Welcome to the 2022-2023 Academic Year

Dear Faculty and Staff,

Welcome to the 2022-2023 Academic Year!  With our students back on our campuses, the University of Redlands has come alive again.  They are the reason we are here, and I know you join me in the pride I feel for our university community and the way we welcome, educate, and support our students.

Thank you to all of you who joined us for our fabulous Convocation last Wednesday night where we enthusiastically welcomed 553 new freshman students, 147 transfer students, and 350 graduate students.  What an accomplished group they are! 

As we enter our 115th year as a university, there is much to celebrate.  Fifteen new faculty members and 24 new staff members have joined the university this year, and all of us are squarely focused on providing you, our students, with the best educational, co-curricular and residential experience possible.

Here are a few updates I’m excited to share with you:

  • We are launching Esports!  I hope you will connect with our new Esports coach, Jacob Beach, and consider how we can best connect gaming with our current and future degree programs and co-curricular activities. Stay tuned for updates on this exciting development. 
  • The University has launched a new School of Performing Arts, and we are offering new programs across all our schools that provide exciting and expanded academic opportunities.  I’m especially excited to see Sweeney Todd in the spring. 
  • The University has broken ground on the new Coach Jim Verdieck Tennis Center, which will be finished by the end of this calendar year. 
  • Throughout the Academic Year, you will see a lot of commotion around campus as we move forward on several building renovations and other capital improvements, including the renovation and air-conditioning of Anderson Hall, the construction of our new walkway to the University Train Station (paid by state funds), a campus card lock and CCTV system to improve safety and security, upgrades to classrooms, student spaces, and academic buildings, and other projects to improve accessibility and safety. We are in the process of finalizing a debt restructuring and issuance of new debt to enable us to make headway on many student-centric, university improvement projects.   
  • We are also making great progress toward building a University Village on our South Campus.  We now have one measure on the November ballot that allows us to move forward with this development regardless of whether it passes.  We have also received over $7 million in state funds for the University Village project already, and as a reminder, the University will not be using any of our own funds to build the University Village.

All of the work we are doing aligns with the University’s draft strategic plan, including our enhanced mission, vision, and value statements.  We have scheduled opportunities for you to engage in discussions and provide feedback on the ongoing strategic planning process, including two Town Halls in September, before we finalize the plan.  And next week, I’m hosting my first-of-the-year Cookies with Cookie, a fun opportunity to meet up with my sweet dog, Cookie, and me.  You can sign up for all these events here.

I know that educating our students and creating such incredible experiences for them takes enormous work, and I want to thank you for everything you do.  This year, you will be receiving an additional four days off during your Winter Break to rest, recharge, and enjoy family and friends. A new Holiday Calendar will be circulated soon.  It will show that the University will be closed from Wednesday, December 21 until we return on Tuesday, January 3. 

Thank you for everything you do to make the University of Redlands the amazing place it is for our students, alumni, Redlands community, and for one another.

My very best wishes for a fabulous start to the Academic Year!



Krista Newkirk signature

Krista L. Newkirk