Dear faculty, staff and students,
Welcome back to the Hill. I must say, it is really nice to see you all and to sense the hustle and bustle again. While the first few days of winter break can be nice, there is no better feeling as being on a campus that is full of energy and activity.
Even though we have only been back in class for a few days, there is quite a lot going on. On Tuesday, I was pleased to be invited to the new Staff Assembly’s second meeting. I was thoroughly impressed by the turnout (almost 70 staff members in attendance) and by the level of engagement. Impressively, the group has agreed to lead the campus in creating and rolling out a new “Hiram Pride” program for the spring semester, and I can’t wait to see what they present.
Students are also hitting the ground running. Thanks to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Social Justice Warriors, and the African American Students United Organization, Hiram is offering an array of programs and services to celebrate the life and the efforts of Dr. Martin Luther King. Over the course of next week, I hope that as many of you as possible will participate in one or more of the programs that encourage us to reflect on the strides we have made and on the issues and challenges that remain.
At the end of the month, campus will see even more activity with the winter arrival of our Board of Trustees. During our meeting, I will be making recommendations to the Board based on the recent reports from the faculty. These reports have been the topic of several conversations with Senior Cabinet, and the ideas within these reports are a step in the right direction for shared governance.
Campus may be covered in ice and snow, but this is the perfect time for us to gather together to share a meal in the Dining Hall and to visit the residence halls for a program or activity. The warm company of colleagues, fellow students, and friends is one of the best ways I know to beat the wintry chill.
Lori E. Varlotta