President opens PSU 113th academic year

  Thursday, August 13, 2015 2:00 AM

Pittsburg, KS

President opens PSU 113th academic year

Pittsburg State University President Steve Scott officially opened the 2015-16 academic year on Thursday, Aug. 13, with remarks to faculty and staff in the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts. The university begins its 113th academic year on Monday, Aug. 17.

The president began by taking a quick look back on a very busy year. He noted the completion of the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts, the Robert W. Plaster Center, the Overman Student Center expansion and renovation and the Nation/Mitchell Hall renovation.

“But as I’ve said before,” Scott said, “it’s not about the buildings, but what goes on in those buildings that really matters.”

In addition to the construction work, Scott pointed to the implementation of a new tobacco-free campus policy, the movement of employees from the state classified system to become University Support Staff, a new summer schedule, five championships in Athletics, the beginning of a new doctor of nursing practice program, the establishment of a polymer chemistry degree program, growth in the School of Construction and the establishment of the Kansas Center for Career and Technical Education.

“We accomplished a lot of things, but also had a lot of challenges along the way,” Scott said.

The president then turned to the year ahead, beginning with a slide of the state Capitol.

“Topeka,” Scott said. “It was a tough year up in Topeka and it’s probably going to continue. We continue to be very worried about the revenue picture.”

He moved on to three issues that he said would be “transformative” for the campus.

Those include the beginning of a $55 million capital campaign, the implementation of the Oracle Cloud Project, and the university’s strategic plan.

The capital campaign, entitled “Proven. Promise. Pitt State.” seeks to raise money to “ensure student accessibility, enrich the student experience, build faculty strength and ensure an active learning environment.”

Specifically, the campaign goals are $20 million for scholarships, $10 million for expanded academic programming and the development of co-curricular activities, $5 million for endowed faculty positions, and $20 million for renovation and construction of campus facilities.

The Oracle Cloud Project is the replacement of the university’s core electronic system, which includes student data and records, financial and business systems, employee records and human resource services.

To replace the current, 30-year-old system, the university has selected Oracle Cloud.

This is the first year of the 2015-2020 strategic plan, which includes four goals: academic excellence, student success, partnerships and a responsive and innovative campus culture.

The president concluded his remarks by throwing out some numbers. The first, 8,823, is the number of individual students impacted by the university in the past year. The second number, 1,074, represents the new freshmen students on campus this fall. Finally, he listed the number 1.

“One,” Scott said. “That’s what it’s all about. That one individual student whose life you touch. It’s why we do what we do.”

In addition to the remarks from the president, the opening faculty meeting included introductions of new faculty and staff and welcome remarks from organizations representing faculty and staff on campus.



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