2016 State of the University

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Thank you, Chair Levey.

I very much appreciate all that you and the other trustees do for Bowling Green State University. The time, effort, guidance and advice provided to me and others ensures a strong future for our University.

Good morning. Welcome to those here in the Donnell Theatre in the Wolfe Center for the Arts, those at our Firelands campus, and to those across the state and country, who are watching through our video streaming.

First, a very special thank you to our faculty, staff, students, alumni and BGSU supporters for all you have done and continue to do to build BGSU’s future. First, as I stand here with you today, our University’s future is very strong, and it is because of the support from each and every one of you.

Secondly, I want to say a special thank you to Governor Kasich, President of the Senate Faber, Speaker of the House Rosenberger, and an extra special thanks to the Senate Higher Education Finance Committee Chair, Randy Gardner, for their support of the recent capital bill, and their support of the state’s operating budget for higher education that has ensured our students have, for the second year in row, their tuition frozen.

Since our last State of the University Address we have continued on our path in the spirit of innovation as we achieve greater recognition of our outstanding programs and build our reputation across the state, the country, and the world. To continue to further our vision of innovation, this year’s theme for the State of the University Address is “collaboration and transformation.”

Let’s review our recent rankings. In the fall of 2015, we were particularly proud that The Economist ranked Bowling Green State University the number one public university in the state of Ohio based on expected versus actual earnings of our graduates 10 years after graduation. Money Magazine named us to its list of Best Value Colleges. In addition, the College of Business programs moved in the Bloomberg Businessweek rankings from 90 to 71. This means that BGSU’s undergraduate business program is among the top 5 percent of programs in the nation and the top 2 percent in the world.

The BGSU Clinical Psychology doctoral program is ranked No. 2 in the country. College Choice has ranked BGSU’s Master of Science in Criminal Justice online program as the No. 1 online master’s program in the country. 

PayScale, a compensation data firm, ranks BGSU seventh on its list of highest paid education majors, and first in the state of Ohio.

Our animation program and graphic design programs received a national ranking, and SICSIC was recognized by the Chronicle of Higher Education. All of us should be so proud that for several years in a row we have been ranked as the Best for Vets by Military Times. We rank 25th in the nation among four-year universities and 14th in the nation for graduate business colleges.

Rankings are important, and we must continue to seek recognition in all we do. Collaboration is important to improve our rankings. With these rankings we transform ourselves with greater recognition of BGSU throughout the state, across country and around the world.

Accreditations are important to our national reputation. We were pleased with our successful completion of the accreditation review by the Council for Accreditation of Education Programs, and thanks to Dean Shinew for her leadership on this accreditation. In addition, two programs in the College of Technology, Architecture and Applied Engineering received accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology or ABET. The Master of Public Administration program in Political Science has received accreditation for seven years from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration, known as NASPAA.

Now, as with previous State of the University addresses, I want to first discuss the strategic plan and recognize the many students, faculty, staff, alumni and others who have been and continue to be instrumental to the strategic plan’s implementation. After that summary, we will discuss our future and how we work toward it through greater collaborations and transformation within and beyond BGSU.

BGSU has a comprehensive strategic plan that has seven goals. These goals focus on developing a unique undergraduate BG experience, linking graduate and research programs, expanding regional and global partnerships, enhancing a diverse and inclusive community, continuing to improve the quality of life of our constituencies, and becoming more efficient and effective in all we do.

Over the past year, we have continued to move forward on all of these goals and particularly goal one of the strategic plan. We are extremely proud that, in the fall of 2015, for the second consecutive year, we admitted the best academically prepared class in the University’s history, and now in the fall of 2016 it was the THIRD year in a row we have admitted the best academically prepared class in the University’s history. The freshman class that started their academic careers with us this week has an average ACT score of 22.8 and an average GPA of 3.42.

Let’s acknowledge the outstanding work of Cecilia Castellano and her staff in recruiting these outstanding BGSU students for the last three years. Cecilia and staff, would you please stand?

