Speeches and Spotlights
Remarks to the Special Board of Regents meeting on the external review and audit of Gopher Athletics
Thank you, Mr. Chair. First of all, thank you Ms. Schanfield and Mr. Dixon for your diligent work, your thorough examination, and your insights. You conducted this review with the utmost integrity and independence. And Associate Vice President Klatt, thank you for your always excellent work. I also want to thank the oversight committee – capably led by Regent Laura Brod and including Regent Abdul Omari, for their diligence on these issues over the past few months. Both the external review and the audit will help us improve and become a stronger University.
The third international trip of President Kaler's presidency had strategic goals of rejuvenating alumni chapters in Hong Kong and Seoul, and strengthening partnerships with some of Asia's top institutions of higher education. The traditional connection with Seoul National University is well-known among Koreans, and the strengths of the University of Minnesota align nicely with those of the five institutions he visited during a whirlwind week of activity.
I want to clarify some news, and much misinformation in the media, about a recent vote the University's undergraduate government, the Minnesota Student Association (MSA), took about honoring the victims of the September 11, 2001, attacks.
Tracy Claeys is the right person for this important job. I applaud and fully support Interim Athletic Director Beth Goetz’s decision to bring continuity and stability to our football program, which is clearly on an upward trajectory. I have great confidence in Coach Claeys and his staff to recruit talent and excellent student-athletes while building on a strong foundation. But make no mistake, Tracy Claeys is his own man and will bring his own energy and commitment to excellence while embracing Gopher Athletics’ culture of compliance, both on and off the field.
Go here for the full announcement from Gophers Athletics.
As you know, I, along with many others in our community, have made campus climate a top priority. We have laid a solid foundation and a lot of good work is underway. But there's still much to do.
Our priorities have focused on engaging the campus community; increasing the diversity of the faculty, staff, and student populations; enhancing competency in what it means to create a respectful, inclusive, and welcoming climate; and leveraging the Strategic Plan to advance this work.
A person’s health is far more important than a football game or season, and while I am deeply saddened by Coach Kill’s decision to step down as our coach, I respect and support it. I am thankful to Jerry for his service to the University, and I wish him and Rebecca only the very best. Jerry has become a friend, and I want him to take care of himself.
Ours is a football program on an upward trajectory. In his five years as our head coach Jerry Kill brought integrity, discipline and pride to the program. He helped fill stadiums and lead us to post-season bowl games. But, more importantly, we also saw our football student-athletes perform better in the classroom than at any time in history.
Here at the University of Minnesota we teach history and we make history. And sometimes, when we find ourselves on the wrong side of history, we must learn from it.
Tonight, thanks to Michael and Jack, we are celebrating an extraordinary history that few universities share, the history of a remarkable journey for Jack and Michael, for the GLBT community . . . and for us as a University community. Our curator, Lisa Vecoli will fully explain the story behind tonight’s gathering.
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.