Speeches and Writing

End of Year Fall 2012 email message to faculty and staff

Dear Colleagues,

As we prepare for the final days of the semester, let's celebrate together a spectacular 2012, and look ahead to what's sure to be an exciting 2013.

Congratulations: This has been a remarkable year on all of our campuses. Our scientists are zeroing in on Alzheimer's prevention, among other breakthroughs. We welcomed a new chancellor at Crookston. A dozen alumni or students won Fulbright Scholarships, underscoring our global impact. UM Rochester continued to grow and gain national attention for its education innovations. Alumni and friends gave $244 million to support student scholarships and research. UMD graduate Brian Kobilka '77 won a Nobel Prize.

Our statewide public engagement and outreach included groundbreaking work with military families, support for new efforts to close Minnesota's educational achievement gap, and work by Extension in all 87 counties. Our Morris campus led the nation again on the important sustainability front. And our Office for Technology Commercialization and its new MN-IP program gained U.S. Department of Commerce recognition and saw us sign 40 innovative agreements with business partners.

Advocacy: The upcoming legislative session is going to be critical to the future of this University. My top priorities are to freeze tuition for Minnesota's resident undergraduates and to build on our research strengths. Faculty and staff are powerful advocates. We will be calling on you to raise your voices as our budget request moves through the State Capitol process. Sign up here to join me at the important Legislative Briefing on January 23.

Take care of yourselves: I know the end of the semester and holidays can be stressful. Sometimes, we think only students feel the stress, but we all can. Also, please look out for others, including co-workers and students. Our Student Mental Health website is there for all of us, and it can be very helpful.

Here's wishing you a wonderful and productive 2013. Thank you for all you do for the University of Minnesota.

Sincerely,

Eric W. Kaler
President