Last fall, our retention of freshmen to sophomores increased to 77.5 percent, which was 3 percentage points above the previous year. Seventy-seven percent of our freshmen students were in linked courses, and 30 percent of them were in learning communities. In fact, we have a new academic learning community, Health, Wellness and You, that is an excellent example of collaboration of faculty and staff. It has 98 students registered in courses to learn and practice a healthy lifestyle. This year, it appears that our retention rate will be 76 percent, but we can do better! We must all work on achieving our goal of 80 percent retention for the fall of 2017, and I am confident we can reach this goal.

In 2012, the last year of the Honors Program, we had 578 students enrolled. Now this fall, 1,013 students are enrolled in the Honors College and the freshman cohort of 274 has an ACT average of 28.38 and GPA of 4.05.

Last fall, and again this year, we held a convocation on opening weekend for our first-year students. The purpose of the convocation is to set the academic expectations and to learn how fellow students have persevered through their undergraduate academic careers at BGSU.

The convocation is a time for our students to think about their future and how BGSU takes them on a pathway to success through their time with us and then with graduation and beyond.

During this past academic year, “major maps” for programs have been created, and our marketing materials differentiate the BG experience with stories aligned with undergraduate research, study abroad experiences, community engagement and, of course, internships that we guarantee to any incoming freshman. The Board of Trustees approved the Falcon Learning Your Way program, or the FLY program, an innovative program that provides assistance to students with learning and attention differences and is a component of the Learning Commons which, since 2011, has served as a multi-service support and resource center for student success – our highest priority. Will Sara Bushong, Dean of University Libraries, please stand and be recognized for her support of the FLY program and the Learning Commons?

Throughout the last academic year, new bachelor’s degrees in Allied Health, in Forensic Science, in Biology and in Philosophy, Politics, Economics, and Law were approved by the Board of Trustees. All of these initiatives demonstrate our comprehensive strategy for student success that ensures students productive careers.

I commend Provost Rogers, Vice Provost Fischer, Assistant Vice Provost Alt, Assistant Vice President Simmons and all who have created and implemented these undergraduate efforts that lead toward student success in and outside of the classroom and on and off campus.

We must continue to ensure our students are prepared for a career upon graduation. We have embedded career-related activities in all of our undergraduate programs, and 1,300 students are registered for the internship guarantee. We received a third round of funding from the Ohio Department of Higher Education’s “Ohio Means Internships and Co-ops Program” and were the lead institution with our most recent grant that partners with the University of Toledo, Northwest State Community College, Terra State Community College, Lourdes University, and Ohio Northern University. This program continues to create partnerships with key industrial sectors throughout the state of Ohio in order to create more internships and co-ops that ensure our students’ success in their careers. Thanks to all for this excellent collaboration. Assistant Vice President Jeff Jackson, will you please stand and be recognized for your innovative work with our Career Center? We are so pleased the Career Center is now housed in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union where it will be front and center for every student to utilize on a regular basis.

In 2015-2016, one of our highly regarded centers, the Center for Service-Learning, had a name change and is now the Center for Community and Civic Engagement. Its comprehensive vision involves and encompasses community-based learning courses, international service-learning, a service-learning faculty learning community and even a BGSU Votes student initiative. The center is an excellent example of collaboration across campus of faculty, staff and students. Will V. Jane Rosser and her colleagues please stand and be recognized for their leadership and work? We hope the center’s on-campus and off-campus collaborations will take us to new heights of recognition in the coming year and beyond.

Another example of an excellent collaboration is the Student Green Initiatives Fund. During the spring semester, more than 95 percent of our students participated in the $5 fee. The committee overseeing this fund is composed of undergraduates, graduate students and faculty. Last year, 12 projects were funded. Will Nick Hennessey and Josh Chamberland please stand and be recognized for their leadership in our sustainability initiatives.

We developed new programming to support our transfer, adult, online and international students. From our e-Campus, that continues to recruit more BGSU students, to flexible scheduling in our Fire Administration and programs to serve our veterans, we are recognized for the excellent job we do in serving our students’ needs. In fact, BGSU was the first university in the state to have a business completer bachelor’s program online from an AACSB-accredited program. In total, we now have 34 online programs with more than 700 students enrolled.

