Speeches and Writing

Welcome Back!

Email sent to graduate and professional students
September 6, 2011

Dear graduate and professional students,

I am very pleased to welcome you to the 2011-12 academic year, and to send my  support to you for your valuable research, rigorous course work and, for many of you, important teaching responsibilities.

My four years as a Ph.D. student at the University of Minnesota transformed me. They changed the direction of my life. My years as a professor advising Ph.D. students were among the most gratifying of my career.

Now, as President of this great University, one of my goals is to ensure world-renowned graduate and professional programs. The U must continue to be known as one of the nation's most vibrant centers of discovery and innovation. You are leaders in driving that reputation.

State financial support for the University has been reduced severely over the past few years, including a nearly 8 percent cut this year. That has adversely affected tuition and support for graduate programs. My first opportunity to make budget adjustments will be presented to the Board of Regents later this week. I hope they will offer a glimpse of my desire to enable deeper scholarship and timely completion of your degrees.

I know from personal experience that graduate and professional students balance a broad range of difficult responsibilities on campus with, often, full family lives. I salute you and thank you for your hard work and all you contribute to the great University of Minnesota. Have a productive year.

Sincerely,

Eric W. Kaler
President