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SUU In View - Spring 2003 - President's Letter | Alumni | SUU
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SUU In View (Alumni Magazine - Spring 2003)

Welcome snow now covers the beautiful SUU campus after the driest summer in memory. Despite both challenging weather conditions and economic stretching, the University is moving forward with optimism.

"Photo:President Steven BennionWe see new windows of opportunity as we move ahead to maintain and strengthen the quality of this splendid institution. We stand on the shoulders of the Herculean efforts of our Founders and the many talented and dedicated people who have served here since then. I am pleased to report that those who serve SUU now have that same commitment to quality, opportunity and extra-mile service. All of us are inspired and lifted by the splendid students who grace our campus. We recognize that many of them have parents and family members who are now our sterling alumni. We invite you to keep sending your wonderful children and grandchildren to SUU!

I want to share a few examples of recent developments and plans at the University:

SUU is well known for its remarkable record in successfully placing her graduates in professional and graduate programs. Of those who applied for these competitive health programs, 90 percent were admitted. Similar SUU successes are found in law, business, the arts, humanities, social sciences, and the sciences.

* Since last spring we have appointed several people who have joined the University on its administrative, faculty and staff team. A number of these individuals were spotlighted in our latest alumni publication. SUU is a dynamic organization with over 600 employees. We are appreciative of the countless and dedicated efforts of our employees who make such a vital difference. Two outstanding professors are finishing their employment at the University whose contributions both on and off campus have been extraordinary. They are Dr. Wm. David Lee (see story on page 13) and Dr. Eugene T. Woolf. (Dr. Woolf recently passed away, see story on page 31) We salute them for outstanding service over a combined 81 years.

* SUU just received an NCAA top ten national award for the academic performance of its student athletes. Congratulations to our students, coaches and athletic department staff.

* In mid-November the SUU Concert Choir, under the director of Dr. Gerard Yun, was invited to join the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Utah Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, and two children's choirs in performing Mahler's 8th Symphony. The setting was the Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City. It was a fabulous evening of musical ecstasy. Our students won rave reviews from the leaders of this wonderful concert sponsored by Obert C. and Grace A. Tanner. The next Sunday the Concert Choir was invited to perform with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in their "Music and the Spoken Word" broadcast. Congratulations to Dr. Yun and the Concert Choir!

* As we conclude the 2002 calendar year, the University administration extends its heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to the many, many people whose generosity has enabled us to move very close (within a half million dollars) toward completing our capital campaign goal of $42 million. By the time of this publication, I expect we will have reached our goal. Included in this very large undertaking has been the purchase of the Iron County School District property to enlarge the SUU campus; it is now the site for the beautiful J.L. Sorenson Physical Education building, the designated site for the planned teacher education building, and late this fall, a large parking lot was completed on the east end of the property which will serve the upper campus, the two education buildings and the Utah Shakespearean Festival. The campaign has likewise provided considerable contributions toward scholarships, enhancing the learning environment, for existing programs, campus beautification and unrestricted funds to meet selected opportunities. The centerpiece of the campaign is scholarships and student financial support. This continues to be our most pivotal financial need. We are therefore extending this portion of the campaign to raise an additional $11 million for scholarships and student financial support. Again, our profound thanks to all for your generous support!

* Finally, the University is facing major financial challenges which are requiring creative approaches in order to meet the quality needs and learning environment our students so badly need. SUU has targeted the following three pivotal needs to address with tuition hikes since state funding is shrinking at all public colleges & universities:

"Photo:SUU campus first snow fall"

  1. Strengthen student retention and recruitment by:
    • Having additional academic advisors so each college will have one;
    • Implementing a campus student success course to improve retention;
    • Strengthening student recruitment and university marketing-too many people do not know about SUU, its quality programs, mission & location;
    • Providing for software and database systems to better serve students and the University.
  2. Strengthen faculty and staff retention and development by:
    • Providing a more extensive array of summer offerings to expedite time required for graduation;
    • Improving training and development opportunities for faculty/staff;
    • Strengthening retention of best faculty/staff.
  3. Improve student financial support through jobs and financial aid by:
    • Improving numbers of jobs and student wages (The creation of additional jobs was also a focus last semester);
    • Providing additional financial aid to meet student needs.

To meet these pivotal needs to maintain and strengthen the SUU learning environment, tuition increases for undergraduate resident students are increasing by $222 per semester for 2003-04. Non-resident rates will increase by a smaller percent but a larger dollar jump to equal 3.3 times resident rates (they have been over 3.5). The University administration, Board of Trustees, faculty, staff and our student leaders believe this is an essential investment in the future success of our students and the University. In difficult times, we must not wait until everything is perfectly in order before acting. These major efforts represent the lumber we must rescue from deep snow in today's mountains. To invest in the quality of our students' future success will help assure a future brimming with promise.

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Last Update: Thursday, February 05, 2009