Fellow Faculty and Staff:
Thanksgiving provides us the opportunity to step aside from our normal routines to connect with family and friends and, at the same time, to reflect on all that we are thankful for – including our work and achievements as a WKU family.
I am thankful for the tremendous effort in which our community is engaged. We are adjusting successfully to a smaller budget and doing so with professionalism and a renewed focus on our core institutional missions of instruction and inquiry. An elevated emphasis on student success is visible across our University. We continue to grow our research portfolio, and even more of our students are participating in research opportunities.
And we continue to form meaningful, personal connections with our students – further strengthening their bonds to our University. By this point in the semester, we truly know our students. We know their names; we know their work; we know their progress; and we know their areas of struggle. That we make the investment to personally guide each one of our students at WKU makes us different from other universities.
When they return from the Thanksgiving break, there are only 17 days left in the semester for our students as they work toward deadlines, finish group projects, and prepare for final examinations. As they deal with these added stressors, we must continue to give the support they need to handle the intellectual challenges we have provided them. It is crucial that we help each of our Hilltoppers successfully complete the fall semester and then return back to the Hill in the spring. Our focus must remain on retention—one student at a time; one semester at a time.
I appreciate your good work and all that you’re doing to elevate WKU and continue our successes. Thank you for your commitment to WKU, to our students, and to each other. We are a family, and I hope our WKU family is as important to you as it is to me. I look forward to working with each of you to successfully bring the semester to a close.
Timothy C. Caboni