Dear Students and Colleagues,
What's the buzz? Is it that we're leap-frogging in the national
rankings? Perhaps it's the big UM-FSU game next week on ABC's
Monday Night Football? Or maybe it's that Hurricane
Katrina blew through here Thursday night and kicked up one
heck of a mess.
Well, all of that, for sure. But during the next several
days, the real buzz will be the sound of chain saws as cleanup
crews work nonstop to get the Coral Gables campus back to
As you can see, much progress has already been made in the
cleanup, but we decided to close the Coral Gables campus on
Monday so we could make even more of an impact. The campus
is completely safe, as it has been all along, and clearing
streets, walkways, plazas, and parking lots has been a top
priority. We're now removing debris, making minor repairs,
mopping up water in some academic and administrative buildings,
and restoring landscaping. Fortunately, we sustained only
minimal damage to the medical and Rosenstiel School campuses,
and they are back to business as usual.
Let's all extend our thanks to those members of the staff
and faculty -- essential personnel -- who have put in countless
hours the past few days to maintain vital services and get
the campuses cleaned up quickly. They have done an outstanding
For those of you who have weathered hurricanes, you know
how resilient our environment -- and our community -- can
be. For those of you who experienced your first hurricane
with Katrina, you'll see just how quickly everything -- and
everyone -- bounces back even stronger. I trust that each
of you came through the storm with minimal damage to your
homes and that you and your families are beginning to get
back to your normal routines.
I am well aware that we should have closed earlier on Thursday.
No excuses. For the future, we will find a way to remain nimble
in our decision-making as weather forecasts and conditions
change. We care deeply about our University family and will
always think of your safety first.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the people in the southern
U.S. who are now dealing with a much-stronger Hurricane Katrina.
Thanks for your patience and understanding as we finish the
cleanup and continue to fine-tune our emergency preparedness
plan. A few more days and our campus will be completely back