Welcome to the fall semester: Update from President Dean

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,

Welcome back! The start of a new academic year is such an exciting time for the university community. Whether you are new to UNH or have been here for many years, welcome to the start of the new year, and best wishes for your success. I want to extend my thanks to the hundreds of faculty, staff and students who helped greet students and families during move-in weekend. Your hospitality, smiles and good efforts are appreciated.

Students, especially new students: Please get involved in something outside of class! You will have a richer UNH experience if you do. On University Day (Sept. 10) you will have a chance to see all the student organizations available to you on Thompson Hall lawn. Also, please do visit your faculty during office hours; they want to see you and they are great sources of counsel and support.

In case you missed it (because you were enjoying your summer), my July update was a podcast, which you can find here. I discussed my summer trip to China and looked back at my first year as president and ahead to my second.

On Sept. 11 at 3:30 p.m. in the Strafford Room in the MUB, there will be a presentation of results from the Campus Climate Survey that was conducted last spring. I hope you will join us for this important discussion either in person or by watching the live stream.

You may remember that we have been searching for a chief financial officer (CFO). We were unable to complete that search successfully and are engaging a search firm to help us going forward. As we continue the search, Cathy Provencher, who is vice chancellor for financial affairs and treasurer for the University System of New Hampshire, will serve as interim CFO. Thanks, Cathy, for your help.

Finally, I often discuss books I have been reading in these monthly updates. A year or so ago I read Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, by Yuval Noah Harari. It’s a terrific book that puts human history in context. This year I decided to widen my horizons a bit with A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson. This book brings together cosmology, astronomy, physics, chemistry, paleontology and who knows what else in the chapters I haven’t read yet! It has given me a new appreciation of the work our science faculty do.

I will look forward to seeing you around campus. Have a great year!

President James W. Dean Jr.