Campus Update—End of Fall Semester 2013

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TO: All Employees

FROM: President Ann Weaver Hart
DATE: December 6, 2013
SUBJECT:  Campus Update—End of Fall Semester 2013
 
 
I hope you all had a joyous and restful Thanksgiving.  From Homecoming to the Wildcats’ stunning victory over the Oregon Ducks a few weeks ago, it has been an exciting and eventful semester!
 
I am particularly excited about the enthusiastic response we received to our presentation of the University of Arizona’s academic and business plan, Never Settle, at the ABOR meeting held at the Center for Creative Photography on November 22nd.  Thanks to the hard work of dedicated faculty, staff, and appointed professionals from every corner of the UA community, the presentation was a phenomenal success. I want to express my sincere thanks for your support and contributions to all stages of creating the Never Settle plan.  Now we are primed to move forward with the important work of enacting the plan to achieve the goals it establishes for the future of the UA. With your continued hard work and creativity I know that we will engage our students, partner with our communities, and become an innovative super-land grant university for the 21st century and beyond.
 
If you were not able to attend or watch the live stream of the meeting, you can visit the Arizona Regents’ video archive, which will have the event recording for 90 days:http://azregents.edu/aborlive/90dayarchive/default.aspx.  (Please click the “Special” link under “11-2013 - UA” to view the full presentation). The slides that accompanied this presentation are also available to download at neversettle.arizona.edu.
 
Prior to the ABOR meeting, University leadership traveled throughout the state and region to engage our partners and ensure we have a viable set of steps to make the vision of the Never Settle plan a reality. Critical to the success of this process will be the University’s ability to leverage state investments in our efforts to expand research and engage students.
 
It was with this goal in mind that I accompanied ABOR staff and other higher education leaders from our state to meet with the Arizona Commerce Authority, the state’s semi-public economic development organization. At the meeting we discussed the unified legislative budget request from Arizona’s higher education enterprise, which includes proposals for establishing a new veterinary medicine degree program, funding for Cooperative Extension, and support for new faculty to expand our research enterprise. Each initiative is vital to our efforts to drive Arizona’s economy through the pillars of the Never Settle plan. 
 
Similarly, in early November, I spoke with the Arizona Republic editorial board and discussed how the funding request leverages our strategic plan to meet the challenges and possibilities for public higher education. UA leadership also had a productive and engaging work session with Directors of the Greater Phoenix Leadership to discuss the Never Settle plan and our partnerships with the Phoenix community.
 
All these meetings stressed the symbiosis between our public universities and our state: a thriving University of Arizona drives our state’s fiscal and civic health by producing innovative research and graduates who can meet critical workforce needs.  The budget cuts of recent years have threatened this symbiosis, but with a renewed investment in higher education, Arizona can ensure a prosperous future for its residents and families. Our work to engage Arizona’s leadership will help to gain support for our proposals, and I look forward to a brighter future as a result.
 
As this work has gone forward, we have also been busy ensuring that the UA has the leadership necessary to carry out the Never Settle plan. The UA has initiated searches for four vital positions – Senior Vice President for Research, Senior Vice President for Business Affairs and Chief Financial Officer, Vice President for Strategic Planning & Analysis, and Chief of Police for the UA Police Department. Search committees have been appointed and are reviewing applications with a goal of having all four positions filled by the middle of the spring semester. The search for our new ABOR liaison, who will hold the title of Senior Associate to the President and Secretary of the University, will begin soon. 
 
As we prepare for the end of the semester, I want to thank all of you for your hard work over the past few months. The future of the University is squarely in your hands, and for that reason, I know that it will be bright. I hope you have a happy, healthy, and restful winter break.