Written by Erren Harter
Last week at the Annual Meeting of the Emporia State University Foundation it was suggested calling Allison Garrett the “New President’ was not proper as she has now been on the job for a year and a half.
Whatever we call her President Garrett is gathering steam as her leadership and planning are starting to take hold.
A friend I used to play poker with would say “you have to take a step backward before you can go forward!”
That’s good description of Garrett. She followed one of the most successful and charismatic presidents in ESU’s history and has been challenged with keeping the ship moving in times where budgets cuts are common and students hard to find.
This year’s news that enrollment at ESU was slightly lower than hoped for was not surprising, but after hearing President Garrett speak last Friday I’m convinced she’s ready to lead a revival.
There are lots of good things happening at the school where state support has dwindled to 33%. Tuition accounts for 37% so grants, philanthropy other sources have to be found to fill the void.
Allison Garrett started her higher education career after spending ten years as a corporate lawyer with Wal-Mart. Often her corporate thinking pops up to help make good decisions in times of stress.
A campus initiative giving faculty a chance to suggest and plan new programs with potential for rewards is about to produce its first result - not only exciting, but good for morale.
The ESU Foundation has topped the hundred million mark with assets now listed at $107 million!
Emporia State recently was the only school in Kansas sited by the Colleges of Distinction with three programs singled out for special recognition: Business, Education, and Nursing.
ESU graduates were placed in jobs at a 98% rate in a recent survey upsetting both KU and K-State who reported 94% success.
Our school continues to be a bargain as U.S News indicated Emporia State graduates left school with the second lowest average debt in the midwest!
The groundbreaking on Saturday for a new residence hall on Market Street is not only the first new structure on campus in 15 years, but the result of an ongoing partnership with the Foundation which acquired most of the ground for the new dorm. It won’t be long before the same team breaks ground on the new home for the university’s president.
The speed of the leader determines the speed of the pack and Allison Garrett seems to be picking up speed daily. Add exciting leadership from Deans in most every department Emporia State is poised for long-term success.
Stingers Up and absolutely “Something to think about!”
I’m Steve Sauder