Undergraduate Academic Affairs

October 5, 2021

Welcome to campus, we belong together

Ed Taylor

Photo of Ed Taylor

Vice Provost and Dean Ed Taylor

We belong together. I made that statement at this year’s New Student Convocation, an annual event filled with academic flourishes to mark the beginning of a student’s university journey. This year’s event was decidedly different and intentionally formatted for public safety. We are still trying to emerge from a pandemic, after all, so this year’s event was under a tent with new students only. I hope their families and loved ones were watching the livestream so they could share the moment. These times are still not yet “normal” and require all of us to continue to adjust our sails.

But we belong together. The University of Washington’s leaders made that important declaration when we determined that we could bring our campus community back together safely with public health protocols and expectations for caring for our common good in place. I am encouraged about the year ahead.

In Undergraduate Academic Affairs, much of our work is centered around creating a sense of belonging among students. To that end, we come together to serve every student, no matter how they got here. From finding common ground through Advising & Orientation to developing and leading co-curricular experiences so undergraduates can access a truly transformational education alongside their peers, faculty and staff. Connecting, finding belonging amidst the many opportunities at the UW is foundational for undergraduates.

Together, and only together, can we create the kinds of classrooms, community-based opportunities, research spaces and campus that will enable deep learning for all our students. Together, we support students from the time they are admitted through graduation. Today’s undergraduates are tomorrow’s teachers, business people, civic leaders, doctors, nurses, scientists, artists. UAA’s reach across campus and into research spaces and the community is an intentional move toward connecting students to the big issues that are affecting people and the people who are working on solutions to these issues. In this way we take steps toward a future that is equitable and just, healthy and whole, innovative and informed. This work can only be done together.

Welcome to campus. We belong together, and together, we are strong, healthy, brave and boundless.