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LETTER: Provost reflects on time at CMU

Dear Faculty, Staff, Students and Alumni of Central Michigan University:

Central Michigan University is a vastly different and far better institution than when I joined its faculty in 1978. We have launched many new programs and are developing many more. Each is designed to meet student needs.

Today, our students are better prepared for success when they leave the institution; our faculty are doing cutting-edge, important research; external funding has increased; new buildings have been constructed; and, we continue our leadership in distance education. Importantly, we also continue to build upon and strengthen our supportive environment for students. I am proud of what small part I may have played in these improvements and expansions.

Tuesday, after three decades of calling CMU “home,” I announced that I will resign from the position of provost at the end of the current academic year. I made the decision this summer, as I contemplated celebrating my 70th birthday early in the 2013-14 academic year. There’s much I want to do yet, including spending more time with my wife, children and grandchildren.

Perhaps the greatest factor in my decision, however, is the knowledge we now have an academic leadership team that will take CMU to heights we’re just beginning to understand. The deans of our seven academic colleges, for example — all new within the past four years — are brilliant visionaries. They’re strong, collaborative, and dedicated to students and faculty. They’re committed to excellence, and they’re well-prepared to lead the university into the future. Our other deans, vice presidents and vice provosts are equally prepared to lead their units forward to provide the essential services to support our academic mission. They, too, are committed to excellence.

Thus, after 35 years — the last 22 years in administrative positions — it is time to move forward personally, just like the university moves ever forward. Rest assured, I will continue to watch and support CMU, applauding its progress, its achievements and its evolution.

I urge you to take time now and then to do the same. Take pride in Central Michigan University. Celebrate all that CMU has been, is and is becoming. You are part of a wonderful institution.

Provost Gary Shapiro