Jelani Cobb, last year’s Ottaway Visiting Journalism Professor, spoke eloquently in his public address about diversity and inclusion, and reminded us that they are not the same, and don’t always happen together. He said, and I quote, “An inclusive institution cannot be the same as an institution that has simply added some more different people into it. Becoming inclusive means the institution has fundamentally become something else with adaptation of new customs and new ways of listening to each other.” Cobb went on: “diversity creates guests, while inclusion creates stakeholders, and builds participation in a democracy.” The challenge for vital institutions, he concluded, is to choose to do things differently.
In my State of the College address last year, I asked you to time travel with me to the year 2040, to reflect on our longer-term trajectory and to think about how decisions we make now will influence our future. In this graph, I showed you that in about 2040, white people will become a minority in America.
For us at SUNY New Paltz, these demographic shifts are here now. The new students we will see at Convocation later today and in your classes and office hours next week will include a first-year class with 48% of its members – almost half - from historically underrepresented groups. We will see more black and brown and fewer white students than ever, including more first-year black students than any year since 2000.
These will be some of the visible differences, but significant dimensions of our diversity will be hidden from view. Those include gender and sexual orientation, immigration status or national origin, economic background, level of academic preparedness, veteran and military experience, disabilities to be overcome, political viewpoint, among others.
Today, I want to focus on inclusion, learning to change and leading that change, as our most important work in the coming year. I will touch on several priorities, but will emphasize our need to come together to best serve an increasingly diverse student body and to meet Jelani Cobb’s challenge – to help all students feel included as full members of our campus community. A sense of belongingness leads to our students’ success. I want to be sure it’s clear I am talking about better supporting all students, to prepare each of them to live in and contribute to the world they are inheriting. We each contribute to these outcomes through our unique roles.
To fulfill this purpose, it is imperative that we develop an increasingly diverse faculty and staff and build stronger support networks for all employees. These are not new themes. I have spoken about such ideas before, but we need to tackle these goals with renewed energy and focus.
We have many reasons to be proud of the strong sense of community that SUNY New Paltz is known for. Students tell us it is a distinctive and attractive feature of our campus. At the same time, we are aware that not every student, and not every employee, has a sense of belonging in our community. Recognizing, accepting, and working with the kinds of differences I’ve articulated requires our full attention and our collective energy.
Let me pause to thank the members of our community joining me here today to usher in a new academic year. My busy morning reminds me of the many complex roles and great work that make New Paltz such a top-notch college. It’s the people who make us special and who serve our institution and our students. Every day I am grateful for the privilege to serve as your president.
At this time, I ask that you join me in a moment of silence to recognize two great losses to our community, by honoring the memories of two of our most valued colleagues, Professors Peter Kaufman and Pauline Uchmanowicz, who we recently lost. Thank you. Several faculty are planning a memorial service on campus for Pauline.
Our new year commences at noon today with our annual Fall Convocation. This academic ceremony is an important rite-of-passage for new first-year and transfer students. Professor of Political Science Nancy Kassop will serve as Faculty Grand Marshal and macebearer and will welcome new students on behalf of the faculty. She is a recent recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities. Dylan Rose, Class of 2016 mathematics major and a digital media analyst for AMC Networks will be our alumni speaker. Student Majessa Pedrozo, who is majoring in Communication Disorders, will be our student speaker. I am grateful to the faculty who will don academic regalia to participate in Convocation and hope that others will consider watching the live stream.
We welcome new members of our community and acknowledge those who have stepped into new leadership positions. We will introduce new academic and professional faculty individually on September 13 and new classified staff individually on October 9. But we ask that all new employees stand now to be recognized. Welcome to New Paltz!
I will now welcome new campus administrators. Jonathan Vaughn joined us in January as Executive Director of Development and has hit the ground running in advancing our fund-raising success. He came to us from the Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County and previously worked at the CUNY Advanced Science Research Center. Michael Corbisiero joined us this summer as Deputy Chief of University Police. He came to us from Stony Brook University with 20 years of law enforcement experience there, at NYPD, and at the Community College of Southern Nevada.
A long-time employee is being promoted into a new role. Effective Sept. 5, Beth Vargas, of the Center for International Programs, will be named Executive Director of the Center as Bruce Sillner enters a phased retirement. During her 20 years at New Paltz, Beth has excelled in her commitment to international education, to welcoming and supporting international students and faculty, and to working collegially with other campus offices and constituencies.
