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Seligman says goodbye – for the moment – to the UR 

In an often emotional speech on Tuesday, University of Rochester President Joel Seligman gave a farewell address to a packed auditorium at the Memorial Art Gallery.

Seligman, whose last day will be February 28, announced his resignation last month, as controversy continued over sexual harassment charges against UR Professor Florian Jaeger. In his address yesterday Seligman didn't refer to the controversy. Instead, he focused on the broader developments that have taken place during his 12 years as UR president.

click to enlarge University of Rochester President Joel Seligman, preparing to leave "the best job in the Universe." - RENEE HEININGER
  • Renee Heininger
  • University of Rochester President Joel Seligman, preparing to leave "the best job in the Universe."
He noted the University's growth and accomplishments during his tenure and praised its faculty, staff, board, and volunteers. He urged the University "to continue with full vigor" the efforts begun as part of its 2015 strategic initiative, in data science, neuroscience, humanities and performing arts, involvement with the community, and health care.

He talked about both the difficulty and the pleasure of his work here: long hours, juggling complex competing interests, middle-of-the-night crises. And he related the story of a UR trustee saying to him recently: "This must be the worst friggin' job in the Universe."

"I disagreed," he said yesterday. "This is the best job in the Universe."

Seligman, who came here after serving as dean of the law school at Washington University, has clearly loved his time at the UR - so much so, that despite the trauma of the past months, he plans to return to teach after taking a year's sabbatical.

Professor Richard Feldman, who served as dean of the University's College from 2006 to 2017, will serve as interim president while the board of trustees conducts a search for Seligman's successor.


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