As reported a little more than a week ago, the Board of Governors met here at New College. Like other institutions in the State University System, we presented our plans and budget requests.
Our request included funding for a new multipurpose facility on campus. You may ask why this matters. As I told the BOG members, New College’s mission is to provide an education that prepares intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement.
To do so, it is fundamental that our students complete their education. That requires us to do everything we can to support them, from their first days on campus to the submission and defense of the thesis.
Right now, too many students leave New College before graduation. Our growth plan has already begun to address that. We are expanding our faculty, which gives our students more possibilities for study and research. Just as importantly, we’ve invested in expanded student services, from Residence Life to Counseling and Wellness. But it is difficult for those services to coordinate, and that creates roadblocks for our students.
This new facility will replace aging, inadequate facilities, from the former Palmer dorms to the converted HCL classrooms, and bring them together in one place. It also will include an auditorium, a space where the entire campus community can convene. We will be better connected to each other, and those connections will help students succeed.
As I told the governors, we will meet our goal of improving retention and graduation rates, regardless, but New College is truly at a fork in the road. One way forward will be longer and more arduous. We hope they assist us in building the direct and smoother route.