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  Letter from President Mary Sue Coleman
Welcome to the new academic year

I am delighted to welcome you back to the campus, or to welcome you for the first time. In the past week, I have had the opportunity to meet a number of new members of our faculty and staff, as well as many of our new students at their residence halls and at Convocation. The enthusiasm, the intellectual curiosity, and the diversity of culture of the new members of our community inspire me, just as our current faculty and students have done in my past two years at Michigan.

I want to invite you to a University-wide address that I will deliver on Monday, Sept. 20, at 3:15 p.m. in Rackham Auditorium. This address is sponsored by the Faculty Senate, and will provide me with an opportunity to talk to the campus about our priorities, initiatives and ongoing challenges. Following the address, we will have a reception in the lobby of the Rackham Building, where I look forward to having an opportunity to talk with many of you.

In the past year, our University has moved forward on a number of fronts, from our ambitious fund-raising campaign, titled "The Michigan Difference," to the planning and construction of new facilities, to several initiatives I introduced at a meeting of the Board of Regents last April. I will be exploring these issues and more in my address.

As we start this academic year, we face a great deal of promise because of the high quality of our incoming class of students, the ongoing research activity of our outstanding faculty and the impressive performance of our talented staff.
University-wide address
3:15 p.m. Sept. 20
Rackham Auditorium

We also continue to face challenges, particularly in regard to the budget. As we begin the academic year, we expect a final budget resolution from the State of Michigan, which will allow us to complete our own budgeting process. I want to thank our regents for supporting our fiscal plan and to congratulate Provost Paul N. Courant, the executive officers, and the deans for their remarkable efforts in forging our budget for the coming year, despite the delay from Lansing. We all look forward to being able to conclude that process.

At every opportunity, the leadership of this University has expressed its commitment to the academic excellence of the institution—not only to maintaining it, but to moving us to ever greater aspirations and accomplishments. I begin this academic year with a renewal to that commitment, and with a deep pride that reflects the brilliance of the new students and faculty members who have chosen to advance their careers at the University of Michigan.

I trust that all of you, like me, are ready for the fresh challenges and opportunities this year will bring. We will debate and exchange ideas, we will advance our initiatives and discover new ones, and we will continue the work that makes the University of Michigan one of the world's leading universities.

I hope to see many of you at my campus address at 3:15 p.m. Sept. 20 at Rackham Auditorium, and I hope you will take the time to talk with me at the reception that will follow in the lobby.

You have my best wishes for a fulfilling and productive year,

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