UM system President Gary Forsee reflected Wednesday on his first 100 days in the office of the president via e-mail to students, faculty, staff and employees at the system’s Columbia, Kansas City, Rolla and St. Louis campuses. Forsee was announced as president of the system Dec. 20, 2007 and took office Feb. 18, 2008. In the e-mail, Forsee outlined his new role and laid out his future areas of focus.
Here is the text of Forsee’s e-mail:
Today is my 100th day as president of this great university. I want to take this opportunity to share with you a few thoughts as I reflect back on this brief time, but more importantly share with you my thoughts as we look ahead!
As you might imagine, it has been quite a whirlwind for me. During my time as president, I have visited with key stakeholders, including faculty, staff, students, alumni, retirees, potential donors and legislators. I’ve also attended functions on all campuses, including graduations, and visited extension centers around the state. It has been a busy time indeed!
Many of you probably have heard variations of my messages as I have had opportunities to talk about my new role:
· The university is an economic growth engine for the state.
· Our four campuses and University of Missouri Health Care have distinctive missions while supporting the university’s overall missions of teaching, service, research and economic development.
· Our students are the lifeblood of what we do, and we need to ensure access and support for them.
· We need to creatively find new sources of support to fund our mission while being accountable. We also need to address a significant disparity in competitiveness of our faculty salaries.
· Higher education needs to be a critical part of every discussion of importance in our state and our country—and be seen as an investment in our future.
While my learning process continues and my list of priorities lengthens, my view of the areas that I will focus has sharpened
· We need to engage our stakeholders and all who love this university and care about its success.
· We will institute a system wide strategic planning process to ensure we are as prepared for the future as we have been in the past. We will look at our schools, departments and colleges on each campus where we can strive for a top 10 national ranking.
· We must accelerate our economic development mission, including focusing on our research and the funding opportunities and the leverage this provides.
· We will take on the tough issues of the day, including faculty salaries, establishing and gaining support for our plan with the General Assembly, challenging initiatives that don’t support our mandate, ensuring our brand as a university is strong in its values and ethics and being creative in identifying additional ways of funding our operating and capital needs.
· We will be accountable and transparent in how we operate and look for ways to be efficient as a system, including looking at best practices around the country to support our own creativity
For more information on these projects and other thoughts about my first 100 days in office, please visit the university’s new podcast initiative at www.umsystem.edu under Audio in the Highlights section.
Let me thank you for your support as I get “on board.” I will commit to updating you along the way and as I make my rounds on topics of mutual interest. I look forward to working with you all in the coming months.
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