Dear B&F Colleagues:
It is with mixed emotions that I share my plan to leave U-M at the end of June to become president of the University of Phoenix. The University of Phoenix is one of the largest degree-granting universities in the world serving over 250,000 non-traditional, mid-career adults in need of flexible, quality education through online and physical classrooms across the country.
As you know, I am passionate about higher education and believe deeply in the important role the University of Michigan plays in preparing future leaders and helping to solve many of our most vexing societal challenges. We know, too, that our country’s competitiveness will rely on the full spectrum of higher education opportunities to educate our workforce so it can meet its potential and fuel U.S. economic development. The University of Phoenix pioneered online learning in the late 1980s, and though the enterprise has been through significant challenges I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to lead a new generation of diverse online learners in a model well matched with student success, affordability and employer needs.
As you can imagine, this has been a tough decision for me because I love doing what I do for this university and I love working with all of you to “Make Blue Go” each day. You have deep expertise in your respective areas and a great understanding of U-M’s mission. Your commitment to doing the right thing for the long-term and your successful efforts to improve efficiency, customer service and the work environment of our organization have been validated by clear metrics and are a large part of what motivates me to come to work every day.
Thank you for what you have accomplished over the last 12 years while I had the honor of serving alongside you. Collectively we have met the largest and smallest challenges — posed by our external environment and rapidly changing campus needs — with innovative new ways of doing business. I can say with confidence that the university’s financial condition, physical and technological assets, and employee support systems are much stronger now than 12 years ago despite having experienced the great recession of 2009, the substantial reduction in state appropriations, and growing competition for students, research grants and patients.
I will continue in my position through the June Board of Regents meeting and begin my new role at the University of Phoenix June 20, 2014.
Ours is a magnificent, world-class university. Thank you for your help and support along the way, without which I could not have been successful and would not have experienced as much joy in my role.
Timothy P. Slottow
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer