards, letters, and kind words during the past weeks. I am so happy to return to campus and to work with all of you as we continue to advance our great university.
I want to say a special word of thanks to Joe Rallo for serving as both provost and acting president. Joe made certain that the university's administration continued to focus on our key priorities. I do know that Joe received significant assistance from "Flat Al." On a serious note, the provost has expressed his appreciation as well to the entire campus community for their support.
I look forward to a busy spring semester. We will be working with our community and legislative leaders to seek financial support for the construction of a Performing Arts Center on the WIUMacomb campus and the funds to renovate Building One on the WIU Quad Cities Riverfront Campus. We will continue the planning for the addition to the Student Recreation Center and the new Multicultural Center; our hope is to schedule groundbreaking ceremonies for these projects as soon as possible. We hope to make significant progress on the Hanson Field and Memorial Hall renovations. We also want to finalize the campus masterplan this spring so that we will have a guide for future facilities and campus development. And this summer, we will continue the installation of sprinklers in our residence halls.
This semester we will also work with our faculty colleagues to develop the proposal for a new nursing program at Western. There is strong statewide support for the new program and we are hoping to have the proposal begin its way through the onand offcampus review processes this spring. Western has requested a nursing program for almost three decades and I believe we now have the opportunity to partner successfully with our local community colleges and hospitals to make the program a reality.
We are also going to begin aggressive work on our new comprehensive fundraising campaign. The announcement of the $20 million Teeter planned gift this fall reflects the great commitment our alumni and others have to Western. We are so thankful to the Teeters for their generosity and for setting a benchmark for our campaign. I will be traveling around the country, and even internationally, to meet with alumni and to encourage them to support their university.
We will continue to work with faculty and administration to assess all of our new programs. We received strong indication from this year's National Survey of Student Engagement that our First Year Experience is truly engaging students more fully. We will, however, continue to review and make certain that the program meets our students' and university's needs.
Finally, we will continue to work to recruit students to our Macomb and Quad Cities campuses. We will work with Admissions to engage the campus community in our recruitment efforts and activities. I look forward to joining the Admissions team at many of our open houses across the state.
Again, I want to thank everyone for their support. My recent illness has made me even more aware of how fortunate I am to be a member of the Western Illinois University community. I am excited to resume my duties and look forward to meeting with as many of you as possible this spring. Have a wonderful semester.