Dear Campus Community,
I want to welcome back faculty, students, and staff as we begin the Spring 2008 semester. I would also like to extend a warm welcome to Jack Thomas, who began his duties as Western’s provost and academic vice president on January 1.
During the Fall 2007 semester we made great strides in achieving many of the goals in our strategic plan, “Higher Values in Higher Education.” The University’s nursing program was approved by the Illinois Board of Higher Education. Our mock election engaged students, faculty and community members; sustainability initiatives gained further momentum; and our students continued to achieve outstanding successes both in and out of the classroom.
We continue to make progress on campus facilities projects. Last fall we completed the renovation of the student side of Hanson Field. We began construction on the Multicultural Center—which meets LEED standards—as well as the expansion of the Spencer Student Recreation Center. Memorial Hall renovations are on schedule, and we are moving ahead with the planning stages for both the Performing Arts Center in Macomb and the WIU-Quad Cities Riverfront campus. We will continue to work with our community and legislative leaders to seek the construction funding for the Performing Arts Center and our first building on the new Riverfront Campus.
I encourage members of the campus community, as well as area residents, to take part in the outstanding cultural and educational opportunities available at Western. The University will host a variety of activities in February for Black History Month and in March for Women’s History Month. The third annual Environmental Summit is scheduled in March.
I am excited that WIU will host the 34th Annual African Literature Association Conference April 22-27. Approximately 400 worldwide members are expected to attend. This year’s theme is “African and African Diaspora Women Writers, Global Challenges and Cultural Identity.”
I look forward to working with the University community in 2008 as we continue to make significant progress in reaching our goals for Western Illinois University. Please know everyone has my best wishes for a successful spring semester.