May 15, 2013

Dear Colleagues:

For nearly 40 years, I've been proud to call the University of Illinois home.

It's truly a special place, one that I've seen as a student, as a professor, as a college dean and campus administrator, and now, for the last year, as president. My new view of our University's three campuses and health-care system has only served to reinforce what I have long known -- that our greatness is rooted in the commitment and excellence of our nearly 23,000 employees.

As we close another academic year and prepare for the next, I'm proud to express my deepest thanks to all of you for your dedicated service to our students, to discovery and to our society. You are the foundation behind our ongoing growth in enrollment, in degrees awarded, in student applications, in research funding, and in respect from our peers around the world.

Our Board of Trustees and University leadership are committed to recognizing your loyalty and devotion. We will continue our push to support the issues that are most important to you -- funding to advance our world-class programs, a competitive salary program that allows us to recruit and retain top faculty and staff, an equitable and sustainable pension funding scheme, and relief from regulatory red tape that while well-intentioned sometimes becomes counterproductive to our teaching and research missions.

Your work is crucial to the social and economic progress of our state and nation. Working together, we will build on our rich legacy of service, and ensure that the University's best days are still to come.

Thank you again for everything you do for the University of Illinois. Have a great summer, and for more on the pension issue, please see


Robert A. Easter
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