WEBVTT 00:00:00.000 --> 00:00:02.000 Applause. 00:00:02.000 --> 00:00:10.000 In a moment, I'll turn the stage over to the gentleman you're waiting to hear from. 00:00:10.000 --> 00:00:19.000 Our new president of Western Oregon University, Dr. Rex Fuller who will be the 23rd president of this fine institution here in Monmouth. 00:00:19.000 --> 00:00:29.000 But first a little background on President Fuller for those of you who didn't have the opportunity to be here during the candidacy period back in the spring. 00:00:29.000 --> 00:00:34.000 First, Dr. Fuller and his wife Susan joined us and came to Monmouth in 00:00:34.000 --> 00:00:41.000 July, so since July first Rex has been with us and his wife Susan. 00:00:41.000 --> 00:00:48.000 Dr. Fuller has a Bachelors in Public Administration from Chico State University 00:00:48.000 --> 00:00:54.000 or Cal State University, Chico and a Doctorate in Economics from the University of Utah. 00:00:54.000 --> 00:00:67.000 And he began his academic career as an economics faculty member at the University of Wisconsin, La-Crosse working his way up to be the dean of their business school at La-Crosse. 00:01:07.000 --> 00:01:16.000 He then followed a recommendation to go west, so he migrated west to be dean of the business school at 00:01:16.000 --> 00:01:19.000 Colorado State University, Pueblo. 00:01:19.000 --> 00:01:28.000 And then migrated further west to the Spokane area where he became dean of the College of Business and Public Administration and also executive dean at 00:01:28.000 --> 00:01:30.000 Eastern Washington University. 00:01:30.000 --> 00:01:41.000 And ultimately ending up in the role of provost and vice president for academic affairs at Eastern Washington University. 00:01:41.000 --> 00:01:51.000 Over the past several months I've been delighted to be able to have many conversations and meetings with Rex and we discovered something that we have in common. 00:01:51.000 --> 00:01:61.000 And Dr. Fuller grew up in a community in California in Ventura County that is surrounded by strawberry fields. 00:02:01.000 --> 00:02:11.000 And I spent a significant amount of my time before coming to Western in Southern California everyday driving by those strawberry fields on my way to work. 00:02:11.000 --> 00:02:16.000 And so we've had fun talking about the good old days in Southern California. 00:02:16.000 --> 00:02:21.000 But we do differ in at least one very important way. 00:02:21.000 --> 00:02:34.000 And when I was an active faculty member I used to do research in such areas as hibernation or muscle loss in space flight. 00:02:34.000 --> 00:02:42.000 On the other hand, Dr. Fuller's research and publishing has taken him into the realm of university budgeting processes, 00:02:42.000 --> 00:02:56.000 presidential leadership in universities, strategic planning, gender differences in employment, academic achievement and employment, underemployment of urban youth. 00:02:56.000 --> 00:02:60.000 You kind of catch the difference in the difference between the two of us. 00:03:00.000 --> 00:03:08.000 All extremely relevant to the task that Dr. Fuller has before him as our new president. 00:03:08.000 --> 00:03:14.000 Therefore it is with great pleasure for me to introduce Dr. Rex Fuller. 00:03:14.000 --> 00:03:24.000 Applause. 00:03:24.000 --> 00:03:32.000 Applause. 00:03:32.000 --> 00:03:41.000 So thank you for that warm welcome. Unfortunately, Susan couldn't be here so my first task is I promised her I would take a selfie. 00:03:41.000 --> 00:03:44.000 Laughter. 00:03:44.000 --> 00:03:52.000 So you have to bare with me while I make this thing turn around so she wanted to be here so I thought I'd better do this. Let's see here. 00:03:52.000 --> 00:03:54.000 With a smile. 00:03:54.000 --> 00:03:63.000 Laughter and applause. 00:04:03.000 --> 00:04:10.000 But seriously, unfortunately she's injured her back and can't really be out for a long period of time but otherwise would be here. 00:04:10.000 --> 00:04:17.000 And she actually sat right over here last time I was in this aught body during the interview process. 00:04:17.000 --> 00:04:23.000 So it's a fantastic day to be here and to welcome all of us to the start of fall. 00:04:24.000 --> 00:04:31.000 So good morning friends and colleagues and thank you for being here today and welcome to the start of Western's first year of independence. 00:04:32.000 --> 00:04:40.000 Applause. 00:04:40.000 --> 00:04:44.000 Last year was filled with anticipation and tremendous work to establish our new board of trustees. 00:04:44.000 --> 00:04:49.000 As we begin our journey as an independent mid-sized comprehensive public university. 00:04:49.000 --> 00:04:59.000 A number of our board members are with us today. Unfortunately, Jim Bomgardener who was our chair and also attorney is on jury duty so there's some irony there. 00:04:59.000 --> 00:04:66.000 So my first two months here have been very full. We have moved our household, assisted the move of one of our daughters and family to Portland, 00:05:06.000 --> 00:05:14.000 registered to vote, licensed our cars, passed the Oregon's Driver's Test. Odds were against me on that one. 00:05:14.000 --> 00:05:19.000 And with the help of faculty and staff, I've toured the campus and its facilities with key leaders. 00:05:19.000 --> 00:05:26.000 From Monmouth, Independence, Polk and Marion Counties, legislators and leaders of k-12, and our local community college. 00:05:26.000 --> 00:05:33.000 Within the WOU family I've tried to meet as many people as possible before the academic year started. 