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End of Semester Gratitude

April 28, 2022

Dear colleagues,

As the spring semester winds down, I want to thank each of you for your work in support of our students and our overall educational community. Together we have (almost) made it through another pandemic-inflected year, and we have done so with the grace and tenacity characteristic of UNC.

There is nothing more joyful in the academic year than celebrating with our students and their families on graduation day. Walking across the stage and receiving a diploma is the hallmark of a lifetime of hard work, both for our students and for their loved ones. I hope that all faculty and staff will make it a priority to participate in commencement this spring and to share in the excitement with our students. Please see the Faculty and Staff Commencement site to learn more about the details of this year’s celebrations, including how to pick up regalia in college deans’ offices.

The joy of graduation is made possible by our students’ hard work and the incredible support of faculty and staff alike. This year we have brought increased intentionality to the work of strengthening the student experience while improving retention and graduation rates.

Much of this work has been done through the Students First Framework, including:

  • Holding our first-ever Retention Summit in spring 2022 to exchange ideas and share best practices for retaining students and closing equity gaps. You can see the opening presentation here.
  • Creating and posting retention and graduation goals for UNC and each college. The goals are integrated into the Graduation and Retention dashboard.
  • Developing plans for a Transfer and Transition Center, which will open in summer 2022. 
  • Creating a roadmap to better support Culturally and Linguistically Diverse students.

In closing, I want to thank all faculty and staff for another year of hard work and dedication to inclusive, high-quality education at UNC. We should never forget that our efforts to support each other and our students undergird the unique impact we make at this amazing institution.

See you at graduation!




Lisa Vollendorf, Ph.D.

Interim Provost

University of Northern Colorado