It is with great pleasure that I welcome you back to another academic year! To our new and returning students, faculty and staff colleagues, welcome to the Woodbury community! This year has special significance because the year 2014 is 130 years from the time (July 19, 1884) when F.C. Woodbury first put into action his vision of educating women and men in what was then the fledgling city of Los Angeles.
The year 2014 has been a very exciting year thus far for the Woodbury community. This new website is the outcome of your collective hard work during our institutional rebranding activities last year. Academics is our core enterprise. We all know about the numerous accomplishments, awards and acknowledgements received by Woodbury’s faculty and students, so I will not take the time to repeat them here. However, it is important to note two new developments. This fall marks the first semester of the transition of the Institute of Transdisciplinary Studies into the College of Transdisciplinarity. This fall also marks the first time that our business students will begin or continue their education in an AACSB-accredited business school — a recognition achieved by less than five percent of the world’s business schools.
I was attracted to Woodbury University two years ago because of our long-held value proposition. We take students from diverse academic and socioeconomic backgrounds and transform them into graduates with highly valued degrees that enable them to compete and thrive in almost any environment. We recently received an external validation of that value proposition when Money magazine ranked Woodbury as #15 among the nation’s top 25 colleges that add the most value. Thanks to all of you for making this happen.
This year, we continue the implementation of the capacity-building phase of our strategic plan. Strategy has a face and an address; therefore, most notably this year, we will have extensive conversations leading to a visionary campus master plan. We have begun the construction of our new Student Service Center in Miller Hall, which is the result of collaborative work between faculty, staff, and students on the Student Experience Initiative team. We will begin the conceptualization and design of a new residence hall (about 250+ beds) — a facility that will open in fall 2016, feature living-learning communities, and also provide a laboratory for high-impact educational practices under our WISE program.
We have begun serious work on the transformation of Woodbury San Diego from an additional School of Architecture site with 100 students to a multi-program, binational campus of 1,000 students serving the San Diego-Tijuana metropolitan area by the year 2025. We will make significant investments in our enabling processes and technologies, as well as in the safety and security of our campuses. We will continue expanding our base of volunteers and donors in preparation for a future comprehensive campaign to provide the financial engine that will enable us to achieve our long-term vision.
The months of August and September transport me back to the feelings of new beginnings and infinite possibilities that I experienced as a young grade school pupil and still experience to this day, although in a different role, whenever we begin a new academic year.
Woodbury University is a very special place. We empower people to do extraordinary things. Every one of us comes to work every day to do something that we love. We get to inspire people to do the things that inspire them, and I cannot imagine a more impactful mission to pursue.
Thank you for all the work that you do. I wish you the best as we begin our 130th school year.