00:05:33.000 --> 00:05:41.000 So I met with a broad swath of university leaders including both unions, faculty senate, foundation board members, retirees and alumni. 00:05:41.000 --> 00:05:46.000 I have enjoyed greeting new students and their very happy families and two different SOAR events. 00:05:46.000 --> 00:05:49.000 Suze and I have enjoyed community events such as the Fourth of July Parade. 00:05:49.000 --> 00:05:58.000 And on campus we've attended a concert from Paul Roberts, an outdoor Shakespeare theatre play and a Smith Fine Arts auction. 00:05:58.000 --> 00:05:67.000 Participated in a golf outing for athletics, and our first home football game was this past weekend where we hosted the leadership of the cities of Independence and Monmouth together. 00:06:07.000 --> 00:06:15.000 Over the coming weekend we'll have move-in day which is followed by a number of activities, including conviction on Monday. 00:06:16.000 --> 00:06:23.000 And this week, the Hammersly Library has an exhibit "Hiroshima Ground Zero Never again" which I hope you all take in. 00:06:23.000 --> 00:06:26.000 And on Thursday we'll have our traditional Fan Fest in the Grove. 00:06:26.000 --> 00:06:31.000 These are but a few of acitivites that we have going on this week and next week. 00:06:31.000 --> 00:06:34.000 And all of these events have been executed with a high degree of professionalism. 00:06:34.000 --> 00:06:40.000 So my deepest thanks to the many people who make the events seem so effortless here at Western. 00:06:40.000 --> 00:06:47.000 The welcome events send a strong messages to parents and first time students that Western's success is dependent on student success. 00:06:47.000 --> 00:06:53.000 And I know firsthand what that means because one of my former collegues at Eastern Washington is a mother of a student here, 00:06:53.000 --> 00:06:60.000 and during my candidacy she spoke so highly of her interaction with faculty and staff here prior to my arrival and interview. 00:07:00.000 --> 00:07:08.000 It's an example of those messages being repeated and sent out across the wave bands that we have. 00:07:08.000 --> 00:07:11.000 So this talk is advertised as my State of the University address. 00:07:11.000 --> 00:07:15.000 In a nutshell, I will say the state of Western Oregon University is excellent. 00:07:15.000 --> 00:07:19.000 So much has been accomplish, here is but a brief listing 00:07:19.000 --> 00:07:27.000 We celebrated one of our largest graduating classes, and Western leads the trouse in granting degrees each year. 00:07:27.000 --> 00:07:36.000 We've had growth in external grants to support programs, our well known student enrichment program which also includes trio was recently refunded. 00:07:36.000 --> 00:07:41.000 Diversity of enrollment continues to be a hallmark of Western's success 00:07:41.000 --> 00:07:49.000 And success rates for our diverse students in the work of the University Diversity committee this fall is going to invite Tim Wice, author of "White Like Me" 00:07:49.000 --> 00:07:53.000 on October 13th here to campus, so I hope we all take that in. 00:07:53.000 --> 00:07:60.000 We have increased efforts in tutoring, internships, we have high academic success rates for our student athletes 00:08:00.000 --> 00:08:04.000 We have academic partnerships with Kaiser Salem School District and our College of Education 00:08:04.000 --> 00:08:12.000 We finished last fiscal year with a 15.7 fund balance, slightly better than budget due to management of our resources. 00:08:12.000 --> 00:08:17.000 We're in progress on construction of the eighteen million dollar Woodcock education center. 00:08:17.000 --> 00:08:22.000 You've seen the progress just down the street, we expect to open that next Fall on time. 00:08:22.000 --> 00:08:27.000 We've enhanced student engagement through improved residence halls and new student programming. 00:08:27.000 --> 00:08:31.000 We've provided support and a sense of community through the Veteran's Resource Center 00:08:31.000 --> 00:08:39.000 And we have extended outreach and access to the State of Oregon through our Willamette Promise, where high school seniors earn college credit 00:08:39.000 --> 00:08:50.000 in dual credit courses in Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Psychology, Writing Communications, Spanish and Computer Science, quite a list. 00:08:50.000 --> 00:08:58.000 We've renovated the athletic facilities and academic buildings and we've made sure the campus is beautiful and welcoming. 00:08:58.000 --> 00:08:66.000 In the past eighteen months nearly two million has been committed to construction and scholarship support for our Dare To campaign for the College of Education 00:09:06.000 --> 00:09:11.000 Which speaks to our values of academic exellence through access and affordability. 00:09:11.000 --> 00:09:20.000 The campaign is based on the quote "Who dares to teach must never cease to learn" you see that inscribed on our of our buildings. 00:09:20.000 --> 00:09:26.000 And finally the WOU foundation just received over two million in financial support and increased the number of gifts 00:09:26.000 --> 00:09:32.000 Averaging gifts increased by twenty five percent and nine hundred first time donors. 00:09:32.000 --> 00:09:40.000 So you can see this long list why I can say without reservation the state of the University is strong. 00:09:40.000 --> 00:09:46.000 As we all know 2015-16 will be the first year of independence for Western from the former Oregon University System. 00:09:46.000 --> 00:09:52.000 With independence comes a responsibility and opportunity to sharpen our focus and commitment 00:09:52.000 --> 00:09:57.000 To access affordability, excellence and opportunity. 