Happy New Year!
I hope you're looking forward to the possibilities in this new year as much as I am! This is one of the most exciting times in my life, and it seems as if everywhere I turn, there's something new to see, hear, or read about that's never happened before. We're truly living in unprecedented times!
As a college, we must be prepared for this new era of rapid changes, if for no other reason than to ensure that we don't miss any opportunities. And that's what we'll do this upcoming year as we focus on getting prepared.
What's on our slate for the year ahead? For starters, we have seven faculty searches underway now, with three more to launch before the year's end. That's more than 10% of our entire faculty who will be new members of our college community. Based on the reception we've had so far, we've got some amazing recruitment opportunities.
Another change on the horizon comes this June as we say good-bye to quarters and welcome semesters. The process of changing a scheduling system that's been in place for decades has required significant planning. Nearly every course in our college had to be restructured to accommodate the semester format, but these changes have provided opportunities for our faculty to revise and upgrade their courses. We've worked hard on this project, and our college is one of the best prepared on campus.
At the same time, we've been getting prepared for our 2013 accreditation site visit, which takes place once every seven years and culminates with a comprehensive self-report. This offers a great chance to "fine tune" our programs, and we know we'll keep getting better as we set a new standard for success during the accreditation process.
As we continue to improve and innovate throughout the college, we're rebuilding our support programs for students. With new directors in the offices of student affairs and admissions, we'll begin identifying ways to best serve our students -- from the moment they're accepted into our college to the day they graduate.
Getting reconnected with alumni is another priority for 2012. Our loyal alumni are important members of our college community, and we want to share with them all the good news about our students, staff, and faculty, so they too can feel the excitement!
In addition to these important projects, we'll begin -- and finish -- numerous facility upgrades throughout the year. Some of these will address infrastructure issues, such as replacing weak pipes and refurbishing old electrical connections. Other upgrades will involve lab, classroom, and clinic enhancements to make our staff, students and patients more comfortable in our various environments.
We have so many opportunities ahead that I can hardly wait to get started. Here's to a most rewarding and productive new year!