V O L U M E 4 , I S S U E 4 A P R I L 2 8 , 2 0 1 6
Message from the Provost...
Greefngs to all, from our gorgeous spring season on campus—an April of fmely weather to welcome
S P E C I A L D A T E S O F both visifng accepted students (across our schools; it’s admissions season everywhere at Wake Forest!)
I N T E R E S T : and our re-accreditafon team of administrators from other universifes. That team was a striking
group: the presidents of Rice and Mercer; cabinet officials from Emory, Tulane, and Baylor; even inter-
May 3:Benefits Fair | Benson lopers from up north (Bryn Mawr, and a longfme Cornell administrator who moved south a couple
401 | 10:00 am—2:00pm years back). Re-accreditafon reviewers sign up voluntarily; in my experience most schools don’t attract
this level of talent for their on-site visits. A welcome affirmafon that others are keenly interested in
May 15:Baccalaureate what’s happening here at Wake Forest. Indeed, along with requisite discussions of accreditafon stand-
Service | Wait Chapel | ards, we fielded a host of interested quesfons from our visitors, about how we successfully manage
everything from budgets to sustaining our liberal-arts commitment.
May 16:Commencement| We’ve also had administrators from several schools visit campus this semester, curious about one or
Hearn Plaza | 9:00 am another aspect of Wake Forest academic pracfces, business models, or cultures. And we have posifve
stories to relate: applicafons are up across our schools (we topped 14,000 for the College, for example,
August 17-19:New Faculty despite our forbidding seven-essay format; ten years ago, we had around half that number); the Wake
Orientafon | Reynolda Will campaign confnues to shatter WFU fund-raising records; and we confnue to attract our first-
Campus choice candidates for faculty and senior staff posifons. Notably, those new arrivals tend to stay: our
retenfon rates are higher than those of most peers, for faculty and staff as well as students.
All this has us confnuing to explore the quesfon raised with several of you in groups across campus, as
well as at my annual Senate-invited presentafon earlier this month:why is Wake Forest succeeding?
Our habitual pracfce is to idenffy problems, issues, or risks, and work to address those; that commit-
ment remains unflagging. But we also must understand the roots of what is going well. It is a strategic
I N S I D E T H I S imperafve to idenffy sources of success, both to understand stakeholders’posifve responses and to
I S S U E : : do more of what’s been working, and less of what hasn’t.
To date the five most frequent responses, collecfng together conversafons with faculty, staff, and Trus-
Update on Wake tees, are:
3 Engaged teaching/learning: our signature face-to-face mode of educafon, carried out by faculty across
cal Science and Engi- our schools, is roufnely cited (and celebrated). *We are improving our methods for evaluafng faculty-
neering at WFU student engagement, in order to better understand what benefits such engagement provides—and
whether/how we are disfnct from peer schools in this regard.
Secrest Artists Series
2016-17 season Applied/impactul research and creafve work: many respondents note that WFU faculty, across our
4 schools, are disfnguished forapplied work. We ask meaningful quesfons about—or create compelling
creafve works addressing—issues that truly matter. *This claim is difficult to test, but we are pilofng
ways to understand the extent to which we emphasize applied and impactul scholarship, looking at
Summer Institute on
published work and performances, journal arfcles, sponsored research projects, and the like.
Commitment to innovafve programs and pracfces: universifes are generally great custodians of tradi-
sional Development 7
fon, and Wake Forest is no excepfon. And they can also be engines of innovafon. Those polled regular-
ly pointed to our accelerafng‘culture of innovafon.’*Here again measurable outcomes are few; we
announced hope to be a pioneer in assessing innovafon, as well as exemplifying it. Qualitafve as well as quanfta-
fve evaluafons will be necessary.
Close community fes: groups noted variously that alumni remain closely bound to their alma mater;
that current faculty, staff, and students exhibit a strong sense of communal bonds and purposes; or that
deep and abiding connecfons have always been central to Wake Forest. Whatever the parfcular
group,‘community’is frequently noted as a secret of our success. *Concrete evidence of stronger
bonds felt by alumni, for example, comes through attendance at Wake Will and other alumni events like
Pro Humanitate Day.