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Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Opening Convocation Kicks Off New Year

President Richard Davenport gives traditional fall welcome to faculty, staff, administration.

2014-08-18
Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office Announcement, 8-18-2014

Minnesota State University, Mankato President Richard Davenport gives his annual convocation address on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014. (Photo courtesy of Lenny Koupal, Centennial Student Union.)

Mankato, Minn. -- Minnesota State University, Mankato President Richard Davenport welcomed faculty, staff and administrators back to campus today in his traditional convocation speech, which he gave this year in the Centennial Student Union ballroom.

In his speech, Davenport said that the strategic priorities and vision for Minnesota State Mankato have not changed.

"We will stay the course by promoting global solutions and international education, growing extended education, creating the campus of the future, focusing on institutional diversity, promoting scholarship and research tied to our doctoral mission, and continuously strive to promote quality and excellence in our Academic and Student Affairs areas," said Davenport.

Davenport said that during his speech he wanted to zero in on a few of the most important challenges in American higher education -- recruitment, retention, completion, affordability and the student debt crisis.

He noted that the University cabinet spent a day last week discussing enrollment management at an off-campus retreat.

Davenport said Minnesota State Mankato currently graduates approximately 51 percent of its incoming first-year students after six years, and that the University has set five-year enrollment and graduation targets that would increase that total to two-thirds of incoming first-year students.

Davenport also said the University would continue its efforts in the areas of academic mapping and academic planning -- tied to integrated strategic planning -- and he said that both areas were critical to the University's Higher Learning Commission reaffirmation of accreditation.

A reception (picture at right) was held in the ballroom lobby prior to the convocation, and a campus cookout was held after the convocation on the main level of Centennial Student Union.

Campus move-in day for students to residence communities is Thursday, with a variety of activities planned to welcome new students to campus. Click here for more details.

Classes for the fall semester begin Monday, Aug. 25.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,409 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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