March 25, 2020
As announced in Teresa’s campus email a moment ago, we have now decided that the entirety of Spring term courses must be online.
Earlier in the week, I consulted with faculty leadership regarding this change. Every day that passes, it becomes clearer that stay-at-home orders and travel restrictions will expand and raise greater obstacles to our students’ return. In this atmosphere, we realize that the uncertainty around this question becomes a heavier burden than the hope that springs from a possible return to campus on May 4.
I want to acknowledge the weight of this decision. We asked instructors to prepare for online courses for the entirety of the term. Therefore, I can accept the logic of the decision while also recognizing the tinge of sadness in it. I further feel the frustration that we cannot be in a room to discuss such a decision, measure its impact, and come to a shared understanding. That would be our way, after all.
At the same time, taking the solace that clarity provides, I encourage you to forge ahead with plans for your spring courses. I know creativity and reinvention are at the heart of these preparations and that students will soon enjoy their benefits. Moving our education to an online environment has always been a process, not a moment. We will continue to find ways to share the work we are doing.
We will continue to update the ”Going Online” page into and through the start of classes next week.
Finally, we have an organized series of messages that we will share with students in the days ahead. The first one about spring registration goes out today. We will copy you on these messages and share the location where they will be catalogued for your reference.