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Dear Marquette Colleagues,

Welcome to the fall semester 2014! As I know you all appreciate, there's a lot going on at our university that I would like to update you on.

Filling several campus leadership positions is a top priority for campus. Led by our dean of the College of Education, Dr. Bill Henk, we are wrapping up the search for our next director of athletics and we hope to be naming an individual in the next couple of weeks.

The provost search was launched late last month under the guidance of Dr. John Su. As part of the search process, we will be having several listening sessions in the weeks ahead, and I encourage you to attend and provide input to the search committee. By mid-September, we will also be launching the searches for the Opus Dean of the Opus College of Engineering and the dean of the College of Business Administration. All of these searches are extremely important to campus, and I would like to thank all faculty and staff involved for their significant time commitments to our campus.

Ensuring the safety and security for all university faculty, staff, students and guests is of critical importance. Several campus leaders met this week with the Milwaukee Police Department to develop additional strategies for combating the rash of crimes recently committed near our campus. In the coming months, university administration will be working with all constituency groups on campus to receive input and make a decision in response to the Wisconsin state legislation that authorizes Marquette to create a police department and employ university police officers. If adopted, we would reorganize the current Department of Public Safety into a police department.

With increased competition and the projected decline of high school graduates in the Midwest during the next decade, enrollment management is becoming increasingly important for Marquette. To better understand the challenges we are facing and to help us develop leading-edge enrollment strategies, the university has enlisted the Huron Consulting Group of Chicago. Their report, which will be completed in November, will be utilized to help finalize a campus-wide enrollment plan this February and will aid in the implementation of our strategic plan.

There has been significant progress this summer on several capital improvement projects on campus. We’re nearing completion of renovations of Marquette Hall, Sensenbrenner Hall, and Johnston Hall; repurposing of the upper floors of Coughlin Hall; and upgrading of the research center and faculty practice operations within the Dental School. The Al McGuire Center is seeing internal improvements to support all student-athletes who utilize the facility and a new scoreboard is being installed at the Valley Fields, home of the defending BIG EAST Conference champion men’s and women’s soccer teams. The university is working to upgrade the underground utilities to provide more energy efficient systems and increased capacity for future campus improvements. I apologize for the inconvenience that these projects may have caused many of you and I appreciate your patience as improvements are completed. Lastly, I was especially excited to be among those last month with shovel in hand to help with the Jesuit Residence groundbreaking ceremony.

Last week, more than 25 university leaders took part in a day-and-a-half off-campus retreat. I would like to say thank you to everyone who participated for their energy, collegiality and commitment to setting the future direction of our campus. At the retreat, we worked toward articulating a series of guiding values that have been at the core of Marquette University for more than a century. You'll be hearing more about these values in the near future, and you'll also have the opportunity to review them and offer feedback.

I wanted to personally invite each of you to attend the Inauguration activities during the week of September 14. Tickets for the Inauguration Ceremony on September 19 are being distributed at a fast rate and the 500 seats set aside for students are already gone – the free gold T-shirt being given away may have had something to do with their enthusiasm. I greatly appreciate the efforts from all members of our campus community who have selflessly given their time to organize the Inauguration events.

Finally, as you might have heard, I've started a new running group and would like interested faculty and staff to join us. We are up to about 30 runners meeting twice weekly (11:45 a.m. on Tuesdays and 8 a.m. on Fridays starting outside St. Joan of Arc Chapel). Even though I run quite a bit, the group is designed to accommodate runners of all experience levels.

I'm anticipating a great academic year and look forward to your contributions to its success.


Dr. Michael R. Lovell

Marquette University

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