Speeches and Spotlights
The very long headline for my report this month is this: We’re Healthy, We’re Welcoming, We’re Taking The Steps We Need To Take To Be A National Model On Key Issues, and We’re Spreading The Word About Our Impact And Value Statewide And Worldwide.
Last fall, the University of Minnesota Twin Cities participated in the Association of American Universities' (AAU) inaugural Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct. We were one of 26 AAU institutions and one non-AAU university that participated in this survey, the largest and most comprehensive examination to date of issues of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and stalking on university campuses.
With students, faculty and staff across our system beginning a new academic year, we certainly have much on our plates to get done. I look forward to tackling the initiatives on my 2015-2016 Work Plan, which I’ll share with you at the conclusion of my report. And I’m eager to work closely with you on the areas you emphasized in my 2015 Performance Review, including completing a Progress Card, which will track signature goals. We’ll be discussing the Progress Card in a few minutes.
For those of us born in the 20th century, how’s this for a head-shaking fact: our incoming first-year students — the Class of 2019 — will graduate in the final year of the second decade of the 21st century. Does that make anyone else feel old?
Today, we took two important actions in the wake of Norwood Teague’s resignation.
First, the University has launched an independent external review. We have retained independent, external legal counsel to review issues related to sexual harassment and the athletics department. And I’ve asked Board of Regents Chairman Dean Johnson to appoint a member of the Regents to the group overseeing the review.
I have accepted the resignation of Gopher Athletics Director Norwood Teague, effective immediately.
Norwood’s resignation follows the report of two recent incidents of sexual harassment of two non-student University employees, based on unwelcome sexual advances and verbal and physical conduct of a sexual nature occurring on the same evening. I have spoken personally to the employees and expressed my sincere regrets that they experienced this behavior.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
And, congratulations and welcome to your first official meeting as Board Chair and to Regent McMillan, welcome to your first as vice chair.
It’s July and the first meeting of this new Board of Regents year.
Looking back on 2014-15, I will remember how we completed and began to implement the new Twin Cities campus strategic plan to address critical challenges and opportunities for the future and as the vehicle for our ambitious vision.
I will remember how we continued to grow private support for this University with what’s certain to be a record year for UMF.
We do a lot of things really well at the University, and recently three of them were loudly praised in various media outlets.
First, we serve as one of the state's leading talent magnets, attracting the best and brightest minds from across the nation to become students at the U. Like many of you, those students stay in Minnesota and become business, cultural, and civic leaders. That was a central point of a recent Star Tribune editorial supporting the U's new operating budget and our thoughtful approach to out-of-state tuition.
Thank you, Mr. Chair, and let me offer my congratulations to Regent Johnson for his election to be our next Chair. And congratulations, too, to Regent McMillan on his election as vice chair. I look forward to working with both of you in the months to come.