Lori E. Varlotta

Messages to Campus


  • Hopeful Change in the Newest of New Years
    Thu September 9, 2021

    For the first time in my 36 years in academia, more than half of our students are new to the university at this very moment. Many of our new faculty and staff who started during the pandemic also are experiencing campus life for the first time. They, too, are getting a sense of the rhythms of a semester where face-to-face instruction and co-curricular activities are the re-emergent norm. All of this gives us the chance to embrace the start of this academic year like we have embraced no other year before.

  • Launching our General Education Task Force
    Tue June 29, 2021

    Our core curriculum must evolve into one that is designed to help students find their vocation and their purpose, become agile thinkers and constructive doers, and live and work as engaged citizens who understand the intricacies and intersections ever-present in today’s global society.

  • Meet in the Park
    Thu May 27, 2021

    One of the bright spots that emerged at Cal Lutheran during the pandemic is that we have a viable option of taking some of our work “outside.”

  • A pause for celebration
    Thu May 13, 2021

    It is hard to believe that finals week for the 2020-21 academic year has come to a close, and we have already celebrated our 2021 Traditional Undergraduates at the in-person, drive-in ceremony at the Ventura County Fairgrounds last weekend. 

  • The semester's end is in sight
    Thu April 22, 2021

    In less than one month, the academic semester will be over, and we will have all completed a challenging academic year.

  • Generosity in Action - the Spirit and Action of Cares Day
    Thu April 8, 2021

    Yesterday, a three-month planning process culminated in a stunningly successful fundraising campaign called Cal Lutheran Cares Day: Stronger Together!

  • Values in Action: Expressions of Gratitude for Those Around Us
    Thu March 25, 2021

    We are more than one full year into the pandemic. When we vacated our campuses and our classrooms last March who would have imagined that the world we knew then would be disrupted at this level for this length of time? Over the last twelve months, all of us have become innovators and change agents. 

  • Repopulating the campus and weighing into the TO General Plan
    Thu March 11, 2021

    Next week marks the one-year anniversary of when Cal Lutheran students, faculty, and staff were sent home to study and work.

  • New positions, a reflective goodbye, and summaries of important updates
    Thu February 25, 2021

    I will use today’s biweekly message to summarize news mentioned in three communiques and to provide an exciting update on our DEI efforts.

  • New spaces, more faces, and much to do
    Thu February 11, 2021

    It’s nice to see the slow but sure increase in activity on our Thousand Oaks campus. Our residential students have settled in, athletic teams are starting to practice, and slightly more staff members are working on-site. 

  • Building the Structures Necessary for Mid-21st Century Success
    Thu January 28, 2021

    Every now and then I want to provide updates geared primarily to employees. Since this is one of those times, today’s note is written primarily for faculty and staff. 

  • Paying Homage to King, Welcoming A New Year, and Doubling Down on our Purpose
    Thu January 14, 2021

    I write this first note of the new year with a mind that is fully occupied and a heart that is heavy yet hopeful at the same time.

  • Cal Lutheran’s Bright Spot in 2020–Student Success
    Thu December 17, 2020

    As 2020 draws to a close and we head toward a much-needed holiday break, I want to thank all of you for everything you have done this year.

  • Nearing the Final Stretch of Fall 2020
    Thu November 19, 2020

    It’s hard to believe that for many of us Fall 2020 is in the final wind-down phase, and those of you taking and teaching undergraduate classes will soon be finished with that part of your work for the term.

  • What kind of community are we?
    Thu November 12, 2020

    I am in day 72 of my Cal Lutheran presidency, having arrived at a time when periods are measured in days and weeks rather than years.

  • A gradual return to campus and some of the things we have missed
    Thu October 29, 2020

    With November fast approaching, I want to update you on where the members of Cabinet and the Emergency Operations Committee are in terms of our phased-in repopulation plan.

  • Looking ahead to the late fall and early spring
    Thu October 15, 2020

    I thought it would be helpful to share the current COVID-19-related guidance that has emerged since the President's Update I delivered in early October.

  • Shoring up finances, reconfiguring structures, prioritizing DI efforts
    Thu October 1, 2020

    During my first Operational Update webinar last week, I shared the latest information related to Cal Lutheran’s revenue shortfall and the mitigation strategies the Cabinet aimed to put in place to close the gap.

  • Continuing a faith journey that embodies Lutheran Values
    Thu September 17, 2020

    Sometimes, or should I say “often,” my office staff knows best. Earlier this week, they suggested that I send these notes on the Thursday that falls in between the Connecting@CalLutheran gatherings rather than on the same week. 

  • President Varlotta’s Inaugural Note to Campus
    Thu September 10, 2020

    I believe it is important for a president to communicate openly and routinely with the entire university. Therefore, I am going to continue a practice I started during my first presidency—sending personal notes to the campus community twice each month.

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