March 29, 2016
Dear Campus Community,
Welcome to spring term, a season of renewal, hope, and anticipation of the graduation of our seniors and the granting of degrees to our doctoral candidates. In my first year as president of the University of Oregon, each new term presents an opportunity to get to know the university better and to work with our faculty, staff, administrators, and students to propel us forward to ever greater achievement and excellence. I enjoyed some sun over the weekend which made me even more optimistic, although I am told not to expect that to be an everyday occurrence for a while.
I would like to offer my congratulations to the many achievements of our colleagues and students. To name just a few: next month Professor Geri Richmond will receive the National Medal of Science—the highest scientific honor bestowed by the United States, senior Amelia Fitch earned a prestigious Gates-Cambridge scholarship to study in Great Britain, and UO faculty participated in the discovery of a gravitational wave that helped prove Einstein’s theory on gravity and space-time. Additional success stories from last term are listed below. Also, congratulations to the men’s and women’s track teams for taking first in the indoor NCAA championships and to the men’s basketball team for earning its way to the Elite Eight. I confess, I did not know a pick-and-roll from a jump shot before this year; however, I am now a believer. I am counting the months until next year’s season.
The achievements of our faculty, students, and athletics teams have one thing in common—a focused commitment to excellence. None of this success happened by accident. It required vision, investment, hard work, and the pursuit of greatness.
This is what I aspire for the University of Oregon; to reach its full potential and secure its place among the preeminent public research universities. We’ve established a path forward to excellence in the strategic framework crafted by scores of campus representatives. We’ve also made tough decisions to begin realigning our scarce resources to ensure we achieve our vision. I am deeply thankful to our deans, department heads, and faculty and staff who have ushered the university through this critical process.
I would like to share more about our vision for the university as well as the priorities, strategies, and foundational needs to achieve excellence. I invite you to join me for a campus conversation on April 12 at noon in the Giustina Ballroom at the Ford Alumni Center. (Note updated time and location) I will provide an update on our strategic direction and answer your questions. If you are unable to attend, we will also provide a video recording of the event on the Office of the President website.
Again, I am immensely proud of our success thus far and enthusiastic about how much more we can achieve in the future. It is you—our faculty members, staff, administrators, and students—that make the University of Oregon great, and I am honored to be your president.
Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law
Honors and awards
Geri Richmond receives nation’s highest science honor
Lynn Feekin earns lifetime achievement award
Cristopher Niell receives young investigator award
Marian Smith awarded prestigious fellowship
Two professors awarded Sloan research fellowships
UO Biology student wins Gates-Cambridge Scholarship
Research and innovation
UO team helps catch gravitational wave
UO big idea for bio-inspired implant wins grant
A way toward unlocking the teenage brain
Discovery could boost biomedical use of zebrafish
Alumni and giving
UO receives $10 million for life science research
Jan Sanders Stadium – a softball dream realized
JSMA hails gift of landmark photos by Brian Lanker