Apr 17th, 2006 @ 3:28 pm | Author: By Ellen-Earle Chaffee
Last week, the legislature's Interim Committee on Higher Education came to campus for its biennial visit. The group consists of about 21 senators and representatives, and nearly all of them were here. Our own Senator Larry Robinson and Representative Ralph Metcalf are not on the committee, but they were able to join us, too. During the two years between legislative sessions, the committee visits every campus in the state. Although their primary focus is on facilities, they also want an update on how the universities are doing.

The visit went wonderfully again this year. Doug Anderson put together a colorful and informative booklet to showcase our initiatives and facilities. It is posted on the university's web site at www.vcsu.edu for anyone who is interested. Academic Vice President Jim Wigtil gave the committee an overview, followed by professor Dan McRoberts explaining what we are doing in the areas of online and graduate education. Northwood teacher Ryan Bilden called in to give a short testimonial for the new online master's program, in which he is enrolled.

Professor Sue Pfeifer and Eagle Creek employee Mike Lloyd (2004 VCSU alumnus) gave an introduction to the customer relationship management program that we developed for Eagle Creek. I followed up with a thank-you for the $1 million for our center of excellence.

Business Vice President Bill Ament and facilities director Ron Pommerer provided a walking tour of key facilities that was popular not only for the quality of the guides but also for the beauty of the day and the campus. Professors Joe Stickler, Andre DeLorme, and Hilde VanGijssel introduced our visitors to campus initiatives in undergraduate science research – including the need for expanded and updated facilities for this very successful enterprise.

The facilities services folks had done a great job of preparing the campus for inspection. Student Center and food service staff had the meeting room, sound system, and meal in perfect order. It takes a lot to impress a legislator, but the people of VCSU impressed all 21 of them, and other guests as well. Thanks, team.

On other matters, I have been amazed by a couple of rumors that are floating around. Both are emphatically not true. Contrary to rumor, I am not interested in political office, although I have tremendous respect and appreciation for those who provide that public service. It is also not true that I might take on some role at Mayville State, given that the president is leaving. I have too much respect for both Mayville State and VCSU to agree to that, and furthermore, no one is asking.

Say, now that the weather is getting so nice, how about taking a stroll on campus? We'd love to see you here, any time.