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Dear Friends,

I am writing to let you know I have informed the Board of Trustees that
2010-11 will be my final academic year at Willamette, and I have accepted an
offer to serve as president of Emerson College (Boston, MA) beginning July
2011.

I came to this decision after much thought, and an honest appraisal of what
I judged would be in the best long-term interests of Willamette and my
desire to take on a final significant administrative assignment. Among the
many gifts afforded me on my sabbatical, perhaps none was more consequential
than having the opportunity to develop a fresh perspective on Willamette, my
modest place in its long history and its evolution as one of the nation’s
outstanding small, private universities. I concluded that while we – working
together with hearts warmed by a common purpose - have made much progress
toward strengthening our educational ends, it was now time for me to make
way for new leadership after thirteen years as your president.

As we close the chapter on the long-range plan adopted in 2001 and the
successful fund-raising campaign that brought it to life, it seemed to me
that Willamette would be best served by a new leader whose energy, vision
and intelligence will direct the next strategic plan and the campaign that
is sure to follow.

We have created new programs, erected new buildings and welcomed new
faculty, staff and students to our commonwealth of learning. . We have
increased awareness and confidence in an institutional identity deeply
rooted in the authenticity of our enduring motto, “Non nobis solum nati
summus.” We have increased several-fold our capacity to educate with great
effectiveness the women and men who will solve the problems and change the
world. Most important, however, we have been able to sustain for several
years a sense of momentum and progress with optimism and hope. This is a
great foundation on which to construct a new era in Willamette’s history.

I am exhilarated by the prospect of my new responsibilities at Emerson and


look forward to serving as its president with high expectations,
recognizing, of course, that there is still good and necessary work to be
done at Willamette this year, including, but not limited to the completion
of a successful re-accreditation process, making substantive progress on the
promise of our strategic plan, developing a case for support for our most
pressing facilities needs, enhancing the educational experiences of our
students, especially since doing so will strengthen undergraduate retention,
identifying synergistic opportunities among and between the College of
Liberal Arts and our graduate programs, increasing support for faculty
development and teaching excellence, and completing the administrative
structure review begun before my sabbatical.

I feel fortunate to return to a city I have always loved with many great
memories and experiences from Willamette as I begin what I hope will be a
long and productive association with another distinctive, cutting edge and
mission driven College whose contributions to communication and to the arts
I greatly admire and whose values are happily aligned with my own.

I love Willamette and will miss the friends I have made in this community
and beyond. I appreciate the many gestures of kindness you have shown to me.
Thank you for allowing me to be your president. It has been a sincere
privilege and a great honor.

Warmly,
Lee