Fellow Faculty and Staff:
As we welcome our students back to campus and begin our work together for this year, our cycle of academic life begins again, with the renewal and optimism that comes with new beginnings. This is a perfect time to think about why we invest our lives in the work of this university and higher education. We strive as a community to create and disseminate knowledge, to improve the condition of the region we serve, and to permanently transform the lives of our students for the better. There is no more noble pursuit.
We have significant work ahead of us. With a newly minted strategic plan in hand, we will implement key strategies aimed at advancing our university and making WKU the university of choice in our region and beyond. We will continue to evolve our new budget model and also deepen our student success efforts, all with an eye toward increasing persistence and graduation rates for each of our students. Please take some time to review the full details of the strategic plan, available at https://www.wku.edu/strategicplan/.
With renewed energy across campus and as students navigate to their first classes, it also is a good time to remember that the interactions we have with students are among the most important predictors of their success and satisfaction. And for those who form strong bonds with faculty and staff, most of those relationships begin in the first year. These early connections set the tone for learning and success throughout a student’s career. For some of our students, many who are the first in their families to attend college, the thought of striking up a conversation with a professor outside of a class session is overwhelming. Let us each strive to make it easy for them to get to know us.
Best wishes as you start the new school year and as we begin our climb to greater heights.
Timothy C. Caboni