I want to thank everyone for their adaptability, collegial support and dedication during this exceptionally challenging year. Although we had to adjust our workloads and work routines, we were still able to achieve a great deal: new budgets were created to adapt to the economic crisis; a new procurement platform, BuyCarolina, was put into place; Travel Services has nearly completed its work on the launch of a new travel system and travel card; a new portal was created for vendors to increase security and streamline payment process; and we implemented special purchasing reviews to ensure the University maintained adequate financial resources and appropriate flexibility during the pandemic.
It is unknown how the pandemic will impact economic activity in 2021, but some do not expect the economy to return to pre-COVID-19 levels for some time. We still face many challenges ahead and I am reassured to know I can rely on the skills, knowledge and abilities of my colleagues who have proven themselves time and again as capable of meeting the most formidable demands that have come our way.
As well as financial challenges, I know many people have lost loved ones or have faced family illnesses – not only from our extended families, but here among us. I recognize the circumstances that some of you are facing are extremely difficult and extend my sympathies, condolences and sincere gratitude for the selflessness many of you have shown in your continued public service.
I wish you all a peaceful holiday season, shared with those you love. It’s a good time to pause and reflect on the important things that matter the most. Thank you so much for all that you do.
See you in the New Year!