Safety and Emergency Information

Message from the Provost

Date: 3/25/2020
From: Provost - Vice President for Academic Affairs
Subject: Message from the Provost

Dear faculty colleagues,

So much has changed in just a few weeks. The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that we have all switched over to virtual instruction and remote work in an extremely short period of time. The governor and other leaders have advised us to stay home. “Social distancing,” “self-quarantine” and “flatten the curve” are now common phrases in our conversations.   

Remote work is still work and I’m finding that working from home a few days a week can have its rewards and challenges. As I sit in my office in front of my computer writing this letter, I glance out the window and see an occasional visitor and a few cars on the campus. Probably the most difficult part of working remotely is finding ways to overcome feelings of isolation and to redefine “normal.”

While the past few weeks have been stressful and tiring, I have also been inspired and awed by your creativity and commitment. Seeing faculty colleagues come together to support each other truly epitomizes our shared dedication to our students and their success. You, our faculty, have been incredibly thoughtful and innovative in your approaches to continuing our core academic endeavor of teaching and learning and to finding creative ways for students to meet the learning outcomes and expectations of your courses. And, I am so grateful for each of you as well as the continuing support that the Faculty Center and e-Learning are providing to our community of learning. We have instructional designers and faculty professional development mentors and coaches available to help.  Please visit the academic continuity website to learn more about the resources and support that are available.

I know that you are working hard and doing your best.  You have my full support and encouragement to be flexible in the approaches you take with your courses and in addressing the collective and individual needs of our students. If you find that your students need special assistance (e.g. laptops, hotspots, technology support, etc.) during this public health crisis, please encourage them to email I have no doubt that one of the most lasting impacts you will have on students this year is in the resilience that they learn from how you have met this unprecedented challenge.  

While our environment continues to change daily and, even by the minute, if we approach change with courage, creativity, kindness and grace, together we will get through these most challenging days.

With gratitude,

Sylvia A. Alva, Ph.D
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs