Dear Friends,

It is amazing that six months have passed since I assumed the reins at Missouri Western. Since my

President Matt Wilson and former president Dr. M. O. Looney

arrival, I have truly enjoyed getting out in the community, visiting local high schools, connecting with civic organizations, interacting with policymakers, and literally traveling all of the area, state, and country to tell the Missouri Western story. The reception has been very encouraging and I am most grateful for the warm welcome. Most importantly, however, I have thoroughly enjoyed engaging with students across campus. Without question, supporting students is the best part of my job.

At the same time, one of the biggest difficulties facing Missouri Western and other public universities centers around financial challenges caused by demographic shifts, increasing operating costs, limits on state funding, and the mission to provide an affordable college education. This past semester, we spent considerable time analyzing our current financial situation and developing potential strategies and solutions. Our strategic goals in this regard involve taking measures to: (1) develop a sustainable budget; (2) increase enrollment and retention; (3) reduce costs without harming the student experience; and (4) significantly grow our development efforts. Working together, I am confident that we can achieve all of these goals.

This past November, we rolled out a budget that will help us address our pressing challenges. To increase enrollment and enhance retention, we have announced a host of innovative programs involving scholarship, scheduling, service learning, international programming, and technology. You can read more about these initiatives in this issue.

Our campus community and graduates have experienced Missouri Western and can personally attest that it is a great university. Although it may not be “great” in the sense of size or financial means, Missouri Western is great in terms of the education we deliver and quality of graduates that we produce. It is great in the impact that we make in the lives of so many. It is great in the potential that exists. It is great in terms of the what it has done for our alumni.

At this stage of our history, it is vital that we share our own stories about what makes Missouri Western great. It is more important than ever to support Missouri Western. Together, I believe that we can do exceptional things for the benefit of our students and success of our university. Please stay tuned as we continue to achieve great things at this great university!

Go Griffs!

Matt Wilson
Missouri Western State University