00:09:57.000 --> 00:09:63.000 Shortly after I arrived at Western in July the Legislator and Governor finalized the 2015-17 budget. 00:10:03.000 --> 00:10:09.000 And this year state appropriations were allocated to Universities by the higher education coordinating commission. 00:10:09.000 --> 00:10:12.000 Using an outcomes based budget model 00:10:12.000 --> 00:10:21.000 I'm pleased to report that due to the dedicated work of many in the room WOU state allocation of state resources increased by over twenty percent. 00:10:21.000 --> 00:10:26.000 The largest percent among the seven public four year institutions in Oregon. 00:10:26.000 --> 00:10:31.000 I want to thank former President, Mark Weiss for his tireless effort on behalf of Western. 00:10:31.000 --> 00:10:34.000 Without his leadership on this matter the outcome would have been less favorable. 00:10:34.000 --> 00:10:44.000 And of course President Weiss was supported and I am supported in this effort by the administrative team that we have at WOU that I've come to appreciate since arriving in July. 00:10:44.000 --> 00:10:53.000 Applause. 00:10:53.000 --> 00:10:58.000 Increase including funding for shared services increased by twenty eight percent. 00:10:58.000 --> 00:10:67.000 But shared services represents a 1.2 million dollar increase and a 1.2 million dollar cost, so essentially it's money in and money out. 00:11:08.000 --> 00:11:12.000 These are services that were formerly provided by the OUS chancellor's office. 00:11:12.000 --> 00:11:18.000 All together with increasing funding for student success, and because of our commitment to affordability, 00:11:18.000 --> 00:11:24.000 Western has allocated neared a million dollars of additional money to offset the cost of attendance for Oregon Residents. 00:11:24.000 --> 00:11:30.000 Western will target this aid to assist families and students who've exhausted other forms of financial aid. 00:11:30.000 --> 00:11:40.000 That's right, we're committing and additional funding to support Oregonians and our tuition increase for 2015-16 is the lowest of all state institutions, a position that we should be proud of. 00:11:40.000 --> 00:11:49.000 Applause. 00:11:49.000 --> 00:11:55.000 This is all on the heels of Western's smallest increase in tuition for all public universities in the State of Oregon. 00:11:55.000 --> 00:11:63.000 And because so many of our students are first generation students to attend college, many of our students come from a less advantaged background economically as well 00:12:04.000 --> 00:12:08.000 We must continue to examine our position long term. 00:12:08.000 --> 00:12:13.000 So all together this leaves about 2.6 million in increased funding to be allocated for ongoing needs. 00:12:13.000 --> 00:12:19.000 This year the budget process started before I arrived and has continued through the summer months. 00:12:19.000 --> 00:12:25.000 I'm so pleased that we've reached a tentative agreement with SEIU and look forward to the contracts ratifcaiton. 00:12:25.000 --> 00:12:32.000 Applause. 00:12:32.000 --> 00:12:37.000 We've now begun initial bargaining with the faculty which will begin in ernest next week. 00:12:37.000 --> 00:12:43.000 And that said, the majority of our funding is going to be needed for salary and fringe benefit increases for all of our employees. 00:12:43.000 --> 00:12:50.000 Applause and cheering. 00:12:50.000 --> 00:12:55.000 Additionally I hope that we'll have funds to invest in selected initiatives that further our goals 00:12:55.000 --> 00:12:62.000 And these new base commitments will be essential to our effort to differentiate ourselves from other public universities. 00:13:02.000 --> 00:13:08.000 A portion of funding allocated to the University was designated by the Legislator to improving student success. 00:13:08.000 --> 00:13:14.000 And we will be directing funding in a manner that will enhance and improve outcomes for Western's Students. 00:13:14.000 --> 00:13:24.000 So going forward, it's clear that WOU's budget and the budgets of all Universities in the State of Oregon will be increasingly determined by outcomes. 00:13:24.000 --> 00:13:27.000 We should not be afraid of outcomes. 00:13:27.000 --> 00:13:31.000 Outcomes that drive the funding are part of the DNA of Western. 00:13:31.000 --> 00:13:35.000 So let me tell you about some of the outcomes that are currently in the budget model. 00:13:35.000 --> 00:13:41.000 These metrics include degrees granted, it matters right, we want to see our students graduate. 00:13:41.000 --> 00:13:44.000 Retention of graduation rates, areas where we do well. 00:13:44.000 --> 00:13:50.000 We also focus on providing access and opportunity for first generation rural and diverse students. 00:13:50.000 --> 00:13:54.000 All of these should sound very familiar to you because it's the DNA of Western. 00:13:54.000 --> 00:13:57.000 And these are measures that Western will continue to focus on 00:13:57.000 --> 00:13:65.000 while continuing to provide access to all other students such as transfers, veterans, returning adults and traditional campus based eighteen year olds. 00:14:05.000 --> 00:14:09.000 There are nearly half a million adults in the State of Oregon with some college and no degree. 00:14:09.000 --> 00:14:17.000 There's an opportunity to identify transfer opportunities for that population as well as the ones we've served so well in the past. 00:14:17.000 --> 00:14:23.000 As I stated earlier last year we celebrated a very large graduating class of over 1300 students. 