Re: Reflecting on 2021
To: All campus
Dear Campus Community,
Our first in-person semester since spring 2020 is coming to a close, and our campus community has not merely endured, but prevailed. We have come together to teach, research, learn, enjoy one another’s company and, yes, share in the experience of being together again on our ever-growing campus.
And while being fully cognizant of the challenges we also have faced together, what a year it has been. We accepted a record number of first-year students; witnessed our student-athletes achieve remarkable successes; received the largest donation in our history; received state financial support for a new medical education building; moved into the top 40 of public universities — and top 100 of all universities — in US News rankings; and earned national accolades for our inclusive excellence, including the Excelencia Seal and the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award.
The number of our research grants continue to expand, as do our faculty National Science Foundation CAREER awards and the number of our endowed faculty chairs. We are accelerating staff hiring and expanding our community outreach, creating a new vibrancy up and down the Valley, and beyond. And we have published the university’s first ever long-term Strategic Plan, giving us a well-designed roadmap for the coming decade’s accomplishments.
I hope you are able to finish this semester, and 2021, in a stronger and better place, with ample time over the coming holidays to rest, refresh and renew old acquaintances. We are well positioned to begin 2022 with momentum, and confidence. Together, our best days, and years, are still ahead.
Juan Sánchez Muñoz, Ph.D.Chancellor