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University of Mary Washington

August 2011

Welcome back to the start of a new academic year.  Here are a number of items I’d like to share with you as we get the year started. Please let me know if you have questions or comments.

Jay Harper

“Our Values, Our Students”

I’ve started each of my first two years at UMW with a theme that I hope will capture the central focus of activities planned for the academic affairs area.  For this year, I’ve selected “our values, our students” because I want to emphasize our strengths as a student-centered university.  Being student centered doesn’t mean that we treat students as customers or cater to their every wish.  To me, it means that we acknowledge the central role students play in the functioning of the university.

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Ramping Up for the Start of a New Academic Year

As happens each year, a number of important activities are scheduled in the so-called “pre-week.”  This year, I guess it’s more accurately called “pre-weeks” since the later start of classes (August 29) enables us to spread out meetings and activities rather than crowding them in to just a few days.  The calendar for these activities is available here, and I’d like to highlight a few of the new events we’ve added.

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Congratulations to Winners of External Grants!

Once again, I’m pleased to report that several faculty and staff members have recently won external grants, fellowships, or contracts.  I’d like to congratulate Kelli Slunt, Dianne Baker, Jodie Hayob, Ben Kisila, Venitta McCall, Deb Hydorn, Dan Preston, Charlie Sharpless, Brian Baker, and Brian Rizzo for their achievements.

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Welcome to New Academic Affairs Area Administrators

A number of changes occurred over the summer in the academic affairs area of the university.  We hired Tim Owens as a new Instructional Technology Specialist (ITS), and Gwen Hale joins us as our new Writing Center Director and Director of the Writing Intensive Program.  Also, Lynne Richardson, founding Dean of the College of Business, and Fred Pierce, Associate Provost for Enrollment management and Student Services, both began work in late July.  Tim and Gwen are our most recent hires, and I thought you might appreciate some information about them.

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Upcoming Deadline for Sabbaticals and Jepson Fellowships

These important due dates are coming soon.  Sabbaticals and Jepson Fellowships are competitive programs, and the first step is for those eligible to submit the required application.  While the eligibility criteria and the application procedures for these two programs differ, they share one thing in common: applications for sabbaticals and Jepson Fellowships are both due on Monday, September 12.

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Photo Credit: Jeff McClurken