Investing in our next chapter

September 3, 2015

Dear Faculty and Staff,

The start of a new academic year is always exciting and this week we welcome yet another remarkable first-year class to the University of Delaware. Entering my third year as Provost, I¹m energized to see the groundwork of our strategic plan, Delaware Will Shine, moving into action as we work to form the implementation committee and action teams this fall.

Through our accomplishments and our ambitions, we prove that UD is a place of excellence ‹ where we dare to be first, dare to be bold, and dare to shine.

Every day our students have ready access to internationally renowned scholars. An internal analysis of our research activity reveals that UD faculty members compare strongly with their counterparts on the faculties of 62 schools that make up the Association of American Universities, regarded as a benchmark for scholarly distinction. This outstanding news is strengthened by our unequivocal commitment to diversity and inclusion as necessary ingredients for excellence.

Across the board, UD is making significant investments to support our campus community. Bolstering those efforts, the Provost¹s Office is strategically investing in pursuits to increase innovation, and to enhance the learning and research experience for students and faculty alike. Those initiatives include:

  • Installation of the state of Delaware¹s first functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner, a highly specialized instrument to expand the capacity of UD¹s biomedical and life sciences research;
  • Hiring UD¹s first LGBT program coordinator;
  • Completion in early 2016 of the nanofabrication research facility in Harker Laboratory to help us better engage in this rapidly expanding field;
  • Advancing the way we see relationships among people, our society and our artifacts through the study of American Material Culture;
  • Providing support to the work of our multi-million-dollar ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant aimed at increasing the representation and advancement of women faculty members, especially in STEM fields; and
  • Helping the Horn Program redefine entrepreneurship in an academic setting and creating a marketplace pipeline for UD innovation.

The Provost¹s Office is also funding international arts initiatives to foster diversity, critical thinking and creative practices across campus and beyond; fortifying the ranks of cybersecurity professionals to protect our national interests; investing in library special collections that contribute to research in humanities, social sciences and the arts; and supporting an integrated social science analytics initiative.

I look forward to sharing more details in the year ahead. Together, all of these efforts underscore our core values and our aspirations. There is a real sense of pride in being the flagship university of the First State. Let us continue to engage with one another, partner with one another and write our next chapter together.

With a Daring Spirit Bold,

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Domenico Grasso

Provost & Professor