I am writing to tell you that, effective June 1, 2013, I am leaving Erikson Institute to accept an offer from the University of Nebraska where I will become the founding executive director of the newly established Buffett Early Childhood Institute.
Established with an endowment of more than $100 million thanks to a generous gift from philanthropist Susie Buffett and support from university, private, and federal sources, the institute will be a four-campus, university-wide, multidisciplinary research, education, and policy center committed to helping transform early childhood development and education in Nebraska and across the nation. I will hold an endowed chair in the Department of Child, Youth, and Family Studies on the Lincoln campus and faculty appointments on the other three campuses of the university as well.
Although this is an exciting opportunity for me, I take this step with mixed feelings. The 11 years I’ve spent at Erikson have been among the most exciting and fulfilling of my career.
Working with you and our wonderful faculty, staff, and trustees, it’s been immensely gratifying to increase the number of Erikson students, realize the dream of building our own building, develop new areas of research, expand our reach and impact in the city of Chicago and throughout the nation, establish strong clinical programs for at-risk and disabled children and families in distress, and invest in innovative methods of delivering our courses and improving the care and education of children from birth to age eight.
Building on a strong history of accomplishments, we have created something at Erikson that we can all be proud of, and I am most grateful for your support.
Although I will leave next June, Erikson will always be close to my heart. My wife Alice and I intend to maintain our residence in Lincoln Park and to remain lifelong allies of Erikson. I look forward to working with you for the balance of this academic year at Erikson and staying in touch for much longer than that.