Dear Colleagues and Students
I am honoured that the Governing Authority has appointed me to lead the University of Limerick through the next decade of its advancement. I am very much looking forward to working with you to build on UL’s very many achievements and to ensure that we will continue to thrive.
The past year has shown me, time and time again, our deep resilience, our ingenuity and the passion that all of us have for this institution.
The challenges we face are significant, as an organisation, as a country and as inhabitants of a planet with finite resources. But I am intent that working together we will harness the opportunities. I believe that this university has great potential to be a leading driver of transformation where all members of our community are empowered and share in the UL vison, values and objectives. One of my key goals is to nurture a culture of transparency and accountability, devolved responsibility, mutual respect and trust.
UL is one of the most welcoming and inclusive communities that I know. I also know that we all agree that widening access to higher education is essential. I want to foster diversity of talent and experience. Having confidence in our human rights and equality, diversity and inclusion policy means ‘living our values’ so that we will develop our organisation, our people, and continue to improve collectively and individually.
I firmly believe that UL can be an agent of change and contribute to addressing the existential and systemic challenges we face as humans. With research and education at our core, we must become shapers of a thriveable world, of a world which enables the future evolution of humankind based on the respective stewardship for the planet, all life on earth and ‘the commons’, where we share our resources.
Fifty years on, as a still young and dynamic institution, I want us to capitalise on our heritage as pioneer, entrepreneur and disruptor. We have a major part to play in the social, economic and ecological transformation of the Mid-West region.
Excellence in research with societal impact underpinned by strategic investment, a fertile research culture and a strengthened research support infrastructure will ensure that we grow our reputation and competitiveness, nationally and internationally. We must advance the continuum of discovery and applied research through to knowledge exchange and commercialisation. I am determined that we will build on our strengths, harness emerging opportunities, and drive strategic collaborations with academic partners, industry, community and government.
This partnership model also creates the foundation for the transformation of our educational offer. We want our graduates to embrace complexity, live with ambiguity and develop resilience. We want to stimulate our students’ inquisitiveness and imagination, critical judgement and agency for change. We can achieve this by fully implementing challenge-based and research-led, work-integrated and experiential learning.
It is an exciting time for us. Developing our City Centre campus over the next period will enable us to strengthen UL’s civil and civic mission, to grow connectivity and collaborations with communities, business and industry as well as with Limerick City and County Council. We will impact tangibly on place-making and the regeneration of the city and the region.
We are fortunate to have great cultural and creative wealth. If proof was needed, the pandemic has demonstrated what an immense contribution the arts and sports make to our sense of identity and belonging, to the sharing of beliefs and values, and to our well-being, individually and collectively. We have a wonderful opportunity to nurture, enrich and share our creativity with the communities we serve; stimulate curiosity, imagine alternative futures, encourage empathy, understanding and the appreciation of difference.
We are celebrating our fiftieth anniversary next year. I welcome the opportunity to work together with you all and with our partners to shape the future of UL as we reflect on the past fifty years and embark on our momentous voyage into the next half century.
Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine.
Gemeinsam sind wir stark!
Together we are strong!
Professor Kerstin Mey
Uachtarán / President
Oifig an Uachtaráin / Office of the President
Ollscoil Luimnigh / University of Limerick