Future Directions

Gratitude and future directions

I would like to conclude with a heartfelt reflection on the strength of our community.  This past year, although challenging at times, has reminded all of us of the tremendous love and loyalty of our Trojan Family.  As we have tackled difficult issues, our spirit, resilience, and character have shone through—time and again.  We are fortunate to have each other, and we inspire one another to evince the very best qualities we have as humans, and to share those qualities with our fellow Trojans.

In this spirit, I would like to thank our board of trustees for its thoughtful stewardship of our university.  I also wish to thank Paul Rosenbloom, president of the Academic Senate, and all of the extraordinarily dedicated members of the Academic Senate.  Additionally, I warmly thank Jeffrey de Caen, president of the Staff Assembly, and his deeply committed colleagues.  Professor Rosenbloom and Associate Dean de Caen also co-chaired the Task Force on Workplace Standards and Employee Wellness, and I would like to acknowledge their outstanding leadership of that group, as well as the stellar work of its members.  Collectively, they have brought passion, integrity, and imagination to this process.  Finally, with profound gratitude, I would like to acknowledge Debra Wong Yang and her colleagues at Gibson Dunn.  Their detailed and thorough report served as the starting point in creating our action plan.  This is a process—one we begin in earnest today—and these individuals laid its foundation.

Seeing this as a process is crucial.  As a university, whenever we have faced a challenge, we have learned from it and moved on—ultimately becoming stronger and better than before.  With your continued commitment, and with the support of the fundamental changes and robust initiatives announced today, we will do just that.  Our unequivocal goal is to maintain the highest standards for universities throughout the nation.

This lofty ambition must drive us.  In aiming high, we will achieve our best results, but we must remember that the loftiest of goals are not unattainable, but rather well within our grasp.  After all, working together, we have built a world-class university, one that educates outstanding students from all walks of life, one that advances consequential work throughout the world, and one that boasts a network of alumni and friends that touches every corner of the planet.  In exceptional ways, our research transforms lives, our scholarship advances thought, and our creative work inspires humanity.  We uplift communities with our public service, and we better lives with our healthcare services and our commitment to civic growth.  It is this unshakable dedication—this uniquely Trojan spirit—that has always guided our work, and will surely elevate our efforts as we move forward.