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Thursday, May 4, 2017

End of year notes and fall save the date

Dear colleagues,

The end of the semester and commencement is here! Each year, I am surprised at how quickly our academic year progresses. We have many things to be grateful for and proud of this year. Thank you for your contributions to our success.

The end of the year events, ceremonies, and awards are a wonderful time to reflect and celebrate together. To get a snapshot of activity on campus this past year, please take a minute to watch this recap video.

I'm also pleased to share with you a new non-discrimination statement from the Campus Climate Leadership Team which clearly articulates our expectations, standards, and values. This statement furthers our Goal 2 commitment to create a positive and inclusive campus climate for all by advancing equity, diversity, and social justice.

This year was packed with impressive work from our students, faculty, and staff. Some examples include the creation and launch of the new Advanced Materials Center, the reopening of the beautifully renovated Cina Hall, and the opening of the new Securian Math Learning Lab. Our fine arts departments held numerous impressive performances and exhibitions, and the theatre department earned national awards for the One River production. We also gained national attention for the discovery of a new galaxy, led by our physics department, and for our mechanical and electrical engineering students winning the nationwide Air Force Research Lab Challenge. Bulldog Athletics saw broad-based success with national rankings, recognitions, and success, over 2,000 volunteer hours, and the highest single semester all athlete GPA ever at 3.19. 

Moving forward, we continue to look towards continued excellence and achievements. This includes an ongoing push for legislative bonding funds to hopefully start construction on our new Chemistry and Advanced Materials Science building. Watch for a celebration this fall for the 50th anniversary of the Alworth Planetarium. The Department of Communication is creating a new Communication Research Lab in Kirby Plaza. I'm sure our faculty and students will have a summer filled with impressive research. There are many other accomplishments I could mention, and I look forward to numerous additional achievements to celebrate in the fall. 

Please save the date and time for our faculty and staff welcome on Monday, August 21 from 8:30 - 10:00 a.m. in the Ward Wells Field House. This continental breakfast event will replace the previous afternoon welcome. 

I'd be remiss if I did not mention our budget, so I'll just quickly note that Vice Chancellor Steve Keto will provide an update on our budget and next steps after we get a clearer picture from the state legislature over the next couple weeks. We remain concerned about the proposed low funding for the University of Minnesota from both the Minnesota House and Senate.

Thank you all for a another successful year and congratulations to our 2017 graduates!


Chancellor Lendley Black