Dear Fisk Alumni and Friends:
Today is my first day as the fifteenth president of Fisk University. I am both humbled and honored to assume the helm of this storied institution of higher learning. While there are challenges ahead, I am confident that working together, we will overcome all of them.
Our priority and overarching challenge during this first year is to ensure that SACSCOC removes Fisk from probationary status in December. At my meeting with SACCOC officials last week I learned the particulars of what we must do to effect this result. We must balance our operational budget for this fiscal year 2013 and end the fiscal year in the black − and have an audit without any findings. In order to balance the budget, we must raise no less than $5 million in unrestricted gifts, which is our second challenge.
Several of you have asked, “What is the new president’s vision?” At the end of the day, my vision is for Fisk to maintain its stellar reputation for academic excellence, enhance the physical plant so that it is second to none, strengthen student retention and graduation, and become fiscally solvent and sustainable. Over the next several months, I look to engage faculty, students, staff, alumni, and friends. As part of my commitment to keep you informed, I will send a monthly electronic letter through the Office of Institutional Advancement.
I look forward to seeing many of you as I travel around the nation connecting with corporations, foundations, alumni, and friends. I ask you to continue supporting Fisk University and the amazing students we serve!
H. James Williams, President