We are grateful for Bruce’s many years of exceptional leadership. He has advanced SUNY New Paltz into the top echelons of well-regarded international education programs in SUNY and beyond. In the coming months, Bruce will focus on external relations and program development in the U.S. and overseas. Thank you, Bruce.
I’d like to ask directors of the SUNY New Paltz Foundation here today to please stand so we can recognize and thank you. These business leaders, alumni, and committed citizens support the College and our students by raising private funds, being significant donors themselves, and promoting us in the broader community. Thank you for being here, and for your generosity and support. You may be seated. Several other supporters of the College have joined us this morning, and I am delighted you are here.
I also want to acknowledge members of our College Council, appointed by the Governor to guide and advise the campus president. Eleanor, would please stand to be recognized.
I will speak briefly about the many strengths that make SUNY New Paltz such a special place. I do so as a primer, if you will, for new community members, and as a reminder for the rest of us as we may overlook these attributes in the course of our fast-paced and busy lives and the many challenges and distractions of 21st century life.
We are proud to be included in many “best value” rankings of public colleges and universities in the Northeast and across the U.S. That includes being ranked in the top 5% of colleges and universities nationwide on an index of our impact on the social mobility of our graduates. Our mission is to provide high quality, affordable education to students from all social and economic backgrounds.
We provide one of the nation's most open, diverse, and artistic environments to prepare students to excel in rapidly changing times that demand creativity and worldliness. Our students come to us through a selective admissions process, and they work closely with outstanding faculty who are committed to a teacher-scholar model.
We value the teaching, research, and creative achievements of our faculty. These are recognized often through Chancellor’s Awards, appointment to the rank of SUNY Distinguished Professor, research and creative honors such as Fulbright, Guggenheim, and National Science Foundation awards, National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, and frequent presentations on the “Academic Minute,” a program of the Association of American Colleges and Universities aired on Public Radio in seven Northeast States and beyond.
One of SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson’s educational goals is to foster individualized instruction. It has been a long tradition at SUNY New Paltz to educate each student as a unique and whole person. When I ask students what they value most about being a student here, the most frequent response is the close attention and personal relationships they develop with their professors. This is also a common refrain from alumni.
The large number of majors in diverse fields that we offer is unusual for a regional comprehensive university – twice that of some other SUNY comprehensives. That array of choice creates opportunity for students to find their path, and to assemble distinctive combinations of majors and minors to fulfill special interests and life and career goals. We have added new high-demand majors and programs, at the same time we have sustained our core foundation in the liberal arts and sciences and our traditions in the fine arts and teacher education.
Our students and alumni see us as a “come as you are” college, where people of diverse backgrounds, cultures, perspectives, abilities and ambitions are welcome. New Paltz embraces its culture of encouraging and supporting students to learn and function as scholars, in the classroom and beyond, through independent study and research activities, study abroad and other international experiences, and other diverse opportunities. They develop skills, build relationships, and apply learning in different settings. I hope that each of us sees our role in that achievement.
If we were to go on a quest to find the perfect college town, we’d be hard pressed to find one better than New Paltz. This is a vibrant, historic village, with great restaurants, specialty shops, entertainment venues and abundant outdoor recreational opportunities. We hear often from students and their families how much they love this community and the Hudson Valley. In turn, one of our strategic priorities is to engage with and support the region, by sharing our expertise and knowledge, volunteering our time, and using our convening power to bring people together to improve life in the Hudson Valley and beyond.
These are some of our strengths, values, and priorities that guide our success in a changing higher education world.
I will highlight several projects and issues that will occupy our attention this year. Some, like budgetary challenges, are perennial. As you know, we are experiencing several leadership transitions this year, a natural part of the ongoing evolution of every institution. We are working to place an interim provost as soon as possible. We will conduct searches to replace the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, and Dean of Education. We will share more information about these searches soon, and I encourage each of you to be involved to help identify these new leaders. As I shared recently, we have realigned some organizational and reporting lines as we adapt to this transition. We also established new ways for the Cabinet and academic deans to communicate with each other this year.
