Even though each new academic year is a time to look forward, it also provides the opportunity to reflect back. We’ve accomplished a lot together—our faculty, staff, and students in partnership with our alumni—and you, our donors (many of whom are members of those groups I just named).
I can see momentum. Indeed, it has taken some time to get things into position—like our new programs in environmental engineering and public health and new facilities. We’ve done so in the context of Pennsylvania’s decreasing demographics, with a disciplined approach to spending.
As I told the campus community on our opening day, with a solid freshman class and our strong position amidst the other universities in the State System of Higher Education, this is our year. Don’t get me wrong: We have plenty of challenges—things I addressed candidly in my public remarks, but we also have the very best people assembled here and a track record of working together that, in comparison to many other universities in Pennsylvania, puts us in an enviable position.
Enviable, but it’s ours to lose if we don’t hustle. No doubt, we are at a critical turning point. If we were doing a SWOT analysis, I would call the perception of American higher education, lack of state funding, and competition our threats. I’d also label those as opportunities, because I am convinced that IUP’s collaborative brand of doing things is a rare quality in today’s higher education landscape, that our disciplined and strategic spending habits are part of what sets us apart from our State System counterparts, and, while the market is competitive, prospective students have more reasons than ever to choose IUP. Much of that is a credit to you and your support.
I am not naïve enough to believe that you invest in IUP to make it the best university ever. You do it for broader reasons, such as ensuring that the world has access to well-rounded leaders and problem solvers. For that reason, everyone at IUP is ever grateful for your trust in us to make that happen.
That’s why I challenged our faculty and staff to seize this time and soar. I invite you to read my address to the university community or watch the video above.
Please take a moment to ask a question or make a comment.