President Robert L. Manuel > First 125 Days > Notes from Rob > Welcome to a new academic year

Welcome to a new academic year

Welcome to the 2022-23 academic year! Today marks the first day of fall classes and the official beginning of DePaul’s 125th anniversary celebration. As we celebrate the impact we have had on generations of students, we also look ahead to designing our future. I welcome the opportunity to honor DePaul’s 125 years with you at events throughout the next year.


Over the past week, I had the honor of celebrating the accomplishments of our faculty and staff in my first Academic Convocation at DePaul. I also had the privilege of meeting more than 2,500 students at the Blue Demon Welcome. These two events both were overflowing with energy and hope for our future — a desire to recommit ourselves to the mission that means so much to us all. With every new DePaul community member I meet, I’m energized by your creativity, candor, and commitment to our Catholic, Vincentian mission. I feel incredibly fortunate to be part of DePaul’s diverse community of learners.

At Academic Convocation, I elaborated on the opportunity ahead of us and our initial steps forward, including some immediate changes. Provost Salma Ghanem also described her optimism for the year ahead, highlighting multiple recent university achievements. We both feel incredibly hopeful. I invite you to read more about my 125-day transition approach, as well as my remarks and Provost Ghanem’s remarks.

I want to reiterate my promise that we will design our future together. As we begin that work, I am eager to learn what is most meaningful to you about being a part of our community. To get us started, I am inviting faculty, staff, and students to participate in vision sessions to help sharpen our focus as we take steps to build the framework for a new strategic plan. I will host sessions for faculty and staff on Sept. 27 in Lincoln Park at 1 p.m. and on Oct. 7 at 1 p.m. in the Loop. A session for students will take place on Oct. 3 at 3:30 p.m. in Lincoln Park. More details and invitations to register will be made available soon.

In addition to our discussions, I want to provide a quicker platform for you to share your thoughts with me. Starting on Monday, I plan to launch a series of short surveys for everyone in our community. Each two to three-question survey will cover a variety of topics — some light and others more serious. You can look for a link to each new survey at the top of Newsline every other week throughout the fall.

The collective input and ideas you share with me will be integrated into the creation of a new, organic, community-derived strategic plan for our university. My hope is for you to clearly see your fingerprints on the final product we build together.

Thank you for everything you do to make DePaul so special and unique. I’m grateful to all of you. Have a terrific academic year!

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