00:14:23.000 --> 00:14:29.000 For Oregon to reach it's goal of 40, 40, 20, higher education must be accessible and affordable 00:14:29.000 --> 00:14:33.000 And Western will lead the way in this great and noble endeavor. 00:14:33.000 --> 00:14:45.000 For this reason, we will continue to monitor tuition and also provide tuition flexibility through the Western Promise for those students in families that prefer to lock in tuition for a four year period. 00:14:45.000 --> 00:14:52.000 Quite simply, access without affordability is not opportunity. 00:14:52.000 --> 00:14:59.000 For this reason we have committed additional student success funding to hire an additional staff member in the Student Enrichment Program. 00:14:59.000 --> 00:14:66.000 We have over 2500 students that qualify for some intervention and we are now, with this expansion serving about 500 students. 00:15:06.000 --> 00:15:17.000 I want congratulate all of the faculty and staff and participants in the Trio Program for its successful grant application that will bring 1.6 million dollars to campus over the next five years. 00:15:17.000 --> 00:15:22.000 So round of applause for Trio Program and the leadership and Marshall Guthrie. 00:15:22.000 --> 00:15:29.000 Applause. 00:15:29.000 --> 00:15:38.000 One of the many meetings I was able to attend was a bit of celebration event around that grant, and it's important that all of you know that SEP works. 00:15:38.000 --> 00:15:40.000 It accomplishes results. 00:15:40.000 --> 00:15:48.000 Students in the SEP Program have a retention rate nearly seventy nine percent compared to Western's overall average of sixty nine percent. 00:15:48.000 --> 00:15:57.000 So if our general population were retained at seventy nine percent each year, we would keep ninety more students each year from the freshmen and sophomore year and beyond. 00:15:57.000 --> 00:15:62.000 Think in terms of that growing through the pipe line and the impact that has on enrollment. 00:16:02.000 --> 00:16:12.000 So when we think about enrollment, we think about new students certainly, but we also can think about retention as an enrollment strategy, student success does indeed matter. 00:16:12.000 --> 00:16:18.000 So looking at the broad picture, enrollment at Western has not grown appreciably in the last few years. 00:16:18.000 --> 00:16:21.000 This fall we are expecting an increase, albeit slight. 00:16:21.000 --> 00:16:25.000 New freshmen are up, graduate students appear to be up. 00:16:25.000 --> 00:16:33.000 Because we grated a very large senior class however, we are seeing some maturation in the middle ranks, where retention is a key factor. 00:16:33.000 --> 00:16:40.000 We do expect the numbers to be slightly positive however so we are watching that as we welcome our students in the coming days. 00:16:40.000 --> 00:16:47.000 but one day to reverse that trend is to see more of our students graduate and be retained through positive intervention. 00:16:47.000 --> 00:16:56.000 Our future is dependent on being a place where students graduate in a timely fashion with degrees that enable graduates to take the next step. 00:16:56.000 --> 00:16:61.000 Whether that be professional employment or graduate school or whatever calling makes sense for their journey. 00:17:01.000 --> 00:17:05.000 So looking forward, we have more work to do in retention. 00:17:05.000 --> 00:17:11.000 Western's overall retention rate is slightly below our peers so despite the fact that we have very good successful programs 00:17:11.000 --> 00:17:17.000 Our actual number is slightly below our peers when you compare to what is called IPEDS data. 00:17:17.000 --> 00:17:22.000 So we need to find ways to extend the successful approaches of SEP to a much broader population. 00:17:22.000 --> 00:17:27.000 We need to improve our retention rate over time. 00:17:27.000 --> 00:17:35.000 Additionally this year we've targeted some success funds to improve academic intervention and early warning through the academic advising and learning center. 00:17:35.000 --> 00:17:38.000 And the use of the Wolf Connection System. 00:17:38.000 --> 00:17:47.000 Research has found that early feedback on student's meaningful work serves to improve retention in academic performance. 00:17:47.000 --> 00:17:54.000 Vince Tinto a renown author calls "early warning systems one of the critical foundations for college success. 00:17:54.000 --> 00:17:57.000 And so we're adding capacity in that arena. 00:17:57.000 --> 00:17:67.000 We've also added capacity for returning veterans in a joint project between academic affairs and student affairs designed to recruit and retain more veterans. 00:18:07.000 --> 00:18:10.000 Thats also going to be in partnership with community colleges. 00:18:10.000 --> 00:18:15.000 Applause. 00:18:16.000 --> 00:18:28.000 And finally with independence comes the need to have data and be able to tell the story to legislators and the head commission, so we've dedicated funding to hire a director of institutional research. 00:18:28.000 --> 00:18:30.000 And that search is underway. 00:18:30.000 --> 00:18:37.000 On the capital size, I'm pleased to report that Western received nearly six million to renovate the Natural Science building. 00:18:37.000 --> 00:18:46.000 And the university sold the stadium street residence and is holding those proceeds from the sale for projects that will improve meeting space on campus for a future date. 00:18:46.000 --> 00:18:53.000 In the upcoming February legislature section, the legislature may consider the long term use of the Oregon Military Academy. 00:18:53.000 --> 00:18:58.000 And Western will be able to evaluate it's potential uses for space if this becomes a reality. 