July 1, 2010
Dear members of the University of Illinois community,
I’m delighted to be starting my first day at the University of Illinois.
Virginia and I appreciate the warm welcome you’ve given us during our transition to the University and back to the Midwest.
We’ve heard from many of you since the announcement of my appointment as president, and I want you to know that I’m grateful for your support, your ideas, and your good wishes for our success together.
Let’s never lose sight of the fact that in its long and distinguished history, the University of Illinois and its people have accomplished great things and remain at the pinnacle of American higher education. We have much more to accomplish together.
There are significant challenges ahead, but the University of Illinois has among the nation’s finest faculty, staff, students and alumni. We cannot, and will not, permit these difficult economic times to deter us from setting our sights high as we start the University’s next chapter. Our expertise, innovation, resilience, and commitment to enhancing the well-being of the people of this state — and the world — will help us rise to these challenges.
The University is an incredible asset to Illinois and one that can help the state get back on track.
Starting today, I’ll be engaged in a kind of “listening tour” to learn more about the opportunities and challenges we can address together. I hope to meet as many of you as possible so that I can hear your thoughts, ideas and suggestions.
The Midwest has always been our home. I can’t tell you how happy Virginia and I are to be returning to our roots, near our family, in the land and among the people we treasure.
July 1st is more than my first day on the job. It is also the 15th anniversary of the Springfield campus joining the University of Illinois. The evolution of our university is one of growth, change and achievement.
The University of Illinois is a great university in a great state. We’re proud to be the newest members of the University of Illinois family.