With the first official week of classes behind us, I hope you are all easily settling in to the Fall semester. The first week of a new semester reminds me a bit of watching a car race, right before the starting flag, when the drivers are racing their engines in anticipation of roaring off around the track. The buzz around the Duck Pond has been energizing, with all of the welcome back activities and information tables. Thanks to all who stopped by the President's Office table and played SCVNGR to win a Lobo Louie bobblehead. I especially enjoyed getting out and meeting so many of you during last Monday's ice cream social.
This year, we have more than 3,600 residents on campus to date, including Janet, Lobo, Bailey and me. There is nothing like living on campus to really foster a sense of community. All of us are a part of the social fabric of this campus, and as such contribute to the cultivation of an environment where our students can become engaged citizens for life.
Transition to LOBO Mail
It has been a long time in the works, but the University is finally replacing its old email system with a modern, web-based tool. The new email system, called LoboMail gives us additional storage, a full-featured calendar, and significantly improved mobile connectivity and system integration. So far over 46,000 student accounts have been activated, and staff and faculty accounts will follow over the next months. This new email system positions UNM for the future and signals a level of technological sophistication to prospective students, faculty, and staff. I have been using this system all summer, and it has many advantages. I know change is not always easy, but this change is in the best interests of the University and our students, and I am pleased that we are moving in this direction.
Recognition for Provost's Blog
Congratulations to our Provost & Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Chaouki Abdallah, whose blog - Provost's Communique - has been featured on OnlineColleges.com's list of the Top 10 Best Blogs by University Provosts. According to the article Provost Abdallah's blog, "addresses issues such as the role and future of universities and the cost of education." Provost Abdallah regularly posts new topics and you are encourages to engage in the conversation.
Community Colleges are Gateways to Four-Year Institutions
Increasing student demand for programs and services, in addition to economic demands for a highly trained workforce, has created an urgent need for us to increase access for our citizens to higher levels of educational attainment.
On Thursday, Santa Fe Community College President Sheila Ortego and I signed a formal Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that will enable students to leverage the resources of
both our institutions though on-line programs and a dual admissions process. The two-plus-two process represents the concept that students' educational experiences should
include a seamless transition from associate degree programs to baccalaureate degree programs. Through this MOA, students are assured of acceptance of prior college
courses at SFCC and are offered a plan for completing a baccalaureate degree at UNM as efficiently as possible. The MOA also formalizes the extended university relationship through which UNM offers upper level and graduate classes, including a Masters in Public Administration, offered via interactive television.
Lobo Growers Market Brings Local Food to Campus
One of UNM's core values is sustainability, and a part of that is educating our students, faculty, staff and community about locally grown, nutritious food and alternative solutions for a sustainable future. The Lobo Growers' Market, which will be held every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the grassy area west of Johnson Center, will offer not only to fresh produce, but also to locally-made value-added products and prepared foods. This weekly farmers market is an initiative of the Sustainability Studies Program and will begin this week, Aug. 29 and will continue through Oct. 3.
Getting in the Lobo Spirit
At UNM we have a strong tradition of donning red or LoboWear on Fridays in support of our athletic teams. Our first home game is this Saturday, Sept. 1, against Southern University. As part of the Game Day Friday tradition, all locations of the UNM Bookstore are offering 25 percent off Lobowear and spirit items on Fridays through March 29. To kick off the season this Friday, 610 AM The Sports Animal will be doing a live radio remote at the main campus bookstore from 8 – 10 a.m.
I hope you will join me in wearing red or LoboWear on Fridays, and even more importantly, in supporting our Lobo football team. We are fortunate to have Coach Bob Davie leading the team this year. He is taking on a program that has encountered challenges in the recent past, however I believe he is bringing the right personal values to the football program. He is setting high expectations for the program and emphasizing integrity, academics and personal responsibility. I am hopeful that we will see the Lobo football program getting stronger and better every year as we go forward. A recent Letter to the Editor in the Albuquerque Journal had this to say about Coach Davie, "…I can honestly say that Davie made an unbelievably strong impression with the level of integrity, discipline and commitment that he has brought to the UNM football program."
I would like to encourage all members of the UNM community to come out and loudly, proudly support Coach Davie and our Lobos. As the letter writer goes on to say, "To paraphrase
Have a great week and GO LOBOS!