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Welty’s final address focuses on future

By | January 18, 2013 | Front page
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Giving his final official speech as university president, John D. Welty speaks of Fresno State’s position as a facilitator of higher education for all, including minority groups and under represented populations. Christopher Costello / The Collegian

On Monday, Fresno State President John D. Welty gave a speech at the 2013 Faculty Assembly. Presumably, this was his last official speech, as he is slated to vacate the position by the end of this, the Spring 2013 semester.

Welty focused on the effects of Proposition 30, speaking specifically of Gov Jerry Brown’s efforts to expand priority for higher education within the state budget. Welty noted the fact that $ 125 million has been added to the California State University General Fund.

Welty, in his talk, also included Fresno State’s increasing appeal among prospective college students.

“It is clear that students want a higher education and they want to come to Fresno State,” Welty said.

Welty spoke further about Fresno State’s recently accrued reputation for furthering the education of underrepresented people. According to his speech, the university has prioritized recruiting for diversity. This includes faculty and staff recruitment, as well as student recruitment.

Though not in attendance at the faculty assembly, Associated Students Inc. president Arthur Montejano, is a member of the Advisory Committee for the Selection of the President. As a student government officer, Montejano worked with Welty throughout the last semester.

“Dr. Welty’s legacy here will be the impact that the university has had on first generation and underrepresented populations,” Montejano said. “Fresno State has developed a reputation as the place for those people to go if they want to be successful.”

Welty thanked the Faculty Affairs Diversity Team for its efforts in extending job offers to ethnically diverse candidates.

These potential hires are part of the 55 new faculty positions slated to be filled by the fall 2013 semester.

Throughout his speech, Welty spoke of the various infrastructurew improvements on campus. Two such projects are nearing completion. These are the 4,800 square-foot Rue and Gwen Gibson Farm Market, and the Foster Farms Poultry Education and Research Facility.

Nearing the end of his speech, Welty spoke of pride in both the faculty and the students. He described his final months at Fresno State as a time in which he will be focused on the positive effects of this university.

“As I move into my final months, I have a heightened appreciation for this university’s impact on students, as well as faculty and staff and our region,” Welty said.

Honora Chapman — professor of Classics and Humanities, and director of the Smittcamp Family Honors College — attended Monday’s assembly.

“At the president’s speech it felt like people could breathe deeply with hope for better things to come in the near future, and that we’ve really come through the worst of it,” Chapman said.

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