Dear Colleagues and Cougars,
Welcome back! I hope the New Year is off to a promising start for you and that you share my enthusiasm as our new semester gets under way. As I begin my seventh year as president, the pride I feel in what we have accomplished together is exceeded only by my optimism for our future.
We often talk about our commitment to achieving overall excellence at the University of Houston, transforming UH into a Tier One university in every respect. Today, we can point to another admirable example of the progress we continue to make. Our newly expanded and enhanced University Center, which has recently re-opened, is nothing short of spectacular. If you have not had the opportunity to visit yet, let me strongly encourage you to do so. You can find information about the amazing transformation, and a number of celebratory events, at The New UC website. The UC project clearly illustrates what we mean when we talk about a Tier One-caliber campus.
Of course, not all our improvements are as visible as the UC – or, for that matter, our impressive residence hall additions or the stunning 40,000-seat football stadium slated to open this summer. Sometimes, the results of our commitment to excellence may not loom as large or be as tangible, but they can be just as significant in their own way. Our participation in the national Foundations for Excellence program is a case in point.
We all know how crucial it is for new students to have a productive and engaging first-year experience. The Foundations for Excellence program helps institutions evaluate and then refine their approach to educating first-year students. Right now, we are in the assessment phase, with a number of our faculty, staff, and students participating. Next year, we will begin implementing the “best practices” that will be developed for UH. This is a demanding and complex process, but well worth it. I appreciate the faculty and staff for undertaking this considerable challenge. Your efforts and leadership are indicative of a Tier One-caliber university.
As our semester progresses, I will be providing you with regular updates via email like this one. And, of course, you can always contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With warm regards,