April Newsletter Welcome

Colleagues,

We are already nearing the end of the spring semester as we also prepare campus for summer, and continue planning for fall. As always, there is much happening and much to be excited about.

I am happy to announce that the searches for the new Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and for the new Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs were successful. Dr. Wendy Burns-Ardolino will be joining the gator family and the administrative ranks of CHSS as the new dean in July and Dr. Sheila Lloyd will be joining the leadership team in the Office of the Provost as the new AVPAA at the end of May. Both of them bring strong leadership experience as well as a commitment to student and faculty success; they will be great additions to our campus. Thank you to the search committees for their dedication to conducting these searches.

This month UHD partnered with UTHealth to provide vaccines to UHD students, faculty, and staff. The University also hosted three COVID-19 vaccine information forums. These forums featured one-on-one conversations between President Blanchard and medical experts. These efforts are part of UHD’s continued work to support the gator family and to put the health and safety of its constituencies at the forefront of all we do. I encourage all of you to stay up to date on UHD’s COVID protocols through the Emergency Management Coronavirus site.

Last week we also learned the outcome of the Chauvin Trial. It has been almost a year since the death of Houston-native George Floyd but the shock and horror of such a brutal and senseless death continue to hang across our nation. As President Blanchard wrote in his recent memo to the UHD community, the story is far from over. As an institution of higher education that reflects that diversity of its region, UHD will continue to uplift its community by breaking down social inequities through intellectual, scholarly, and research driven works, collaborations, and partnerships. If you are looking for ways to enact social justice or wish to learn more about the history of racism in our nation look to the Center for Critical Race Studies, or the Center for Diversity & Inclusion for events and information.

I continue to be inspired by the hard work and dedication of our faculty, staff, and students. I had the opportunity last week to present at the Faculty Awards Ceremony, as well as the College of Public Service Deans Awards, and the UHD Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society induction ceremony. As we close the semester I encourage you to take a moment to celebrate your successes as well as the accomplishments of those around you. We are a strong and diverse community filled with people of many talents.  As we end this academic year let’s celebrate our diversity, celebrate our talents, and take pride in being a gator.

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