Letter From the Vice President - Summer 2015

Early last week President Coltrane announced a plan to move forward with funding for two of the proposals identified last year in the Clusters of Excellence hiring program. Across three different clusters, recruitment is underway for nearly a dozen new positions.

The Clusters of Excellence program will figure prominently in our future and this latest news comes at a time of tremendous opportunity for the UO. Incoming President Michael Schill has announced his strong support for this initiative and stated that building UO’s academic and research strengths will be one of his top priorities. I very much look forward to working with President Schill, who shares our commitment to research and academic excellence. I hope you will join me in helping to make him feel welcome when he takes office in early July.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank President Coltrane for his leadership during a time of transition for the UO. I have enjoyed working alongside him in support of research and innovation, and I am looking forward to working with him when he returns to his role as Provost .

And on a bittersweet note, I would like to express my gratitude to acting Provost Frances Bronet who will be sorely missed when she departs in July for the Illinois Institute of Technology where she will serve as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. Prior to taking on the role of acting UO provost in August, Frances made her mark as dean of the School of Architecture and Allied Arts, a position she took on in 2005. She has been an outstanding provost for the UO and leaves behind a legacy of exceptional leadership and strong faculty support.

I would also like to say thank you to Senior Vice Provost Barbara Altmann who is leaving us to serve as provost at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania. Her long record of outstanding teaching and service at the UO extends back to 1989 when she joined the university as an assistant professor of French. She was appointed head of romance language, later served as the director of the Oregon Humanities Center, and led the review and the ongoing implementation of the collective bargaining agreement between the university and United Academics.

Please join me in wishing Barbara and Frances the absolute best in their new positions.

As we near the end of another academic year, I’d like to congratulate all of our graduates on their outstanding accomplishments. I wish you all the best as you embark on the next new and exciting chapter in your life.

And finally, let me give one more congratulation to the 19 faculty who were acknowledged last Thursday night for their excellence in teaching and in research.  It was a great event with at least 130 people in attendance, including incoming President Michael Schill.