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Executive Vice President and Provost of LMU Dr. Thomas Poon will be giving the 2018 convocation address to LMU community members next week.

In a recent press release from LMU This Week, it was announced that Executive Vice President and Provost of LMU Dr. Thomas Poon will be giving the 2018 convocation address to LMU community members next week.

According to the provost, convocations at LMU serve many purposes, from welcoming a particular group of community members to conveying some sort of message or lesson. This year’s convocation will serve to update attendees on certain initiatives and why they should be excited about them.

“Last year, my convocation served to introduce myself to the community and provide my vision for particular areas under my purview,” Poon said. “It was primarily for faculty and staff. This year, I plan to provide updates on various initiatives at LMU, and I want to also speak to students and get them excited about the directions that LMU will be going.”

Specifically, Poon will touch on LMU’s growing enrollment numbers, strategic plans for the near future and certain initiatives and organizational changes among various facets of LMU.

LMU’s Carnegie Classification will also be discussed. The Carnegie Classification system is a system of classifying universities in the U.S. by type and with research specification—R-1 through R-3, with R-1 being the best—which gives individuals a framework for comparing universities of similar prestige. According to the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, schools are reclassified every three years, with new reclassification updates slated to appear later this year, which is why the matter will be touched on in the Provost’s upcoming speech.

“My goal is to help the community to see that positive change is afoot at LMU,” Poon said. “The message will be that LMU cannot succeed in its ambitions without the help of all constituencies, from students to faculty to staff to alumni and so many others.”

To supplement his speech, the provost is preparing a slide presentation. This visual component will serve to convey empirical information regarding the initiatives covered in the speech. “I have a great team who has helped me by gathering data and reporting out on successes in their areas,” Poon said.

This year’s speech will differ from previous convocation speeches in some ways, according to Poon. “There won’t be a ukulele performance at the end,” he said. “There’s just no way I can ever top last year’s song." Additionally, he plans on further engaging his audience to increase participation during this year's address.

Poon emphasized that both staff and students should be excited about the address. "Students will come away learning about some new initiatives that they can benefit from and partake in,” he said. 

In addition to anticipating the level of community engagement from faculty and students surrounding this event, he is looking forward to simply giving his presentation. “I’m excited because I haven’t had the opportunity to teach a class yet at LMU, so these types of presentations are the closest I get to teaching,” he said.

The convocation address will be delivered on Monday, Nov. 12 at 11:30 a.m. in the Life Sciences Building Auditorium.

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