There has been good success with the Firelands Pathway program. This program provides students a way to be involved on campus and ensures greater student success. It’s an excellent example of collaboration and transformation between the two campuses, and I ask Dean Andy Kurtz to stand and be recognized for his support and leadership with the program.

Last December, we announced the Falcon Express Dual Admissions program with Owens Community College. Currently, we have more than 500 students who have opted for the program. Recently, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Lorain County Community College for a dual-admissions program.

Our success with College Credit Plus has exceeded expectations. We had 1,067 students enrolled in College Credit Plus in the fall and 1,286 in the spring. We received an $800,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Higher Education to increase the number of credentialed teachers to teach College Credit Plus at their high schools. Enrollment for the program for the 2016-2017 academic year could increase to more than 2,000 students.

The feedback we have received from families, students and school districts is that BGSU exceeds expectations and goes above and beyond by offering and encouraging students to utilize valuable campus resources such as academic advising, career counseling and tutoring. We provide school district partners with the opportunity to visit our campus and witness firsthand the BG experience. Thanks to everyone involved with making our College Credit Plus program an outstanding one and a very special thanks to Vice Provost John Fischer for all he has done to provide leadership to our involvement in College Credit Plus! John, will you stand and be recognized?

We continue to be proud of our student-athletes and their academic achievements. This past year their grade point average was 3.212, which ranked third in the MAC. The football team brought home another MAC Championship, gymnastics earned a place in the NCAA competition for the first time in 25 years, and swimming and diving finished in the top three teams in the MAC Championships.

Hockey had 20 wins and competed in their post-season tournament. Women’s cross country was runner-up for the MAC Championship. Men’s basketball made it to the semi-finals of the MAC tournament. Aliyah Gustafson won the MAC championship in shot put, finished 24th at nationals and received honorable mention All-American.

Brooke Pleger placed eighth in the hammer throw for the Olympic trials and concluded her outstanding career. We are so very proud of our student-athletes’ achievements.

We are always proud when our students and faculty receive national recognition. Meg Burrell, undergraduate student representative to the Board of Trustees, was one of 218 students recognized nationally as a 2016 Campus Compact Newman Civic Fellow. Emily Hillyer received the Charles J. Ping Award and graduate student, Megan Andrews, received the Frances Laven Award and was the first student at BGSU to ever receive from the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders this award that recognizes exemplary student service.

This was the first year the BGSU Mediation team, coached by Professor Neil Browne, participated in the Regional Intercollegiate Mediation tournament, and our two teams came in first and second. At the National Championships, four of the 36 named All-American Mediators were BGSU students and each received a scholarship to Drake Law School. At the international Academy of Dispute Resolution, we were named first in the nation for a new mediation program. Thanks to Professor Browne and the team for playing an important part in BGSU’s transformation with these recognitions.

Goal 2 of the Strategic Plan places an emphasis on graduate programs and research. Four new master’s degrees were approved last academic year—the first was a forensic science professional master’s program, the second was a master’s degree in European Studies, and a third was a Master of Social Work which is another professional master’s degree, with its primary emphasis in gerontology. The fourth professional master’s degree to be developed was in strategic communication. Graduate enrollment continues to increase – our enrollment this fall in all our graduate programs is 2,708 as compared to 2,439 last year. That’s an increase of 11 percent.

This past year was the first year in the past five that external funding increased. And it increased by nearly $2 million; that’s a 13 percent increase. BGSU received $14.5 million in external grant awards. We have developed a faculty incentive program for externally funded research. More than 100 faculty participated in a grant-writing workshop. We must continue to grow our external support and collaboration will be key to increasing external funding.

Examples of our excellent external support include Malcolm Forbes, the new director of the Center for Photochemical Sciences, who received $540,000 over three years from the National Science Foundation.

In addition, Ksenija Glusac received a $560,000 grant from NSF for her work on alternative fuels. Marco Nardone of the School of Earth, Environment and Society will receive more than $200,000 over the course of three years to support a collaborative partnership between his lab and counterparts at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The award is made under the SunShot Initiative which has as a goal to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources before the end of this decade.

