Dear Faculty, Staff, Students, Alumni and Friends of JIU:
Higher education is at a crossroads. Our information-based economy has made knowledge more vital than ever, and most jobs now require advanced training or education. Unemployment rates are more than twice as high for those with just a high school diploma (10.8%) compared to those with a bachelor's degree or higher (4.9%), and it is anticipated that this disparity will only worsen over the remainder of this decade. Recognizing these issues, President Obama and the U.S. Department of Education have set an ambitious goal that the nation should once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by the year 2020.
With this nationwide goal in mind, I am pleased to announce the implementation of a comprehensive strategic planning process that we are labeling “JIU 2020: Charting Our Future.” The purpose of this effort is to set specific and ambitious goals and priorities for JIU through the year 2020 that will steer us towards excellence in everything we do. The JIU Board of Trustees has charged me with leading these efforts, and its ultimate success will require the support and participation of our faculty, staff, students and alumni. With the guidance of our rich and diverse constituencies, using their collective experience and wisdom, the Presidential Cabinet has developed a strategic plan for my review and ultimately the review and approval of our Board of Trustees.
I invite you to visit this strategic planning web page regularly to learn about the progress we are making as we ask and answer important questions about JIU’s future. The website also has a comment form, and I encourage you to submit any comments or questions you have. Most importantly, I urge you to actively engage in this process by participating in surveys and attending public meetings throughout the coming year. This process will require time and energy from all of us, but a successful effort will strengthen our university and better prepare us for the challenges that lie ahead.
Thank you in advance for your support.
Very truly yours,