Welcome to Fall Semester 2014!
Dear Members of the Kent State Family,
Like so many of you, I find myself excited once again to begin the journey into a new academic year. While pencil and pad from younger days have been replaced with laptops, iPads and Boogie Boards, the feeling remains much the same. The joy of new beginnings is bolstered by the excitement of meeting new students, faculty and staff; the challenge of developing cutting-edge courses; and the ever-present thrill and lure of new knowledge and new ideas that lie just on the horizon. This year, I suspect that I might be the most enthusiastic "freshman" at Kent State! I began the great privilege of serving as your president eight weeks ago. My decision to join our wonderfully dynamic and diverse academic community has been affirmed every day since then, as I have learned more about Kent State's many excellent and innovative programs and, most of all, as I have met talented and dedicated students, faculty and staff members on every campus. I look forward to meeting and working with many more of you as the semester unfolds.
With so many truly exciting developments underway and on the horizon, you can feel the promise of new life and new expectations in the air. You will see evidence of Kent State's positive momentum all around us this semester, including the continuation of the Foundations of Excellence -- Building the Future initiative that is transforming our campuses with new and modernized facilities; a new season of cheer-worthy Golden Flash competition; and the arrival of a new class of stellar faculty members and the most academically talented freshman class in university history.
The "Listening Tour" I launched on my first day in office will provide a number of opportunities for us to get acquainted. The tour is taking me across the university, the state and the nation to meet with Kent State's many stakeholders, including students past and present; faculty and staff; business, civic and government leaders; and current and potential employers of our graduates. What I hear at each stop will help me determine how we can best elevate our university to even greater heights of success and real-world relevance. Most importantly, the feedback generated by the tour will inform an inclusive, strategic-planning endeavor -- one that results in a truly shared vision for Kent State's future. In the coming weeks, you will hear more about Listening Tour events on and off campus. I invite you to attend them and share your thoughts about what Kent State means to you and what your hopes, dreams and aspirations are for a distinctive future together. And please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and via Twitter @PresBWarren.
As we start this new academic year, I hope that, like me, you take great pride in being part of a university that is undeniably on the rise and making a positive difference in the world every day. May your academic year be filled with wonder and engagement, and may we all be open and generous with our time and respect for one another as we shape a meaningful future together. As I wish you a wonder-filled semester, I thank you in advance for everything you will accomplish and contribute in the weeks ahead.
Best regards (and Go Flashes!),