Letter to Hamline Faculty and Staff

Dear Hamline University Faculty and Staff: 

One of my great satisfactions as president of Hamline University has been in my continual efforts to support you—our faculty and staff. The challenges to Hamline during my tenure have been real, but we weathered every storm and have emerged stronger for our collective efforts. 

When I became president of Hamline University in July of 2015, I was encouraged by what we could accomplish together. In just a few short years, we have done much. We have strengthened the curriculum for students. Increased our scholarship and financial support for students. We have diversified our campus in terms of student demographics, especially race, ethnicity, class, identity and sexual orientation. We have continued to support the professional growth of both faculty and staff. We have raised the visibility of Hamline through the appointment of a distinguished university professor and through the important research that so many of you are doing, as well as through the community partnerships that have been fostered. 

As a small university, we have learned how to do more with less. We have been able to identify particular areas for attention and to make needed changes. Budgets have been balanced for the last eight years, though they have been tight. Yet, through the hard work of all of us, we have been able to budget for merit increases for six out of the last eight years.  

When COVID descended on our nation unexpectedly, it had an impact upon our Hamline community in ways we never imagined and hope never happens again. Yet, like the phoenix bird we rose from the fire. Faculty and staff alike adjusted to the changed reality and made it possible for our students to continue with their studies and campus activities. 

As Maya Angelou opined, “and still I rise,” this is our moment to rise again. It is also our moment to do as John Wesley asked of us all—to do “all the good we can.”

In 1957, to an audience in Montgomery, Alabama, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” To echo Dr. King’s words, my question is, what will we do for each other? 

I have asked each of our campus organizations—HUSC, HUSA, Faculty Council—to select at least two members from their organization to serve on a planning committee for the community conversations that are so much needed at Hamline right now. HUSC also has planned community conversations. One is scheduled for February 7th and the other is February 15th. If Hamline is to continue to rise, I strongly urge you to participate in the community conversations. It is for our love of Hamline and its future that I hope you will do so.


Fayneese Miller