Summer at West Georgia
It’s June and summer at UWG has officially begun. People outside higher ed often assume that this is our “down time.” In fact, we’ve just completed Maymester and summer sessions are in full swing. Our orientation schedule is underway and student services such as admissions, financial aid, housing, and the registrar’s office are busy preparing students to begin in the fall. We recently cut the ribbon on our new UWG Newnan location and have soft-opened with a strategically selected set of course offerings. We will celebrate our full opening this fall. And, of course, with the end of the fiscal year upon us, our finance and purchasing departments are busier than ever.
Summer is a time not only of instruction and activity, but of planning. As the weather has warmed and intensified, so has our focus – on assessing and reporting our progress over the last year, goal-setting for the new year, and, above all, advancing new ways to achieve student success so that the 2015/2016 academic year can be the best the university has experienced yet.
We are deep in preparations for next year’s budget as well and it’s exciting to know that our fiscal planning now aligns with our strategic imperatives and have been prioritized to ensure that we’re using always-precious funds in the most effective possible way. We have been able to fund 41 new FTEs in faculty and staff lines and have committed $1.4M recurring for merit, retention, and equity increases. These actions allow us greater ability to recruit and retain highly qualified and engaged colleagues who will, in turn, continue to improve both the quality of instruction and the quality of experience for our students. As good stewards of state funds as well as student tuition and fees, this wise and strategic use of resources is a critical component of becoming the best place to work, learn, and succeed.
One of the most exciting planning projects we will complete this summer is the feasibility study for UWG’s first ever comprehensive capital campaign. As a result of an intensive search process and the valuable input of our faculty and staff, we will welcome a new Vice President for University Advancement on July 6, 2015. Dave Fraboni brings a wealth of experience and senior executive leadership to the university and the advancement team. I’m excited that he will be with me at the helm as we launch this historic initiative.
All in all, it’s been quite a productive summer thus far and I so appreciate the work, engagement, and investment each of our faculty, staff, community partners, and supporters makes every day. Together, we are well on the path to accomplishing amazing things.
Go West! Go Wolves!