As we approach a well-deserved break next week, I want to take a moment to reflect
upon how far we have come this past year. When we were ringing in the year 2020 and
celebrating a national football championship, we had no idea what challenges would
be right around the corner. I admit that, at times, it has felt like the longest year
imaginable, with one crisis appearing after another, but then I remember the many
things we have accomplished and why I am so fortunate to serve the faculty, staff
and students of this campus.
While all of higher education has been challenged this year, LSU’s response has been
inspiring. We have worked long days and nights, Zoomed here and there, masked up,
practiced social distancing, and endlessly strived to do the very best for our students.
Our faculty have continued their scholarship and creative activities, including pioneering
new ways to slow the spread of the coronavirus, all while learning and adapting to
new teaching methods. The staff have kept us moving forward, providing the strong
foundation we need to navigate these uncertain times.
I want to take the time to echo President Galligan’s message regarding the USA Today
news article. LSU does not tolerate sexual assault or violence, and we are committed
to providing a safe learning and work environment. I can assure you that we are listening,
and we want to hear from you. I look forward to conversations with our community about
what we can do to improve our processes, and to reviewing the report from Husch Blackwell.
I encourage you to reach out to our Title IX office if you would like to report an incident, or if you would like to provide feedback
on how we can do better.
In my 30 years at LSU, I have never seen a time more full of possibilities and openness
to change. You will soon hear more about the work our Roadmap to Diversity committees
have been doing and I look forward to continuing that critical work. It gives me great
hope for the future of LSU and for our community.
As much as this year has been challenging for all of us in our professional lives,
it has also taken a toll on our personal lives and that of our family and friends.
Health and wellness resources are available if you need them. Take time for yourself during the holidays.
I look forward to hearing from you at our next faculty and staff forum on December
2. I hope you have a safe and very happy Thanksgiving.
Best Wishes and Happy Thanksgiving,
Executive Vice Provost & President
J. W. Annison, Jr. Alumni Professor