I want first to frame our work this year in the context of our strategic plan and the thoughtful work last year of the Strategic Planning and Assessment Council. The Council’s work has identified a new lens on our strategic plan priorities through the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
While our core work is best reflected in Goal 4 – Quality Education - each of the 17 goals is relevant to what we do and consistent with our campus culture. The Council concluded that the Sustainability Goals align well with the essential initiatives of our strategic plan, and will provide new ways to approach our ongoing planning and enhance communication about the plan. These goals also help more of us see our work in the context of our strategic plan. You will have several opportunities this fall to learn about the Council’s thinking about these goals.
I’m pleased with the direction of this work, and that this framework grew out of the collective efforts of faculty, staff, and students, in alignment with institutional priorities.
We will continue preparing for our institutional reaccreditation review, a process overseen by our regional accrediting body, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Last year, we assembled committees and resource personnel for each of the seven accreditation standards and developed a self-study design. Reaccreditation co-chairs Laurel M. Garrick Duhaney, associate provost for assessment and strategic planning, and Ken Goldstein, professor and chair of theatre arts, are leading this effort.
Middle States selected our self-study design as an exemplary model to share in their upcoming Self-Study Institute, to inspire other colleges and universities that are just beginning their processes. Well done, Laurel, Ken, and colleagues!
Our target date for a completed draft self-study is November 2020 - not very far away! - for a spring 2021 site visit. I am impressed with the deep involvement of many members of the campus community in this process. This will be my fifth reaccreditation process, in three different regions of the country, and my second at New Paltz. One of the worst things that can happen on a site visit is for reviewers - to be met with blank faces when they ask faculty or staff about the process. We will share lots of information to help campus community members – academic and non-academic - learn about the standards and key elements of this review, ahead of the site visit.
Our campus physical environment continues to improve, even if some of the changes – like a new high-temperature hot-water line from Wooster to the Old Library – are largely hidden from view and don’t generate much excitement. Others are more visible and dramatic, like our significant progress this summer replacing floor and ceiling tiles in Smiley Arts Building and moving into the Engineering Innovation Hub, where we will have a ribbon cutting ceremony early this fall.
We will continue making our campus more attractive to prospective and current students, supporting our academic mission and the working environment for employees, and becoming more efficient. For example, we partnered with the Village of New Paltz and New York City to add master water meters to the perimeter of campus to better detect and correct leaks and reduce water consumption and cost.
Upcoming projects include renovating Awosting Hall, followed two years later by Mohonk Hall. These major projects will benefit residential students and expand our housing capacity.
Thanks to our successful advocacy, we received about $27 million in additional capital to fund several projects including renovating the Lecture Center lobbies, replacing the roof and renovating the fourth floor of the Student Union Building, replacing windows in Jacobson Faculty Tower, and rehabilitating the exterior of the Fine Arts Building. Work on these projects will begin in summer 2020. In addition, we are in early stages of planning for possible renovation and repurposing of College-Shango Hall. This will be a longer-term effort, and we have digitally preserved the murals in that residence hall that mean so much to generations of alumni and to current students.
We will also improve our campus environment by moving toward becoming smoke-free and tobacco-free. Vice Presidents Stephanie Blaisdell and Michele Halstead last year led a diverse task force of faculty, staff, and students that studied this issue in depth and from many angles and solicited extensive community input including from employee union representatives. They developed a thoughtful analysis that led to the recommendation that we take this step. I have accepted and strongly endorse their recommendation. As shown here, multiple other SUNY campuses have already done this, and have sorted through ways to address employee concerns in advance, as we will do as well. The SUNY New Paltz Clean Air Campaign, as we are titling this effort, will be a multi-year process; you will hear more soon.
We will continue our multi-year effort to bring our budget into balance, reducing expenditures and increasing revenue at the same time as we sustain our advocacy for increased direct taxpayer support. Our direct taxpayer support will be the same this year as last. In fact it’s the same as in 2012-13, even though our local costs continue to rise. Last year, we spent less than $600,000 of campus reserves, far less than we anticipated, thanks to a shift in the timing of state funding and to the hard work of units across campus to hold vacancies open and trim spending. The Board of Trustees approved a $200 per year tuition increase for resident undergraduate students, which will mean about $1.1 million in additional revenue if enrollments remain steady. An increase in the college fee will generate about $200,000 in additional revenue. These changes will help our bottom line, even as we must be concerned about the impact of such increases on affordability.
