Speeches and Spotlights
Over the past 18 months, we have made significant progress in advancing public safety on campus. I am grateful to the entire University of Minnesota community for your engagement in ongoing dialogues related to these efforts. In the course of this campuswide conversation, members of our community have raised the issue of the negative impact of using race as part of the suspect descriptions in the Crime Alerts.
Today, University Services Vice President Pam Wheelock is announcing a change that will reduce the use of suspect descriptions in Crime Alerts when there is insufficient detail to reasonably aid in individual identification.
We're a global university, a leader in sending students abroad, a leader in welcoming international students, and, once more, we're among the nation's top volunteer producers for the Peace Corps.
Thank you to our students and our alumni who have brought their leadership, technical, and critical-thinking skills to communities around the world as part of this meaningful and powerful international effort for peace and understanding.
The story of the University of Minnesota in 2015 is one of accountability, affordability and achievement. It’s underscored by our commitment to operational excellence, a partnership with the state to fuel innovation in Minnesota, and by the ambition of our students, faculty and staff. Our biennial budget request to this Legislature demonstrates all of that, and more, and builds on the accomplishments of our institution and its people.
Please allow me to highlight a few key events, developments and accomplishments since last we formally met two months ago. Of course, many of you traveled with about 20,000 other Gophers fans to Orlando and the Citrus Bowl football game around New Year’s Day. This demonstrated a remarkable outpouring of support for the University and our athletics program. But even more than the energy in and around Orlando during those days, other data reveals extraordinary interest locally in the game.
Dear University Community,
As many of you may know, a group of 16 students and non-student supporters, calling themselves Whose Diversity?, staged a sit-in in my office from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday. They had identified eight issues they asked be addressed. The issues are ones that members of my administration and others have been actively working on over the past several months.
Since I became President of the University three-and-a-half years ago, I’ve tried to roll up my sleeves to demonstrate our commitment to the agricultural community. This commitment has taken many forms — I think the hiring of CFANS Dean Brian Buhr was one — but my immersion in matters central to today’s gathering can, I feel, be best shown with this informative image.
Thank you to Governor Mark Dayton for his proposed investments in the University, which he announced Tuesday. His proposal includes half of the funds needed to freeze tuition and $30 million toward the Medical School. I will continue to advocate for the U and our biennial budget request at the Legislature in the weeks ahead.
We appreciate that the Governor recognizes the importance of improved access and affordability for students on all five campuses. Affordability is among my top priorities, and we need a strong partnership with the state to keep tuition down for students.
The Big Ten university presidents and chancellors are urging Congress to take a cautious approach to an effort to rewrite patent litigation law. With that in mind, the Big Ten CEOs sent a letter to their Congressional delegations urging them to take a cautious approach. (By the way, I'm the co-chair of the Association of American Universities' working group on technology transfer and intellectual property.