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TO: Faculty, Staff and Students

On Monday, January 21, Nicholls State University will be closed in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  As each of us enjoys that day away from the routine of campus life, I encourage all members of the Nicholls family to reflect on the life, work, times, and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Born in 1929, the son of a Baptist minister, as a young man he embraced learning, culminating with an earned doctorate.  Reverend King organized the African American Civil Rights movement and, in doing so, provided extraordinary leadership to seek change through non-violent civil disobedience.

With Reverend King’s assassination on April 4, 1968, his leadership and the lessons he taught us through his good works became part of American history.  However, it is incumbent upon each of us to remember those lessons and to carry his work forward. That responsibility rests on us, not simply on the occasion of Reverend King’s official day of remembrance, but at all times throughout the year.

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

TO: Faculty and Staff

FR: Stephen T. Hulbert, President

Yesterday, as my senior administrative colleagues and I greeted members of the university community attending the Holiday Gumbo luncheon, a number of individuals asked whether we had heard about any mid-year budget cut. At the time, our answer was “thankfully no!” Sadly, less than twenty-four hours later, the picture has changed.

This morning, we were greeted with newspaper and television coverage speaking of a shortfall and anticipated cuts. While we finally learned of our share of the twenty-two million dollar reduction to higher education just before noon, the state administration had already notified the media with the specifics. As such, while we had barely learned of the $455,349 cut figure, the local media already had that information and was asking for specifics regarding the impact campus-wide.

While we haven’t been given specific instruction from the state as to just how soon we have to turn in data regarding the implications of this latest budget reduction, obviously, it will be in the very near future. Because we have had a mid-year budget cut almost every year over the last six years, we anticipated such an occurrence. That being said, we will work to develop various scenarios for the next fiscal year.

The 2012 Holiday Season is upon us, and, yet again, the number of individuals in need has grown in our surrounding community. The United Way of South Louisiana continues to coordinate funding to twenty-seven local agencies that directly target our community through problem-solving initiatives and services. Every dollar given to United Way goes toward where it is most needed. From the St. Vincent DePaul Community Pharmacy, which provides life-saving medications to those unable to afford them, to Chez Hope, which provides shelter and services to victims of domestic violence, to the parish food banks and local Councils on Aging—a United Way of South Louisiana agency touches one out of three lives in the tri-parish area.

Last year, despite these difficult economic times, Nicholls faculty and staff generously contributed over $7,000 to United Way. Because of that support, Nicholls continues to be recognized as a United Way Pacesetter Institution—a designation that demonstrates once again how essential the Nicholls community is to the vitality of this area.

This year’s Nicholls United Way campaign will run through December, at which time we hope to meet our goal of $10,000. Every dollar collected not only represents a direct investment in the people of this area but is also the most effective way of supporting a network of services that no one organization could provide alone. I would ask each of us to consider supporting United Way of South Louisiana. The easiest way to give is through the convenience of payroll deduction. Just a few dollars a paycheck can make all the difference.

As the Nicholls family has shown through Nicholls Can and our past support of the United Way of South Louisiana, we do have a very real and caring impact right at home.

Stephen T. Hulbert
President

TO: Faculty, Staff and Students

FR: Stephen T. Hulbert, President

Over the past four years, as the state has dramatically reduced its support for public higher education, Nicholls State University has been forced to make one series of operating and budget changes after another.

The University could have chosen to “hunker down” and “ride out” this difficult period. Instead, the University has revisited its planning process and revised its statements of mission, vision and values. The resulting Strategic Plan 2011-2016 was approved by the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System in February 2012.

The publication that accompanies this correspondence has been produced to communicate the plan outside the University to our friends and constituents. Nicholls is also launching a new marketing campaign, “People Creating Possibilities” that is featured in this publication. Throughout the strategic planning process, and in developing the new marketing campaign, a common thread always appeared. Nicholls State’s great asset is its people. The faculty and staff make Nicholls a unique place with a supportive environment for student success.

I believe that the strategic plan publication highlights the uniqueness of Nicholls. Clearly, the University and its faculty, staff and students have been facing considerable hardship with little leadership or support evidenced from the state level. The plan also seeks to make it clear that together the Nicholls family of faculty, staff, students and friends alike is working to keep the University vital and growing in support of the region we serve.

I am pleased to share this strategic plan for your review. Thank you for all that you do to keep Nicholls strong during this challenging time.

http://issuu.com/nichollsstateuniversity/docs/strategic_plan?mode=window&backgroundColor=%23222222

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