Words on accepting appointment as Yale’s 23rd president

I am inspired to succeed a president who embodies excellence in every way: a man of great integrity, wisdom, passion, and vision. We will have many opportunities to celebrate Rick Levin this spring, and, especially, to express our profound gratitude for his major accomplishments both globally and locally: a Yale with an international presence, and one that has created a model partnership with our host city, New Haven; a Yale with architectural gems that have been restored to their original luster, and one that has also become a shining example of labor-management collaboration.

As your president, I will work tirelessly to build on this legacy, and in the months ahead will focus especially on our responsibilities as a great research university with an unequaled commitment to its educational mission. I will be reaching out to many of you: deans, faculty, staff, students, and alumni—one-on-one and in groups—and will ask you to reflect with me on what we can do together to make this university an even better place—to build on George Pierson’s poignant image of Yale as “…at once a tradition, a company of scholars, [and] a society of friends.”

I will be listening carefully because I need your help:

  • Deans: How can we work together to create a more interdependent university?
  • Faculty members: How do we promote excellence across all of our schools and disciplines? How can we assure our status as the preeminent institution in the humanities and the arts while also working to bring the sciences and engineering to the same level?
  • Staff: How do we best engage you to make the most of your creative ideas and insights?
  • Students: How do we ensure that you have the best educational experience anywhere? And how have your experiences both on-line and throughout the world changed what you need most from your Yale education?
  • Alumni: What would make you even more proud of Yale? And how might we benefit further from your leadership?