It is a great time to be a Duck!

This is more than mere conjecture, as we are experiencing a historic period of change, growth, and support for the University of Oregon.

For the first time, with the formation of the UO Board of Trustees the university is under the leadership of a governing body that is solely focused on the needs of the UO campus and UO community. In addition to setting tuition, managing the university’s finances, and delivering an impactful student experience, the Board of Trustees is also positioned to set a bold and ambitious proclamation for what the university will be and will become.

The UO is expanding its presence in Portland with a new 11,500-square-foot home for the Oregon Executive MBA and sports product programs; while researchers have submitted a record number of proposals for research funding, receiving more than $100 million in grants, contracts, and other awards. The UO’s 9.2 percent return rate—the percentage of expenditure on research the university makes back through licensing—is one of the top marks in the nation. National ranking organizations have taken notice: In the most recent U.S. News & World Report, the UO moved into the top 50 public national institutions, and many of our programs are ranked in the top 10. While we are not satisfied with this ranking, we are excited about the upward trajectory.

Finally, the support and enthusiasm that I experience in my encounters with Ducks across the country are anecdotal proof that pride in the university is also on an upward trajectory. From alumni and incoming freshman in the Bay Area, to supporters at the Pendleton Round-up in eastern Oregon, to participants in the Portland chapter’s science nights, Ducks are eager to let others know how much they love the UO. Having recently joined the staff at the university, the energy around this place is extraordinary. I am excited to be part of our bright future.

Homecoming is right around the corner on October 17-18. I look forward to welcoming you home to the UO to celebrate our university.

Go Ducks,