Jon Sprague received funding of $440,000 from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Arnold Foundation to streamline the analysis of sexual assault kits. Andy Torelli, assistant professor in chemistry, was invited to testify before a Congressional committee for his “Know-Ware” technology that allows any citizen to participate in testing water samples. The Center for Family and Demographic Research received renewal funding of $1.13 million for five years from NIH, and Neocles Leontis, collaborating with Craig Zirbel, received a renewal from NIH of $1.3 million over four years.

Medical Mutual of Ohio contributed $1 million dollars to establish the Optimal Aging Institute in the College of Health and Human Services.

This institute builds on our gerontology emphasis and allows us to bring our student and faculty expertise to outreach efforts in the community. Dr. Nancy Orel, will you please stand and be recognized for all of your good work in creating the MSW professional master’s degree and the Optimal Aging Institute?

Last year, we completed a review of all centers and institutes and plan in the coming months to reaffirm some of our centers and institutes for another five years. In addition, our goal is to create new centers and institutes that align closely with the University’s vision and mission. These new centers and institutes will focus on the implementing the goals of the strategic plan, transforming our research mission, and creating new collaboration across campus and beyond.

Finally, on Goal 2 I want to recognize Phil Stinson for the national and international visibility you have brought to BGSU for your research on police officers. Phil, will you please stand?

Goal 3 of the strategic plan focuses on partnerships with the public, nonprofit and corporate sectors. Vice President Ogawa has been working with Promedica Innovations to develop commercialization and public service partnerships with select technology start-up companies and will continue to be involved in leveraging these partnerships for BGSU in the future.

We will open the Collaboration Laboratory, to be known as the Collab Lab, in Jerome Library next semester. The lab, led by Jerry Schnepp, will build the spirit of entrepreneurship across campus and link with many partners in the public, nonprofit and private sectors.

We want to continue our development of educational partnerships with Wood County Hospital, First Solar, and with Cedar Fair, and have ongoing work in place with all three. Vice President Balzer works with our faculty and others to conduct projects for companies and organizations through the Center for Developing Effective Businesses and Organizations, and we have additional partnerships with companies in the region through the Center for Regional Development and the College of Business Administration.

We have also created academic partnerships with Owens Community College, the University of Toledo, the University of Findlay, Lorain County Community College and NEOMED. All of these partnerships demonstrate collaboration and bring about transformation at BGSU while at the same time benefitting the work of our students and faculty.

I want to recognize Bob Midden, Associate Vice Provost for Experiential and Innovative Learning, for all of his work with various partners.

In addition to serving as the director of the Northwest Ohio Center of Excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education, he also serves as the director of Academic Investment in Mathematics and Science. He oversaw the conversion of the Office of Service-Learning into the Center for Community and Civic Engagement, the expansion of the Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship, and the appointment and development of new leadership in the Chapman Community in order to revitalize its mission. His commitment to further our University vision is outstanding. Dr. Midden, would you and your colleagues please stand and be recognized? We need to continue to transform BGSU with these collaborations that bring recognition to our work.

Goal 4 of the strategic plan focuses on global engagement. Marcia Salazar-Valentine, director of International Programs, represents BGSU on the Ohio International Consortium, a group of international education leaders from the public four-year universities. Over the past year we have continued to develop partnerships with universities in Italy, Belgium, United Arab Emirates, Norway, Turkey, Japan, England, France, Austria and China. We now have agreements in 23 countries. We currently have 1,028 international students enrolled at BGSU. Our international students enrich our campus and community. Our goal is to increase the number of international students at BGSU and ensure they have a supportive environment that leads to lifetime success.

During the spring of 2016, the five countries from which we recruited the most international students were China, India, Saudi Arabia, Canada, and Russia. The undergraduate degree programs that attract the most international students are music performance, computer science, pre-engineering technology, sports management, and finance. The top graduate programs attracting international students are applied statistics, construction management, chemistry, computer science, and mathematics and statistics. We need to continue to enhance our international partners and ensure international students on our campus have an outstanding experience.

