Chancellor's Update - March 2021

March 25, 2021
Kim A. Wilcox
March 25, 2021

Dear Campus Community,
One year ago, I stood among the blooming orange trees on campus to record a video message to students. We were in the process of preparing for our first remote quarter and managing through rapid change and great uncertainty, unsure of what would come next. As we finish our fourth remote quarter, and move toward the next, it’s mind-boggling to think about all that has transpired in the last twelve months. A video marking the shift last March captures some of what we experienced.
I was on campus this month and twelve months later, some things are similar. The orange trees are blooming faithfully again. But, thankfully, some things are different. As vaccine distribution numbers continue to rise and county COVID-19 case counts drop dramatically from their peak in January, a feeling of cautious optimism is in the air. 
For those who haven’t been on campus recently, some areas have been transformed with completion of many projects including remodeling of The Barn and construction of the new Dundee residential community and Glasgow Residential Restaurant, Plant Research, and a parking structure. Progress continues with the Student Success Center and North District.  
As we wrap these projects, we will break ground on another. This week, we received final budget approval by the Board of Regents’ Finance and Capital Strategies Committee for School of Medicine Education Building II. The new space will provide much-needed facilities for students, faculty, and staff. 
We look forward to welcoming more people back to campus to live and work in these spaces, as it becomes safe to do so. Soon, we will begin to share reports from the working groups addressing a return to primarily in-person instruction for fall 2021. As we work on transitions, we will continue to offer Virtual Office Hours with campus leadership to provide updates and answer questions. Dates and times for our upcoming conversations are noted below. Follow the links to register to attend and submit questions. 
4/16, 11 a.m.-12 p.m.: Thomas Smith, Interim Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor and Mariam Lam, Vice Chancellor and Chief Diversity Officer
4/23, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.: Peter Hayashida, Vice Chancellor for University Advancement and Brian Haynes, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
4/30, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.: Deborah Deas, Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences & Mark and Pam Rubin Dean of the School of Medicine and Gerry Bomotti, Vice Chancellor for Planning, Budget, and Administration   
5/7, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.: Rodolfo Torres, Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development and David Bergquist, Chief Campus Counsel
5/14, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.: Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox
I am certainly hopeful that this change in season continues to offer renewal broadly for our community and individually for each of you. We never know exactly what the future holds, but the prospect for moving through the pandemic looks brighter each day.