Mar. 21, 2020

A note of appreciation

Dear Faculty Colleagues,

We’re not writing today to offer advice or direct you to the growing list of resources to help you make the unprecedented transition to remote teaching and advising. We’re writing to acknowledge your creativity in adversity, your dedication to our students, your solidarity with our staff, and your care for one another.

In less three weeks’ time and over your spring break, you’ve collaborated with colleagues to review learning goals and adapt them mid-semester to a new format. Understanding the potentially devastating impact of the abrupt end of the on-campus experience, you’ve comforted students and developed a plan for academic continuity. You’ve sought out training in what for many of you is new and unfamiliar territory. You’ve shared insights and tried your hand at new platforms like WebEx, Zoom, and Google hangouts. Recognizing the very different situations in which your students now find themselves, you’ve considered the methods and aims of remote instruction in terms of both equity and practicality. And yesterday, you held the first ever online faculty meeting, in which you voted to extend important accommodations to students.

All more impressive, you did this as your own lives and routines were being upended, sometimes daily, in ways that amplified the uncertainty. And so we wanted to express our admiration and our thanks. And if you’re feeling anxious about the resumption of classes next week, please do think about all that you’ve accomplished in such a short time and remember, too, that the semester’s routine, new and imperfect and experimental as it’s bound to be, should also offer a welcome sense of stability, continuity, and commitment to our shared mission.

With deep and abiding appreciation,

Jeff and Katherine

Jeff Cole
Dean of the Faculty

Katherine Bergeron