Monday, August 20, 2012
Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, Alumni and Friends of the University of West Georgia:
These are exciting times for UWG. Every day, more people are discovering the strength and diversity of our school – the place to explore a world of unfettered opportunity.
We are making great progress in our quest to be a destination university. Our four-point plan consists of academics, a vibrant campus life, facilities to support the first two, and sharing our story. I will touch on each of these in turn.
We are now a SACS Level VI University. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) categorizes colleges and universities based on various criteria and Level VI is the highest level possible. For example, UGA, Georgia Tech, Emory, etc. are Level VI institutions, as is the University of West Georgia!
Our academic accomplishments are outstanding. We have a first-class faculty who embody our theme of “Educational Excellence in a Personal Environment.” They continue to make a national mark in their respective disciplines, while retaining a deep regard for our students and their instructional role. Our senior faculty, department chairs, deans and senior administrators teach undergraduate courses. I am now in my 19th year as President of this great University and have taught an undergraduate student course every year, including this year. This level of commitment to students and their education is quite rare in American higher education, particularly for a university with multiple doctoral programs and approximately 12,000 students.
UWG continues to make a national mark in academic debate and in undergraduate research. We finished the last academic year being rated the top school in the Southeast in the National Debate Tournament. We continue to do very well in undergraduate student research papers selected for presentation in national competitions. Last year, our students won the top undergraduate student research prize in the nation at the National Social Sciences Association, which marked the fourth time UWG students have done so in the past decade.
We have a vibrant campus life where students can participate in more than 150 clubs and organizations as well as the arts, theater, music, band, athletics, intellectual discussion panels and the like. Our basketball and football attendance is about 25th in the nation among 285 Division II schools.
If you haven’t seen the latest facility additions, you should – these facilities are truly worthy of a destination university. We recently opened a new visual arts building and a 600-bed residence hall called Center Pointe Suites that looks and feels like the most modern of campus living with amenities required and desired by today’s students. Our growth continues with the state of the art nursing building and east village housing and dining hall which are both currently under construction.
And finally, we are sharing our story with the world through our enormously successful Go West campaign, which continues to win national and regional acclaim and generate great excitement among all of our audiences.
In the community, UWG has expanded how it makes its mark with its cultural and entertainment offerings, volunteerism and economic impact.
And in society, UWG students, faculty, staff and alumni are a part of a mosaic that reflects our institution’s many academic and societal contributions to fields across a wide spectrum of disciplines.
Scholarly achievement, creative expression and service to humanity are values that we live by, and are part of what it means to Go West.
At UWG, you’ll find a place that is not bound by tradition, but that honors and respects its rich heritage.
You’ll find an institution that is a little bit off the beaten path and encourages exploration and discovery.
And you’ll find students for whom UWG is a “right fit” that allows them to work closely with caring instructors who challenge and encourage them.
As I look forward to continued excellence and growth, I thank you all for your continued support.
I hope you will spread our message – at UWG we prove every day that amazing things happen when you Go West.
Beheruz N. Sethna
Professor of Business Administration and
President of the University