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April 10, 2020

Dear Members of Business and Finance,

Day-to-day life at UM looks significantly different today than it did one month ago, yet one thing that has not changed is my sincere appreciation for the Business and Finance team. Your actions and dedication to the University mission, to our 'Canes family, and to our community is heartening—evidence that even in these unpredictable times we can come together and tackle any challenge that comes our way.

I understand that this is an incredibly stressful and trying time for everyone: those working to balance work and family, those facing health issues and worrying about the health of loved ones, and those feeling overwhelmed by the overall uncertainty of the situation. We also had a tough start to this week with the announcement of the steps we are taking to mitigate the near-term financial impacts of the coronavirus, and we continued to send positive thoughts and gratitude for our colleagues at UHealth and our essential workers. So, I reached out for a pep talk from two people I greatly admire. I asked our UM Basketball coaches for some words of encouragement that we can take with us as we shut down our home offices and head into this special weekend.

Q: Any advice on how to deal with a formidable opponent like the coronavirus?

Jim Larrañaga, UM's Head Men's Basketball Coach:
"We are living during an extraordinary time in world history. The coronavirus has knocked us down, but it hasn't knocked us out.
It's easy to sacrifice when everything is going well, but teamwork—true teamwork—is about pulling together and helping each other when adversity hits. Now is the time to raise up to this challenge and bring out the best in each other."
"Success is never final, and failure is never fatal. It's courage that counts."
–Winston Churchill
Katie Meier, UM's Head Women's Basketball Coach:
In times when resources or sheer raw talent is missing (injury), I've always found that enthusiasm is a great 'hole-filler.' I've never seen a team or organization overachieve without enthusiasm, but I have seen many teams underachieve because they lacked it. So, in times like these, when our backs are against the wall, make sure you bring enthusiasm every day."
"Nothing great was ever accomplished without enthusiasm!"
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

As we continue to adjust to these extraordinary circumstances, let's continue to work with the same spirit of collaboration and enthusiasm that we have used thus far in facing this pandemic. We are running a marathon, not a sprint—and as we execute our game plan to tackle the obstacles in our way from COVID-19, we all have a role to play, and some of you may be asked to play more than one role or a different role entirely. However, like all of history's greatest teams, we will get through this, and we'll get through it together. We will win.

As your leader of our Business and Finance team, I couldn't be prouder of the points we are putting on the board. Thank you for being the best teammates anyone could ask for.

Wishing you all a restful weekend, and of course... GO 'C-A-N-E-S!

Always my best,


Jacqueline A. Travisano, Ed.D.
Executive Vice President for Business and Finance & Chief Operating Officer