President Brian C. Mitchell

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LEWISBURG, Pa. — Bucknell University President Brian C. Mitchell said the University's historic past is a solid foundation on which to build and deliver the next chapter in Bucknell's legacy - the premier undergraduate experience in American higher education.

Delivering special remarks prepared for Homecoming Weekend, Mitchell said, "Yesterday, Bucknell was superb, and it is today. Yet, as I have heard from so many people, there abides within our Bucknell community a latent hunger for the next level. That is good. And I believe now is the time to start getting there." || Complete text.

From excellent to extraordinary

With passage of the University's strategic plan, The Plan for Bucknell, earlier this year, Mitchell said a blueprint is in place for the University to move from excellent to extraordinary.

But "we are beginning to understand that if we are to do what we have said we will - if we are to walk the talk - then we must match vision with action," he said.

Recent actions establishing momentum behind The Plan, he noted, include:

• Establishment of a Teaching and Learning Center
• Enrollment of the most competitive and well-prepared class to enter Bucknell
• Commitment to creating a five-course teaching load for faculty by fall 2009
• Merging student and academic affairs for a seamless student experience
• Preparation for the most ambitious comprehensive campaign in school history
• Hiring of a prestigious campus master planning firm
• Initiation of the most comprehensive assessment in a generation of Bucknell's reputation and image  

Five priorities

Moving ahead, Mitchell said Bucknell will focus relentlessly on the five priorities identified in The Plan for Bucknell:

• Strengthening the academic core
• Deepening the residential learning experience
• Enhancing diversity
• Building bridges from the world to Bucknell and Bucknell to the world
• Securing the University's financial future

"Our challenge is to catalyze these strengths and, by making them our focus, move ahead rapidly. Pursuing bold ambitions is in fact our only choice," Mitchell said. "We are not going to hide from the challenge, or deny that it is a bold pursuit. To the contrary, I hope we all take its very … ambition as a fitting challenge to an institution of this caliber."

Pre-eminence in higher education

If the University is successful in achieving those ambitions, Mitchell said, Bucknell will achieve the vision identified in The Plan and "emerge from a place of strength to a position of pre-eminence within American higher education."

Posted Oct. 9, 2006


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