President Yager Shares a Message of Gratitude for the UArts Community

Sent to faculty and staff Aug. 30, 2021

Dear colleagues,

As classes have begun, and as so many of you have worked tirelessly over the past several weeks - even months - to prepare for the return of our students, I would like to extend my gratitude.

While the precise level and shape of the grief, loss, anxiety and fears each of you may have faced differ, we know, and I know, the past 18 months have not been easy for anyone.

Our return, while joyous in so many ways, is also emotionally tumultuous. I also recognize it has not been complication-free. There are operational elements that could have been better coordinated and/or communicated. And I know a number of you have overextended yourselves in preparations: cleaning and organizing our spaces, removing items, and discovering problems that were not fully anticipated. Even those of you who've yet to return to campus have been hard at work preparing, whether it be course-related syllabi and materials, plans for events, or fielding student inquiries and clearing student accounts.

Your combined efforts have been extraordinary.

You are an extraordinary community.

Thank you for continuing to rise and go above and beyond. Thank you for your continual demonstration of deep commitment to our students and our university. Thank you for modeling grace, compassion, empathy and joy.

The energy on campus as we welcome our students home has been radiant and contagious. You all - our faculty and staff - created the space for this.

I'd like to especially thank our deans and their staff and program heads, our senior staff members and our administrative team leaders across campus. Even though all of our jobs have become more stressful, you continue to rally and lead by example, inspiring, supporting and setting the spirit and pace for your team. Yours is a critical role that influences the actions and choices of many, and I am grateful.  

Yet we must recognize that our challenges are not yet behind us. We continue to work amid a global pandemic. Please continue to demonstrate compassion, grace and flexibility toward one another. Continue to take care of yourself and each other.

As we cross this most monumental transition from a fully remote community back to one anchored and centered by our incredible campus, let us remember that UArts' magic is something that we create together.

To each of you, some of whom may have yet to experience our campus in-person:

Welcome back, and welcome home.

I look forward to seeing you all on campus. 

With gratitude,