The next few months will be exceptionally important as our University Planning Committee finishes crafting the vision, values and mission statements for ASU. As I have indicated on many occasions, only after we have identified a shared vision for the future can our multiple planning initiatives coalesce into an integrated whole. Central to the success of our planning process is the need to create an environment whereby the rationale for key decisions-instructional, personnel, fiscal, and facilities-is understood by all members of our community.
Although this is the initial year for the integrated university planning process, it will become the template we will use on an annual basis into the future. The April 2 public presentations by senior leaders of their planning requests will provide each member of the campus community an opportunity to hear first hand the recommendations for the future of ASU. Your suggestions on how to make the entire planning process more meaningful are critical and encouraged.
Several positive, new initiatives are already emerging which will become part of the shared future vision for ASU. The new Doctorate in Physical Therapy reaffirms our institutional strengths in critical professional programs. The Norris Family Chair in International Business reminds us of the central role alumni play in the vitality of our university. The introduction of woman’s golf affirms our commitment to gender equity, as well as fielding another team in our proud history of winning athletics. Finally, the inaugural edition of the Angelo State University Magazine will showcase these and many other wonderful stories to a national audience.
Naturally we also face challenges. We are part of the national debate on how to maintain accessibility, affordability and academic rigor in a cycle of declining state funding for public higher education. Several faculty searches now underway are not resulting in a diverse, qualified pool of applicants, raising questions about how ASU is perceived in the academic marketplace. Finally, it is too early to tell if our new recruiting and retention efforts will work to achieve ASU’s enrollment goal of 10,000 students.
There is no doubt in my mind that together we will move an already exceptional institution toward these emergent goals. I am excited about 2008 and look forward to working together to overcome challenges as we move toward our institutional vision for the future.
Joseph C. Rallo