Welcome back ENVD faculty and staff!
It is a great pleasure to welcome you back for the 2018-2019 school year. The summer has seen a lot of activity as we get ready for this year. Building renovations, graduate program proposals, professional community visits, global program expansion and curriculum restructuring are all well under way thanks to all of you who have already contributed many hours in committee meetings and planning sessions. These activities will continue to build momentum as we move towards the first major milestones this semester. I really appreciate all of the effort in putting these things in motion and continuing to work towards their completion.
Why are we doing all of this? The ENVD program is already rated as the most popular ENVD program in the country based on just published rankings. The simple answer is that our faculty, staff and students deserve to work in the best facility we can put in place, deserve the best curriculum we can develop and most of all, deserve an environment that generates excitement every time you walk in the building. I have always believed that this is the primary responsibility of the university. If the faculty and staff are not excited to be in the building and in the classroom, then we need to improve the environment. And that is my fundamental promise to you – I will work every day to make this environment as welcoming, encouraging and exciting as it can be for every individual.
Even as I enter my 25th year of teaching, I still get that feeling of excitement and energy as the new school year begins and we get ready to meet the new class and welcome back the returning students. I am excited to be returning to my roots and I am excited to be working with all of you. I want you to feel that you have every opportunity to ask me any questions or let me know if there are any issues that need to be addressed. Always feel free to come into my office or stop me during my daily walks through the building. My job is to support you and make sure you have every opportunity to meet your goals and succeed in and out of the classroom. Never hesitate to bring up any topic. We may not always agree, but I am always going to take the time to listen and do my best to resolve any issue that you bring to me.
The ENVD program has great faculty and staff. I believe the time is right to raise the program to the next level. The time is right to put in place the programs that will place the program on an international stage. I am an extreme optimist, I admit it. But I also believe that if you do not set the bar very high then why undertake the challenge? The time is right to set our bar at the next level. This means raising the expectations of our students, of ourselves and of the university. There really is nothing standing in our way. I will challenge all of us to put everything on the table. There is nothing that cannot be reexamined.
Our first faculty/staff meeting will be on August 29th. I hope all of you will attend as this will be an important meeting where we give updates on the primary initiatives and set the agenda for the semester. This is going to be an exciting year of change. I look forward to working with you to take ENVD to the next level.
Thanks and have a great start to the semester!