This week, I had a long and productive meeting with our Board of Trustees to examine my role in the breakdown of the shared governance system that is so critical in guiding our great University.
I want the entire University community to know that I regret that this failure occurred, I take the Board's thoughtful and candid advice very seriously, and I am committed to restoring the trust and teamwork that will help us achieve the goals that we all share.
I came to this University at a very challenging time -- on the heels of a public and protracted controversy around questionable admission and enrollment practices, 17 major leadership vacancies, and at a time of great fiscal constraint with no salary increases. A new Board rightly demanded reform, and my mandates have been clear from the beginning -- make the University more efficient and effective, be a rigorous steward of the precious resources we have, and recruit and retain the very best talent in the country.
Collectively, we can be proud of our progress in all areas. Among them, an exceptionally talented leadership team on the campuses and University administration is being put in place. We have strategically reallocated funding to key mission areas, which has allowed us to recruit and rebuild faculty ranks. We've had the first general compensation package in three years and avoided furlough days, and our government relations efforts have strongly and effectively advocated our interests in Springfield and Washington, D.C.
Disagreements have at times obscured our successes. While all sides agree on our missions, there has been discord over the best way to achieve our common goals.
I will redouble my efforts to better communicate with all stakeholders as we weigh new initiatives and policies. Indeed, I intend to set regular meetings across our campuses to expand face-to-face dialog. This is a great University, and I want to play an important role in rebuilding its reputation. The University of Illinois and all who teach, work and study here deserve the best, and I will do all I can to restore integrity and trust.
The contributions and dedication of the faculty and staff have made the University of Illinois a world leader in education and innovation. Working together, I am confident that we can ensure that our best days are still to come.
University of Illinois
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