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August 16, 2012

Dear Colleagues,

The beginning of a new school year brings with it high expectations of great things to come and renewed energy and resolve. Our institution is doing exciting work and has an important mission to fulfill.

As we celebrate our terrific returning students, we’re welcoming to the U many brilliant new undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, who collectively represent the continuing rise in our academic rigor. We must resolve to provide them with the most consequential experience possible—both inside and outside the classroom.

Summer on the Coral Gables campus has been transformational. The new Student Activities Center and renovations to the Whitten University Center, the new collaborative neuroscience research building, and the Schwartz Center for Athletic Excellence all represent an enhanced landscape for learning, living, and enjoying our beautiful campus. Ongoing improvements to internal and perimeter roads, as well as 300 new parking spaces in the Pavia Garage, will help to alleviate traffic and parking issues around campus. The Rosenstiel campus is adding its first new building in 30 years, the Marine Technology and Life Sciences Seawater Complex, thanks to both public and private support.

Recent changes at UHealth and the Miller School of Medicine have been painful for all of us. The elimination of unfunded research positions and administrative staff positions due to consolidation of duplicated services into a shared services model has been difficult but necessary as we focus our resources on efforts that add the most value for our students, patients, and community. The Miller School continues to make extraordinary strides in research, education, and health care delivery, including receiving permission from the FDA for the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis to begin a revolutionary Phase 1 clinical trial that can one day lead to the successful treatment of paralysis. Additionally we continue to work closely with our partners at Jackson to craft an operating agreement that meets the needs of both organizations and the people of our community.

As any large organization must do, we have been taking a system-wide approach to centralizing functions wherever we can improve quality, controls, and efficiency. We continue to strengthen internal controls throughout the University and are vigorously promoting the ’Cane Watch website as a confidential way for employees to report any concerns about ethical or business policy violations.

This year marks an important celebration of the impact of the humanities and arts on our world. I encourage everyone to include some of the many exciting offerings that compose “Taking Flight: The Year of the Humanities and the Arts” into your busy schedules. We will be sharing additional information on this yearlong series of university-wide special events, performances, and programs with you very soon. All of the events will be open to students, staff and faculty, alumni, and the greater Miami community.

The University of Miami is a vibrant mosaic of rich traditions and bold endeavors. Now more than ever, we must commit ourselves to being the very best that we can be in everything we do.

Here’s to a great school year—Go ’Canes!