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Published: Friday, 10/16/2009

BGSU president underscores optimism

BOWLING GREEN - The future is strong for Bowling Green State University, President Carol Cartwright said as she described a plan for the institution's success.

In the annual State of the University address, Ms. Cartwright yesterday outlined for the 500 people in the ballroom of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union the recently completed strategic plan.

The plan, called "Charting Our Future," focuses on strong educational opportunities, attracting and retaining talented students and faculty, and increasing diversity and research opportunities.

Ms. Cartwright said the plan is important because oftentimes people don't take a strategic plan too seriously and think it will be stuck on a shelf somewhere. That won't happen, she said.

"This was a plan that was built from grass-roots engagement, and people all along were very receptive to the ideas and in effect were already beginning to implement some of the ideas of the plan because they believe in what we're talking about," she said.

Ms. Cartwright said one of the challenges facing BGSU is a budget forecast of a potential $8 million deficit next year.

At the same time, she noted some of the proactive steps the university is taking, such as implementing ways to reduce printing and dining costs.

There are some lofty plans for BGSU in the near future, including a project to re-examine undergraduate learning at the university.

There are capital improvement projects in the works with the construction of a new arena and arts center and plans for renovations and new residence halls.

A recruitment plan to increase enrollment is also being introduced.

But teamwork will help them accomplish all the work ahead, Ms. Cartwright said.

"As long as we're very clear about the agenda, then literally we have thousands of people to help accomplish it," she said. "I have a lot of faith in people working together, and it's not designed to be completely accomplished in a single year."

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