United Tribes News Speech Archives

A Healthy and Prosperous Organization
Acknowledging our Accomplishments
By Russell Swagger, Vice President of Student and Campus Services
March 12, 2007 to UTTC staff and faculty for All Staff Professional Development Day

Today is your day to learn and share your knowledge and experiences. It's a day to step back from your view of yourself, your students and your career and see future possibilities. It's a day to renew your spirit and gain motivation to finish out the academic year.

Professional development day is a time to find new ways of thinking and delivering your service to your students.

As we prepare to begin our learning journey together today, here are some things to acknowledge about where we are as an institution:

  1. We are preparing to submit a new application to the Department of Education for another Carl Perkins competitive grant,
  2. We are beginning to closeout the last year of our five year strategic plan; we are embarking on a new strategic plan,
  3. We are planning to implement a comprehensive development plan that considers all aspects of our college and future visions including vocations, general education, academies, four year and advanced degree programs, campus expansion, student growth, fundraising, online and distance education, articulation agreements with other colleges and university for credit transfers, memorandums of understanding with other educational institutions for other projects and possibilities, facility renovation and construction, student scholarships and childhood services,
  4. As Dr. Gipp and Dr. Baird have reminded us recently, we are moving into self-study mode as we plan to apply for 10 years of continuing accreditation with NCA in 2011,
  5. We are implementing income generating programs known as enterprise development; the bookstore is completely self-sufficient and property and supply is on its way,
  6. We have built our own housing on campus for 24 families and we are planning to transfer another 96 units from Community Homes to UTTC,
  7. We continue to be a driving economic force in the Bismarck/Mandan Community and the State of North Dakota with over 300 people on our payroll, over 1,000 students enrolling each year and an economic impact of over $44 million,
  8. We are revising our master facility plan to construct the necessary infrastructure on the new side of campus,
  9. We are celebrating 4 years of clean audits and continue with "mature contract status" in our Indian Self-Determination contract,
  10. We have moved into a state-of-the-art wellness facility,
  11. We report a 54% graduation rate, an 86% cumulative retention rate and we look to increase those numbers,
  12. Your president has changed the Dean's titles to Vice Presidents,
  13. And, our president is celebrating his 30th year as president of the college and his fifth year restoring funding for our important programs.

We have made significant and important progress in spite of our obstacles and challenges. Our organization is healthy and prosperous in many ways.

We are constantly evaluating and contemplating our future. We are ever in the planning mode, hoping for great achievements. You can continue to fulfill your role by striving each day to do your best as an individual and understanding your role in the larger picture. When asked for input, please offer it. When called upon for assistance, continue to provide it. And, when faced with challenges, accept them and move forward.

In the face of adversity we have done well as a community. But we must continue to plan strategically for our future and adjust to difficulties along the way. Never get comfortable with where you are and accept opportunities to improve and grow.

Best wishes to each of you; I look forward to what the future has to offer to us.