After the first full academic year, students, faculty, and staff are settled into the new McCormick Hall. With this wonderful facility, we enjoyed hosting the 2011–2012 Fall Kickoff that welcomed back all new and returning kinesiology and recreation (KNR) students, productive meetings with our advisory committees, and a wonderful celebration with graduates and their families at a reception prior to spring commencement ceremonies. The Student Fitness Center and McCormick Hall has created myriad possibilities for hosting events and entering collaborative activities.
As detailed in the cover story, we will be opening the SMART Clinic with support from Campus Recreation, Student Health Services, the College of Applied Science and Technology this fall in the Athletic Training Laboratory during times when there are no classes scheduled. A second partnership with Campus Recreation is the development of a Personal Training and Physical Assessment area in the Exercise Physiology Laboratory. We are also repurposing the Faculty and Staff Lounge as a Heritage Room where emeriti faculty will be honored along with other reminders of our wonderful tradition.
We are also striving to expand opportunities for students to receive international education experiences. As explained in an article later in this newsletter, students and faculty have traveled to Mendoza, Argentina, as well as to Opole University of Technology in Poland. We hosted a guest student from Poland this past September and had two exchange students from Brazil in spring classes. In the fall semester, four students from the physical education teacher education program will study for a semester at the University of Limerick in Ireland. At the same time, we will welcome four exchange students from Limerick to our program at Illinois State. Plans are underway for students in the exercise science program to study abroad at Limerick in the spring with more Irish students coming to Illinois State. This is an exciting opportunity for our students. We will continue to explore opportunities for faculty and students to engage in international experiences.
We will have another busy academic year ahead. We expect continued strong enrollments in programs as our majors continue to be in high demand. We are working hard at enrollment management to make sure we can properly support the students that are admitted to KNR. We will have two faculty searches and also a search for a permanent director of the School of Kinesiology and Recreation.
State funding to Illinois State University has decreased for the upcoming year so we will continue to face financial challenges. The economic challenges in the state of Illinois are impacting virtually all of its citizenry. In the face of diminished state support, the generous support of our donors helps fill budgetary shortfalls. We are grateful for those gifts that enable us to continue to produce excellent teachers, athletic trainers, fitness leaders, and recreation professionals. For instance, your donations to the School of Kinesiology and Recreation Foundation fund have contributed to the support of student travel to professional conferences, student scholarships, and computer and software upgrades. We need your continued generous support to maintain excellence in our programs.
Congratulations to our most recent graduates! We welcome you as the newest members of outstanding alumni. We hope you will be able to join us for 2012 Homecoming on October 5–7. If you cannot make it to campus that weekend, please know that we always welcome your visit. We are pleased to see our alums and show them our new facilities. Please come visit us soon!