August 14, 2013
Our 128th academic year is officially underway! Thank you so much for attending
yesterday's opening address and giving me such a warm
"welcome back" during and after the presentation. My sense of optimism about the work before us was bolstered by your enthusiasm, support and engagement. I hope you will reflect on the
challenges and key issues before us, and give careful thought to the questions I shared -- questions that will frame our campus visioning discussions this year:
- What strategies will help us grow our enrollment and position ourselves to provide to both traditional and post-traditional students improved access to a Winthrop education?
- What methods of course delivery and scheduling will appeal to post-traditional and veteran students and how do we accommodate their unique needs?
- How do we leverage our success with graduate programs and determine what additional certificate and degree program offerings would serve our constituents well?
- What are the impediments to an "anytime is the right time to learn" attitude at Winthrop?
- What steps can we take toward restoration of state funding, administrative efficiencies, educational partnerships, enhanced scholarship support, and greater need-based aid, in order to meet 80% of student financial need in the future?
- What additional initiatives would help us produce retention and graduation rates that rival those of other top-ranked public comprehensives in the South? What will get us to 82% freshman retention in five years?
- How can we strengthen our student life and community engagement efforts, including increasing alumni involvement?
- Is football a viable option that would enhance enrollment and the student life experience while still meeting the expectations of Title IX?
- How do we create a broader menu of affordable study abroad options and provide financial support for them?
- How can assessment of our shared work life enhance our family environment and Winthrop's culture?
For those of you not in attendance, feel free to visit the communications page of my website for the full text of my address, if you are interested in learning more.
A news release also has been posted online.
Remember that you will be invited to join me in discussion of these topics in the coming months at various venues across campus.
Thank you again for your interest and attendance. I hope to hear from all of you about your ideas, hopes and dreams for this fine institution.