Speeches and Spotlights
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.
Difficult ethical issues are inherent in medical research, especially clinical trials involving human subjects. Research holds the promise of finding life-saving treatments, but it often depends on the participation of vulnerable patients suffering from serious illnesses.
There are two special qualities that I want to focus on tonight: persistence and grit. Grit is that one trait that, some researchers say, is shared by leaders in just about every field. Grit is perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Grit, as in, understanding and embracing the notion that public service and doing good work is a marathon, not a series of quarterly corporate statements. Persistence and grit, as in resiliency and staying the course.
Thank you, Chair Beeson. I think you’ll all agree, it has been a particularly active six weeks since we last met, a dynamic mixture of celebration and challenges.
Chair Nornes and members of the committee . . . I am deeply disappointed that you have decided to provide a zero increase in new funding for the University, which is, in many ways, the heartbeat of the economy of Minnesota and the wellspring of creativity and culture in the state.
Mr. Chairman, you and I have talked, and I know of the politics. But you and other members of this committee— a committee that’s charged with nurturing Minnesota’s exceptional higher education eco-system — you must know this . . .
Nearly five years ago, in November of 2010 when I was hired, Regent Dean Johnson asked me a question during my public interview in front of the Board of Regents. His question resonates loudly with me today.
Until that Regents meeting, you might remember, I had been known only as Presidential Candidate “C, ” a nameless scholar from Stony Brook in New York where I could — as Regent Johnson put it — “feel the gentle breezes of the Atlantic." As provost of a wonderful AAU university, I was, frankly, quite content to be there.