I would like to thank everyone who attended Thursday's State of the University address. As I outlined, we face a number of challenges moving forward, but we are meeting those challenges with strategic planning and old-fashioned hard work. As a result, there are a number of encouraging signs that we can measure. These signs — along with the outstanding outcomes achieved by our students and impressive recognition earned by our faculty and staff — give us reason to be optimistic. We make great things possible.
For those of you unable to attend Thursday’s address, we plan to upload video from the event to svsu.edu/president in the coming days.
Governor Snyder unveiled his proposed budget for the next fiscal year on Wednesday, and it is reasonably favorable toward SVSU and public universities. Overall, he is recommending a 2 percent increase for higher education, and we would fare slightly better than that. The proposal also includes “either-or” language for tuition restraint, which is especially important for institutions like ours that have worked hard to maintain affordability over many, many years. This is the first step in a lengthy process, and the legislature must still weigh in, but we are encouraged by this proposal.
Our students continue to shine in academic competitions. All six of our students who competed at the statewide contest for DECA in Grand Rapids last weekend qualified for the national competition in Washington, D.C. this April. Congratulations to Jacob Saint Amour, Maggie Walker, Mackenzie Koski, Keegan Booms, Carly D'Alessandro and Jacob Humphries. This is our first year competing in this international association of high school and college students interested in marketing, management and entrepreneurship in business, finance, hospitality, and marketing sales and service. There are about 15,000 collegiate members nationwide, and other Michigan schools competing include Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Kettering, Lawrence Tech, Michigan State and Northwood, Davenport. Congratulations to the students and my thanks to their advisers Amy Hendrickson, assistant professor of law, and Betsy Pierce, assistant professor of accounting.
The planning team organizing the 2018 Theodore Roethke Poetry and Arts Festival, scheduled March 23-28, has finalized this year's event lineup. Hosted here and at locations across the Great Lakes Bay Region, the festival includes poetry readings, musical performances and tours of the Roethke home in Saginaw. A grant from the Michigan Humanities Council supports the festival. Be sure to put some of these items on your calendar. The schedule is available online at http://www.svsu.edu/roethke/events/
Mother Nature has not pulled her punches lately in Michigan. Snowfall, frigid temperatures and strong winds have combined for some challenging driving and walking conditions. I would like to thank our grounds crews for working so hard to keep the campus thoroughfares clear and safe. The decision to close or delay opening campus – as we did on Monday – is never made lightly and is rarely universally popular. The safety of our campus community is always our primary concern. If you have not already done so, I encourage you to sign up to receive notifications regarding weather delays and other emergencies. You can do so online at www.svsu.edu/universitypolice/campusalert/
If you were not present for last night’s men’s basketball game, you missed out on quite a spectacle that exemplified the tenacity and passion of our young student-athletes. Coming from 18 points behind, the Cardinals — led by senior guard Mike Wells Jr., with 44 points — defeated Michigan Tech, 105-94 in double overtime. I hope to see some of you at Saturday’s games.
In addition to supporting our student-athletes, fans attending this Saturday's home basketball games will be helping the fight against breast cancer during our 10th Annual Breast Cancer Survivor Reception and Recognition Event. Each year, more than 50 breast cancer survivors attend this event, which has raised over $30,000 for regional community partners in need of breast care services. The survivors will be recognized during halftime of the women's basketball game, which begins at 1 p.m. The men's team plays at 3 p.m. Both are facing Northern Michigan. For more information, contact the SVSU Athletics Community Engagement office at email@example.com, (989) 964-2565 or svsucardinals.com/bc.
This week marked the phenomenon known as National Signing Day. I attended the reception following Wednesday's announcement of the 32 student-athletes joining our football program, and I was especially pleased to see so many faculty and staff recognized for their efforts to welcome prospective students and families when they visit campus. I know this willingness to go above and beyond extends to many athletic and non-athletic programs, and it truly makes an impression that serves us well. Thank you.