University of Nebraska-Lincoln community and friends-
As we enter into a slight pause in the rigors and work of our semester and academic pursuits, I wanted to convey to you how thankful I am for our great university, for the noble mission we carry forward every day and for the amazing progress we are making in growing and expanding our reach and impact in Nebraska and around the world. We are indeed fortunate.
We have a great deal to celebrate, from our current record-breaking enrollment of 25,897 students, to our record year for research, scholarship and creative activity, to the countless accomplishments and recognitions of our faculty, to the phenomenal success of our student-athletes during this fall season. Our momentum is palpable and, I believe, unstoppable.
I am particularly thankful for the team of faculty and staff who have worked so hard over the past two years to enable a strong reaccreditation submittal for the university with the Higher Learning Commission, culminating in a highly engaging and productive visit of the HLC team in October.
I am thankful for the life and legacy of our dear friend and colleague Prem Paul – and for the opportunity to honor him and his family earlier today in the formal renaming of the Prem S. Paul Research Center at Whittier School. A small token for a giant leader.
I am thankful for our interim leaders, including vice chancellors Marjorie Kostelnik, Ron Yoder and Steve Goddard, and deans Beth Doll, Lance Perez and Richard Moberly, who have stepped forward selflessly as we transition to new leadership. All are servant leaders in the truest sense.
I am thankful for the service of so many of our faculty, staff and stakeholders who have worked tirelessly in the searches for our two academic vice chancellor positions, culminating in the naming of Mike Boehm as our next IANR Harlan Vice Chancellor and NU vice president for agriculture and natural resources. Mike begins Jan. 1.
And today I am pleased to announce that upon the recommendation of the search advisory committee we will be hosting Donde Plowman, dean of the College of Business Administration, for campus interviews for the position of executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer on Dec. 5 and 6.
We also continue to be immensely thankful for the support of all Nebraskans for its people’s university and humbled by the critical role we serve for the future of the state. While we certainly face challenges in addressing fiscal constraints in the coming biennium, we can all be assured that we will do so smartly and strategically, as a community, to emerge stronger in delivering on our tripartite land-grant mission of education, research and translational extension.
Lastly, I am so thankful to have the opportunity to serve as your chancellor. I am energized every day by knowing that our mission has never been more important in our 147-year history. We have much work to do in 2017, the year we have dubbed as “the year of the strategic plan.” I look forward to what lies ahead, to working with and for you, as we plot a grand future for Nebraska’s flagship university.
What a blessing it is to be in this place at this time with you. I am thankful for each of you and thankful that there is indeed no place like Nebraska.