President Davies delivers annual State of the University address

President Bob Davies delivers the 'State of the University' address from the fourth floor of the Charles V. Park Library.

President Bob Davies discussed adaptation to changes due to COVID-19, the goals set in order to move forward and the focus of student needs during Central Michigan University's virtual State of the University address.

“State of the University addresses often spend a great deal of time looking backward and celebrating the successes of the past year,” Davies said. “While I’ll spend some time today reflecting on all that we have achieved and accomplished, the majority of our time together will focus on the future of Central Michigan University.”

Davies delivered the virtual State of the University address to students, faculty and staff members on March 3.

In his speech, Davies talked about the university’s ability to adapt to changes due to the national pandemic throughout this past year. 

“There is no question that higher education has been forever altered,” Davies said. “To achieve our three fold mission of teaching, research and service, we must adapt to the changing needs of higher education. More importantly we fundamentally must rethink what our university can be and should be.”

After problems arose this past year, leaders of the university made an effort to fix them. When the safety concern for students and faculty in the classrooms all over Michigan came up,  CMU faculty members assisted in offering suggestions for a fair but accessible online learning system.

“CMU leaders see a problem and they look for solutions,” Davies said. “We are a community known for our ability to overcome obstacles and to face adversity with hope and purpose.”

President Davies mentioned the university's “moonshot” goals which are to embrace and establish CMU’s identity, to equalize and significantly increase degree attainment, and to extend our reach as a university.

The students' needs are very important to the faculty and staff members. Making sure students are connected to every resource CMU has to offer, whether they are on or off campus, is one of CMU’s top priorities Davies said.

“We have an opportunity to rethink the ways we serve students including those who may never visit our beautiful Mount Pleasant campus,” Davies said. “Every student regardless of their location should have access to the support and services that will empower their educational journey.”

Davies focused on why we need to focus on these moonshot goals to improve our campus and the Mount Pleasant community and how we achieve them.

“Achieving these moonshot goals will rely on an iterative process of identifying strategies and tactics, testing and assessing methods, and adjusting and revising techniques,” Davies said. “Along the way, we have identified several key strategies that will empower us to pursue these moonshot goals.”

While delivering his address, Davies said in the future the university will focus on connections and the applying a college education in the real world.

“We will focus on developing greater university wide interdisciplinary,” Davies said. “We must help our students build connections, we need to demonstrate the value of knowledge, and also its practical application to real world challenges.”

The State of the University address can be watched on the Office of the President's website.