Welcome to Fall 2012
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Welcome to Fall 2012. This is an exciting time to be a part of the University of West Florida. Our phenomenal enrollment growth continues, with more than 12,823 students registered for the first day of class this semester, a 6.6 percent increase over last fall’s record enrollment.
Last week we also welcomed the largest Freshman class in our history with 1,847 joining the UWF family, a 26% increase over last year. Our housing is at 107% occupancy with 2,144 students calling the UWF campus home. Our Freshman class is 40% ethnically diverse; and this semester we welcome 47 new faculty into UWF classrooms.
To prepare for these students we had an extremely productive summer, highlighted by:
— Adoption of a new Strategic Plan and Campus Master Plan, which will lead and transform our campus in new and exciting ways.
— Every classroom on campus has now been upgraded to offer electronic technology for instruction.
— Purchase of Scenic Hills Golf and Country Club, a move that will allow us to expand many academic programs, such as our hospitality, recreation, and sports management programs, and provide a wonderful facility for our golf teams.
— Introduction of our first summer cohort program in which 151 high school graduates experienced campus life while receiving intensive academic training to better prepare them for fall admission. 120 of these students are now enrolled at UWF.
— Campus improvements like new furniture and flooring in the Villages apartments; the opening of Bistro Blue, UWF’s first mobile food truck; library renovations, athletic field renovations, and installation of electronic bulletin boards all around campus.
But that doesn’t begin to compare to the big plans we have for fall:
— This semester we will host the grand opening of the new College of Business Education Building and Presidents Hall, our newest student residence which also will feature a Papa John’s pizza restaurant and convenience store. Presidents Hall will provide housing for 252 students, helping pare our waiting list for campus student accommodations.
— We are upgrading efforts to improve student retention and awareness of academic integrity, as well as launching new initiatives involving diversity and inclusion on campus. Everyone should be aware that week eight is early warning week for our students.
— A search committee has begun the process of hiring a provost, a top priority. We seek an academic leader who is passionate about the opportunity to join an institution that is in motion and on the rise. I truly appreciate Dr. David Marker’s service as interim provost, a job he will continue until a permanent provost is hired.
— We will offer a new bachelor’s degree program in athletic training.
All of this just scratches the surface of our plans and accomplishments for the year ahead. I know you share my enthusiasm and excitement to be a part of this special university at this transformational time.