00:18:58.000 --> 00:18:68.000 As I mentioned earlier, this is the first year of independence with oversight by the board of trustees. At the July meeting they've already begun work officially. 00:19:08.000 --> 00:19:12.000 The board reaffirmed our budget reserve target at 15 percent. 00:19:12.000 --> 00:19:18.000 This reserve amount is appropriate and supports Western's commitment to the fixed tuition rate plan that we have. 00:19:18.000 --> 00:19:21.000 The board also reaffirmed the university's mission, 00:19:21.000 --> 00:19:28.000 a critical step as we prepare for accreditation review by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. 00:19:28.000 --> 00:19:35.000 So I might to remind us of our mission because I think it bares conversation at the start of an academic year. 00:19:35.000 --> 00:19:37.000 The preamble says: 00:19:37.000 --> 00:19:44.000 Western Oregon University offers exemplary undergraduate and graduate programs in a supportive and rigorous learning environment. 00:19:44.000 --> 00:19:53.000 As Oregon's oldest public university, WOU works to ensure the success of students and the advancement of knowledge as a service to Oregon and the region. 00:19:53.000 --> 00:19:62.000 And the University works in partnership with PK-12 schools, community colleges and other institutions of higher education, government, and local and global communities. 00:20:02.000 --> 00:20:05.000 That's our preamble. And then our mission says: 00:20:05.000 --> 00:20:10.000 we are a comprehensive public university operating for the public good which 00:20:10.000 --> 00:20:16.000 provides effective learning opportunities that prepare students for a fulfilling life in a global society, 00:20:16.000 --> 00:20:19.000 supports an accessible and diverse campus community; 00:20:19.000 --> 00:20:25.000 and improves continuously our educational, financial, and environmental sustainability. 00:20:25.000 --> 00:20:29.000 The higher education coordinating commission has responsibility to all public universities. 00:20:29.000 --> 00:20:33.000 And ensuring that collectively, the universities are meeting state goals. 00:20:33.000 --> 00:20:37.000 In this sense, all universities have a state wide mission. 00:20:37.000 --> 00:20:42.000 An overarching goal is to improve access and outcomes. 00:20:42.000 --> 00:20:49.000 So how will Western continue to meet its mission and differentiate itself from the other public universities? 00:20:49.000 --> 00:20:58.000 I believe the key is to hold on to the foundation that has made Western well respected within the state. A comprehensive liberal education. 00:20:58.000 --> 00:20:66.000 Comprehensive universities must excel at providing educational opportunities in fields of study that society demands. 00:21:06.000 --> 00:21:10.000 These include such things as business, education, STEM fields, and beyond. 00:21:10.000 --> 00:21:18.000 But more importantly comprehensive universities must also recognize the vital contribution of humanities and social sciences. 00:21:18.000 --> 00:21:25.000 Applause. 00:21:25.000 --> 00:21:28.000 I believe this is captured through 00:21:28.000 --> 00:21:32.000 a monograph from The Academy of Arts and Sciences, it's called The Heart of the Matter. 00:21:32.000 --> 00:21:38.000 And it states that a liberal or comprehensive education is an approach that and I quote: 00:21:45.000 --> 00:21:51.000 It also helps students develop a sense of social responsibility as well as intellectual and practical skills 00:21:51.000 --> 00:21:56.000 that span all areas of study such as communication, analytical and problem solving skills 00:21:56.000 --> 00:21:62.000 and demonstrated ability to apply knowledge and skills in a real world setting." 00:22:02.000 --> 00:22:09.000 That's a powerful statement and I believe wholly align with the mission of Western Oregon University. 00:22:09.000 --> 00:22:16.000 Put differently, schools that follow this approach provide an educational footing that is relevant and long lasting. 00:22:16.000 --> 00:22:19.000 Graduates of programs from these institutions, Western's programs 00:22:19.000 --> 00:22:24.000 are prepared to make a positive contribution to their community and society in large. 00:22:24.000 --> 00:22:32.000 In this sense, the experience of our students are Western is transformational. That's a word that I want to have you hang on to, transformational. 00:22:32.000 --> 00:22:38.000 Because we have an opportunity to impact students through our active programs. 00:22:38.000 --> 00:22:42.000 On September 28, faculty will welcome our new students into their classes. 00:22:42.000 --> 00:22:50.000 For a significant number of freshman they will be the first in their families to attend college and you will be their first professor. 00:22:50.000 --> 00:22:56.000 Others in the room will be their first advisor, residence hall director, financial aid advisor, 00:22:56.000 --> 00:22:61.000 librarian, business office professional, college coach, campus safety officer. 00:23:01.000 --> 00:23:08.000 Imagine that you are the first to impact that family going forward for generations to come. 00:23:08.000 --> 00:23:15.000 I want you to hold onto that because that is a calling that we've all signed on for. And higher education is a calling. 00:23:16.000 --> 00:23:21.000 It's transformational, it's about having an impact on individuals who are wanting to seek 00:23:21.000 --> 00:23:26.000 knowledge for its own sake but also have an opportunity to improve their lives in the long run. 00:23:26.000 --> 00:23:32.000 So we are all engaged in this transformational process that makes a lifelong impact 00:23:32.000 --> 00:23:35.000 on our new students and each of us makes a difference in that process. 