LaForge presents a vision for DSU future

by: Courtney Stevens

Delta State University’s new president has a vision for the university.

After he was inaugurated on Friday , President Wiliam N. LaForge presented the DSU family with seven points of vision.

The president’s new focus is excellence in every aspect of the university.

“The quest for excellence is only renewed and reenergized by this ceremony,” he said.

“It is achievable. It is within reach and it is up to us. We must put the stamp of excellence on all important things we do at this university from the classroom to community outreach.”

The seven points of vision were: first, stabilizing and enhancing budget and enrollment.

Through this LaForge hopes to “provide the growth in student numbers and the revenue necessary to ensure quality instruction and adequate compensation for our faculty and staff.”

Second, maintaining and strengthening academic standards.

The president wanted to ensure that “our students are provided a first rate education and a degree that prepare them for life and for careers in an ever increasing global workforce and society.”

Third, the president hopes to make Delta State a school of “academic excellence where we celebrate the true meaning and concept of university through forums and programs such as the University Colloquial and distinguished speakers events.”

LaForge also revealed that next spring Delta State would have a major race relations conference.

He also said there will be an international academic blues conference on “the campus that is the rightful intellectual home of the blues.”

His fourth vision is to transform the school to a bustling campus of new students.

“From the Delta and Mississippi for sure, but also other states and from foreign countries who will comprise a multicultural environment that provides an outstanding college experience through our excellent academic programs, through our caring faculty, and our student focus on customer service.”

Fifth was the vision to rebuild and maintain the campus infrastructure.

LaForge said plans to stay true to the “architectural beauty and integrity of Delta State and expanding the campus as we develop a master plan for growth.”

Sixth the president envisions increasing leadership.

“In the form of outreach and engagement in the areas of community and economic development, health care, and education, through collaborating with the city of Cleveland, Bolivar County, surrounding governments in communities and organizations.”

Seventh the president plans to collaborate with the foundation, alumni and others to “boost private support for this university with major gifts and aggressive fundraising.”

The president then asked that all members of the DSU family to embrace and share the points of visions and goals with him.

The president ended his explanation of visions by saying, “It is our time. It is a new day.”