Message from Chancellor Shirley Lawler to Faculty and Staff
Greetings from Kellett Hall.
It is hard to believe that August is here already! Where did the summer go? I hope everyone has had the opportunity to enjoy some vacation time with friends and family. Although we have had many activities on campus this summer, we have missed the normal hustle and bustle of the regular academic year. I am looking forward to the students and faculty returning to campus and bringing with them the excitement of a University campus in the fall of the year, and I am sure everyone is looking forward to cooler weather.
Construction continues on Hass-Darr Hall, and we hope to occupy the building sometime in August. There have been delays with the building due to a moisture problem in the floor; that issue has been corrected, and we are moving forward quickly now. This week the carpet and floor coverings are being installed, and the rooms are really starting to take shape. Hass-Darr will be home to the many resources we offer students such as the Drago College Store, the admissions office, the William and Virginia Darr Honors Program, Veteran Services and the tutoring labs. It will be a beautiful building when it is completed. We all look forward to a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Hass-Darr Hall in the near future.
Governor Parson has met with various agencies, colleges, and business leaders throughout the state describing his two top priorities: workforce development and infrastructure. In an effort to tap into additional funding that might be available for expanding our technical and allied health programs, Dr. Lancaster has submitted a proposal to request additional funding for the GOCAT programs and the many career opportunities that are available through the center. We are also meeting with various business and industry leaders in an effort to determine the need for new program offerings that would benefit the West Plains community, as well as the entire region.
We continue to work on increasing our enrollment for the fall semester. We are making a final push for recruitment during these last few weeks of summer by participating in radio interviews and sending out multiple email blasts to prospective students, as well as current students who have not yet registered for fall. I hope that you have seen one of our newspaper ads or received a flyer in the mailbox reminding residents to register for classes.
As we move into the days of August, there are many upcoming activities on campus…
Items of Note
Move-in Weekend and Welcome Week are great opportunities to connect with students and welcome them to campus.
The State of the University Address and an open forum is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 29, starting at 3 p.m. in Melton 112 followed by a reception. I look forward to having President Clif Smart on campus for this event.
The Grizzly Booster Club Annual Picnic and Hall of Fame Ceremony is scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8, in the West Plains Civic Center Exhibit Hall. Everyone is invited to join us at the picnic to celebrate the new athletic season and recognize two of our former Grizzlies. At 6:30 p.m., the Lady Grizzlies will take the court for their first home game of the season.
- The 2017-18 Grizzly Volleyball Team has been recognized for academic excellence with the Team Academic Award from the American Volleyball Coaches Association. Congratulations to the team, along with Paula Wiedemann, Brianna Walsh and all faculty and staff who work with our athletes.
- Dr. Linda Wulff-Risner is appreciated for her leadership efforts in taking seven members of the Agriculture Club to the National Postsecondary Agriculture Students (PAS) Organization Conference and Convention this past spring semester in Louisville, Kentucky. Two students were speakers at the national convention, and five students placed in the competitions.
- Thanks to Dasha Russell for taking two Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) students to the PBL National Leadership Conference in June in Baltimore, Maryland. Under her leadership, one of the students placed in two of the national competitions.
I look forward to seeing everyone back on campus in the next few weeks. Please stop by the office if I can assist you as we start a new academic year.
Always remember, what we do each day for students does make a difference.