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An Open Letter From Patrick T. Harker

From: Patrick T. Harker <[email protected]

Date: Mon, Mar 2, 2015 at 10:06 AM
Subject: [UDEL-ALL-2153] A new endeavor
To: All

March 2, 2015


To the members of the University of Delaware community:


With mixed emotions including joy and indescribable relief – actually just those two – I write to tell you I will be stepping down as president of the University of Delaware to become president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, effective July 1. Yes, you read that correctly. I am literally going to be in charge of money. I’m crying so many tears of joy I can barely see the computer monitor right now.


It has been an honor and a privilege to use my service as president of this university to get the highest salary of any public official in the state, and in turn leave that position for a better job. Working with our motivated students, illustrious faculty and dedicated staff has been inspiring, invigorating and unforgettable. The most unforgettable parts were when our students were motivated to I’m-Shmacked-slow-riot on Main Street, when our illustrious faculty was illustrious enough to almost get a job at Cambridge University only to be foiled by some meddling kids and their incessant need to have transparency in sexual assault adjudication, and when our staff dedicated themselves to making sure, no matter how much it snowed, that we would have school in the morning. Although I have not talked to the students about it, I’m sure the staff’s hard work earned their love and appreciation.


Together we have accomplished much over the past eight years: facing vague challenges, crafting vaguer solutions, maximizing opportunities from those vague standards to get me my new job, and ensuring the future of this noble institution, assuming my successor can continue to trick wealthy New Jersey students into paying more than twice what they would pay in-state.


With your expertise and commitment to going along with my projects – not that you had a choice – we have enhanced our outstanding reputation and expanded UD’s contributions to the state, the nation and the world. For instance, see two paragraphs above. These achievements position us well in the increasingly challenging world of higher education. I mean, I think. I’m leaving, and it’s totally possible I shouldered all of you with an unsustainable system and infrastructure of growth. But that’s not my problem now.


Over the next four months, I will work closely with our Board of Trustees and our dedicated administrative team to ensure smooth transition in leadership. By that I mean I don’t care who takes over for me. Did I mention I have a new job?


While I am excited about my new role with the Philadelphia Fed — like really excited, the joy-tears are coming back — I will miss working on this beautiful campus with the best students and the most dedicated faculty and staff in American higher education.


God, I’m so happy that’s the last time I’ll have to pander to you all like that.


With respect and, um gratitude I guess,


Patrick T. Harker

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