Five years ago, as I stood with the Regents to accept the position of president of the University of Michigan, I could not have imagined the journey that awaited me or the University.
We have seen our campus grow and prosper, with new academic programs at all levels of study, stunning new teaching and research facilities, and, most importantly, a stronger community committed to discovering new knowledge and applying it toward the betterment of society.
This fall, with the support and counsel of the Regents, I am beginning a second five-year term, and I am tremendously excited about the opportunities that lie before us as a public university in this rapidly changing world.
After all, universities exist to pave the way to tomorrow. We seek cures for diseases; we work to understand the dynamics of emerging economies; we study ways to protect our natural environment; and above all, we educate young people seeking to better themselves through knowledge and new perspectives.
The University of Michigan must continually change to meet—and to anticipate—the needs of an evolving society. To do so, we must be prepared to rethink what we do and how we do it, and to explore new paths that will lead us in entirely new directions.
One of our key strengths as a teaching and research institution—and one that positions us well for the challenges ahead—is our unique breadth and scale. With 19 schools and colleges, a thriving health system, and three campuses, the University of Michigan has an unparalleled richness of intellectual diversity that can be brought to bear on the challenges we face as a university and a society.
And with a community of students, faculty, and staff drawn from throughout Michigan, across the nation, and around the globe, we have a wealth of perspectives that critically inform our understanding of our complex world.
All of us know the feeling of standing in Michigan Stadium and watching the Michigan Marching Band high-step onto the field. It is a remarkable display, and no matter how many games we attend, it’s still something we soak up as part of the Michigan experience.
Most members of our marching band are not music students. They approach life as aspiring engineers, historians, scientists and teachers. They are students of different backgrounds and talents who come together to create something special.
They are also our most visible symbol of interdisciplinary work at Michigan.
No other university offers faculty and students our scope and scale of fields of study, and the opportunities to push their ideas in new directions. We have seen this for decades, beginning with the Institute for Social Research, the gold standard for academic collaboration.
|Name:X.Z. Shawn Xu|