University News

A Message from President Robert E. Johnson

Published: September 10, 2020 | Categories: Alumni
President Johnson Headshot

To the Alumni of Western New England University:

Since arriving at Western New England University in mid-August, I have been impressed by the positive energy on campus. I am especially grateful for two particularly meaningful experiences. While the first largely preceded my arrival, it is clear to me how hard the entire campus community worked together to deliver a safe and successful opening week of the semester. Their commitment to WNE and care for each other and our students shone through—evidenced by the many heartwarming and grateful comments from students and families during move-in week.

The second thank you is for how warmly my wife Michelle and I were welcomed to the Golden Bear Family. The kind words, willingness to engage in honest and open dialogue and consider new directions and new ways of thinking have already filled me with gratitude and optimism. These experiences signal how good-hearted and resilient we are as a community, and I am confident that I made the right decision in choosing to lead this great institution into its second century.

These are uniquely challenging times for all of us—WNE, the higher education sector, our nation, and our world. Students, families, faculty, staff, and undoubtedly you, have faced the stress and uncertainty of an unprecedented global health crisis and commensurate economic downturn.

Beyond the challenges related to COVID-19, the past decade has brought tremendous disruption to higher education. The most innovative and forward-thinking universities will overcome these challenges, and become stronger as a result. We will be one of them.

Over the next three years, we are committed to stabilization, revitalization, and innovation. In charting our path forward we will be strategic, collaborative, and inclusive in our approach to reimagining our future. From now until the end of June, 2021, we will:

  • Assess leadership competencies and organizational structure and capabilities
  • Realign structure as necessary and begin strategic visioning
  • Align resources with structure and outline vision and strategic direction for the future
  • Outline and establish strategic priorities for the next five years

Engaged and invested alumni are critical to the continued success of WNE. I encourage you to stay informed about the University’s news and accomplishments; stay involved as a volunteer, mentor, or ambassador; stay connected with your fellow alumni and with our current students; and stay invested by including your alma mater among your philanthropic priorities. When we harness the energy, talents, and support of our more than 44,000 alumni, there is no limit as to what we can achieve together.

Our future is exciting. I look forward to meeting you and to learning about your vision for Western New England University.

With gratitude,

Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.
Western New England University