Dear Graduate Students:
I have been focused this academic year on celebrating and continuing to encourage a number of important themes in our community. One is resilience — demonstrated by our community’s ability to return this past fall, after a year and a half of relative isolation under complex pandemic conditions, to a “new normal” campus experience, and abide by critical health and safety measures to protect us in and out of the classroom.
I have also strongly emphasized prioritizing our culture of empathy. Though we returned eagerly to campus this year, I know it has not been an easy transition. However, we have offered robust support for each other through the continued challenges, enabling us to advance our academic mission and remain positioned for future success as an institution.
Now, with just weeks remaining in the school year, I encourage you to devote your energies to crossing the finish line of the semester. For our graduating students, May 15 – Commencement on the National Mall – likely feels incredibly near, and the next phase of your lives and careers is about to begin. Academic resources remain available to you as you finish the semester, including Academic Commons, the Office for Student Success, the Writing Center, and Disability Support Services (DSS).
As always, if needed, the CARE Team allows all members of the community to submit a care referral for any student who may need additional support beyond assistance with classwork, so I encourage you all to keep this valuable resource in mind. Also available to speak with our students are counselors with Counseling and Psychological Services.
I look forward to celebrating all your accomplishments and wishing you well when the semester ends.
For our students who will be returning in the summer or fall, exciting developments are ahead. As an institution, we have renewed our commitment to strengthening the graduate and postdoctoral student experience and ensuring our graduate education reflects market demand for professional training, both locally and nationally.
We have launched the search for a vice provost for graduate and postdoctoral affairs, a new position that will provide strategic leadership in developing, evaluating, and promoting our graduate and postdoctoral programs. This role will work to strengthen the critical symbiosis between graduate education, postdoctoral training, and research. The vice provost will build a new Office of Postdoctoral Training, which will assist schools and colleges in hiring and training postdoctoral fellows, as well as oversee the Office of Graduate Scholarships and Fellowships. With the support of the vice provost, our graduate and postdoctoral students will receive the mentoring, career counseling, and training needed to be launched into fulfilling careers. I look forward to sharing more information in the future about this critical addition to our administration.
My best wishes for a productive end of the semester.
Christopher Alan Bracey
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Professor of Law