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Strategic Scheduling for Student Success Initiative (S4I)

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Some of my most salient memories from my first year at Utah involve our talented and hard-working students – students like Teresa, a working mother of three who came to my office with the request that we help her finish her degree by improving the logistics of our course schedule (she had required gateway courses that were scheduled both early in the morning and late in the day), and Mitch, who was arranging special permission to take the two remaining courses that he needed to graduate even though they overlapped about 20 minutes.

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Supporting, Serving, and Celebrating Transfer Students

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Parker Erickson (shown left) is a remarkable undergraduate student. He is a center on the Utah football team who has earned a 4.0 GPA. With the full endorsement of the university, he recently submitted a Rhodes Scholar application. Parker is also a transfer student, joining the U after studying at both Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) and Snow College.

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Rising Stars at the U

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Getting to know all of you – as many of you as possible – has been one of the great pleasures of this first year at the University of Utah. I’ve met the amazing people in all corners of the university, faculty and staff from the main campus and in health sciences, as well as graduate and undergraduate students.

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Student Success

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I often have the opportunity to talk with alumni groups and faculty members about their experiences as undergraduate students. When asked about factors that influenced their success, many people highlight particular individuals who demonstrated a special interest in them – a faculty member who involved them in scholarship, an advisor who reached out to help at a time of need, a donor whose scholarship made it possible to attend college, a staff member who genuinely cared about their well being, or members of a network from a residence hall or sorority who became “friends for life.”

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Plan to Finish

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The U is joining with other institutions in the state in the shared agenda to increase four- and six-year baccalaureate graduation rates. The U’s Plan to Finish campaign is tailored to the unique talents and needs of our students.

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Listening and Learning to Develop Campus Strategy

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Since joining the campus on August 1, I have had the pleasure to meet many of you during visits to the colleges and departments. I appreciate the warm welcome you have extended as I join the University of Utah, sharing with me your current goals, your perceptions of strength and challenge on campus, and your aspirations for the future.

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