As we wind down the semester's activities in anticipation of the holiday break, I want to update the campus community on a few matters.
First and most importantly, I want to share with everyone that all indications suggest we will NOT have a mid-year budget cut this year. This would be the first time in several years that we do not find ourselves struggling during the holiday season to deal with a mid-year reduction in state resources. That is very good news, and I am confident we will all enjoy the holidays much more as a result.
On other budget-related matters, for the first time in a long time I find a growing realization among many legislators and other leaders that our State has to find a way to provide additional resources for higher education. I believe the legislative session this upcoming spring will be one of the most critical in the history of higher education in Louisiana, and I want our faculty, staff and students to know that I am working closely with legislators and other leaders to pursue every opportunity to increase resources for higher education, and Southeastern in particular.
The Retention Task Force, appointed earlier this semester, has made a number of recommendations aimed at improving student retention. Previous recommendations of the Task Force addressed mid-term grades for some students in certain courses. Additional recommendations have been made by the Task Force addressing end-of-semester communications from the Records Office for students who exhibit certain academic "at risk" characteristics. I want to thank the members of the Task Force for their diligence and hard work.
This fall semester our campus and community have been electrified by significant successes in Lion Athletics. Both soccer and football won conference championships, while our Lion football team advanced to the quarter-finals in national championship post-season play.
The resulting excitement and enthusiasm on campus and in the region provide an important springboard for greater support of our university with elected officials and other potential supporters. I would be remiss without mentioning how much I appreciate the dedication of our coaches, faculty and staff who helped make this remarkable season a reality. We will "ride the wave" of excitement and goodwill for Southeastern as we pursue enrollment of new students, as well as additional support from leaders, alumni, donors and corporate sponsors.
In closing, I want to thank our faculty and staff for their unwavering dedication to the success of our students, and I wish everyone a safe and restful holiday.
John L. Crain