00:23:35.000 --> 00:23:39.000 We each participate in the impact of retaining students. 00:23:39.000 --> 00:23:48.000 This type of impact is critical to our nations's future and Western is at the forefront of this exciting transformational process. 00:23:48.000 --> 00:23:53.000 For that reason, I was extremely excited to apply and I'm honored to serve with you. 00:23:53.000 --> 00:23:63.000 As president as we engage in this process of making a difference and impacting students through this transformational developmental educational process. 00:24:05.000 --> 00:24:11.000 So, as we begin the academic year I ask each of us to set high expectations. 00:24:11.000 --> 00:24:18.000 Tintu and others talk about how expectations matter. We should expect our students to perform at a high level. 00:24:18.000 --> 00:24:25.000 So as our work as a comprehensive university, we must all set high expectations for all aspects of the university's work. 00:24:25.000 --> 00:24:29.000 And we must be committed to measuring success through outcomes. 00:24:29.000 --> 00:24:35.000 How do we know that our programs work and are meaningful and successful if we do not include appropriate assessment? 00:24:35.000 --> 00:24:44.000 So we'll need to develop additional assessment measures so that we can track the performance of our university against agreed to goals. 00:24:44.000 --> 00:24:52.000 We must be persistent, engagement matters and the educational process is developmental and long term. 00:24:52.000 --> 00:24:60.000 Finally, to excel in our journey we must be willing to examine ourselves with a critical eye toward continuous improvement. 00:25:00.000 --> 00:25:02.000 So, in life timing means everything. 00:25:02.000 --> 00:25:06.000 In the perspectives for the presidential search is said and I quote now: 00:25:16.000 --> 00:25:20.000 Well, we are accredited, that's the good news. 00:25:20.000 --> 00:25:29.000 The exciting news is that we are in the seventh year of a seven year process, i.e. the final year of the accreditation cycle. 00:25:29.000 --> 00:25:37.000 Hardly the middle years, probably need to call Witt Kieffer and talk to him about the definition of terms. 00:25:37.000 --> 00:25:40.000 But the good news is is we are well prepared for this venture. 00:25:40.000 --> 00:25:45.000 So this year will be the middle of a seven year report which is due about March first. 00:25:45.000 --> 00:25:53.000 So we will be engaged in the accreditation process at a very very high level throughout this year and I wanted you to understand that and to hear that. 00:25:53.000 --> 00:25:58.000 We will use the accreditation process to do a thorough examination of ourselves 00:25:58.000 --> 00:25:60.000 in the sense of continuous improvement. 00:26:00.000 --> 00:26:04.000 It's an opportunity to do in someways an internal swab analysis 00:26:04.000 --> 00:26:09.000 What are our strengths, what are our weaknesses, what are our opportunities, and what are things that we can do to improve the long term. 00:26:09.000 --> 00:26:15.000 And we must embrace that approach if we are going to be successful with the accreditation process in my opinion. 00:26:15.000 --> 00:26:19.000 The standards are all encompassing and I'm sure we'll find many strengths 00:26:19.000 --> 00:26:22.000 but I'm also sure we'll discover areas where we could do better. 00:26:22.000 --> 00:26:24.000 I've mentioned retention rates could be higher. 00:26:24.000 --> 00:26:33.000 That's an example of we should talk about strategies around that that will lead to improvement over time. That's just one example out of many. 00:26:33.000 --> 00:26:35.000 As we discover these areas, 00:26:35.000 --> 00:26:43.000 I expect us to work collaboratively to identifies strategies and actions that will lead to sustainable improvement. 00:26:44.000 --> 00:26:48.000 The final accreditation standard, standard five says, based on its definition, 00:26:48.000 --> 00:26:57.000 the universities definition of mission fulfillment and informed by the results of its analysis and accomplishments of core themes, 00:26:57.000 --> 00:26:64.000 the institution develops and publishes evidence based evaluations regarding its extent to which it is fulfilling its mission. 00:27:04.000 --> 00:27:12.000 Moreover, the institution regularly monitors its internal and external environments to determine how and to what degree changing circumstances may impact its mission 00:27:12.000 --> 00:27:16.000 and ability to fulfill that mission. 00:27:16.000 --> 00:27:24.000 It demonstrates it is capable of adapting when necessarily its mission, core themes, programs, and services to accommodate changing 00:27:24.000 --> 00:27:30.000 and emerging needs trans and influences to ensure enduring institutional relevancy 00:27:30.000 --> 00:27:34.000 productivity, viability, and sustainability. 00:27:34.000 --> 00:27:37.000 That's a tall order but also one that 00:27:37.000 --> 00:27:42.000 legacy of Western demonstrates that the university has done that over the decades 00:27:42.000 --> 00:27:47.000 that it has been in existence. In fact, the university preceded statehood. 00:27:47.000 --> 00:27:51.000 It was the first public institution in the state of Oregon prior to statehood. 00:27:51.000 --> 00:27:60.000 And throughout its life it has adapted and adjusted and sustained itself and endured and we will continue to do that. 00:28:00.000 --> 00:28:04.000 Moreover, I want you to begin memorizing these three core themes, may have been a while since you heard them. 00:28:04.000 --> 00:28:16.000 But our three core themes are effective learning, supports diversity, and sustainable institution. 