Emporia State President: We need to ‘raise the bar’

August 13, 2012

Emporia State University President Michael D. Shonrock looked to the future of the institution during today’s General Assembly to kick off the 2012-13 academic year.

A standing-room-only crowd of faculty, staff and students of more than 500 gathered in Webb Hall of the Memorial Union to hear Shonrock brag about accomplishments during the past seven months and look forward to changes and initiatives on the horizon.

President Michael D. Shonrock adapts the Kansas state motto to reflect his theme of optimism.One change was readily apparent. The Emporia State Marching Hornets, cheerleaders and Corky the Hornet mascot opened the assembly, drawing the crowd to its feet for the fight song and T-shirt tosses.

It’s all part of what Shonrock calls “telling the story,” something he believes all involved with Emporia State need to do.

“Each and every one of us has to learn to tell the story,” Shonrock told the crowd.

That story includes the opening of a human cadaver lab, exposing students to an opportunity not often found at a regional university. Another story involves landscaping and beautification efforts on campus.

“That’s our front door,” Shonrock said about the work being done on Kellogg Circle and in front of Plumb Hall. “We don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.”

A new tuition waiver program for spouses and dependents of Emporia State employees drew mention from Shonrock and other speakers from campus and the community. Already, Shonrock said, 30 to 40 students had taken advantage of the waiver plan, which was enacted for the Fall 2012 semester.

“That’s an investment in people,” Shonrock said of the plan.

Other investments, the president said, included contracting with a national search firm to find the next provost and dean of the School of Business and becoming a “data-informed organization.”

“We’re going to get data to see where we need to go.”

Other initiatives on the horizon include a renovation plan for Singular and Trusler residence halls, creating a 100-percent wireless campus and focusing on recruitment and retention.

Alluding to the Olympic Games that just ended, Shonrock talked about the high jump event.

“Our future is each and every one of us raising the bar,” he said. “We can get there.

“We just have to jump a little bit higher.”

 

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