It has been three months into my presidency and first let me thank you for your confidence in me and your support of our treasured alma mater. I look forward to working with each of you as we continue to chart a path for our historic institution.
Throughout the years, The W has done an excellent job of preparing our students for a wide of variety of roles, both professionally and personally.
This work will continue, with a focus on preparing our students to sustain change and evolve to meet an ever-changing work environment.
Following the announcement of my presidency in September, I spoke of three themes that will become the focus of our efforts over the next few years. These themes are adaptability, positivity and responsibility. As we scan the horizon of higher education, it is crucial that The W lead the charge in this fast-changing landscape.
Adaptability, positivity and responsibility are all part of a larger conversation about sustainability, an area that we should embrace and be invested in. Sustainability touches on more than going green. It also personifies stewardship and evolution. You will learn more about these themes as you read further. In October, representatives from across campus participated in a broader discussion about the university’s financial future, as well as the resources needed to determine its sustainability. The session, titled “Leading Institutional Transformation with NACUBO’s Economic Models Framework,” explored four dimensions of the economic models project: mission, structure, strengths and resources.
Students, faculty and staff also showed their enthusiasm and expressed their interests about The W’s future in a listening session with Dr. Al Rankins, IHL commissioner, earlier in the fall.
I encourage you to read about The W’s technological sustainability efforts in the areas of security, performance and redundancy. Over the years, infrastructure investments have improved and reinforced the university’s path into the future.
I’m also excited to announce that The W was awarded a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Title III program to implement processes that will improve retention and graduation rates. This nationally competitive grant is the first of this kind to be awarded to The W.
Intercollegiate sports have provided a sense of liveliness and school spirit to our campus. The return of basketball has been embraced by faculty, staff , students and the community. Twenty-one of our student athletes were named to the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) 2018 Fall All- Academic teams. These 21 athletes of the Owls men’s soccer team, women’s soccer team and volleyball team were honored for having GPAs greater than 3.5.
Lastly, I would like to highlight an award garnered by Fant Memorial Library. The recently renovated facility was recognized by the American Institute of Architects Mississippi Design Awards program for its “radical transformation and sustainability.” We are excited about this renovation that provides a state-of-the-art learning resource for our campus and greater community.
I look forward to continuing to listen, talk and work with all of you as we chart a more sustainable path to the future.
Nora Roberts Miller
15th President of The W