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Establishment of a Veterans Center at UD

Tuesday, December 3, 2013  
Posted by: Kari Lammer
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President  Jeffrey F. Bullock

The University’s commitment to our Nation’s service-members and veterans dates to World War II with the Navy’s V5/V12 programs, continuing to the present day with a vibrant Army ROTC Eagle Detachment, and a budding veteran support group for those studying on campus. Also, the University employs faculty and staff who are veterans of all military branches serving across the campus community.

As the U.S. presence in Iraq and Afghanistan diminishes, it is clear that our nation’s military force will be reduced. Much mention has been made in the national media of late about the thousands of veterans who are, and will be returning to civilian life with needs that we as a nation are yet to fully realize -- needs that range from psychological counseling, to physical accommodations, to post-secondary education. For many of our veterans, the college campus and its culture will be as foreign to them as the countries in which they’ve served.

In a recent report from the Lumina Foundation, it noted that more than 800,000 veterans have already used their post-9/11 GI Bill benefits and total outlays to support the GI bill could reach $90 billion within 15 years. Many veterans have already found their academic home here at UD, and in part because of this initiative, we look forward to many more joining our campus community.

One thing is clear – the need for a solid education that prepares veterans to be as successful in the civilian world as they have been in the military. As a Diamond University, I believe that the University of Dubuque is uniquely positioned to provide the needed support for today’s veterans who choose to pursue higher education.

One solution is also clear – there is no substitute for veterans helping veterans. Veterans put no greater trust in another than someone who has "walked in the same boots.” Today, we embark on a renewed and increased effort to raise the level of support we offer to returning veterans – to engage collectively as a University to meet the needs of those who have given much. For those who have given much, much is needed.

I am honored to announce the establishment of a Veterans Center on campus that will be staffed by a Veteran Admission and Assistance Coordinator. The Veterans Center will serve as a place for veterans to go for help. The Veteran Admission and Assistance Coordinator will work with departments across campus to integrate new veterans into the University by making, what to them seem like complicated processes, easier to navigate.

I ask all academic and administrative departments across campus to join in this new initiative and to support the Veteran Admission and Assistance Coordinator in this effort. Additionally, the Veteran Admission and Assistance Coordinator, who will report to Enrollment Management, will be responsible to engage veterans before they arrive on campus to identify their needs, and to recruit actively more veterans to UD. While the Veteran Admission and Assistance Coordinator will take to lead, we are all responsible for becoming even more "veteran friendly.”

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