00:28:16.000 --> 00:28:22.000 So if you think back to our mission and the three elements in our mission around rigorous and engaged student bodies, 00:28:22.000 --> 00:28:29.000 and also the academic mission that we have, diversity and then sustainability, financially and environmentally. 00:28:29.000 --> 00:28:40.000 Our mission is well aligned with our core themes and I encourage you to look at both as we go forward and collect data and present a compelling case to the Northwest Commission. 00:28:40.000 --> 00:28:49.000 Moreover, the expectations of the Northwest Commission are also the expectations of the citizens and leaders of Oregon as we enter independence. 00:28:49.000 --> 00:28:58.000 With independence came the creation of the higher education coordinator commission, which I've mentioned and it's charged to evaluate universities with regard to mission fulfillment. 00:28:58.000 --> 00:28:64.000 And a set of outcomes that are meeting state goals. Yes the new normal that we are in 00:29:04.000 --> 00:29:08.000 is about outcomes and mission and long term adaptability. 00:29:08.000 --> 00:29:15.000 So let me address some initiatives that will help us continue to be a school choice, a destination campus. 00:29:16.000 --> 00:29:23.000 First, we must leverage the upcoming accreditation process into a comprehensive strategic planning process that will begin in 2016. 00:29:23.000 --> 00:29:35.000 The last plan that I could find is dated to 2005 or 7, so this is an opportunity for us to take a fresh look through the lens of accreditation at ourselves and set a path going forward. 00:29:35.000 --> 00:29:39.000 The planning process will include opportunities for campus wide participation 00:29:39.000 --> 00:29:44.000 And it must also include opportunities for various stake holders to provide input. 00:29:44.000 --> 00:29:51.000 For example, the effort by the City of Monmouth, Monmouth Engaged has found that a deeper connection to Western is a high priority. 00:29:51.000 --> 00:29:57.000 In my conversations in the brief time here I found that the City of Independence has a similar set of goals. 00:29:57.000 --> 00:29:62.000 I've also met with county commissioners who also have a similar expectation. 00:30:02.000 --> 00:30:09.000 And that is that Western is serving its region in a way that is engaged, purposeful and appropriate. 00:30:09.000 --> 00:30:21.000 So to reach our potential, Western must be a vital partner in the activities that promote societal needs of the entire Mid Willamette Valley if not the entire state of Oregon. 00:30:21.000 --> 00:30:28.000 A second focus must be to line our efforts with the stated goals of the State of Oregon and the measures that Heck will use to allocate our resources. 00:30:28.000 --> 00:30:33.000 We need to be smart about the process that is being used to distribute funds to higher education. 00:30:33.000 --> 00:30:37.000 As I've said these are aligned with our deep traditions and mission. 00:30:37.000 --> 00:30:40.000 Western's always been committed to access an opportunity. 00:30:40.000 --> 00:30:51.000 And by seeking enrollment from growing diverse populations, rural areas low income families and first gen. college attendees we will continue to excel. 00:30:51.000 --> 00:30:59.000 This summer I had the chance to meet with an extended group of leaders on campus to talk about the coming year. 00:30:59.000 --> 00:30:65.000 And one idea that was discussed was the need to develop clear pathways for degree attainment. 00:31:05.000 --> 00:31:10.000 Over time, course requirements change, some courses are added others become optional 00:31:10.000 --> 00:31:18.000 And in some cases this leads to confusing pathways for students, especially for first generation students who are the first in their families to be in college. 00:31:18.000 --> 00:31:26.000 Therefore I'll be asking academic affairs to work with the faculty to review the degree pathways to ensure that students are receiving clear guidance 00:31:26.000 --> 00:31:33.000 On how to attain a degree within 180 hours and four years of full time study. 00:31:33.000 --> 00:31:40.000 Applause. 00:31:40.000 --> 00:31:49.000 I do know that many of our students do not engage in full time study but our degree requirements should allow that to be a possible outcome. 00:31:49.000 --> 00:31:57.000 When I met with the parents and students at SOAR, some of you were there, I asked the students to stand and look at each other 00:31:57.000 --> 00:31:61.000 and I asked them what's special about 2019. 00:32:01.000 --> 00:32:06.000 In 2019 is the year they will graduate if they engage in full time four year study. 00:32:06.000 --> 00:32:16.000 And I asked them to make a promise to their incoming classmates and they must say this and they must they follow my direction on this, they say "I will see you at graduation" 00:32:16.000 --> 00:32:22.000 And then I asked them to turn to their family and friends who brought them to SOAR and say "I will see you at graduation" 00:32:22.000 --> 00:32:31.000 The notion being that they have to have a plan to be successful it's about finishing now that they've been admitted. 00:32:31.000 --> 00:32:37.000 At the graduate level we need to evaluate our current program array and identify opportunities for development of new programs. 00:32:37.000 --> 00:32:43.000 Naturally the growth rate within graduate programs far exceeds that of undergraduate programs. 00:32:43.000 --> 00:32:50.000 I've asked many this summer what opportunities exist to strengthen existing programs and develop new programs that might serve our region. 