June 28, 2022
Dear Staff, Faculty and Students—
I have some good news for faculty and staff at the end of this message.
I want to start this update by acknowledging the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last Friday to overturn Roe v. Wade, as well as the strongly held and varied views I know members of our community hold. I also want to acknowledge that women are particularly impacted by this ruling. This is a complex topic with many ethical, religious, political, economic and health dimensions to be considered, and leadership at the university and at the system level will continue to ascertain what impact it may have on our university. As Governor Sununu recently reaffirmed, the Supreme Court’s decision will have no influence on the availability of abortion in New Hampshire. This article on N.H. Public Radio also seeks to address what the court’s decision means for the state. As this unfolds in the weeks and months ahead, I encourage us to continue supporting and communicating to each other with empathy and kindness, regardless of individual opinions and views.
There are several pieces of news from the recent USNH Board of Trustees meeting. We had our budget approved for fiscal year 2022-2023. We also received funding for further development of infrastructure for providing courses online and for expenses incurred in the merger with Granite State College. Finally, we welcomed new board chair Alex Walker, who is president and chief executive officer of Catholic Medical Center. I am looking forward to working closely with Alex.
The USNH Board of Trustees and AAUP-UNH leadership have both agreed to use the fact-finder’s report from negotiations between UNH and AAUP-UNH as the basis for a settlement. There is still some work to be done before a final detailed agreement is signed, including a vote on the final terms by both AAUP-UNH members and the Board of Trustees. We will keep you posted as this process continues to move forward, and are optimistic about reaching a final agreement soon.
Senior Vice Provost Marian McCord and several faculty and students provided an inspiring overview and examples of our UNH research activities at the recent board meeting. If you would like to see some or all of it, click here.
Our ability to thrive as a university requires us to compete for and support our talented faculty, staff and students. Because many of our academic and business support systems are more than 20 years old, we struggle greatly to do so. This summer we are creating a team to help us define our future business needs. We will then reach out to industry to identify solutions to transform our Human Resources and Finance business systems into a contemporary operating platform to address our needs. We are committed to having the collaboration of all stakeholders, and outreach has already begun to all campuses. Given the complexity of this process, we expect this analysis to last through the fall and early winter and anticipate selecting an industry partner early next calendar year. We will keep you posted as this process moves forward.
I hope you are enjoying the summer weather in New Hampshire (or wherever you are) and getting some rest this summer. I was able to spend a week with my children and grandchildren and enjoyed it immensely!
Good news: UNH has added an additional holiday for the upcoming academic year. To show our appreciation for our dedicated faculty and staff, Wednesday, November 23, will be a one-time paid university holiday. This is in addition to Nov. 24 and 25.
Best wishes for a wonderful summer,
James W. Dean Jr.
P.s. if you would like to know what I have been reading, please click here.