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Welcome back to campus

Incoming class follows on the heels of record-breaking graduating class and an increase in the U's six-year graduation rate.

Dear University Faculty and Staff,

This past May, we celebrated the largest graduating class the U has ever seen – more than 8,500 students earned 9,110 degrees. We did this together. We taught them, engaged them in the community and in research, advised, mentored, and supported them. Together, we prepared them for exciting opportunities and challenges.

Our six-year graduation rate is another measure of our success in serving students – it has increased 10 percent over the past five years – a feat that is remarkable at the national level. As more students complete their degrees in less time than in the past, we have the institutional capacity to bring more first-year students to campus.

Let’s work together to welcome a large first-year class this fall, which will be part of an overall enrollment growth of approximately 2-3 percent. Thank you to our enrollment management teams for their tremendous efforts in reaching these achievements. Preparing for these students has mobilized our campus and brought us together around the goal of supporting student success. But getting talented, diverse students here is only the beginning. Now we have the opportunity to learn from an increasingly diverse student body, to engage them alongside our scholar/teachers in the production of new knowledge, to imagine just how much is possible in their lives.

Our students have achieved success because we provide a high-quality education while maintaining affordability through scholarships; because we use data to improve advising and student support; and because more students are participating in engaged learning experiences, which help students succeed in their programs and stay on track to graduate.

We are delighted to move forward with our mission of serving talented, academically prepared students from all backgrounds, and we expect to continue a trajectory of modest growth in the years ahead. As the state’s flagship institution, the U is an attractive college choice for talented students from Utah and beyond. I look forward to partnering with you to ensure that our incoming class has the enriching educational experiences for which the U is becoming well-known.

Ruth V. Watkins
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs