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Message from the Chancellor

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A Message from Lendley C. (Lynn) Black, UMD Chancellor

Greetings, Alumni and Friends

My first year at UMD has been incredible. My family and I will always remember the outstanding week of Inauguration activities the campus presented in early March. It was humbling to be so warmly welcomed into the campus community. I was honored by the celebration and am grateful for the privilege to share in UMD’s rich history in my role as its ninth chancellor.

The week-long Inauguration celebration included TEDxUMD, where students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members showcased “a marathon of ideas.” State Sen. Roger Reinert, St. Louis County Commissioner Steve O’Neil (MSW ’80), and Duluth Mayor Don Ness (’97) were among the memorable presenters.  The Inauguration ended with a very special project, the CHAMP Day of Service, which included 300 students and staff who volunteered at 30 non-profit sites in the Duluth area. This was the first of what we hope to be an annual event.

My wife, Connie, and I have come to appreciate the unique place UMD holds. There is something indefinably magnificent about this area of northeastern Minnesota that is an integral part of UMD. The bustle of the international port, taconite rail cars, grain elevators, artistic performances, museums, and even the Aerial Lift Bridge are intrinsic to UMD and to the community that surrounds us. Stands of old growth pine, open pit mines, cabins, and lakes create a unique environment for us to work and grow. Throughout its 116-year history, UMD has contributed to the success of the region, from the earliest explorations to the explosion of industry and tourism. The heritage of American Indians and the first European settlers is evident. Most of all, Lake Superior with its breathtaking beauty and power, is UMD’s laboratory and source of recreation and inspiration. Connie and I are very pleased to make Duluth our home.

This is an exciting time on campus. As this issue goes to print, the campus is getting ready to welcome another strong class of first-year students to UMD. Again this year, we welcome the students with an expanded Bulldog Welcome Week to ease their transition to UMD and equip them with tools for academic success.

A new residence hall has opened, and UMD has the opportunity to honor one of its leaders, Chancellor Emeritus Lawrence A. Ianni, who served as chancellor from 1987-1995. Ianni Hall features living spaces for 287 students and study halls that boast panoramic views of the lake and the hillside.

On the following pages, you will find more information about the UMD Strategic Plan. This process began last fall and ended in May with a new Strategic Plan that includes a new mission statement, vision statement, core values, and goals. Not only was this an important process for UMD, it also brought me into close contact with opinion leaders from across campus, in the city of Duluth, in the region, and from around the state. I am proud of the work we have completed, which involved input from more than 2,000 people. They share with me the desire for UMD to become among the best higher education institutions of its type in the country. We also desire to become a more inclusive and diverse campus, to be more active in pursuing sustainable initiatives, and to be even more connected to the community. I am excited about our vision for a stronger, more focused university. Work has already begun on the action steps to meet the goals of the Strategic Plan, which will be regularly updated to meet the changing needs of the campus and the community.

UMD has reorganized some of its departments. Two of our trusted and longstanding senior administrators retired this summer: Vince Magnuson, vice chancellor for academic administration, and Greg Fox, vice chancellor for finance and operations. With their departure, we have realigned positions to meet UMD’s most critical needs. It was my privilege to serve my first year with Vince and Greg. They will be missed.

The year has been filled with many amazing experiences, including celebrating national championships in football and in men’s hockey. I have just begun to meet the alumni who have made outstanding contributions in every corner of the country and abroad. During a day-long trip to tour a taconite mine on the Iron Range, I met alumni working as mechanical, environmental, chemical, electrical, and civil engineers. I met bankers, lawyers, educators, and marketing professionals, all engaged in global commerce.

UMD educates the whole person. I have seen the evidence in the alumni I meet. UMD champions creativity and at the same time, it is an economic force. It places our alumni inside the vortex of expression, entrepreneurship, industry, and corporate strength. 

I thank you for the part you play in making UMD strong. I appreciate you, our alumni and friends, for your generous support. You are a phenomenal resource.  I especially thank you for allowing me to join you on the journey ahead, to help UMD reach its highest potential.

Dr. Lendley C. (Lynn) Black. UMD Chancellor

Photo --- Chancellor Black and David McMillan

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Last modified on 09/18/11 04:21 PM
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