Update No. 41 from President Dean

March 23, 2022

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,

As I write this our spring break is coming to an end in Durham and Manchester, and the earliest signs of actual spring are just beginning to appear (before you write to me, I know that it can snow in May!). The carillon in Thompson Hall is playing something lovely and classical sounding, and the sun is shining. I think that, after everything we have been through over the past two years, I pay more attention to small things that we can be thankful for.

Our COVID numbers continued their steady decline over the last few weeks, even after we removed the mask mandate. We will continue to require testing and to monitor cases over the next few weeks, and let you know if any additional changes will be made to our protocols. Durham community, don’t forget to pick up your test kits for the remainder of the semester by Friday (8 a.m.-5 p.m.) at the Whitt. Also, tents are returning to the Durham campus to provide outdoor meeting space. Four tents will be set up in early April and remain up through May 22. Starting next week, employees and student organizations will be able to submit reservation requests for tent spaces. 

One piece of bittersweet news is that Chris Clement, our chief operating officer and vice president for administration, is leaving in May to accept an attractive opportunity in the private sector. We are grateful for Chris for his many years of dedicated service and considerable accomplishments at UNH. I am still thinking through how we will manage Chris’s responsibilities after his departure, and will be in touch soon with people who are directly impacted by this.

I am happy to announce that after an extended and careful search, Danielle O’Neil has agreed to join us on May 4 as chief marketing officer. Danielle has an extensive marketing background and looks forward to working with faculty and staff to find new program opportunities for the university. As I have mentioned in previous communications, this hire is part of a broader effort to build UNH’s financial strength through revenue increases, in addition to careful management of expenses.

We are fortunate to be able to continue to hire new faculty. So far this year we have made 39 hires, with a few searches still outstanding. We also continue to increase the diversity of our new faculty hires, including 22 faculty of color among those who will be joining us next year.

There is still time to nominate an undergraduate student for one of the university’s prestigious student awards. The deadline is 5 p.m. Monday, March 28. For details regarding the awards and their  eligibility requirements, view the nomination form here.

Finally, I am happy to announce the opening of Cat’s Cupboard, our new food pantry that will provide food free of charge for students who need it. I appreciate all the work that has gone into creating this new initiative for our most at-risk students. You can read more about Cat’s Cupboard here.

With all best wishes,

James W. Dean Jr.