Goal 5 of the strategic plan focuses on ensuring that our campus and the community embrace and foster the development and appreciation of diversity and inclusion. This past year marked the third anniversary of the Not in Our Town effort with the Bowling Green community. The NIOT organization was recognized internationally with the ImpACT Award in the Quality of Life category at the national conference of the International Town and Gown Association. We ask everyone with us today and others also to join us on October 20 when the University and the community celebrate the accomplishments of NIOT and reaffirm our commitment to this effort.

During the summer, we joined the northwest Ohio community in offering our heartfelt support for the LGBTQ community after the Orlando shootings. We were pleased that Freddie and Frieda Falcon were a part of the Stonewall Columbus Pride Festival and Parade in June.

We are proud to be on the forefront with universities across the country to embrace the “It’s On Us Campaign” and even prouder that student Mary Toth was appointed to the White House Council to oversee the initiative. We are equally as proud that our fraternities and sororities and our student-athletes have taken leadership roles in helping to ensure our campus and community are safe for all students. We will be working with Undergraduate Student Government to hold a reaffirmation of the It’s On Us effort in the coming weeks.

Over the past year, we worked with eight historically black colleges and universities to recruit graduate students and established graduate student recruitment with McNair Scholars programs in the northwest Ohio region.

Barbara Waddell, Chief Equity and Diversity Officer, will retire on October 31st. and I want to recognize her for her outstanding leadership and work over the past 28 years. Barbara, I will miss you. Many others here today and beyond this room will miss you, too. Your dedication exemplifies the best of BGSU.

Our University is a better place because of the time, effort, will power, and caring that Barbara has given us. Barbara, will you please stand and be recognized for your many years of commitment and service? From Not in Our Town to It’s On Us, these initiatives have transformed BGSU and the collaborations involved in them have brought us national recognition.

Goal 6 of the Strategic Plan focuses on the well-being and quality of the life of our students, faculty staff, alumni and friends. To that end, the leadership of Undergraduate Student Government has created the BGSU Creed which embeds the values of our University.  Let’s read the Creed together:

I am a Falcon.

I value an education inside and outside of the classroom.

I aspire to be an engaged global citizen and leader.

I seek service to improve my community.

I collaborate with fellow Falcons in changing the world.

I promote diversity, respect, and a culture of inclusion.

I pursue excellence in all I do.

I support my Falcon Family.

I believe in BGSU.

I am a Falcon!

I want to thank Amanda Dortch for all she did last year in playing a leadership role in student government and in developing the Creed, and now this year for serving as Undergraduate Student Body President.

We have had two administrative changes at the deans level, and these include our own Dr. Dawn Shinew, a BGSU alumna, being chosen dean of the College of Education and Human Development after a national search, and Dr. William Mathis being named interim dean of the College of Musical Arts.

This fall we welcomed two new senior administrators to campus. Dr. Tom Gibson, our Vice President for Student Affairs and Vice-Provost, came to us from Ball State University and is already assisting us with new ways to improve retention; and our Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, Bob Moosbrugger, a BGSU alumnus, came to us from San Diego State University to guide BGSU athletes to their future. Tom and Bob, would you please stand? Also, last fall, we welcomed Mike Jinks, our new football coach, from Texas Tech University. I ask all Falcons to support him and the team in the upcoming season.

This past academic year we implemented two new leadership programs for faculty, staff and administrators. Each program enables the participants to have an opportunity to learn more about the University and to become better strategic leaders.

One of the programs, the Leadership Institute, allows faculty and staff to participate together and to develop projects that could benefit the implementation of the University’s strategic plan.

A major accomplishment of the 2015-16 academic year was the negotiation of a mutually beneficial collective bargaining agreement with the BGSU Faculty Association. The agreement was approved by 96 percent of the faculty and unanimously approved by the Board of Trustees. The use of interest-based bargaining was an excellent example of collaboration that transformed faculty and administrative relationships. Will Vice President Bill Balzer and Steve Demuth, associate professor of sociology, please stand and be recognized for their leadership in developing this contract?

Goal 7 of the strategic plan focuses on the physical, organizational, and functional infrastructure of Bowling Green State University. The implementation of the Master Plan has been a major focus in this goal.

