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Welcome Letter

Letter
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Colleagues,

As I begin my first year as DU’s new provost and executive vice chancellor, I am delighted to welcome you back to the start of our academic year. With students returning, there is now a palpable buzz on campus, and for me it is wonderfully refreshing. Over the past few weeks, I’ve enjoyed talking with various students, staff and faculty, asking and learning about the journey that brought them to DU. At last week’s registration for first-year students, I was deeply impressed watching the faculty and staff work closely with our new students to plan out their schedules. Nicely done, DU!

As a “first-year student,” it is natural that I immerse myself in learning about DU — a process that will continue throughout this year and beyond. Like our students, I simply have much to learn. Throughout this process, I will be collecting observations and asking plenty of questions. One early observation is how deeply the mission to serve the public good is embraced. It seems like everywhere I go, I find yet another example of how faculty, students and staff are working with community partners to solve real and meaningful problems. Our vision, mission and our campus commitment truly form a differentiator for this university.

Another observation is the exceptional faculty research, creative work and scholarship I see occurring throughout all the colleges. Faculty are designing incredibly powerful sensors that are able to help them detect HIV viruses, researching how to build smart cities, and exploring the many challenges and facets of the underserved, the homeless and the traumatized.  There is terrific work being done by DU faculty to understand, predict and forecast changes in political stability all over the world. Faculty are studying learning differences as they apply to monolingual and multilingual students, developing educational materials to promote the legacy of our country’s veterans, and working to understand consumer behavior better. All these efforts are inspiring and catapult the University of Denver to greater worldwide recognition. And I have barely scratched the surface of the work of our faculty.

Finally, I’ve had a chance to chat with many staff members, and their dedication to our students and to the University is truly amazing. As an example, just look at the grounds on campus and you’ll see what I mean. All this reminds me of what an honor it is to join you at the University of Denver.

Throughout the coming months, I will be visiting colleges, schools, departments, labs and research centers to learn more about the terrific work of our faculty and staff.  I also hope to host coffee receptions across campus, so that I can informally meet you—it will be a comfortable way to introduce yourself, and I hope you take advantage of them.

DU is a very special place, and I am honored to be your provost. I look forward to meeting you. In the meantime, have a wonderful start to the fall quarter.

Best regards,

Jeremy Haefner

Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor