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College of Arts & Letters News

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Students sitting and talking outside Barry Arts Building.

Message regarding COVID-19 and the Future

I continue to think of you and your families as we face the challenges evoked by the COVID-19 pandemic. I encourage you to do all that you can to keep yourself, your loved ones, and the larger community as healthy as possible. You are valued colleagues, and your safety and well-being are key concerns of the College and University.

The last several months have been daunting. In addition to dealing with a virus that has serious health implications, we have had to grapple with the loss of valued routines, activities, and daily relationships. I know that it has not been easy for you to deal with these threats and losses, so I want to thank you for the flexibility, dedication, and resilience you have shown. I am deeply grateful for the thoughtful work you have done in addressing a vexing situation, particularly as you successfully converted hundreds of courses to an online format. Because of your efforts, thousands of students could continue to have quality learning experiences and make progress in completing their degrees.

As we think about the future, we cannot avoid feeling at least some measure of anxiety and uncertainty. After all, we find ourselves facing a once-in-a-century event. But given what I know about you and I know about the College, I trust that we will rise to the challenges that lie ahead. I feel confident because I know your strengths, I know your commitment, and I know your collaborative and inspiring spirit. That makes it easy to believe in you!

Finally, I want to stress that the College and its units stand ready to support you as we face the challenges that will arise this fall. I encourage you to submit any related needs that you have to your department chairs or unit heads if you haven't already done so. I also encourage you to visit the ODU Blueprint site for helpful information about the reopening of campus and COVID-19 guidelines and precautions.