We continue to balance the public health and safety of our communities with the educational needs of our students and the personal and professional challenges our faculty and staff are facing as we work to serve them. We are monitoring the constantly changing public health situation literally hour by hour, and taking additional responsible steps to adjust to our current realities.
I’m writing to let you know what we’re working on.
Before I do, though, let me start by thanking you for your hard work over the last few weeks. I know more work is ahead of us, which we’ll have to do together. But I want to recognize how incredibly resilient and adaptable you’ve been in the most trying circumstances. Simply put, thank you.
Recognizing that we are all facing K-12 school closures, childcare disruption, and similar unexpected changes to our daily life, we continue to review how we can be more flexible for our faculty and staff with leave and work-from-home arrangements. We will share more information this week as campus faculty and staff needs become more clear.
Our students and faculty face the same personal challenges as they look ahead to the transition to online or other distance learning and instruction. We are assessing whether additional time is necessary to ensure this transition causes the least disruption possible in the lives of our students, faculty, and staff. We will also be sharing more information as the week progresses about any further support we can provide for them.
Finally, with our work to ensure that our students’ educational progress continues, I’m personally conscious that we have a few thousand students nearing degree completion who expected to celebrate their accomplishments with traditional commencement exercises. It is too early to know when public health restrictions will ease, but I am committed, along with our Presidents, to making a decision no later than April 15 about how to recognize our students’ degree-completion accomplishments.
I will report again soon. Thank you for your work, and please do all you can to maintain your good health.
Emailed to all University Employees 3/16/20