To UConn Nation:
Today I officially begin my tenure as UConn’s 16th president.
It is both a thrill and an honor to be here. I want to thank you for your many warm greetings and well-wishes – they have meant a great deal to me and Anna Maria and have made us feel very welcome here in Connecticut. I am also grateful to former President Susan Herbst for her legacy of building excellence and her gracious support during this transition.
Over the last several months of transition, I have made multiple visits to UConn campuses, met with faculty, staff, students, alumni, donors, elected officials, and fans of UConn athletics. Through these conversations some common themes are emerging, and I look forward to fleshing them out further over the next semester as I complete my first visits to all of the schools, colleges and regional campuses. But the thing that has most impressed me is the incredible sense of pride in UConn and the universal commitment to its mission from everyone I have spoken to. Building on that pride and continuing to grow and thrive as an institution is what I will focus on every day as president. With the support of the Board of Trustees and our state’s elected leaders, I have an ambitious agenda for our university and I’m excited to get to work.
The agenda we will pursue together will require the engagement of every constituent of this great university, including on our Storrs and regional campuses and at UConn Health, where our mission of teaching, research, and patient care is a vital part of who we are and what we do as one UConn.
I am very much interested in the collective wisdom and perspectives of the entire university community. I will always ensure that you know what I am working on and would like to hear from you, too. Going forward, I will hold regular on-campus coffee hours and invite any and all members of our community to join me. In fact, I will have one tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. at the Benton Museum’s coffee shop, The Beanery, here on the Storrs campus, and will post my future schedule for coffee hours on the president’s website. I also plan to write to you from time to time to communicate important news, events, and decisions, or simply share my thoughts on the critical issues that are before us. More on that after the fall semester begins in a few weeks.
In addition, I encourage you to stay connected with me on Instagram and Twitter. I will use both to share information and images – and occasionally things I find particularly interesting or funny (though my kids would probably warn you about my propensity for corny dad humor – sorry about this in advance). But more than anything, I want to highlight the outstanding work and contributions made by members of the UConn community every day across the state, nation, and world. There are a lot of great UConn stories that deserve to be told.
Once again: my thanks for the terrific welcome, I look forward to getting to know you, and to working together to accelerate the ascent of UConn.
And of course: Go Huskies!