Monday, July 19, 2010
As we come to the close of the 2009-2010 academic year, I would like to express my gratitude to each of you for contributing to another successful year at South Carolina State University. Like the previous year, we were forced to adjust to curtailed budgets while maintaining the operation of the institution, but we maintained strength in the academy. This allowed us to offer courses needed by students attending SC State. As we look toward the 2010-2011 academic year, we do so with optimism. A strategic planning council, comprised of the President’s Cabinet, will develop a roadmap going forward beginning with the 2011-2012 year which will be shared with the Board. It is aligned with the SC State Strategic Plan (2006-2011). We must remain forward thinking in processes and rely on our strategic goals and contingency to sustain success.
The key strategic goals for the present and future are:
- Accountability for implementation of the strategic plan and resources to implement
- Alignment of academic programs with market
- Institutional processes and resource allocation
- Facilities/Infrastructure to accommodate current and future University needs
- Selection, Employment and Retention of Appropriate Personnel
- Enhance the role of research in supporting SC State’s internal and external goals.
- Significantly enhance and improve the University’s image through increased community involvement.
- Increase revenues through enhanced fundraising initiatives
- Identify and promote the University’s competitive advantages (niche(s) in academic and non-academic areas of excellence).
- Enrollment Management
- Living and learning environment for students that enhances student productivity
We will continue our focus on the major University priorities for 2010-2011. The priorities are to maintain strength in the academy (Quality Enhancement Plan, Honors College, Student Success and Retention, improve use of technology); support critical student support functions (Admissions and Recruitment); ensure that our campus is safe (campus security and deferred maintenance); and embrace the use of technology to improve teaching and learning, and streamline our business process (Banner).
SC State is confronting several strategic challenges as it continues its quest for academic excellence, increased research productivity and state-wide outreach services. These challenges are impacted most by declining financial resources with significant reductions in state appropriations and the downturn in the economy. They include the selection, employment and retention of qualified faculty and staff due to higher salaries offered by competitors; decreasing scholarship funds to provide adequate financial support for better academically prepared students, as well as providing financial assistance to students who qualify for need-based aid but funding is unavailable; and addressing deferred maintenance issues that impede the progress in acquiring and updating a technology infrastructure that will improve administrative services and enhance educational and support programs. We are challenged to increase revenue associated with our E&G budget and to increase fundraising.
We are excited about plans for the new state-of-the-art Engineering and Computer Science Complex. Construction will commence September 2010 and completion is scheduled for February 2011. The University has also instituted an Honors College which will serve as a recruitment and branding tool to attract the brightest students to SC State. In addition, the Business Program has been reaccredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International). The University is privileged to have this distinct honor that is held by only five percent of business schools across the world.
I would like to also take this opportunity to congratulate our alumni, faculty, staff and constituents for giving back to a University that has given so much to you. Your contributions have sustained the institution and I encourage you to continue to make an investment in the present and future education of our students.
As this fiscal year comes to a close, I want to once again say, THANK YOU. We can only be successful by working in concert. I urge your continued support and look forward to many more successful collaborative endeavors to further enhance SC State University.