August 1, 2007, 6:32 a.m.
Dear Members of The University of Iowa Community,
As the calendar turns to August, the educational world ripples with anticipation. In just a few weeks, our new academic year begins. This year, August 1 brings unique expectancy for both you and me as I begin serving as The University of Iowa's 20th President. I feel great personal excitement today, but more importantly I extend my virtual hand to you in greeting and thanks. I am grateful for and humbled by the grand responsibility you have placed in my hands: leading this remarkable institution into a future of increasing distinction and new discovery.
In the coming weeks, you all have a lot
of wonderful work to do: finalizing course syllabi, wrapping up summer
research and creative projects, continuing expert and compassionate care
of our patients, getting offices and classrooms ready for our returning
students, finalizing class schedules and settling into residence halls
and apartments--all the important tasks as a new year approaches.
I have a lot of work to do, too, and a lot to learn about the UI, its splendid
traditions and its expansive possibilities. The most important work
that I'll be doing these first weeks is listening: to you on campus,
to the everyday residents and the leaders of our community and state, to
those in Iowa's education community from border to border. I will
listen for what makes us proud, what concerns us, what has worked (and
not worked) for us, what our hopes and dreams are. My first goal
as your new President is to know you as best I can so that I may most effectively
lead the Universi!
ty where we all want it to go.
My husband Ken and I have been touched by the kindness, generosity, and enthusiasm with which you have welcomed us. I know that Iowans have a reputation for wide-open hands and hearts, but it all doesn't truly sink in until that reputation becomes experienced reality. I promise to approach this new leadership role with the same spirit of giving and optimism that you have extended to us.
Thank you again, I look forward to meeting you, and, of course, Go Hawks!
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