“Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant.”
Dear faculty and staff in the College of Arts & Sciences:
I want to thank all of you for your monumental efforts over the past 10 days. What we have accomplished together is truly amazing. In this short time, we have moved 98 percent of our classes to an online format, transitioned our work and meetings online, lent a helping hand to our colleagues when needed, supported our students both practically and emotionally, and demonstrated many other wonderful acts of comradery.
The CAS office remains open, albeit in an online version. We can take phone calls (which are forwarded) or respond by email. We also can schedule Zoom meetings if needed. We are here to serve you as we always have.
I am also impressed by the paramount concern shown for our students and their continued success. We recognize they need to continue to work toward successful completion and, in some cases, graduation this semester. While we as faculty and staff have felt stress, our students have faced many of these same stressors, but with the added burden of having to vacate their residences in a hurry. I walked around campus on Wednesday and saw their concerned looks as they were leaving. Thus, I ask that you continue to reassure them in the ways that you deem most appropriate.
I echo the recent comments of Chancellor Gilliam: “It is becoming ever clearer that these are unprecedented times. The pace of change, the urgency of decision-making, and the substantial complexity of the challenges we face have certainly made this a difficult time on our campus, in our community, and around the world. While we don’t have all the answers, nor know entirely what to expect, one thing is certain—We are in this together.”
Thanks again for all that you do, and please take care of yourself, your families, and your students.
In closing, I share one of my recent (and many) photos of Foust Hall, which has been standing since 1891. Think of what it has seen—two World Wars, the Spanish Flu, the Great Depression … and still it stands.
We are resilient.
Dean John Z. Kiss
Professor and Dean
College of Arts & Sciences