Letter to the Reynolda Campus faculty and staff members
Dear Reynolda Campus Faculty and Staff Members,
As the opening of our academic year approaches, I want to update you on activities at the University and to welcome especially our new faculty and staff members. Along with Provost Jill Tiefenthaler, Dean Blake Morant in the School of Law, and Dean Lorna Grindlay Moore in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Reynolda Campus will have approximately 43 new faculty members. We anticipate a total enrollment of 5,895 on this campus.
While the summer brought many positive developments on campus, all of us were deeply saddened by the unexpected death of Skip Prosser. I know that the support extended by the Wake Forest community has been comforting to Nancy Prosser and other members of the Prosser family. We will miss this good man.
I am very pleased that Dino Gaudio will succeed his friend and mentor as our new head basketball coach. He and his staff bring not only energy and experience but also strong relationships with our student athletes, and we wish them great success.
Regarding the status of our strategic planning efforts, members of the Planning Council have devoted much of the summer to reading each strategic plan that has been received. They will begin their deliberations this week, with the goal of presenting to me later in the fall their recommendations for strategic priorities. Early in the fall semester, Jill Tiefenthaler will begin meeting with each department that submitted a plan, which will enable her to meet a substantial number of faculty and staff.
Also in conjunction with the final stages of the University’s strategic planning effort, we will embark this fall on a comprehensive campus master planning process. I expect the initiative to take roughly a year to complete. Matt Cullinan will lead the project, and we have designed it to seek broad campus engagement and input. Ayers Saint Gross (ASG), a leading campus planning and architecture firm with extensive experience in higher education, has been brought aboard to assist with the process and to provide significant expertise. The focus of the master planning initiative will be the future development of the Reynolda Campus, including important contiguous areas such as Reynolda Village and Gardens, Reynolda House, Graylyn and the Baity Street/Groves Stadium-area properties where we have significant academic, administrative, and athletics presence. Looking at our future development as a university offers exciting opportunities, and I will report to you as that process unfolds.
It is very gratifying that total giving for fiscal year 2007 to the Reynolda Campus was $45 million, a 16.4 percent increase over 2006. University-wide giving totaled $71 million. The Presidential Trust for Faculty Excellence has commitments of $8.1 million from 62 donors, ten of whom are parents of current students. The University Advancement staff, in preparation for our next capital campaign, has reorganized to strengthen the critical areas of principal and major gifts as well as parent and donor relations.
Representatives of RBMM, the firm selected to guide us in our branding and visual identity project, spent time with trustees, alumni and parents during our Summer Leadership Conference in July. Later this month they will be on campus interviewing faculty, students, administrators, and staff to supplement their understanding of our strategic planning framework. The project should be complete early in 2008 and will give us, among other components, a new template for University web pages and an updated University-wide graphic identity for printed materials.
We hope to know in October if the University will host a Presidential debate in the fall of 2008. In June, a team of production, media, and security experts from the Commission on Presidential Debates conducted a site visit and gave us very favorable feedback. The actual decision will be made by the Commission’s board of directors.
I encourage you to participate in several important events of the fall semester. Reynolda House is celebrating “Forty Artful Years” the weekend of September 7-9. The fall exhibition, “Wings of Adventure: Smith Reynolds and the Flight of 898 Whiskey,” opens with a party for the general public on Friday, September 7. On Saturday, the public will be invited for a free day at the Museum; and on Sunday, Gary Underland — the restorer of the Savoia Marchetti plane on display in the “Wings of Adventure” exhibition — will discuss the restoration project.
On October 3-5, Wake Forest will host the first of our fall-semester “Voices of Our Time” events. The symposium, entitled “Immigration: Recasting the Debate,” will feature several panels of well-known scholars discussing aspects of immigration. A website will be established soon so that you will have the complete schedule. Given the failure of this summer’s proposed immigration bill, this topic will be of continuing interest during the coming election season.
On October 25, distinguished journalist Bob Schieffer will give an address in Wait Chapel. His observations on issues of national and international import will no doubt provide an engaging occasion to stimulate thought and debate.
Librarian of Congress James Billington will be our fall convocation speaker on October 30 at 11 a.m. in Wait Chapel. Dr. Billington’s most recent achievement is the Library’s “American Memory” National Digital Library Program, which makes freely available millions of American historical items from its own collections and those of other research institutions. He is also the author of several books, including “The Face of Russia,” a companion book to the three-part television series which he wrote and narrated for PBS.
I look forward to our work together in the coming year to serve our students, to participate in scholarly activity, and to shape the future of this great institution.
Nathan O. Hatch President