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Weekly Messages to Faculty

Five Things to Prepare Faculty for the Week Ahead

Messages from the previous academic year are archived annually in August.

  • May 15, 2023

    It has been a joy to see many of you at celebrations such as the recent Faculty Retiree Dinner and Plumeri Award Ceremony to honor our colleagues’ achievements and collectively recognize excellence in your scholarship, instruction and mentorship. Your impact on generations of W&M students is incalculable — we celebrated over 400 years of combined experience as we honored retiring faculty! Thank you all for yet another spectacular year.

  • May 8, 2023

    It feels almost hard to believe that we are closing out the first full year of “back to normal” teaching and learning. Last week, while gathering with many of you at the faculty appreciation reception at the Swem patio, I was struck by how much you have accomplished. In this season of pomp and circumstance, I encourage you to reflect on the impact your resilience had on the students graduating in two short weeks. I could not feel more confident that William & Mary is well-equipped to handle the opportunities and challenges of the post-pandemic landscape.

  • May 1, 2023

    May 1st is International Workers’ Day, and even though in the US we honor Labor Day in September, today is a celebration in many countries around the world. Tomorrow, the Tack Faculty Lecture Series will host Dan Runfola for his talk, “Everything is AI-Awesome: Rise of the Machines” at 7 p.m. in the Commonwealth Auditorium in Sadler Center. If you plan to attend, please register.

  • April 24, 2023

    The final numbers are still being tallied for One Tribe One Day, but the OTOD team is reporting that 10:1 matches inspired more than triple last year’s faculty and staff gifts! OTOD is all about celebrating the community we have here, and it is powerful to see this deep appreciation for William & Mary. Many of these funds support endowed professorships and the most pressing needs of individual programs.

  • April 17, 2023

    Campus was busy this weekend with admitted students and their families enjoying the great weather and braving our spring pollen. I had the chance to participate in several events and seeing the excitement and pride of the students and their families was a great energy boost as we anticipate finishing this academic year strong. Let’s look forward to nurturing the potential and interests of these students as we advance through the season of celebrating graduates.

  • April 10, 2023

    It was great to see many of you at the town halls for the A&S Dean search. I am really heartened by the investment of our faculty and staff in the search for a leader of Arts & Sciences who will serve our institution with passion and excellence.

  • April 3, 2023

    Last Friday, I had the pleasure of delivering a greeting at the Graduate & Honors Research Symposium. The event featured many impressive posters on the excellent research our graduate and undergraduate honors students have done this year. One poster of significant community interest expanded existing W&M research on the presence of radon in our area by including socioeconomic data that can help identify population groups living in affected areas that are more likely to develop serious health conditions as a result of radon. Thank you to Elizabeth Harbron of the Charles Center and to Sarah Glosson of the A&S Graduate Center, and to all who helped put this great event together!

  • March 27, 2023

    The end of March for many means basketball madness, but it also means that we are closer to Commencement. This year, the bookstore has set up a portal for faculty to rent robes regardless of alma mater. The ordering deadline is Friday, March 31. If you have questions, please contact Wynter Cannatelli, Assistant General Manager of the bookstore.

  • March 20, 2023

    I hope you were able to enjoy some time away during the break. For those of you who are soccer (or football, as we call it in Europe) fans, I also hope that you watched the first episode of the new season of Ted Lasso, a series that, as we proudly remind everyone, was co-created by alumnus Bill Lawrence.

  • March 6, 2023

    With next week being Spring Break, I encourage you to unplug where possible. I will not send the weekly message on March 13 and will pick back up on March 20. Also, I plan to reschedule the office hours that were set for this Friday for March 24 at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., as I heard that folks may be leaving to travel for spring break. I will share more information as we get closer to that date.

  • February 27, 2023

    Last week, the Chief Operating Officer Search Committee and I dedicated time to early rounds with candidates for the position. We have a strong pool of applicants, and the search team is confident that, in the W&M spirit, the finalist will be a bold and thoughtful executive partner in driving forward the university’s operational excellence.

  • February 20, 2023

    This semester has already proven to be full of fabulous events, compelling student and faculty work and new opportunities for engagement, and this week is no exception.

  • February 13, 2023

    This past week was filled with exciting opportunities to connect, including Charter Day and the joint meetings of four boards during W&M Board of Visitors gatherings. I was delighted to see so many of you participate in the fun on Charter Day as we celebrated the 330th birthday of our institution. Coming out of the Board of Visitors meetings, I look forward to the work we will do together on academic stress and wellness and encourage you to bring ideas forward on what you feel would be most helpful to you as faculty members and for your students.

  • February 6, 2023

    As I shared in our fall faculty meeting and again in this newsletter at the top of the semester, one of my top priorities is strengthening wellness on the academic side of the university. This work complements Dr. Kelly Crace’s and his colleagues’ efforts in Health & Wellness. Next week and in future updates, I will share more information about an initiative on academic stress and wellness that we will be co-creating with interested students, faculty, staff, and administrators.

  • January 30, 2023

    Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting with several groups across campus, from Faculty Assembly to the leadership of the Women’s Network, and the COO search committee. Interacting with faculty as they provide valuable service to our university gives me the opportunity to appreciate their rich and multifaceted perspectives.

  • January 23, 2023

    The first week back from winter break is one of my favorite times of the year. Campus is filled with energy, excitement and readiness for the new semester, and it’s always a joy to hear about your ideas for what’s to come. In 2023, I encourage all of us to prioritize our own physical and mental well-being and our work-life balance, as well as that of our students and staff we work with. I will do my best to highlight W&M opportunities to enhance wellness and community as the semester progresses.

