Many hopeful and curious eyes fell on Valdosta State University's president as faculty, students and staff learned more about the balancing act facing a growing institution.
Ron Zaccari, Valdosta State University President, says, "Students are coming with more contemporary needs. They want better housing, more parking, more food service, lower fees, more safety."
They are needs that have prompted the urgency for numerous improvements to the campus.
Students will continue to see construction projects as they make room for new students, but President Zaccari says education will be his first priority.
Shane Collins, a VSU student, says, "They are building a lot, but as far as the school year, they don't seem to get in the way or anything, so it really hasn't been a problem."
But what could be a problem for both the students and administration is the absence of state funding again this year, an obstacle Zaccari says the university can overcome by pulling together.
Zaccari says, "There will be more dramatic changes in higher education in this country and in the state of Georgia and at VSU than the previous 100 years."
They are changes President Zaccari says will be positive for both the future of the university and its student body. VSU students start their fall semester August 15.