We have been selected by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to receive its 2015 Community Engagement Classification. Only 7 percent of colleges and universities nationwide have earned this distinction. This classification provides national recognition that SVSU is dedicated to engaging with our region in significant meaningful ways and enhancing learning opportunities for our students. Service and learning have always been integral to SVSU’s culture and this designation affirms that commitment. I would like to thank the 26-member task force, led by Deb Huntley, provost, and Merry Jo Brandimore, dean of students, for laying the groundwork for this project, and especially Kerry Rastigue, assistant vice president for community engagement and integrated learning, for coordinating the effort and writing the final application. Also, many thanks to all of you who have worked with our students to ensure that they receive the active, engaged learning that benefits them, our university and our region.
As students prepare to return next week, enrollment for the winter semester appears to be about what we anticipated. We know students will continue to drop and add courses, and some are still finalizing decisions on where to attend, but at this point, we expect to be down about 2 percent compared to a year ago. This is in line with our budget projections, so we should be on solid footing financially.
A number of our artistically gifted faculty and staff have pieces on display in the Marshall Fredericks Sculpture Museum for the Creative Cardinals exhibition that runs through Saturday, Jan. 17. If you have not already done so, I encourage you to give it a look. I think you will find it time well spent, and I’m sure your colleagues who are part of the display will appreciate it.
Our men’s and women’s basketball teams have a pair of important contests coming up, as they host Findlay tonight (Thursday) and Wayne State on Saturday. The men are off to their best start to conference play in 30 years. While many of us enjoyed some time away from campus over the holidays, these student-athletes spent much of the semester break practicing, and I know they would appreciate your support.
As classes resume next week, it is nice to be back to work. I mean it. We will not have major announcements like the Carnegie classification every day, but every day does provide us with an opportunity to impact students’ lives and the lives of people in the Great Lakes Bay Region and beyond. Let’s bear that in mind as we embark upon a new calendar year and another semester.