Capehart: University Is Strong
West Liberty University President Robin C. Capehart revealed his strategy for continued growth and educational excellence in his annual State of the University address Wednesday.
The speech was part of the opening convocation and general faculty meeting held in Kelly Theatre.
“Over the past few years, change on our campus has been remarkable and, as a result, the state of the university is strong; it’s vibrant; and its eyes are on the future,” Capehart began.
Capehart, who recently marked the end of his fifth year in office, referred to the positive enrollment numbers, which are now resulting in the seventh consecutive year of enrollment increases at West Liberty. Other points he made included:
- WLU launched the physician assistant master’s degree this past July;
- Scholarships and waivers increased by 188 percent over the past five years;
- Graduation rate now exceeds the national average by 10 percent;
- Retention rate exceeds national peers by 10.4 percent; and
- U.S. News and World Report moved WLU from a tier 3 to a tier 1 baccalaureate university.
Capehart continued his speech by thanking faculty and staff and encouraging them to remain vigilant.
He described a new effort to continue growth, despite a reduction in state appropriation, by focusing on strategic positioning to attract students through programs of distinction.
“We have much for which to be proud for we’ve come a long way. We also have endured our share of setbacks and challenges. Our future will be the same – a time of opportunity and times in which we’ll face serious headwinds. However, with your talent, your energy and your goodwill, I am confident we can continue to move from a good college to a great university.”
Also during the convocation Anthony Koyzis, provost, introduced new faculty member and special awards were distributed to the following employees:
- Harry and Constance Hein Classified Staff Award, Stacey Page, administrative associate, College of Education;
- Excellence in Professional Activity Award, Matthew Inkster, director of instrumental activities, College of Arts & Communication;
- Excellence in Teaching Award, Margaret Six, director of dental hygiene program, College of Sciences;
- Excellence in Service Award, Linda Cowan, voice instructor College of Arts & Communication; and
- Excellence in Classified Staff Service Award, Robert “Bo” McConnaughy, classified staff liaison/director of intramural sports.