In the fall of 2004, when I arrived at UNC-Chapel Hill, the campus was in the midst of a construction and renovation boom as a result of the 2000 Higher Education Bond Referendum, which authorized $2.5 billion for capital projects and renovation at the constituent institutions of the University of North Carolina. The physical transformation of the campus during that time was remarkable, and the benefit to the academic and research enterprise was clearly visible.
Since that time, we’ve seen the University go from a roughly $500 million research portfolio to the current $1 billion+ enterprise that it is today. We’ve witnessed many other changes and impressive achievements over that time across the institution, from academics, research, administration, to an increasingly global presence and partnerships. We have celebrated these accomplishments and met the institution’s challenges in the face of new and emerging opportunities and a changing landscape for public higher education.
What has remained constant throughout all of these changes is the committed, dedicated, loyal, resourceful and proud team that you embody. You have supported the institution unfailingly and have not allowed change fatigue to overwhelm you or stop you from stewarding the University’s administrative and operational processes for which you are responsible. You are the glue holding so many of our fragile systems and processes together and making it possible for us to support this vast and complex enterprise. Your efforts are often heroic, but always consistent, as you go about your business of making the University a better place to live, work, study and discover.
I am proud to call you colleagues and friends. You have made my time here at Carolina thoroughly rewarding, and you have set the bar very high for what I expect from work and community. I wish each of you continued success, and I thank you for all of your support over the years.