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A Message to Faculty and Staff from University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan

December 15, 2014

Dear Colleagues,
Fall semester 2014 is drawing to a close, and while there have been many positive moments, there is no question that it has also been a most difficult semester for all of us. In the midst of so much uncertainty and heartbreak, I want to thank you for supporting and encouraging our students and one another. You have inspired us and shown the very best of this university.  Please know how deeply appreciative I am of you and your selfless efforts to help our students learn, grow, and succeed, even in the face of adversity.
Universities are hardly immune to the violence of our world, including sexual violence.  Now we are responding as a university and as a community committed to the safety and wellbeing of all of our members.  We are committed to making the University as safe and as welcoming as possible for everyone here, and especially for the students entrusted to our care. I am committed to continuing, in the Spring 2015 semester and beyond, to find ways to improve the safety of our Grounds for all of us. The problems we face are complex and difficult, and we will continue to proceed prudently, not precipitately. Your ongoing help in these efforts will be essential.
 In a message to students this morning, I wrote how much I appreciate the hope, joy, and inspiration they bring to the University on a daily basis.   This University is a great place to work and study because of their optimism, energy, and accomplishments, and because of your knowledge, talent, and dedication.  That will never change.  You are the framework around which our principles are bolstered and preserved, and the University is sustained by your hard work and your commitment to do right and to persevere. I thank you for it.
When we reconvene as a full community next year, we will take the time to pause to thank our students, and to thank you, for the inspiration you bring to the University.  We have faced many challenges together; we may face more in the months ahead.  But I have no doubt that we will emerge a stronger, safer, better U.Va.
My very best wishes for a joyful and restful break,
Teresa A. Sullivan