March 19, 2020
Dear Faculty and Staff,
I hope that you and your families are safe and healthy. Thank you so much for working so diligently to face the crisis and for the solutions you’ve provided no matter what the challenge. I am proud and grateful to be with you. Most of you are working from home but some of you are on campus keeping the essential services going and/or leading the troops. My team and I thank you all, but particularly those who are on campus.
I wanted to let you know that after careful consideration and consultation, we have made the following three decisions. You can refer to my letter to students for more details.
- All classes will be offered remotely for the rest of the Spring Semester.
- Graduation ceremonies have been postponed until late summer/early fall.
- In the context of the current breakdown of our economy and the long road ahead, the Board of Regents has asked us to not take any new financial obligations because they (and we, too) are witnessing layoffs and pay cuts in almost all businesses around us. To comply with this directive and to be committed to the people already on the payroll, I have asked vice presidents to put a 30-day pause on signing off on any kind of new financial obligation including hires, contracts, procurement, etc.
During this time, we can come together and work out different scenarios and see what our best options are. This is not a hiring freeze but a 30-day pause to carefully formulate our strategy through the process of shared governance. Your guidance through deans/directors or Faculty Senate/Staff Council will be extremely important.
Thank you again for your dedication, commitment and engagement.
With warm regards,