The University physical infrastructure has improved beyond expectations in just one year and certainly over the past five years. We completed upgrades or renovations of more than 50 classrooms. Johnston Hall has been demolished and a much-needed parking lot has been added at the Bowen-Thompson Student Union.

We have completed renovations in Eppler, Math Sciences, Business Administration, Education and Olscamp. Renovations were completed to the Health and Human Services Building, Park Avenue Building, and the Huntington Building. The core campus infrastructure project was completed along with a second regional chiller. We are so pleased that the renovation of the Allied Health and Sciences Building at Firelands was completed. All of these academic building improvements enhance learning and provide our faculty and students with state-of-the-art facilities that they deserve. In addition, we completed the construction and upgrade of the practice fields for Perry Stadium and the upgrades to the stadium itself. We also completed construction in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union for the Career Center and for Falcon Outfitters, our new campus store.

The new Greek Village also opened in the past few weeks. South Hall, now known as the Michael & Sara Kuhlin Center, opened this week to students and is the new home for the School of Media and Communication. The Kuhlin Center is a truly state-of-the-art building and has so much collaborative learning space that will impact students’ learning and their future careers. To demonstrate the impact of facilities, the following is the story of how the Kuhlin Center has already impacted one student.

The story comes from Professor Bob Kline ….

 “A young man came to see me recently. He had struggled at BGSU and thought Communication might be good as a major. He seemed nervous.

I explained the degree requirements to him, but something just didn’t seem normal about his body language and tone. I probed further. He put his head down and gathered his thoughts. He then looked at me and said, ‘Look at this building! Clearly the University cares about me! I really haven’t tried my hardest. I need to step up my game because people here care about us!’”

Wouldn’t it great if we hear this kind of story over and over from our students as they experience all the transformative and new learning environments that we now have across campus!

Thanks to Capital Planning, the design was completed and the renovations have begun on Moseley and University Halls. The new home for the College of Business Administration will be a renovation and new addition to Hanna Hall. I am so pleased the design is now completed so we can ensure this important project will be implemented in the near future and impact future BGSU students’ lives.

Vice President Steve Krakoff and your staff, will you please stand and be recognized for your leadership in transforming the campus and ensuring it is a better place for our students, staff, faculty and alumni?

I also want to recognize Campus Operations for their commitment to collaboration. Our success in what we do would not be possible without the dedicated employees from this important, and very critical, campus unit. Their expertise, attention to detail, and customer-oriented staff have helped to create a unit dedicated to working with all campus units to make BGSU a better place. Bruce Meyer and your staff, please stand. Thank you to all in Campus Operations for your outstanding collaborative efforts in building BGSU’s future.

During the year we continued to implement our commitment to reduce the cost of undergraduate education by 5 percent. This was possible because of our excellent work with College Credit Plus, transfer pathways, the Math Emporium, summer discounts, competency-based learning and the scholarship maintenance plan. In addition, we developed a plan for low-performing programs and courses. In total, we created efficiencies and cost savings of more than $3 million and this makes college more affordable for our students. We recently submitted our report required by the Governor’s Task Force on Affordability and Efficiency. It was very impressive what we have accomplished through collaborating across campus.

Vice President Sheri Stoll, will you please stand and be recognized for your leadership in compiling that report? Michelle Simmons, a great collaborator on the report, please stand too.

We should all be proud of our success as we begin the third year of the silent phase of our comprehensive campaign. During the past year, we secured lead gifts and pledges for the Kuhlin Center, and we secured more than $8 million for scholarships, two new professorships, and increased annual giving by 8.2 percent to $4.4 million. We continue to focus on alumni recognition and engagement and held our second induction ceremony for the Golden Falcons and created Alumni Summer College. Assistant Vice President Becky Kocher, please stand and be recognized.

One event that showcases the talents of our arts students, raises scholarship funds for arts students, and brings regional supporters of the arts and our alumni to the Wolfe Center in early April each year is BRAVO! BGSU. It is an excellent example of collaboration, and I want to say a special thank you to our deans, chairs and directors, our arts faculty and students and to Lisa Mattiace, Fred Connor and Terri Carroll for all they have done to make this truly extraordinary event possible.  If you have not attended, you must put it on your must-see list because it is a showcase of BGSU student and faculty talent.

