Greetings and welcome to fall semester 2009! It must be time for classes to begin – the marching band is practicing on the field behind Ensminger, more than 100 of us gathered for the college potluck, and the parking spaces on campus are filling up earlier every morning. It is good to see faculty, staff and students rejoin the community.
We will have a more formal reunion on Sept. 17 at the second annual CAHNRS Fall Festival. Last year’s event was a huge success; every academic department and student club brought their best to share with the CAHNRS family and the rest of the university community. It was a great way to reconnect and rejuvenate for the new semester. We hope to see you at this year’s event.
Happily, overall student enrollment appears to be up dramatically over last year. According to preliminary figures, WSU will welcome the largest freshman class in its history this fall. That’s good news educationally and economically. CAHNRS, too, looks like it will enjoy a healthy boost in enrollment, especially in the agriculture-related majors. That is good for the bottom line, but also may put additional pressure on faculty and staff. Please know we will do everything possible to support you.
Last year was a difficult one – for everyone at every level of our organization. Together, we worked through some very difficult issues in a short amount of time, which stretched our existing resources to the limit. I want to thank each of you for your patience and persistence. While we are still living with the realities of the budget reduction, I feel we are well positioned to start a new year of teaching, research and extension. As always, I will keep you posted and seek your input should new challenges arise.