Our undergraduate enrollments remain strong at a time that many other campuses struggle, and we have done this without lowering our admission standards. The largest incoming undergraduate classes in our institution’s history have been this year and the previous two. As of end of the day yesterday, we had met our goal of increasing undergraduate enrollment by 120 over last year and well exceeded our target of growing graduate enrollment by 40 students. Well done, everyone! But further growth in enrollment and tuition revenue, and managing expenditures, must remain a continuing focus for us. We will discuss the budget further at a forum scheduled for October 17.
We are excited about our growing fund-raising success. Before 2014-15, we raised an average of about $1.5 million annually. That year, we launched a three-year “major gift” initiative with a goal of doubling that amount. We reached that goal, and sustained that success for the next two years. After five years and more than $18 million raised, we’re ready to enter the public phase of our first-ever comprehensive campaign. Save the date for our campaign launch on October 3.
The impact of this support is even more gratifying than the dollars. The SUNY New Paltz Foundation—through many generous donors—has built and enhanced numerous programs such as student research endowments, emergency funds to help students stay in school after encountering unexpected financial challenges, and support for students studying abroad in non-English-speaking countries. Individual, corporate, and foundation support has helped to transform our STEM programs. A generous gift increased our capacity to work effectively with students on the autism spectrum. Donors are supporting speaker series in several fields. We have also received non-monetary support like the donation of a major collection of photographs to the Dorsky Museum and grand pianos and a harpsicord for the music program.
These gifts come from employees, emeritus faculty, alumni, community members and volunteers, foundations, and area business partners. I am especially pleased that our students increasingly recognize the importance of giving. The 2019 Senior Class gift of nearly $10,000 was the largest ever!
It has been rewarding to see the deepening engagement by such a diverse array of supporters. This reflects the obvious growth in respect and appreciation for SUNY New Paltz, for the way we fulfill our educational mission, and for our role in the region and beyond.
I return now to the theme of building a more inclusive community, and call on each of us to be part of addressing these challenges and opportunities. I will highlight recent successes and speak about planned endeavors, all consistent with and supportive of priorities in our Diversity and Inclusion Plan. For the last two years, our Diversity and Inclusion Council focused on our successful building renaming. Last year, Council also conducted a listening tour to hear student, faculty and staff, and departmental views about our campus climate. This year, I have charged the Council with studying options for a campus climate survey, so that we can better guide this work.
I am pleased with the expanded programming in the Faculty Development Center to address improving pedagogy, working with challenging students, and discussing complex matters such as issues of race in the classroom. The growing interest and participation in these programs among faculty and staff – both as attendees and as presenters or conveners - is gratifying. Many opportunities are already lined up for this fall. Thanks to Professor Sarah Wyman, Center Director, for this work.
Most are aware that we completed a thoughtful process that led to the replacement of six campus building names directly linked to early slavery in New Paltz. The new names went into effect three weeks ago. Signage in the lobby of each building tell some of this story. We even include a pronunciation guide. I am hoping that our students learn that this falcon is a peri-GRIN, not a peri-GRINE as some have been pronouncing!!
I am so proud of the strong willingness of this community to engage in difficult conversations and take actions like this that are inclusive and respectful. We are working on a contemplative space where members of our community can reflect on a more fulsome local history and its contemporary consequences. This site will draw on values and principles articulated last spring by a working group of faculty, staff, and students. We intend to complete this project in fall 2020.
In that spirit, I want to acknowledge that the land we are on today is the traditional territory of the people of the Munsee, Esopus, and Lenape tribes. I am beginning a new tradition of offering some version of this indigenous land acknowledgment at selected campus events as a way of respecting and creating awareness of this piece of our history.
We are planning expanded new space for the Scholar’s Mentorship Program - SMP - in the Student Union Building. This will include space for students to gather, for improved programming, and for heightened visibility of this program, which has long advanced student academic and personal success. We expect to begin renovation next summer. We are also seeking ways to strengthen the partnership between SMP and both EOP and the Center for Student Success.
