Published September 5, 2018
With the fall semester now in full speed, I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who helped to make our 2018 New Student Days a stellar experience. I heard from multiple families about how smooth move-in day was and how pleased they are that their student chose Wittenberg. As of today, our Office of Student Development reports that we are at 516 confirmed members of the incoming class. We will have a final count after our official census date on Friday, September 7.
This fall will also find us welcoming a few more new faces. On Saturday, Sharon and I had the opportunity to connect with Carola Thorson, our new Vice President for Enrollment Management, and her family during their brief trip to Springfield. Carola will be joining us earlier than originally planned, on September 21. John Hille, our current interim VPEM, has agreed to stay on board for the remainder of this year to assist with the transition. My thanks to John for his leadership and service during these past few months. Additionally, I am working to finalize interim leadership for our Office of Advancement and Alumni Engagement, an announcement about which will be forthcoming.
As for current searches, we have contracted with Academic Search to facilitate the search for our next provost. Jack Ohle and Wanda Bigham, both former senior leaders with decades of experience in higher education (some of Jack’s at Wittenberg), will be our search consultants. I anticipate announcing the search committee following the conclusion of the faculty's election process.
This will continue to be a time of transition at Wittenberg as we implement more initiatives from our strategic plan, assess our facility investments, and identify campaign priorities. As we move forward, our community must come together as we did during our Opening Convocation and during the August 15 update event to create the best environment for all of us to learn, grow, and change.
Michael Frandsen, Ph.D.
We were honored to have Dr. Shakeer Abdullah '99 serve as our Wittenberg Series' Opening Convocation speaker on August 21. Shakeer is a leading diversity scholar-practitioner and the new vice president of student affairs at Clayton State University.
Bin Yu, professor of political science, has been invited to join a debate on "Rising China: Trade and America's Pacific Posture," at Ohio State tomorrow, September 6. Dr. Yu will debate Phil Levy, senior fellow for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
Wes Bates '70, lead donor for our HWA restoration and expansion initiative and a member of the Board, visited campus last week to look at the tremendous progress being made in the construction of the new facility.
The 2018-19 intercollegiate athletics season is off to a great start after a Labor Day weekend filled with competition. Highlights included a 34-21 Tiger football win at home over Westminster, a 3-0 start for our Tiger women's volleyball team under the direction of first-year Head Coach Evelyn Carus, second-place finishes for the Tiger cross country teams in their home invitational, and outstanding performances by our golf teams, including third place for the women at the Denison Invitational and first place for the men at the Transylvania Invitational.
Witt Late Night Events
The first late-night programming event for the new academic year proved a huge success on August 25. Complete with a foam spray and fun activities, the program, sponsored by the Office of Student Involvement, gave students, faculty, and staff the chance to connect and laugh. To learn more, check out what Hai Vo '20 wrote last year about how the program came to be.
New To Wittenberg
Following the All-Campus Update Luncheon on August 15, several people have asked if the loop featuring the photos and titles of the newest members of our community could be made available. It is now posted on the MyWitt portal under the new tab "Office of the President," along with a copy of my presentation.
More opportunities for broad-based community-building and conversation are essential to our work at Wittenberg. Toward that end, Mary Jo Zembar and Casey Gill are planning a half-day, all-campus retreat during Fall Break to think about our roles, especially as they pertain to being a student-ready campus. More information will be coming soon. This year's Thanksgiving Dinner will also be sponsored by the Office of the President so that all may participate.