  • December 19, 2022

    As 2022 draws to a close, and in lieu of sharing the weekly “5 Things to Know,” I want to take this time to thank you once more for all that you do for William & Mary. It is an honor and a privilege to be your provost. I am reflecting on the conclusion of the semester with tremendous pride in your many accomplishments and in what we have achieved together as a university.

  • December 12, 2022

    This weekend was difficult for many on campus who grieve the loss of Troy A. Cullen, a junior who made a deep impact in his time at William & Mary. As we move forward into final exams and the holiday season, I encourage you as well as your students to reach out for any support needed, whether it be administrative, academic or related to one’s own well-being. Ginger Ambler will be sending additional information about memorial arrangements when available.

  • December 5, 2022

    During this really eventful time of year, a great highlight for me was hosting at William & Mary the first in-person meeting of the Virginia Provosts Group on Friday. We launched this group in early spring 2020 to connect the provosts of Virginia’s public universities and discuss topics of mutual interest. It was also wonderful to see so many of you as we cheered for our student-athletes this weekend. Congratulations to the football team for a tremendous win, as they advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA FCS playoffs.

  • November 28, 2022

    I hope you all enjoyed a happy and healthy Thanksgiving break in preparation for the last few weeks of the academic year and final exam period. With respect to a hectic day for many, I will get straight to the message.

  • November 15, 2022

    With a one-day delay as we paused to recognize the tragic events at UVA, here are this week’s Top 5 Things to Know.

  • November 7, 2022

    I want to thank the Faculty Affairs Committee for inviting me to a Q&A with faculty regarding the Computing, Data Science & Applied Science (CDS) Initiative on Nov. 10 at 3:30 p.m. in Tucker Hall 127A or by Zoom. All faculty are invited to this conversation so that we have the opportunity to hear a cross-section of ideas and perspectives. I also want to provide my thoughts on where we are in the process and answer questions. Please join me for a good discussion.

  • October 31, 2022

    It’s hard to believe we are already more than halfway through the fall semester. I’ve been grateful for the many opportunities to gather as a community, including this past Saturday’s football game where I had the pleasure of recognizing exceptional student-athletes during the Provost’s Award celebration at half-time. I also thoroughly enjoyed Dancevent at the Kimball Theatre, our Dance Program’s fall concert that featured faculty choreography performed by members of the dance company Orchesis. Orchesis is part of the Department of Theatre, Speech, and Dance, and is led by both Dance faculty and student officers.

  • October 24, 2022

    This week, my office is holding a faculty town hall for the A&S dean search at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday. A staff town hall is scheduled for 4 p.m. A member of the search firm Russell Reynolds Associates will talk through the search with attendees. If you’d like to be part of the discussion, please register here. A Zoom link will be emailed on Tuesday, Oct. 25. For those who are unable to attend but would still like to give feedback regarding the search, please use this form. Additionally, the Search Committee is currently working on a webpage with more information and a spot for your thoughts and feedback. W&M will share the link to the page when it is live.

  • October 17, 2022

    Our retired faculty of 2020 and 2021 are returning to campus tomorrow for an evening reception celebrating their impact and dedication to the William & Mary community. Earlier recognition was delayed due to COVID-19, but now that we are able, it will be wonderful to have everyone gather again and be recognized for so many years of dedication to the university. I am grateful for the opportunity to spend time with these colleagues, to hear from them about their illustrious careers and what this next stage has brought to bear.

  • October 10, 2022

    Coming back from productive meetings with the W&M Foundation Board of Trustees and the Washington Center Advisory Board, an amazing Faculty Show at the Muscarelle Museum by W&M studio art faculty, and a fabulous Homecoming weekend, I’m going to keep this intro short and go directly to the Top 5 Things to Know this week.

  • October 3, 2022

    We hope that you and your loved ones stayed safe during what we in the Williamsburg area experienced as a less-intense version of devastating weather elsewhere. Our hearts go out to those who have and will continue to experience the impact of Hurricane Ian.

  • September 26, 2022

    I want to begin by thanking you for making Family Weekend a success. Our students’ loved ones are a major part of our community and I greatly appreciate your efforts to show them that W&M is a place where their students can belong and flourish.

  • September 19, 2022

    With National Hispanic Heritage Month underway, I’d like to highlight some opportunities for our community to get engaged, including William & Mary Libraries’ virtual display of books by Latinx authors. Additionally, the Hispanic Studies department is holding an event, Celebrating Our Community, for Latinx alumni, undergraduate, graduate students, staff, and faculty on Sept. 29, from 5-7 p.m.

  • September 12, 2022

    This week I look forward to participating in the Diversity & Inclusion Welcome Back Reception on Sept. 14, hosted by the Office of Diversity & Inclusion. Events such as these provide space for discussions on topics including how best to be a community that is welcoming and supportive of colleagues so that they thrive, while also addressing some of the very real challenges such as the disproportionate committee work often shouldered by faculty of color. I look forward to seeing many new and returning community members there.

  • September 6, 2022

    We’re making an exception this week and sending you the Top 5 Things to Know on a Tuesday, out of respect for what we hope was a relaxing Labor Day break for many of you. As we all get settled into our routines, please note that my office welcomes your ideas and suggestions for inclusion in the Top 5 Things. Suggestions may be submitted to at any time, and no later than 5 p.m. Thursdays for consideration to be published the following Monday.

  • August 29, 2022

    As we kick off the new academic year and our campus becomes so lively again, I’m delighted to see many faces that I recognize and to welcome our new faculty members. I am energized to get going this year, as I know lots of work happened over the summer to set us up for success. For those who are unfamiliar with the communications cadence from my office, please know that you can expect a weekly message from me on Mondays during the academic year, with the Top 5 Things to Know for the week.