We all make them—promises we make to ourselves of things we plan to improve during the coming year. However, we are more likely to keep those promises if we share them with others.
I remember in January 2005 I made an announcement to my family that I was going to run a marathon. There was a look of disbelief around the room, which actually increased my commitment to delivering on this New Year’s resolution. Eleven months later I crossed the finish line (along with my son, Ben) at the Richmond Marathon, and since then I have gone on to complete another full marathon (this past fall in Chicago) and six half marathons.
As president, I also make resolutions—some privately and others publicly—on ways I hope to improve the quality of life at Methodist University. As another calendar year begins, I thought I would make a New Year’s resolution for MU, knowing that by making this a “public resolution,” I will do everything I can to meet this goal.
My New Year’s resolution for Methodist is to improve our freshman retention rate and make sure we are on track to reach the goal of 65% as outlined in the 2010-2015 Strategic Plan. We were as high as 62% last year and we are making great progress through our Center for Student Success and other initiatives.
Why have I selected this area for my resolution? Because nothing is more important in what we do as a University than to deliver on the promise we make to every new student who comes through our gate that he or she will receive an exceptional education. If we don’t deliver on this promise, the rest of our goals will not matter.
I look forward to reporting further progress in future communications, and to meeting with various constituents as we first identify and then address the various hurdles that prevent students from succeeding.
A University committed to a “culture of excellence” develops signature programs that will foster excellence. Our Student Success Program is one such program and we will invest the time and resources necessary to maximize our results in this endeavor.
100 Partnerships Update
Partnerships with community organizations enhance our retention efforts as Methodist University creates opportunities for experiential learning through organizations and corporations. As we highlight “100 partnerships” during the 2012-13 year, it provides an opportunity to say “thank you” to those who are making a difference in the lives of our students who will in term make a difference in their communities.
We are fortunate to have the support of Fayetteville and surrounding communities. There has never been a great university without a great city, and we are fortunate to have progressive cities and leaders accessible to our students, faculty and staff as they enjoy a terrific quality of life, as well as benefit from a quality education. We salute the All-America City of Fayetteville and Mayor Tony Chavonne, and Spring Lake and Mayor Chris Rey for their support and interest in Methodist University.