As we look to the coming academic year and beyond, we must continue our innovative and entrepreneurial spirit to build BGSU’s future with partnerships and collaborations within the University, with our home community, Bowling Green, with the region, the state, nation and the world. Each of us must continue to be a change agent and transform this great University.

In terms of numbers, our vision is to increase our study body headcount to 25,000 (currently we are at 19,352). With that headcount sustained, we envision a retention rate of 80-85 percent in the future. I know we can achieve these increases as we continue to collaborate to ensure student success.

As we look forward to meeting these numerical goals and continue the implementation of the strategic plan, let’s use the Common Read, “A More Beautiful Question,” written by Warren Berger, and think about some questions from each of the strategic plan’s goals that allow us to focus on our future and what we can do to make BGSU an even better University. As you hear these questions, ask if YOUR unit or department has a plan that addresses these and other questions to ensure student success and build our future.

Goal 1 of the strategic plan focuses on the undergraduate BG experience. What can we do we create new academic programs that are responsive to workforce needs of the future?

What will be the impact if we increase the number of students who have the opportunity to participate in internships/co-ops, study abroad experiences; research and community projects, and learning communities? Why don’t we ensure all graduates have a career plan at time of graduation known as the Falcon Flight Plan? What will be the impact if we increase the national awards received annually by faculty and students and ensure strong rankings for the University, individual programs, and athletics?

Goal 2 focuses on graduate education and external funding and recognition. Let’s ask ourselves … How do we increase our external funding and move toward a goal of $30 million per year? Why don’t we create new master’s degree programs that are responsive to workforce needs of the future and ensure flexibility in the delivery to those who are interested in current and future graduate degree offerings?

Goal 3 of the strategic plan focuses on partnerships with the public, private and nonprofit sectors. What if we collaborate to expand the number of existing relationships/partnerships and create new partnerships with regional companies, organizations and communities to further the vision and mission of BGSU? How will these new partnerships enhance the reputation of BGSU?

Goal 4 of our plan focuses on our global engagement. How can we increase international enrollment and ensure our international students have a true BGSU experience and become an active member of the Falcon Family? Shouldn’t we host more programs, conferences and seminars focused on global engagement?

Goal 5 focuses on diversity and inclusion on our Bowling Green and Firelands campuses. How do we increase the diversity of our faculty and staff? What if all of our programs and conferences about diversity and inclusion had a common theme such as Unity and focused on solving problems? How best can we collaborate to continue our support of Not in Our Town and It’s on Us initiatives?

Goal 6 focuses on developing ourselves. What can we do to improve the leadership programming designed for faculty, staff, students and alumni? What will be the impact if we all work toward a goal of endowed colleges and programs and endowed professorships that will garner new resources for continued development of our human capital at BGSU?

Finally, with Goal 7 which focuses on our physical and fiscal future, we witness the progress that has been made toward achieving that goal. However, in order to continue to ensure that BGSU has a strong financial future, how can we each assist in continuing the implementation of the strategic plan and the master plan?

What can every faculty, staff, student and alumnus do to ensure the success of the comprehensive campaign? What if each of us ensure efficiency and effectiveness of all University operations in order to make college affordable to our students?

For Bowling Green State University to have a strong future for its next 100 years we need to work toward a goal of a $300-$400 million endowment. We need to have our annual alumni giving at 15-20 percent participation, and the faculty and staff campaign at 70 percent participation. What can each of us do to help achieve that goal?

I ask for each of you to please work with the administration, each other, and many others both inside and outside of the University to ensure we accomplish our goals for this year and the years beyond. In addition, I ask each unit on campus to have a strategic plan that aligns with the vision, mission, core values and goals of the University strategic plan, and answers the questions posed here today. Then each day, ask yourself and others what you are doing to implement your unit’s plan?

Next fall we will be here to learn about more accomplishments to ensure that BGSU has an ever stronger future. Have a productive semester and academic year. Again, I appreciate all you do to build BGSU’s future.

I invite Chair Levey and Vice Chair Newlove to the stage. Now, let’s all stand and collaborate with Ten40 to sing BGSU’s alma mater.