President John D. Welty looked ahead to a promising spring semester and looked back with fondness over his 20-plus years at Fresno State in his final speech to faculty and staff today (Jan. 14). Welty retires this summer.
“I can say for the first time in several years that I feel good about the semester ahead,” Welty said at the annual Faculty and Staff Spring Assembly. After several years of budget cutbacks, the passage of Proposition 30 last November “provides us some breathing room,” he said.
Welty said the university will be able to reallocate the approximately $6 million in carry-forward dollars previously set aside for the potential trigger reductions, if Proposition 30 had failed. The money will be reallocated to each major campus division, deferred maintenance projects and key initiatives in Fresno State’s Strategic Plan for Excellence.
He discussed several other “bright spots” ahead, including:
- Fresno State’s ever-growing appeal with new students, both freshmen and transfers, resulting in record application numbers
- Upcoming building projects
- A strong focus on diversity and internationalization efforts
- Successful fundraising for the Campaign for Fresno State
He also announced the names of the California State University search committee that will seek his replacement and noted the next president “will step onto a campus that is steeped in excellence and brimming with potential.”
Looking back at his presidency, Welty expressed pride in the work of the staff and faculty. He thanked them for their efforts to make Fresno State a place of discovery, diversity and distinction.
Welty concluded: “It has been my privilege for almost 22 years to be part of this amazing university. The ongoing discovery, the fascinating diversity and the incredible distinctions are far more than this Illinois farm boy who was the first in his family to attend college, ever could have imagined when he joined this community in 1991.”
- Welty’s Assembly Speech in pdf