Chancellor Blank: Where we are headed, together

By UW–Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank

We welcomed the largest freshman class in our history last week, and as I stood before these new students at Convocation, I was struck by the level of sheer joy and excitement I felt in that room. When the (fully masked) students stood to sing “Varsity” together for the first time, they reminded those of us on stage why there is still no better place to be than on a college campus in early September.

Over the past two weeks, you’ve all heard about our campus Covid-19 protocols and high vaccination rates – as of Sept. 6, 90 percent of our campus community has been fully vaccinated. Among faculty, that percentage is 99%; among all employees it is 89.2%; and among all students it is 92.3%. I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to get vaccinated and encourage those who have not to think about doing so. Having as many of us as possible vaccinated is the single best thing we can do to ensure that we can remain in a community where we can teach, learn and pursue new knowledge together.

While adhering to Covid safety protocols and having a high vaccination rate are important steps to help us reach our destination, they are not the destination itself. There is much that we plan to accomplish during the 2021-22 academic year to move beyond the pandemic, fulfill our university’s mission and ensure its continued excellence. Read more …