University of Montana Western Chancellor Beth Weatherby detailed the university’s success at her first all-campus meeting on Wednesday.
Weatherby has been on campus since Jan. 15 and has since met with many faculty and staff members, students and community members.
Earlier in February, she was announced on the floor of the Montana State Legislature by Dillon’s representative Jeff Welborn.
“It was my honor and privilege to represent Montana Western,” said Weatherby. “I wish you all could have been there to witness the standing ovation the representatives gave you.”
She continued to tell stories of how so many people she has connected with over the past few weeks have shared their love stories for what was Montana Normal College or Western Montana College and now is the University of Montana Western.
“I came here with so much to learn,” said Weatherby. “This institution has more than 122 years of history, touching and shaping the lives of many, many people. Wherever they live they are telling bits and pieces of Montana Western’s history.”
Weatherby shared some of Montana Western’s successes since adopting the Experience One program almost ten years ago.
“We all know that Experience One, according to all the numbers that point to student success, has been itself an extraordinary success,” said Weatherby.
Montana Western currently leads the Montana University System in enrollment growth, course completion rates, average credit loads and degrees awarded.
While addressing a large crowd of faculty, staff and students, Weatherby said she felt excited as UMW will celebrate 10 years of Experience One this fall.
“Others are struggling to differentiate themselves in an environment where institutional success is being more clearly than ever equated with student success,” said Weatherby. “We have a brilliant story to tell. That is not an exaggeration. We have the experience, the expertise and the record that higher education is searching for.”
Weatherby plans to move towards creating a sustainable campus using some of the same innovative techniques that has made Experience One such a success.
“We need to be as innovative, committed and creative about developing a sound, multi-faceted, and sustainable resource base for this institution as you were in creating Experience One,” said Weatherby. “I do not yet know exactly what shape this project will take. We cannot yet know exactly how we are going to accomplish this, but I do know we have the minds, the motivation, and the will to make this happen, and I very much look forward to working with you all to do so.”