Stan Albrecht 's remarks following the Board of Regents meeting
January 18, 2005
PRESIDENT STAN L. ALBRECHT
Let be begin my expressing my deep appreciation to Chairman Karras and to the members of the State Board of Regents for this opportunity and for your vote of support today. I accept this assignment both with humility and with, I believe, a clear understanding of the expectations, challenges, and tremendous opportunities that are ahead.
I would also like to thank our Commissioner of Higher Education, Rich Kendell. All who have watched his leadership over the last 12 months can understand the excitement I feel in being able to work with him.
Special thanks, too, to Chairman Gayle McKeachnie, Vice Chairman L.J. Godfrey, and the members of the Utah State University Board of Trustees. I am honored by the trust that you have placed in me and look forward to working with each of you in the months ahead as we endeavor to continue to move this great university forward.
And thanks, particularly, to the larger Utah State University community for your support-Executive Committee Colleagues, my Provost's office team-the best and most competent group I have ever worked with-Deans, Department Heads, Faculty Senate leaders and members, the faculty at large, our wonderful students, staff members, donors, alumni groups, legislative leaders, athletics staff, community leaders, and friends of this university who are too numerous to mention. I have been overwhelmed by your expression of support. I remind you, however, this truly must be a team sport-anything that we accomplish in making this institution better will be more a consequence of your effort than of mine, but I look forward to working with you to make it happen.
Let me also express my appreciation to President Kermit Hall and others who have stood where I am now being given the opportunity to stand. Kermit and I have had, I believe, a rather unique and special president/provost relationship. I have learned much from him. Because of that relationship, I honestly believe that I have the opportunity to be a better president today than I would have been four years ago.
Sir Isaac Newton is credited with the statement, "If I have seen farther, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." This same theme was repeated later by Sir Michael Foster when he observed that "it is one of the lessons of the history of science that each age steps on the shoulders of the ages which have gone before. The value of each (therefore) is not its own, but is in part, in large part, a debt to its forerunners." I respectfully acknowledge that debt.
There will be other opportunities for speeches and for outlining priorities and goals. Let me just conclude with the following brief observations: It is my hope and dream that, working together, we will continue to build for Utah State University a future that is truly worthy of its magnificent past. To do that, several themes will assume priority:
- We will continue to emphasize academic quality-whatever else occurs, academics will come first.
- We will work tirelessly to find ways more appropriately to compensate and recognize the excellence of performance of our faculty and staff.
- Access for all academically prepared students will be a major focus. We must find ways to assure that no student who is prepared and who desires the opportunity for a Utah State University education is turned away or denied that opportunity for financial reasons. And, that includes not only our more traditional students but those, as well, who are served by our continuing education program.
- Shared governance will be central-I look forward to working with faculty leadership, student leadership, our governing boards, and others in reaching the goals that we hope to realize.
- Accountability will be a major focus. We recognize that as a public institution, we don't spend our money, but the money of others-and lots of it. We will welcome and encourage a new emphasis on accountability.
- We will work hard to secure the important advances we have made in athletics through success both in the classroom and on the playing field.
- We will continue to accelerate our plans for Utah State University's first major comprehensive campaign.
- We will build on the growing collaboration with our colleagues at the University of Utah , and will become more of a player in the economic development of the State of Utah.
- And, most importantly, we pledge never to forget that our students are the reason we are here. As a symbolic gesture of that commitment, my first meeting on February 1 st when this appointment officially takes effect will be with the students. Les, I have asked Louise to work with you to set up that meeting.
In closing, I would like to acknowledge the presence today of two of my children and a sister and two brothers who were able to change work and travel schedules to come to Logan. It means a great deal to me to have you here. Thank you.
One of the things I anticipate most about this assignment is the continuing opportunity to share the experience with Joyce. Together we pledge our loyalty, energy, and whatever talents we might have to do everything we can do to justify your confidence in us and to serve the University and the State. We look forward to working with each of you to turn opportunity and promise into outcome. It is a journey we anticipate with both hope and excitement.