August 24, 2020
Re: Welcome Back to UC Merced
To: All staff and faculty
Aug. 24, 2020
I want to welcome you back to a new semester and academic year — one that begins under novel conditions but offers an opportunity for greatness, should we choose to seize it.
Almost all of you have been at UC Merced longer than I have, so you know just how important this university is in conducting world-changing research, creating justly celebrated advances in social mobility for our students and advancing the economic and cultural progress of the Central Valley and California. We will continue to do all this, and more, despite the challenges we face right now and challenges that may arise in the future.
We know that the path will be winding and sometimes unpredictable. This pandemic has a way of shaking things up just as we believe we have it under control. We do not have answers to every question, and we may not have them for some time. However, we will build strength and resilience as we learn to improvise, adapt and overcome. We will build camaraderie and rely on each other — and although one may be struggling, two can stand together.
Our operations may be largely virtual this fall, but they are still impactful. For those coming to campus to resume the research projects you had to place on hold, we thank you — and the world will someday thank you for the many essential contributions you are making to society.
For those instructors who spent the summer working and reworking their curricula to meet changing expectations, know that our students will appreciate your dedication and always treasure the wisdom you impart.
For the staff who have been working day in and day out through this crisis, many on campus and many more at home, know that this institution that serves so many is grateful for the people who make it operate so well on what can seem like a fraction of the resources that other UC campuses have.
UC Merced has fought for success from its founding — and prevailed. We know how to make much more out of much less, and our results in student development, in research breakthroughs and in enriching lives on and off campus can never be overstated. Some of your current stories, including tales of individual resilience and of campus advances, are told in the new edition of Inside UC Merced , but please know that every one of you is a living tribute to this institution, and I could not be prouder than to work alongside you.
As we cross this unsteady terrain side by side, let’s remain focused on what brought us to UC Merced. Let’s hold each other close and keep our eyes on the horizon. We will get through the challenges that lie ahead, we will do it together, and we will emerge stronger. We always have.
Juan Sánchez Muñoz, Ph.D.
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