Speeches and Spotlights
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.
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.