Marshall Lind's Open Letter to the Campus Community
September 15, 2003
Forty-one years ago, after our first year of teaching at Kwigillingok, Lois and I knew that Alaska was most likely where we would spend the rest of our lives. We thoroughly enjoyed the people, appreciated the professional challenges and opportunities and believed in the potential of this great state. Our feelings haven't changed.
As we start our fifth academic year in Fairbanks we are pleased with the progress that we see at UAF thanks to the hard work and support of a lot of very capable people. Enrollment is up and continuing to grow in all areas, including the Tanana Valley campus and rural community campuses. Housing is full and construction this summer has been at an all-time high, reflecting state and private financial support plus significant expansion in research activity. There is a sense of momentum across the campus and the university looks and feels alive, dynamic and reflective of a healthy institution with a mission and commitment to serve urban and rural Alaska. The excitement is contagious. Nevertheless, there is a lot more to be done.
I believe that now is the appropriate time to plan and implement the next phase of UAF's development and for me to pass the baton to someone else. Lois and I have decided that this will be our last academic year at UAF. President Hamilton has been informed of our plans and will ensure that a smooth transition to a new UAF chancellor will take place before Lois and I leave in the summer of 2004. We have some other things we would like to do with our lives for which we have not had the time.
I am reminded of the following quote from Samuel F. Hayakawa: "If the only thing in your life is your job, when your job is over so is your life. But what if you have always felt your life is bigger than your job -- and that retirement means only that you are freed from one job so that you can go on to something else?" Well, we are ready to go on to something else. It is our desire to spend more time spoiling our three grandkids, boating in southeast Alaska, traveling and enjoying family and friends throughout Alaska and the Northwest. At some point, volunteer work, where we might be able to assist others, has a lot of appeal to both of us.
We have both derived great pleasure from being a part of the UAF and Fairbanks communities. We have a true fondness for this place simply because of the many warm and wonderful people who reside, work and study here. For us UAF is extraordinary because of the many world-class faculty, staff and administrators who have chosen to work here. I have the utmost respect for all of them as team members. It is because of their skills and dedication that I am confident of the future success of the institution.
My association with the students over the years has been the high point of the job. The many examples of their enthusiastic spirit, candor, dreams, aspirations, unbridled talents and accomplishments will forever serve as positive reminders of why I got into this field.
I have enjoyed working with President Hamilton and members of his staff and appreciate the guidance and backup they have given to UAF. Mark's leadership helped convince us to come to UAF and we have never regretted that decision. I also want to give particular thanks to all of the past and present Regents, legislators and governors who have been so supportive of our efforts to build a better system of higher education for all Alaskans during my tenure.
The professional journey from Kwigillingok to Fairbanks has been fun, exciting and a privilege. Lois and I thank you.