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January 12, 2004

Dear Students and Colleagues,

Welcome to a new year of promise and hope at Old Dominion University! Just prior to the holidays I attended a lecture by a historian who began by saying, "History is just one bad thing after another." It is evident that this scholar did not attend Old Dominion University, where we educate the imagination. This means that the difficult becomes possible and the proverbial brick wall simply becomes a challenge.

In the recent past, we have laid the foundation for a financial campaign which we plan to announce this spring. We have worked together on the bond campaign and obtained funds to revitalize the campus through renovations and new buildings. We have built new academic programs, including the new Ph.D. in Community College Leadership. We have developed a new campus master plan and accomplished significant work in the University Village, which is now taking shape before our eyes.

In December, we received the excellent news that the Governor's budget included significant, new funds for our base. This funding would enable us to make some of our dreams reality. The ability to hire additional faculty and staff could not come at a better moment. A new Systems Research building would be a welcome addition for research. Funding to improve our TELETECHNET sites would allow some of our classes to move from offices and closets to classrooms! This news is, however, contingent on the enhancement of revenues.

It does not take an educated imagination to realize that this budget will be contested. It does not take an educated imagination to understand just how significant an increase in base adequacy funding would be for Old Dominion, which is one of the lowest-funded universities in the Commonwealth. It will take educated imaginations to begin to achieve equitable funding for Old Dominion University. I will certainly keep you informed about the state budget during the legislative session. I will also call on you to assist in ensuring that the interests of our university remain high on the agenda.

I wish us all a most successful year. The success of our students and of the region depends greatly on Old Dominion's success as an institution of higher learning. Let us take great strides forward this year and demonstrate once again that Old Dominion's history is composed of "one signal achievement after another." I celebrate our past and our future; I applaud your accomplishments as individual scholars and as an academic community.

Welcome back,

Roseann Runte

This article was posted on: January 8, 2004

Old Dominion University
Office of University Relations

Room 100 Koch Hall Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0018
Telephone: 757-683-3114

Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.