The start of a new school year is always a special time at Utah State University where the entire community is ready to learn, bond, and grow. Your decision to join our wonderful university, known for our quality programs, dedication to students, and commitment to bettering society, will impact the future of your life greatly as you learn to make your mark on the world.
And now, as I begin my second year as USU’s president, I know that Utah State University continues to be a leading land-grant institution known for our quality discovery, learning, and outreach opportunities. Our outstanding scholars and educators, along with you, our students, collectively embody a tradition of greatness.
For those of you returning to campus, take notice of the many improvements/upgrades, as well as the many new faces joining our Aggie ranks, most notably the Class of 2022. Please join me in welcoming our newest students, as well as several other Aggies from areas spanning the globe, into our community. And whether you are at our main campus in Logan, or at one of our many branch campuses located throughout the state of Utah, we care about you.
It is a great time to be an Aggie. In national rankings, we continue to gain ground. Utah State University was ranked as the #5 public university in the nation in “National Universities Rankings 2018” by Washington Monthly and is the #2 highest-ranked public university in the nation with lowest tuition in “America’s Best Value Colleges” by Forbes. Our award-winning faculty continue to receive accolades. In March, physics professor David Peak was named as a 2018 recipient of the national Council on Undergraduate Research-Goldwater Scholars Faculty Mentor Award. And our facilities continue to astound thanks, in part, to our many Utah State University alumni and friends who are so generous in their support of the institution. In May, we celebrated the opening for the Sorenson Legacy Foundation Center for Clinical Excellence on the north side of campus. The new center is a unique, advanced facility where integration of research, academic, and clinical services enables training for students, interdisciplinary research among faculty and clinicians, and comprehensive clinical services for clients statewide and regionally. The new Life Sciences building will be opened during this school year.
And as I look over the many successes coming from the institution, I am also reminded of the challenges a university faces. The past several months have brought to light many important issues USU needs to address including sexual violence, harassment, and gender discrimination. And while these issues have become prominent at many institutions across the nation, I have made the strongest commitment I can to establish a campus culture intolerant of this kind of behavior. We must cultivate a foundation at USU that demonstrates our absolute commitment to making our campus a safe and healthy environment, where students can reach their full potential. I know that as we tackle these critical issues, our community of dedicated staff will continue its efforts to provide thoughtful introspection, dialogue, and action as we are committed to encouraging free and open discourse in a safe and supportive environment.
I am looking forward to a wonderful fall semester with you, and I hope you take full advantage of the many academic offerings the university provides. But I would like to remind you to take a break every now and again and enjoy the many convocations, exhibits, performances and athletics events happening on our campus—truly immerse yourself in college life. I am particularly excited to announce Aggie Blue Fridays beginning this fall, where the entire campus community is encouraged to wear our school colors. I hope you will join me in this exciting new tradition meant to boost our school spirit.
Best wishes for a successful year.
Noelle E. Cockett
Utah State University