Campus Update: Inauguration Week and Town Hall Meeting

February 23, 2024

Dear Colleagues,

In the midst of Inauguration Week, I write to thank you for what you have done and are doing to make this time special for me and for Delta State University. As some of you know, I have expressed some ambivalence about the nature of university presidential inaugurations. I did not feel it seemly to talk about budget cuts on the one hand and then spend money on a celebration on the other. It seemed to me that a simple ceremony without fanfare would suit the times.

I received wise advice that led me to rethink that position.

First, I was convinced that if we connected the inauguration to The Centennial Campaign, we might hold an event of which we would be proud and not draw on tuition dollars. I am pleased to note that the hard work of the planning committee and the efforts of the Office of University Advancement have resulted in donations of nearly everything that was needed. In fact, when all the gifts are accounted for, we may end up with a fund surplus. Any remaining cash in the inaugural account will be applied to the scholarship fund.

Second, I was reminded that this is not about me. The inauguration is a celebration of the institution — its history, its endurance, and its future. I am making that a point of emphasis in my various remarks and will reiterate that on Saturday at the Investiture Ceremony.

I am pleased that we are well and truly into our centennial year, and I look forward to celebrating — frugally! — our century of success.

I have learned that in the Delta we party hard, and we work hard.  So, after the party, and a day of rest on Sunday, we will be back to the task at hand.  To that end, I have decided to devote the next Town Hall meeting (Tuesday, February 27, 3:00 pm, Jacob Conference Center, Ewing Hall) to academic affairs.  Specifically, I will unpack the terms I use to discuss academic programming and how those programs are supported by our financial resources. All are welcome, but please be aware we are going to get into the weeds on curriculum, degree progress, and academic program review.

Thank you again for all you do for Delta State University. I am proud to work here.


Best regards,

Dan Ennis