President Goldfarb Welcome Letter
August 15, 2005
Dear Campus Community,
As I have in the past, I would like to take the opportunity to welcome new and returning students, faculty and staff to Western Illinois University. As we prepare for the excitement of a new academic year and the challenges ahead at school and in our world, we should also realize there is much for which we should be thankful.
I cannot stress enough my appreciation for our outstanding faculty and staff. Let me -- as I have the previous three years-- again thank each of you for your understanding and support this past fiscal year. Western Illinois Universitys loyal and dedicated faculty, staff, administration and student body continue to make and accept difficult budget decisions, improve efficiencies and keep our instructional mission as our top priority. These decisions allowed us to develop, maintain and enhance programs such as the First Year Experience, course offerings and support services available for our students. And at the same time we have avoided employee layoffs experienced in other sectors, while providing 3.5 percent pay raises again this year.
Once again we begin the fiscal year with state funding at the same level as at the start of the previous fiscal year. It is gratifying that the governor and legislature did not reduce our general revenue funding, and that they recognize the positive efforts we have made in providing an outstanding educational experience with the states only comprehensive Cost Guarantee Program for tuition, fees, room and board at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
We are fortunate to have increased income fund support from managed enrollment growth, even as we continue our innovative Cost Guarantee. We are stabilizing our freshmen enrollments to insure First Year Experience class size that allow for more personalized interaction between faculty and students. Our campuswide commitment to recruitment gives us a more diverse student, faculty, and staff population. I would encourage participation in the September 14-17 Dealing with Difference Institute (www.wiu.edu/icda) which offers opportunity for incorporating understanding and respect for diversity more broadly in courses, classrooms and the campus.
We are pleased the Quad Cities community strongly supports our new Quad Cities Riverfront Campus plans, and we await any word regarding the potential release of funds for architectural and engineering work on the project. We will continue to advocate for the release of the planning funds for our Performing Arts Center in Macomb, and we welcome the support provided by Macomb area leaders for this project, which would enhance economic development in the region as well as bring more stature to Westerns already well known fine arts programs.
The University theme, Global Challenges and Personal Responsibility, will be incorporated into a variety of programs, including academic discussions, public forums and reading groups, as well as the freshman First Year Experience. These, along with our continued participation in the American Democracy Project, demonstrate Westerns commitment to an educational experience reflecting our core values of academic excellence, educational opportunity, personal growth, and social responsibility.
We continue to move forward with our strategic plan, Higher Values in Higher Education, and I appreciate the progress we have made thus far toward the goals outlined by the 19 implementation teams. Assistant to the President for Planning and Budget Joe Rives will, with our governance organizations, continue to advance the plan and encourage participation in its implementation by all members of the campus community.
As I enter my fourth year as President at Western Illinois University, please know I am very honored to be a member of this University community. I look forward to an outstanding new academic year.