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Dear students in the College of Arts & Sciences,

I hope that your first week of classes went well. I enjoyed seeing the campus bustling once again with your energy.

I’m writing today to let you know that I am firmly committed to you, our students, having the essentials of a residential experience this semester, which will include your having the vast majority of your classes conducted in-person. We know that the on-campus experience is critical, not just for learning but for mental health and well-being. We are fighting COVID using a three-pronged approach of vaccination, testing (for those not vaccinated) and masking indoors.

Our faculty know that they cannot change a mode of instruction for a class from in-person to remote without formal accommodation through the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office (EOC). Requests to temporarily move a class online short-term must be approved by the department chair and the Dean’s Office. During this semester, there may be a few instances where an instructor needs to move a class to remote learning, due to unforeseen circumstances. Faculty and graduate students who lead classes are also parents, caretakers and advocates. We anticipate these occasions as being few in number as well as short in duration.

Of course, we recognize that students may become ill or have care-giving responsibilities that might necessitate them missing classes. We have encouraged our faculty to be flexible. If such absences rise to the level of a university-approved absence, students can make that request through the UAAO.

Our infectious disease colleagues continue to closely track the pandemic, and as the situation evolves, we will make necessary adjustments in order to maintain a safe learning environment for both our campus and the communities surrounding us.

May you have a rewarding fall semester.


Terry Ellen Rhodes (’78)

Dean, College of Arts & Sciences

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