Today was a memorable start up with our faculty and staff leadership.
But first, I want to go back to Saturday night and the Family Ties event I attended. All through the summer, WSU has hosted amazing programming that brings prospective students, families, and explorers to our Winona and Rochester campuses. From the H.O.P.E. Academy (http://www.winona.edu/inclusion-diversity/hopeacademy.asp ) to College for Kids (http://www.winona.edu/conferencing/cfk.asp ); from Grandparents University (https://www.winona.edu/grandparents/ ) to Scrubs camp (http://www.winona.edu/conferencing/scrubs.asp ) and beyond, this university ROCKS in its efforts to welcome young people and adult learners and to provide greater access to higher education.
Today, we welcomed our newest Warriors to the community: faculty, staff, and administrators! Today, we launched the first draft of a framework for strategic direction-setting (see attachment below). We heard the President give a strong speech about our solid foundation anchored to terra firma, and the tower built on that foundation: our WSU beacon in the tower we are all building. Today, we partied while the thunder rolled outside. Soon, we will be in the full swing of the academic year.
And this year will be very different. This year, we will add more to the solid foundations, build more on the walls and upward reach of our tower. Why? Because we are truly blessed to be here, at this time in this place, … together! No combination of such talent, caring, expertise, and enthusiasm has ever been assembled in quite the same way as what we enjoy right now, right here, in these locations in Southern Minnesota.
My goal this year is to strengthen our WSU-W and WSU-R community. My mission is to strengthen the lines of open communication, transparency, and intellectual discussions that a truly vibrant university community can and should have! I have opened this blog, not because I like to pontificate (well, I am an educator and I do have a theatre background, so maybe there IS a smidge of theatre here (smile)) , but really because I think it important that the academic VP pose ideas, questions, and maybe even challenges to our WSU community. As Provost, it is important to pose larger questions, post information, and provide a forum for the ideas, hopes, plans, constructive criticisms, and praise from our community…no matter what your role may be on campus. And, it is important that others can read your thoughts, respond, and engage in respectful and deep conversations about the next levels of excellence at WSU.
So, this blog, and another couple of spots on my website, will make those links and open comments possible!
To kick things off, the link below will take you to the themes we presented this morning at our leadership workshop. We asked participants for input and more ideas about these themes that emerged from our data collection over the last two years (Hopes and Dreams, Long Term Planning Initiatives). The plan is to put all of this great feedback and input plus the history of the themes up on a website that anyone can access and comment upon in the coming weeks. Watch this blog and my Twitter feed (@WSUPRO), and the Academic Affairs webpages for a link to the Strategic Directions planning pages.
Welcome back and Happy New Year!