Well, the time has come to say goodbye as your leader, but not as your friend — for we will always be friends. It has truly been my honor and pleasure to serve with you at the University of Michigan. You are all talented, wonderful people who do an outstanding job, day in and day out, without having to be asked to do so. I like to say that you are a key ingredient in the secret sauce that has made, and continues to make, this university the number one public university in the world.
I have received so many kind notes of congratulations regarding my retirement. Thank you for all of them! One question I have been asked frequently is: what do I feel are my key accomplishments during my six years at Michigan? It is not difficult for me to respond because it requires little thought on my part. I am most proud of YOU and the work YOU have done to build an environment that is more diverse, more inclusive and more equitable. That environment is based on the concepts of positive leadership, which I describe as a place where you truly feel valued, both personally and professionally.
This journey is a long one and is by no means done. We have come a long way, but there is much more to do. I have one wish as I depart, which is that you continue to carry on the work that we have begun. Each of us deserves a workplace that we feel treats us as the human beings we are, in our work and our personal lives. Each of us deserves to end each day feeling that we are respected, valued and part of the success we call the University of Michigan. And each of us deserves to be able to put our loved ones ahead of our work, knowing that we will be praised, not limited for doing so. You deserve better, and I believe you can make it better.
Each of you has made an impact on me, and I will never forget the kindness you have shown me as your leader. Thank you for your service to the university – it has been a privilege to be a part of B&F and to get to know the dedicated team of professionals who Make Blue Go. While I am leaving the organization, please know that I will always be your cheerleader from the sidelines. Each of you will always have a friend in Austin, Texas. Y’ALL ROCK!!!
Thank you for your dedication and friendship – and GO BLUE!
With much appreciation and gratitude,