Last year, more than 600 students registered with our Disability Resource Center. We reassigned a larger space to better serve and support students who require accommodations in housing, testing, reading and study assistance, and other ways. This is a growing population at many colleges and universities. We know from our experience and experience elsewhere that these students are successful with the right support, which teaching faculty provide.
Collectively, we are making our online communications and course materials more accessible. I thank the faculty and staff who have worked hard to advance this effort.
SUNY New Paltz employees have long benefitted from a very effective and successful EAP - Employee Assistance Program. This program provides services and support to employees for the prevention, early intervention, and resolution of emotional, family, legal, relationship, substance abuse, and other issues that may impact work performance and quality of life. We are building on a strong foundation – thanks to the good work of longtime community member Doug Hanley – by developing a new model that includes multiple EAP Coordinators rather than one. We believe that having choice may encourage more employees to seek support, and this redundancy will help ensure that support is available throughout the work week.
Okay, we heard you. We listened to the concerns voiced last spring and spent time this summer thinking about the best way to address our most critical professional development needs that are more than voluntary and optional. The survey we conducted last spring showed that Thursday and Friday, January 16 and 17, 2020 were actually the preferred dates of the alternatives offered. But we also heard the challenges those dates present for some. So we will make required professional development available on different dates and in different modalities. Those will include face-to-face training on those January dates on a space available basis, and web-based training that can be completed at your convenience. Required content will be offered in multiple sessions on those two days, and in addition we will provide a menu of other professional development opportunities – encouraged but not required – including subjects that many of you recommended.
The required program will include sexual harassment training, mandated by New York State Law. This training will be available on September 1 with the goal that our campus will be compliant with the October 1 date set forth in legislation. We will also provide this training live at other times.
Employees will also be required to complete diversity and inclusion education. This material is informed by the scholarship of equity and inclusion, and New Paltz will be an early adopter among SUNY campuses. The expectation is that this training will be completed via a web-based option or in-person in January.
This year we will take more concrete steps to enhance faculty and staff diversity, so that members of our increasingly diverse student body will have more opportunity to see themselves and their shared lived experiences in professors and staff. We will provide a training program developed by two of the nation’s leading scholars in achieving racial equity in U.S. higher education. This training is specifically focused on faculty hiring but is relevant to other searches. It will be required for members of all faculty and administrative search committees. Topics include Innovative Recruitment Strategies, Job Announcements for Faculty, Implicit and Explicit Bias, and Interview Structure and Best Practices. Each of these involves an hour and a half session, available either live over a several-week period in late September and early October, or subsequently via the web. We will share more about that schedule shortly, including expected dates for completion of each training module relative to the timing of ongoing searches.
I appreciate that your feedback helped us understand the necessity of providing multiple options for professional development. I am also grateful for the explicit and implicit support that you have conveyed for the importance of this training for our continued progress as an institution.
I remind faculty of your primary role in diversifying our new faculty hires and in creating positive departmental working environments. Here are some best practices I encourage you to consider as you develop inclusive position descriptions. Clarify why your department in particular seeks diverse talent, to emphasize that improving faculty diversity is a priority for the department, not just the institution. This will also give you the opportunity to highlight how inclusion relates to other departmental priorities, like mentoring an increasingly diverse student body.
Requesting - as part of the application - information about an applicant’s interest in or experience with issues of diversity and inclusion, including their work engaging a diverse student body, conveys a seriousness of purpose. Doing so opens the door for interview conversations about inclusive teaching and learning.
As much as possible, broadening the acceptable disciplinary backgrounds for open positions may expand the candidate pool and the likelihood of attracting candidates from historically underrepresented groups.
I will task the interim provost and the next provost with championing these efforts and supporting departments in this work.
I understand the resistance to hiring new faculty through any process other than an open, competitive search. But I also know that the changing dynamics of the labor force require us to explore additional best practices such as “target of opportunity” hires that have significantly advanced our goals. In this practice, a candidate is directly recruited because their experience, scholarship, creative achievements, and interest align with specific programmatic goals and needs. Such a hire often increases race and gender diversity in an area. For example, we hired a female professor in a male-dominated STEM field in this way several years ago, having a positive impact on gender diversity in that field. There is absolutely zero indication that our programs and our students would have been better served if we had filled this position through a more traditional search, and clearly less likelihood that a traditional search would have advanced gender diversity among the faculty or inspired young women to enter this field.
