Dear College of Forest Resources alumni and friends,
These are challenging times for the College of Forest Resources. In the short period of a week in late May, we suffered the tragic fire bombing loss of Merrill Hall at the College's Center for Urban Horticulture and the resignation of Professor Kristiina Vogt as Dean. We wish Professor Vogt all the best as she moves ahead with her professional career. For now, she is remaining on the faculty of the College as a tenured professor. Simultaneously, Acting Professor Bruce Larson resigned as Associate Dean. He also remains on the College faculty.
The entire University of Washington community has expressed its outrage at the wanton destruction of one of our campus facilities. The State Legislature is considering a multi-million dollar addition to the University's capital budget to allow the rebuilding of Merrill Hall. The University President and the Provost have committed emergency funds to the College and the Center to help our faculty, staff and students reestablish their programs and regain some degree of normalcy. Of course, many years of research records were destroyed in the fire and are lost forever. Many staff are being housed in temporary quarters, some of which are separated from the Center itself, resulting in an additional loss of normal functioning. High among our priorities is maintaining trust among all members of our College community. We wish to focus on improving our work place environment, internal communication and planning for the future. We will embrace inclusion and consensus, accountability, integration and respect for all views. We must celebrate our professional diversity and draw on our differences to build strength in our programs. In order to maintain continuity in our programs in these dynamic times, we have pledged to retain current Division Chairs, Center Directors, Associate Dean Edmonds and permanent staff leaders.
As Acting Dean, I welcome input from all alumni, friends of the College and constituents throughout the region whether members of the forest products industry, the environmental community, non-industrial private forest land owners or any other interests. We want all members of the CFR community, both inside and outside of the College, to help us in our continued efforts to improve the College's educational, research, and outreach functions. Our intention is to maintain the College as a center of excellence for all matters related to the sustainable management of forested ecosystems, urban environments and forest products conversion processes.
University President McCormick challenged us to focus on the future role of the College within the University and the region. We welcome this challenge because we are confident that we can build on the past five years of strategic planning to carefully chart our future. In doing this, we must channel our energy to best achieve our educational, research and outreach goals.
On a personal note, I intend to be an active Acting Dean. I pledge to work on behalf of all College interests that promote the strategic themes and goals of the College.
Great opportunities lie before the College of Forest Resources. We are blessed with wonderful faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends capable of seizing these opportunities. With so many fine and talented people to help, I am confident that we will maintain our position among the leaders in natural resources education and research around the world.
B. Bruce Bare, Acting Dean