First 100 Days

 

I have just passed the 100-day mark serving as the president for Kennesaw State. This milestone coincides with the end of the semester, and I am as excited to be here today as I was on my first day. 

Over these first few months, I have made it a priority to meet with as many of you as possible to find out what you feel are our strengths and opportunities. During my listening tour, I participated in meetings with all of our governing bodies and visited with faculty and staff throughout our colleges, departments, and business units.

I also have spent time with our off-campus constituents — from legislators and civic groups to the Cobb and Metro Atlanta chambers of commerce and our Foundation Trustees. I have had the pleasure of spending time with many of our alumni at various events and meetings, and I am glad to hear that they plan to remain active in supporting KSU.

Of course, the most important conversations I have had this semester are with our students. I have taken every opportunity to interact with students in group settings and in one-on-one discussions. I love attending the many events we have on campus, from athletic events and art performances to experiences like the Pumpkin Launch, because it gives me a front-row seat to see our students in action.

Each of these interactions has left a lasting impression on me. While the list of what I have learned is a long one, I want to share a few key lessons:

  1. We have a lot to be proud of at KSU. I know you hear me say it a lot, but it’s true. Whether it’s innovative teaching methods, hands-on research or exploration of effective ways to serve our community, each of you is contributing to making Kennesaw State an even greater university.
  2. We have to do everything humanly possible to ensure students have an amazing experience here. There are already a lot of wonderful efforts that focus on our students, but we always have room for improvement. We need to keep asking ourselves, “How will this benefit students?”
  3. We must increase communication across campus. This is something that I heard loud and clear, and it’s something that will take everyone working together. We are working to identify opportunities for leaders across campus to prioritize sharing information and keeping the lines of communication open with their teams.
  4. We are at a crossroads, with an opportunity to seize the path of boldness and innovation. We will continue to build on our rich history of achievements. We also owe our students, faculty, staff and community partners a spirit of open-mindedness and courage to launch bold new ideas.

We all have the privilege of working on two beautiful campuses filled with students, faculty and staff who take the time to smile at one another as they rush between classes. When I’m out on our campuses, I take great pride in seeing the growing number of shirts and sweatshirts sporting the Kennesaw State logo because it is a reminder that the spirit at KSU is undeniable. I know that spirit will grow as we improve every aspect of the university experience.

Pamela Whitten

President

Written By Whitten

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