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TO: University at Albany Community
FROM: President Karen R. Hitchcock
DATE: February 2, 2004

As you all know, this past Friday I met with Chancellor Robert King to request a leave of absence due to ongoing illness in my immediate family. The Chancellor graciously granted this request.

While our families are always our first consideration, my love and respect for all of you have made this a truly wrenching decision. As I have said so often in the past, a university is defined by those who have devoted their talents and energies to its programs of teaching, research and service to its many communities. I have, over my professional career, been at a number of excellent universities, but nowhere have I found the depth of commitment and dedication to the values of learning and discovery as here at UAlbany. Over the next several months, there will be many opportunities for me to share my thanks to you and my feelings for all of you in both formal and informal reflect on where we have come, together. However, today I wanted to take the opportunity to let you know that my thoughts are with you; that I am deeply proud of all we have accomplished together; and, that I know you will give Provost Carlos Santiago - now Officer-in-Charge - your full support as UAlbany continues to move forward under his leadership. We are all stewards of this exceptional institution; we are all committed to its goals and values. And, at times of transition, that stewardship and commitment provide the continuity of purpose which will assure our continued growth in excellence. For all you do to enrich this University, I thank you. The quality and depth of your programs have a pervasive and profound impact on those we serve. As I said at the outset, you define this University.

And, on a personal note, I can't thank you enough for your support and caring. Murray and I are deeply grateful. I look forward to the opportunity to extend these thanks and good wishes in person to each and every one of you over the months ahead. UAlbany has been my home for over 12 years and, as I said last October when I announced my intention to resign the Presidency at the end of this academic year, it - and all of you - will be in my heart forever.

Thank you, and every best wish to you all.



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