August 15, 2014 – Employees learned about the current university and challenges facing Fort Valley State University during an institute designed to prepare them for the upcoming school year.
During the 2014-2015 Faculty/Staff Institute held on Monday, August 11, President Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith detailed issues the university will need to overcome during his State of the University Address. Additionally, administrators, department heads and chairs delivered updates about their areas and forecasted changes for the upcoming year.
The morning started off with the introduction of the FVSU’s new provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, Dr. Jessica Bailey.
“Before coming to this university, I understood it was a good university, but after coming to FVSU, I understand is a great university,” Bailey said, who stated the university could be successful if the campus maintained open, transparent communication. She also advised employees to uphold the highest standards of excellence at the school to serve students well.
Additionally, Bailey announced new faculty and staff appointments, and the promotion of FVSU employees to several key positions. Dr. Angela Harris was hired as the interim vice president for Student Success.
Charles Jones, FVSU’s chief legal counsel, introduced the president to the audience. Griffith stated that until retention and release rates were improved, that the university’s next fiscal year would be challenging.
He stated that he understood many individuals were passionate about the future of campus, but explained that the campus needed to evolve in order to thrive.
“The passion about becoming a Wildcat is not sufficient,” Dr. Griffith said. “This decline in enrollment is impacting lots of areas. It’s going to be very rough this year, but we cannot afford to fail.”
He said the university would likely face a reduction in forces. He stated that employees needed to embrace the values of excellence, efficiency and value respect for students.
The university president also said that the campus needed to broaden its approach and attract more white and Hispanic students. Additionally, he said that campus needed to create more innovative and attract partnerships. He said that the university was also changing its degree offerings and overhauling its branding, including creating a new website and commercials to rebrand the university.
He also emphasized the need for FVSU to embrace a globalism to ensure that students remain competitive with their international peers, and to embrace international students matriculating on campus.
At the end of his address, Dr. Griffith played the song “Optimistic” from the Sounds of Blackness, which featured an FVSU alum, Robert J. Jones, who currently serves as the president of State University of New York-Albany.
The day ended with a reception for faculty members in the Pettigrew Center.