SCSU, Community Can Form Shared Vision

As the new president of St. Cloud State University, this week I will welcome 16,000 students to campus to
begin a new academic year.

I look forward to getting to know them, and in preparation, I've done a little research on who they are. I'd like
to share some of what I've discovered about these future graduates, as well as some of my plans for serving
them better.

The vast majority of our students, 82 percent, are Minnesotans, and 35 percent grew up right here in Central
Minnesota. Another 28 percent are from the Twin Cities, and the rest come from almost every state in the
nation and from 90−plus countries.

More than three−quarters of our students fit jobs into their busy class and study schedules. Chances are when
you eat in a restaurant, go through the grocery checkout, or shop in a retail store you'll see our students
earning part of their tuitions.

Many also participate in one or more of the almost 250 student organizations on campus, as well as
community volunteer opportunities for organizations such as St. Cloud schools, Boys & Girls Clubs and
senior care centers.

About 3,000 of our students live in campus residence halls. One in four attends part time. One in eight has a
scholarship, and half are receiving loans to pay for their tuitions. Their most popular majors are elementary
education, mass communications, marketing, finance and community psychology.

At St. Cloud State we're offering a wonderful mix of students the opportunity to dig down and discover within
them the right stuff to take their place in a world that will require them to be critical thinkers, to be able to
express themselves in writing and in speaking, and to understand science and its role in the economy, in law
and in government policy.

Our faculty and staff are making a difference at a pivotal time in the lives of our students, helping each
prepare for a career, explore new interests, discover new abilities, shape their characters and make friends for
a lifetime.

Since coming to St. Cloud State on July 1, I've been meeting with every office and department on campus, as
well as with city and state business and government leaders and alumni and friends of the university. We've
been talking about how we can best take full advantage of the human resources we have on our campus and in
our community to serve students better.

I would like to outline some basic commitments and directions that will shape the work we will do to
strengthen our university and our partnership with the St. Cloud region.