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Dear Colleagues,

This is an unprecedented, unsettling time. We all are adjusting to this new – and we hope, temporary – normal. Over the past two weeks, I have heard about faculty members, staff members, and graduate students across the college supporting one another, sharing advice for moving and running classes online, and working to build and maintain community. I greatly appreciate that you are doing all you can to keep LAS moving forward in a difficult time.

Because we ended face-to-face instruction March 13 and have been following the governor’s stay-at-home order, we have dramatically decreased the number of individuals who are likely to acquire the COVID-19 disease. Nonetheless, a growing number of people in our community have tested positive for COVID-19, and our thoughts are with them and their families as they recover. In the coming weeks, it is likely that more cases will emerge in our campus community and our college.

Dispersed across the state, nation, and world, our students are experiencing substantial uncertainty. For their benefit, it is important that we do everything we can to maintain course continuity now that instruction has moved online for the rest of the semester. With that in mind, we ask you to make contingency plans for how your classes will continue, should you become unavailable to teach for any reason.

You might make arrangements with a colleague for temporary assumption of class leadership, or you might prepare alternative activities or assignments that could fill in for a short time. No doubt there are many possibilities. Such contingency plans are very unlikely to be enacted, but in this time of uncertainty it is good to be prepared.  

Again, thank you for all of your work on our students’ behalf. I am so grateful for your flexibility and compassion throughout the transition to our new normal. 

Best wishes,

Feng Sheng Hu
Harry E. Preble Dean
Ralph E. Grim Professor