April 21 Message to Graduate/Professional Students: Getting Ready for Fall

To Our Graduate and Professional Students:

Your programs follow several different schedules, from year-round studies to 16-week semesters to a range of others between the two.

But whether you draw from earlier experiences or current-day calendars, late August often brings a sense of new beginnings.

Many of you start classes. Nearly all of you see undergraduates arriving in droves. Lecture series and other events ramp up, and the campus feels fully alive.

This year, those moments will be especially welcome.

After experiencing weeks of a nearly empty campus, we will begin a gradual return-to-work process in accordance with the state’s direction.

As part of ensuring everyone’s health and safety, we are collaborating with hospital partners and others to secure supplies such as test kits, hand sanitizer, masks and more. We are looking at new approaches to class schedules, student activities and health services. And we are working with infectious disease experts on our faculty to help inform key decisions.

We also have enormous faith in the collective efforts of scientists, health care providers and public health officials tackling this virus around the world. We see progress in our own laboratories, and in the exceptional efforts of other faculty and students.

We are also realistic. We recognize that COVID-19 could be with us for some time to come. At the same time, our experiences to date have taught us well. We have learned much already about protecting students, faculty and staff. We will build on these lessons as employees come back to campus, and then again as students move in to summer housing.

We will be as prepared as humanly possible when fall classes begin.

We cannot wait to see all of you back on campus.

Barbara R. Snyder

Ben Vinson III
Provost and Executive Vice President