I am reminded of my experience many years ago at another institution after the Provost approved my request for a spousal accommodation hire. My colleagues in other departments were envious, and in a chair’s meeting the Provost asked me to share how this had come about. I responded, “I asked.” So ask, as several deans have done recently to advance special hires. We will not always say yes, and this will not likely become the routine way we hire new faculty. But we are open to creative approaches to increase faculty diversity, managed with care and appropriate safeguards. That will include assessing departmental readiness to support a climate that – in Jelani Cobb’s language I shared earlier - cultivates stakeholders, not just guests. I know this work is happening in several departments.
I will share the experience of our Theatre Arts Department as an exceptional model for diverse faculty hiring and cultural change.
Six years ago, the faculty recognized that underrepresented minority students in their department were unhappy, marginalized, and did not see themselves in their coursework, in mainstage productions, or in the faculty. The department began a process of listening to students and changing in ways that have dramatically improved student perceptions.
Working with our Chief Diversity Officer, the department reflected about bias and departmental values, and how to more effectively include non-dominant narratives in their teaching, in student support, and in modeling practices to prepare students for careers. Since then, they hired two faculty of color through the SUNY Faculty Diversity Program. Those faculty were attracted in part by the more inclusive departmental culture. They created or brought back to life courses like Race, Gender and Performance, and have diversified mainstage productions to create content and roles in which all students can see themselves.
Now, underrepresented students feel at home and are enthused about being part of this department. The number of non-white student majors has grown, as has total enrollment because more accepted students actually come here to study. Last year, the department was #10 on a ranking of the top 25 Bachelor of Arts theatre programs in the U.S. That ranking specifically noted the department’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. I hope this model of faculty and student engagement in advancing these institutional goals will inspire others.
Last month, we submitted our application to a new SUNY program titled PRODiG, for Promoting Recruitment, Opportunity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Growth, which has the overarching purpose of increasing faculty diversity to better reflect the diversity of SUNY students. This program will foster hiring and retention programs with a goal of adding 1,000 faculty to SUNY from underrepresented groups by 2030. The rules and focus of this program are still being clarified, and we will keep you posted as we learn more. PRODiG will not by itself address the goals of diversifying our faculty. It must be accompanied by creative approaches and hard work.
I’ve spoken about the outcomes of listening to students of color about what it means to live, eat, and sleep in buildings named for those who enslaved others, and of adjusting programs and offerings in response to concerns of underrepresented students. These experiences point to the importance of creating avenues for the expression of non-dominant voices in the ongoing evolution of our community. I know that it can be difficult for early-career faculty, perhaps especially people of color, to raise their voices about many issues. These include helping others understand their experience with departmental climate, the impact of hurtful or offensive words and actions – sometimes completely unintentional, and how the reappointment-promotion-tenure and salary increase processes value – or not - diverse forms of scholarship, the considerable time invested in mentoring underrepresented students, or other forms of invisible labor. We began a discussion with the Executive Committee of the College Faculty last spring about how we might create better support and non-threatening venues to hear these voices and incorporate that input into shaping the future direction of the College. This is a topic that I hope we can advance this year as we build a more receptive and supportive community for an increasingly diverse group of employees and students.
As I close, I want to return to our strategic priorities and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The priorities of inclusion and community-building that I’ve identified today relate clearly and directly to a number of those goals. I point this out to emphasize that creating a more inclusive community that supports diverse students and employees is not a set-aside or peripheral “nice to do” effort. It is a pervasive goal and touches on multiple strategic priorities. It is essential to fulfilling our core educational mission as our student body evolves. This work demands time and energy, and we must develop ways to better recognize these efforts in our reward systems, perhaps as dimensions of exceptional teaching or service. We need to do so for all faculty and staff, but especially for underrepresented employees to whom underrepresented students flock for guidance and inspiration. I certainly will pay heightened attention to this work through my involvement in our performance review processes.
The UN Sustainable Development Goals were created by a global community around shared goals at a global scale. But these goals are directly relevant to our campus as well. I hope we can embrace working together as campus partners on these priorities this year, doing things differently to advance excellence through inclusion. In fact, I am confident in our ability to do so. You will hear more about this work as it will be a core part of our communication, decision-making, and actions this year and beyond.
Thank you and have a great year!