The 2024 Countdown

TO: BISTU Community

From: Fu Guo, President of the University

Date: December 29, 2023

SUBJ: The 2024 Countdown

Sunset of a summer day on campus, courtesy of the University

Dear BISTU Community,

The festive season is in full swing marking the end of another year. As we head toward the year’s end and our annual winter break, I want to take a moment to wish all the members of our BISTU community — our staff, faculty, students, alumni, and friends — my best wishes for the holiday season and the coming new year.

The holiday break is a time for rest, reflection, and joy — I hope you find plenty of each.

For me, 2023 has been educational as well as inspiring — and for many reasons. One of the most grateful reasons is that the government gave me an opportunity to serve BISTU, this great institution, in a new role, and what made me even happier was that I could be well accepted to this great team and platform full of commitment, resilience, enthusiasm, and dedication.

It has been a year in which BISTU enjoyed thriving enrollment, high student success rates, a nationally acclaimed innovation agenda and all-time highs for both research and scholarship. This year, we keep our students the first priority. We, as a team, closely worked together and collaboratively worked with our campus partners to support academic progress, student engagement, and well-being to ideologically, academically, and behaviorally ensure student satisfaction and success. This year, we keep our faculty and staff in the center for university governance. We clearly understand our employees are assets to the university, and that’s why we strive to make a change by providing outstanding benefits, resources, and services so that we can attract, sustain, and inspire the world’s most talented faculty, staff, and administrators in their entire career life cycles. This year, we held important grand openings for Research Building, the new Food Court, Starlight Theater, and others. Each unveiling made us better by elevating our academic setting and enhancing our campus experience.

Fisrt time in an Undergraduate lecture at BISTU

The past five months elapsed so quick since I begin my presidency at BISTU. I again define my first year as the “Year of Exploration and Discover”, and it was really an amazing and exciting experience for me to see all the brand-new infrastructures and the smiley faces everywhere on campus. This semester I’ve had the privilege to tour our university and engage with our community on a deeper level than perhaps any other time during my past presidencies. At the beginning of September, I actually set a goal to visit every college and major administrative unit to learn about our progress on key goals and reveal what’s next. I can tell you with confidence that we are accelerating the pursuit of our vision to be leading municipal applied universities into a new era of innovation and impact.

Though I have a few more stops to go to complete my tour, I have already been wowed by our students, faculty and staff. Perhaps more important than what I’ve shared has been what I’ve learned — where we are succeeding as well as where we have more work to do. These conversations inform my thinking and remind me of the value of leading by listening. 

University mascot published in student annual award ceremony, courtesy of the University

As we wrap up 2023, I’m hopeful for our future, and I’m humbled by our progress. I’m inspired by the commitment to discovery and innovation, and lifted by the deep belief in public higher education exhibited by all members of our BISTU community.

This year of visits has reminded me that I don’t thank you enough for all you do to make our university incredible. I genuinely appreciate our students and their passion for learning. And I’ve never been more proud or more thankful for our dedicated faculty and staff, who care deeply about the success of the next generation. Thank you to everyone as we move forward into the end of this year and into the start of 2024 — bound by gratitude and togetherness, in the light of the spirit and belief this university has brought us for the past 86 years.  

While we celebrate our successes, we also acknowledge the challenges we have faced as a campus and a larger community. May we be bound as BISTU Rabbit and stand together ready to take on 2024 with even more excitement, kindness, unity and resolve.

I wish you all happy holidays.

Guo, Fu

President, BISTU