Important updates for fall semester 

UC President Neville G. Pinto shares enrollment news, health and safety updates and more

The below message was shared with faculty, staff and students this morning:

Dear Campus Community, 

As we wrap up the first week of Fall Semester, I want to take a moment to welcome everyone back to campus and share some important updates. 

Record enrollment anticipated

With an estimated 46,800 students, we anticipate our 9th straight year of record-breaking enrollment. UC’s ability to grow despite the challenges of COVID-19 is truly remarkable. It is a testament to the work of our outstanding faculty and staff who continue to build our university’s welcoming and innovative culture. Where many universities are grappling with enrollment declines, our university is seemingly more popular than it has ever been.  

Our students have re-energized our campus, and I’m pleased that we have been able to offer a more dynamic college experience. This has only been possible because our campus community has worked so hard to follow COVID-19 protocols. 

Health and safety

President Neville G. Pinto

President Neville G. Pinto

Thank you for complying with our indoor facial covering policy. As I indicated earlier this week, we are thoughtfully studying the issue of a possible vaccine requirement and gathering information from our faculty, staff and students. We continue to believe vaccines are the most effective form of protection against COVID-19. To promote vaccinations, we have created a weekly sweepstakes that will award nearly $50,000 over the next several weeks. Details about how to enter and all our COVID protocols are available at

Regarding our public health efforts, we recently introduced Dr. Dustin Calhoun as chief medical preparedness officer and chair of the UC COVID Response Team. I’m grateful to Dr. Calhoun, associate professor of emergency medicine and medical director for emergency management at UC Health, for stepping into such a crucial role to share his expertise and experience. 

Inclusive excellence

Our university is more diverse than any time in our history, with racial and ethnic minorities making up 24.1% of our student body. We have several milestones to celebrate this year, including the 30th anniversary of the African American Cultural and Resource Center and the 45th anniversary of our Darwin T. Turner Scholars Program for underrepresented students. 

As a public university, we have an obligation to open our doors wide to be genuinely inclusive. To that end, our Board of Trustees approved Juneteenth as an official university holiday this week, and we look forward to announcing some significant investments in diversity, equity and inclusion in the weeks ahead.

Welcome to Provost Ferme

Please join me in welcoming Valerio Ferme, PhD, as UC’s newest provost. The former dean of UC’s College of Arts & Sciences began as our new chief academic officer earlier this month following a national search. I’d like to express my gratitude to Dr. Ferme for overseeing a wonderful start to classes as well as leading five decanal searches. The coming academic year finds us in the exciting position to seek new leaders in the College of Nursing, the College of Allied Health Sciences, the College of Pharmacy, the College of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School. 

As usual, we have much work to do to continue our upward momentum. As we look to the year ahead and beyond, I’m grateful to all of you for the role you play in making our university community truly special. 

Neville G. Pinto

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