Jan. 12, 2024

Dear Colleagues, 

The spring semester at UNLV is just a few days away, and I want to thank you all for your attendance and participation in Tuesday’s All Hands Meeting and your continued dedication and commitment to our students and to this great university. 

The start of any new semester is met with a mix of excitement and anxiety – and that will certainly be the case this spring. But I strongly believe that powerful and restorative things occur when we’re together engaging in the important work we do as part of a vibrant, community-engaged research institution. 

At the same time, I know there’s quite a bit of healing still ahead of us as individuals and as a university. It’s going to take time, and we won’t rush it. 

I encourage everyone to bookmark our UNLV Strong website for more details on the Rebel Recovery Program, and look for continuing campus updates and information on related events and activities. We’re moving quickly to finalize our Committee on Campus Security and Safety, and building repairs are continuing campuswide. The Provost’s Office is also sharing important reminders with faculty and instructors on accessing and securing classrooms, trauma-informed teaching resources, and more. Additionally, a host of mental health and wellness services, events, and training opportunities are planned for next week and throughout the spring. 

As part of our continuing campus recovery, next Tuesday (Jan. 16) at 1 p.m. on the Alumni Amphitheatre, representatives from area Tribal Nations have graciously offered to perform a traditional healing ceremony following Native American customs. We expect the ceremony to last about an hour and all are welcome to attend.

Over the past month, I’ve personally witnessed or heard of countless examples of heroic or selfless acts of kindness from members of the university and larger community. We’ve begun collecting these stories of gratitude, and we encourage you to share them with us.

The care and concern that our university community has shown for one another over the past month is heartening. Please continue to share that same level of compassion for one another, and for our students, as we begin the new semester and throughout the spring. 

I look forward to working with you to advance our Rebel Recovery Program, and I thank you for all you do to support our university and its important mission. 

Warm regards, 

Keith E. Whitfield, Ph.D.