00:32:50.000 --> 00:32:57.000 As a part of our accreditation we need to evaluate our graduate program array in relation to the emerging needs of the State of Oregon 00:32:57.000 --> 00:32:66.000 And consider ways in which we can identify growth opportunities as well as new opportunities for development of graduate degrees. 00:33:06.000 --> 00:33:12.000 One of Western's historic strengths is its external grants and sponsored research. 00:33:12.000 --> 00:33:20.000 Again comparing Western to its peers, WOU generates a greater percentage of its funding from external grants than its counterparts. 00:33:20.000 --> 00:33:27.000 This in large measure due to the success of the Research Institute as well as many staff throughout the university. 00:33:27.000 --> 00:33:33.000 This summer I approved a request to rename the Teaching Research Institute to the Research Institute. 00:33:33.000 --> 00:33:40.000 With the express goal of seeing our success in securing outside funds continue to grow. 00:33:40.000 --> 00:33:44.000 In many cases we need a perfect score from reviewers to secure funding. 00:33:44.000 --> 00:33:48.000 And this means that our efforts need to be world class. 00:33:48.000 --> 00:33:55.000 TRI will be responsible for working with faculty and staff to develop high quality proposals for submissions to external agencies. 00:33:55.000 --> 00:33:64.000 And once additional funding and staffing can be identified, TRI will provide additional stimulus to this important activity through the pre-award process. 00:34:04.000 --> 00:34:11.000 TRI will report to the Provost but also be invited to periodically attend board meetings to ensure that our focus remains a priority. 00:34:11.000 --> 00:34:16.000 As we go forward, external funding will be a key piece of our future success. 00:34:16.000 --> 00:34:21.000 So we will have three pillars if you will, State funding, tuition and fees and external research dollars. 00:34:21.000 --> 00:34:24.000 All of those are essential for our success going forward. 00:34:24.000 --> 00:34:36.000 That's why I've made a change in how TRI will be operating within the University, and your heard from the director Dr. Taylor earlier today about some of the faculty that have joined that group. 00:34:36.000 --> 00:34:40.000 So I'm excited by that possibility. 00:34:40.000 --> 00:34:49.000 At the July board meeting, Chair Baumgartner stated "Western needs to move from the best kept secret to the best known opportunity" 00:34:49.000 --> 00:34:53.000 Best kept secret to the best known opportunity. 00:34:53.000 --> 00:34:56.000 I agree with him, I hope you do too. 00:34:56.000 --> 00:34:60.000 So to become the best known opportunity we must raise our visibility and name recognition. 00:35:00.000 --> 00:35:08.000 Recognition that will be built on the excellence of our so many programs that I've outlined today and many others that I didn't have time to mention. 00:35:08.000 --> 00:35:16.000 To achieve this goal we need to think about a coherent unified marketing effort around the aspects of our work. 00:35:16.000 --> 00:35:22.000 From the Fine Arts to Athletics, I believe that Western can leverage its success to promote interest and reputation. 00:35:22.000 --> 00:35:28.000 Which I believe will secure our future place in the state of Oregon as a premier destination campus. 00:35:28.000 --> 00:35:37.000 Applause. 00:35:37.000 --> 00:35:47.000 Again, as we pause and begin the academic year I want to thank you for being so welcoming to Suzan and me over the past few weeks. 00:35:47.000 --> 00:35:52.000 We're delighted to have the opportunity to serve as president and live in the community. 00:35:52.000 --> 00:35:59.000 And I welcome your feedback as we launch the new academic year and continue our focus and purposeful journey. 00:35:59.000 --> 00:35:67.000 Toward that end, each of you will receive an opportunity to provide your thoughts on strengths, traditions and opportunities for Western. 00:36:07.000 --> 00:36:14.000 I seek your advice on these next steps, a brief survey will be emailed to you and I look forward to your responses. 00:36:14.000 --> 00:36:23.000 I've had a chance to have that survey returned by our ASWOU leadership and our cabinet did the exercise as well but I'm looking for imput from each of you 00:36:23.000 --> 00:36:28.000 As you think about what I've said today as well as what you see as the path going forward. 00:36:28.000 --> 00:36:32.000 Together we can make Western the school of choice for generations to come. 00:36:32.000 --> 00:36:41.000 2015-16 will indeed be a historic year for Western. The unofficial motto for the search community last year was "brave new world" 00:36:41.000 --> 00:36:46.000 With independence Western's posed to create its own future. 00:36:46.000 --> 00:36:56.000 At the board meeting, I added the analogy to Lewis and Clark, a group that is important to Oregon's history and the core of discovery. 00:36:56.000 --> 00:36:67.000 So like Lewis and Clark we must navigate the new frontiers of higher education in Oregon to ensure that WOU maintains its academic vibrancy and fiscal sustainability. 00:37:07.000 --> 00:37:14.000 And building on Western's foundation of excellence we will forge deeper and stronger connections to our partners throughout the state. 00:37:14.000 --> 00:37:22.000 Oregon State motto which was changed in 1987 is "She flies with her own wings" 00:37:22.000 --> 00:37:29.000 I ask for your active participation and support as Western flies on this journey. Go Wolves. 00:37:29.000 --> 00:37:40.000 Applause. 00:37:40.000 --> 00:37:45.000 Applause.