Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,
Welcome to the start of a new academic year!
As you might know, I have had the privilege of serving as UT’s president since July 1, and I have been eagerly awaiting the energy and enthusiasm that comes with the start of the fall semester.
I’ve had the chance to say hello to some of you, and I’m looking forward to many more meetings during campus activities and programs, at athletic events, or just in line for lunch at the Student Union.
During the summer, I’ve been able to meet with many groups across campus, as well as community leaders and elected officials at all levels of government representing northwest Ohio. I’m excited to work with my leadership team to find ways we can enhance our relationships with the various components of the community to provide learning and engagement opportunities for our students and faculty.
I am currently working to finalize my senior leadership team. We’ve combined the external affairs and institutional advancement vice presidencies into one position. Sam McCrimmon, a great addition to UT from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, will lead the new division.
Additionally, Institutional Research is now led at the director level and will be reporting to the Provost’s Office. I’ve also asked Matt Schroeder, who previously worked in the UT Foundation, to join my office as chief of staff. He starts today.
In the past few weeks, I’ve been meeting with colleges and other divisions. At each meeting, I’ve been laying out my goals for UT:
1. We will raise the standing of the University on the national stage, and we will do that by investing in the academic and research core of the institution. We’re going to celebrate and recognize on a greater level the thousands of accomplishments of our students, faculty, researchers and alumni.
2. We’re going to increase the numbers and the academic preparedness of students enrolling at UT, put programs in place to support and retain them as they take robust curricula, and make sure they graduate on time.
3. UT will recommit to increasing externally funded research, advancing scholarship, and demonstrating for the world the new knowledge that we discover.
4. We will increase our fundraising efforts to fund more student scholarships, establish endowed chairs and professorships, develop academic programs and initiatives, and fund new and renovated facilities. I mentioned Sam earlier. Sam and his team will be working with the college deans and units across campus to do this.
5. The University also will be working to reduce administrative costs over time to ensure a UT education remains financially accessible for students.
In the coming months, we will begin a formal strategic planning process that will depend upon substantial campus input and feedback to develop the necessary steps to achieve these goals and move UT forward. The faculty, staff and students are critically important to our collective success.
I joined The University of Toledo because I see what you see: a strong University with an incredible potential for greatness. I am proud to be a part of this community and am grateful for the warm welcome I have received.
To our entire community of UT students, employees, alumni and supporters, thank you for all you continue to do to help this University reach new heights.
Sharon L. Gaber, Ph.D.