Monday, August 27, 2012

It's that time of year again ...

 I am pleased to welcome you back for 2012-2013, a year I am certain will be productive for each of us at Bloomsburg University. At the end of this fall’s welcome video, I call this university “A great place to be you.” To me, these words define the essence of Bloomsburg University as an exceptional work environment and an outstanding institution for learning and getting involved. It is a place where each member of the community aspires to excellence while demonstrating the highest personal and professional standards.

 My video takes a lighthearted approach to the opening of the fall semester, but it does not diminish the value of our many accomplishments in 2011-12. It was a year of reorganization, in which departmental structures and reporting relationships were strategically realigned and key positions were filled or expanded in each of our university divisions. Several faculty members transitioned to administrative roles at the College level by serving as interim or assistant deans.

 It was a year when we established the McDowell Institute for Teacher Excellence in Positive Behavior Support, thanks to the generosity of philanthropist Susan McDowell. The first major event for the Center for Visual and Performing Arts, A Taste of the Arts, drew hundreds of community members to downtown. We hosted a 10-day series of programs to highlight the varied perspectives on Marcellus Shale drilling and welcomed large groups of alumni back to campus, not only for Homecoming, but also to share their expertise at the first Zeigler Institute for Professional Development conference and similar events in all four Colleges.

 Last year’s achievements were guided by the strategic plan, Impact 2015: Building on the Past, Leading for the Future, which continues to provide the framework for our institution’s initiatives. Specifically, the plan’s Strategic Issue 1, Enhancing academic excellence, underscored the need for the assessment processes now in place university-wide. It also spurred the creation of our innovative general education model, MyCore, which recognizes the value of students’ co-curricular involvement in conjunction with classroom instruction.

 As we begin a new academic year together, I thank you for your contributions to our safe and welcoming campus, your dedication to educational excellence, your continued support of student success and your ongoing commitment to an atmosphere where diverse ideas are exchanged, valued and respected.

I look forward to more initiatives in the year ahead, brought to life through the collaboration and teamwork which characterize Bloomsburg University. Please accept my sincere thanks for all that you do and my best wishes for a productive and fulfilling year ahead.