In Our September, 2017 Issue:

President Arthur talks past, present and future at Convocation

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“I don’t see any other higher education institution in the state… that is more capable of serving a diverse Minnesota than Metropolitan State University.

“We’ve got challenges ahead of us. But I believe that, unlike other universities, who are locked into a traditional model of education, that won’t fare well in the future by their heritage and traditions... Our heritage, our core principles enable us, maybe even compel us, to take risks and step into the role of an education leader...”

--President Ginny Arthur, Convocation address, August 16, 2017

Pres­i­dent Vir­ginia “Ginny” Arthur kicked off the 20172018 school year with her live-​streamed speech at Con­vo­ca­tion on August 16.

Con­vo­ca­tion is a gath­er­ing of the uni­ver­sity com­mu­nity at the start of the aca­d­e­mic year. It is an oppor­tu­nity to “mark our stu­dents’ pas­sage into higher edu­ca­tion, or their progress toward another aca­d­e­mic year,” Arthur said. She wel­comed new stu­dents and col­leagues to Metro State.

Arthur lauded the con­fer­ral of nearly 2,200 bachelor’s, master’s, and doc­toral degrees dur­ing the 2017 aca­d­e­mic year, the university’s largest num­ber of grad­u­ates ever.

She announced the reaf­fir­ma­tion of accred­i­ta­tion by the Higher Learn­ing Com­mis­sion this past spring. The next accred­i­ta­tion check comes in 10 years.

Arthur expressed her grat­i­tude to every­one who assisted in the process.“Responding to the feed­back from our sys­tems port­fo­lio report, mak­ing improve­ments to our processes, and doc­u­ment­ing all that good work, really was a Her­culean task,” she said.

Sev­eral new grants were announced dur­ing Arthur’s speech. These grants will help pay for stu­dent intern­ship stipends, sup­port teacher can­di­dates of color, pro­vide sui­cide pre­ven­tion resources, and sus­tain a stu­dent emer­gency fund. She also announced a “post-​grant sup­port” posi­tion, an idea greeted with applause.

Amidst cel­e­bra­tory announce­ments, Arthur also noted the sud­den loss of Asso­ciate Provost Doug Knowl­ton, who died July 5. Arthur remem­bered him as “a kind and help­ful per­son who was extra­or­di­nar­ily sup­port­ive of our stu­dents.” She com­mended Knowl­ton for his “care and tact,” while deal­ing with the most dif­fi­cult of stu­dent cases.

Not­ing the para­dox of a non-​traditional uni­ver­sity with strong tra­di­tions, Arthur dis­cussed how to shape the future of Metro State while hon­or­ing those tra­di­tions. “I find that the found­ing prin­ci­ples of this uni­ver­sity are exactly what posi­tion us for an excit­ing and mean­ing­ful future,” she said.

By trans­form­ing stu­dents into grad­u­ates, Arthur said the uni­ver­sity can ben­e­fit the com­mu­nity. While Metro State is a place for new ideas and shar­ing, hate or dis­crim­i­na­tion will never be tol­er­ated in any form, she said. She encour­aged stu­dents to be a pos­i­tive force in the world, instill­ing “uni­ver­sal val­ues of jus­tice, equity, and oppor­tu­nity for people.”

A video of Arthur’s speech is avail­able at the “Met­ro­pol­i­tanState Live” chan­nel on YouTube: