President's Spring 2004 Letter
January 12, 2004
Dear Campus Community,
I want to welcome back faculty, students, and staff as we begin the Spring 2004 semester. While this has been a difficult budgetary year, I am excited about the potential for continuing progress toward our institutional goals.
At the close of the fall semester, Governor Blagojevich announced his support for the development of our new riverfront Quad Cities campus. Just recently, $200,000 was released by the governor so that we can begin the architectural and engineering work for the renovation of the former John Deere Technical Center. We are very thankful for the governors support and look forward to beginning this exciting new venture.
We also know that the governor will soon make announcements regarding economic development in the West Central Illinois region. We have provided information on many of our key projects. We will also continue to push to have the funds for Memorial Hall and Performing Arts Center planning released during the coming year and appreciate all of the support we have received from the campus and local community. We have also indicated a desire to partner with our local agencies, such as the Macomb Area Economic Development Corporation (MAEDCO), to assist with economic development in the region. We expect exciting future announcements.
We are also making outstanding progress on our strategic plan. The planning committee has reviewed all of the excellent input provided by the campus and has been working on revising the initial draft. We expect to release a revised document soon that will provide the blueprint to help us make Western Illinois University an even more outstanding institution.
There are many other significant initiatives that are being undertaken. The University is working with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) on the American Democracy project, and we are also working with the Illinois Campus Compact on enhancing the culture of volunteerism on our campus. At the same time, we are continuing to work on developing a pilot first-year experience for our students with the Illinois Centennial Honors College.
I believe that this is 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 Cost Guarantee, GradTrac, and other successes have been highly visible statewide, regionally, and nationally. I am very thankful for the campuswide support for our initiatives, and I look forward to working with all of you as we continue to make progress.
All my best wishes for a great spring semester.