From the President's desk
This column is nothing like what I had envisioned. I was prepared to reflect on the culmination of our amazing Bicentennial year. But instead we are fiercely focused on fighting this pandemic and managing its shock waves.
Foremost, my thoughts are with you and your loved ones during these unimaginable times. We are here to support you as a member of our Bearcats family in any way we can. Please let us know how we can be helpful.
Some perspective: Many of our faculty pursue pioneering research in nanoscience. They remind us that the size of this pathogen is nearly one-thousandth the width of a human hair. Think about that. Something too small to be detected by the human eye has brought 7.8 billion people around the world to their knees.
UC’s story of hope starts with the heroism of our colleagues in the Academic Health Center. Their clinical work has put them on the front lines of this unforgiving fight — with their lives and those of their families at stake. Their cutting-edge research is also advancing lifesaving efforts. And their expertise is helping train and educate populations near and far. They are making all of us immensely proud to be Bearcats.
The story continues with the extraordinary work of our faculty, staff and students. Our stellar faculty converted more than 8,000 courses to remote learning within 10 days. Our dedicated staff prepared for and managed the major transition to remote operations. Both groups have worked tirelessly to fulfill our mission from a distance without missing a beat. Meanwhile, our students continue to humble and inspire us. Every day I hear a story of a student making a transformational difference in their local community.
Having effectively safeguarded our campus, our leadership team has turned to tackling the mounting financial challenges associated with this crisis. To protect and preserve UC’s world-class offerings, we are pursuing several strategies to improve our financial position. We firmly believe taking decisive action in the early stages of this economic upheaval will protect us from more dire alternatives down the road. Nevertheless, the sacrifices are significant, and I personally want to thank each of our employees for their devotion.
Make no mistake: Their sacrifices have made a great institution even greater.
These trying times bring to mind another Bearcat story. Professor Albert Sabin’s breakthrough research led to an oral vaccine that all but eradicated polio and its devastating effects on the world. I was recently reminded that Dr. Sabin refused to profit from his invention, enabling the treatment to remain affordable and therefore widely available.
When the world needed a hero, it was a Bearcat who saved the day. Professor Sabin led with not only a brilliant mind but also a noble heart. More than ever, our world needs uncommon heroism too. And I am certain it will be Bearcats who yet again answer the call.
NEVILLE G. PINTO, PhD
President, University of Cincinnati
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