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President: Thanks to all who have helped fight through ice storm

v. lane rawlinsTo:  Faculty and Staff at UNT

I want to thank you for your extraordinary efforts during this ice storm and its aftermath.  I went to campus every day, saw many of you trying to make the campus accessible, and have been told by many students about the efforts you are making to accommodate their needs.

In my long career I have been through disruptions on campuses from demonstrations, blizzards, ice storms and the effects of an eruption of Mt. St. Helens. But, I have never seen more unsafe conditions on a campus than we experienced with four inches of solid ice and days of subfreezing weather. We do not get to choose our challenges, we only show our character by how we respond. 

I have spoken a few times about the “UNT way.” The four bold goals are one way of stating that way of doing things and it starts with putting students at the center of all we do.  That is how all great universities do things. Now, we are put to some special tests of our commitment. Students are deeply concerned about their safety, their grades, too many finals in a short period, travel plans, commencement, and a host of stressful issues. 

I know that this period also creates stress for faculty and staff and that you have been inconvenienced and will be required to do extra work. I understand your situation and we are trying to do whatever we can to make your situation work for you. But, I would like to ask that at this time you take a little extra time with your students. Help them understand that this is not the end of the world. Give them some options that you would not usually extend. Remember why we are here.

I continue to be proud of my association with you and this university. Thanks for helping  our students succeed.

Sincerely,

V. Lane Rawlins

President

Posted on: Tue 10 December 2013

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