Mid-Summer 2018 Update July 20, 2018
To: W&L Faculty and Staff
From: Will Dudley
Date: July 20, 2018
As summer reaches its mid-point and we begin to look ahead to the start of the academic year in September, I want to take the opportunity to update you on a number of items:
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) review board recently determined that we are now fully in compliance with all accreditation standards, leaving us well-positioned to undergo the required reaffirmation of accreditation process in the coming academic year. We appreciate the hard work of those of you who have been or will be involved in this process.
Our colleagues in University Development met two significant goals in recent weeks. First, for the ninth consecutive year, the Annual Fund team led a record-setting effort, exceeding its ambitious goal of $10.775 million, with a final total of $10,858,812. Undergraduate alumni participation reached 50 percent for the eighth consecutive year. These milestones reflect the hard work and dedication of our development staff, trustees, class agents and reunion volunteers, and the remarkable generosity of W&L's alumni, parents, employees and friends. We are fortunate to work at an institution that is so generously supported by its entire community.
Second, gifts and pledges to the indoor athletic and recreation center reached the $50-million goal for that project by the June 30 deadline. This total includes funding for the natatorium and for the Richard L. Duchossois Center for Athletics and Recreation. Work on the center is well underway, with construction scheduled to be complete in mid-2020. Details on the transition plan for university athletics are available online.
In other campus construction news, long-anticipated renovations are in progress on the Woods Creek Apartments. The East building interior is being remodeled this summer, along with the exterior of the entire complex. The project will be completed next summer with an interior remodel of the West building and an extensive landscaping of the common areas behind the apartments, which overlook Woods Creek. You can read more about this work on our website.
Following the Board of Trustees' approval of the Strategic Plan in May, we have begun to move forward on a number of the initiatives. The first step in sequencing the capital projects endorsed in the plan is to update our Campus Master Plan. We will engage a professional architectural firm to help us with this work, and look forward to completing the new master plan in 2019. A planning task force has been formed for the new Center for Academic Resources and Pedagogical Excellence (CARPE), and we anticipate work on that exciting project will commence in 2019.
The impact of the Strategic Plan can also be seen in the expansion and renaming of the Office of Inclusion and Engagement. Led by Dean Tammy Futrell and supported by our newly appointed director of inclusion and engagement, Crasha Townsend, the office will offer expanded programming for our students and will promote an inclusive community on campus and in Lexington. We look forward to creating a dedicated space for the office as part of the renovation of Elrod Commons in the coming years.
Finally, I am continuing to review the Commission on Institutional History and Community's report, along with feedback we have received since sharing it with the community. As I indicated in May, I intend to share my response at the end of the summer. If you have thoughts about the report that you would like to share, please email them to CommissionReport@wlu.edu.
I am grateful to all of you for your hard work and dedication to W&L over the past year. I hope you are enjoying that elusive combination of relaxation and productivity this summer. We will kick off the new academic year with a full slate of programs in our Fall Academy, which will take place August 20-31, and I hope to see you at our annual Town Hall Breakfast on August 29.