Welcome from the Dean
The spring issue of the CAS e-newsletter was ready to be mailed early last month. Then our world changed dramatically. The rapid spread of COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders meant that we had to quickly pivot to remote instruction and telecommuting. So, the newsletter was delayed.
The transition was demanding for all of us. As our president Suresh Garimella pointed out, many of the things we excel at—like personalized instruction and face-to-face mentoring—are the very things we are deprived of during this time of social distancing.
Faculty, staff and students have all had to make this transition against the backdrop of a true national crisis, the dimensions of which we are only beginning to understand. While learning and teaching from home, many of us are caring for young children who ordinarily would be in school, or watching out for the safety of our older relatives, friends and neighbors.
With the opportunity now to reflect on the past few months, I am filled with pride at the hard work of my faculty and staff colleagues and the spirit of collaboration across the college, including rapid adaptation to unfamiliar technologies. I am impressed by the resilience of our students. In these times we draw upon the reservoir of our experience and skills that we so highly value in the liberal arts: our adaptability, our originality and our persistence.
Finally, I’ve also been humbled by the unremitting support from our alumni and friends. In response to the questions “What do you need?” and “How can I help?” the UVM Foundation has established the Pandemic Response Fund to ensure UVM has the resources to help our campus community get through this pandemic. Gifts to the fund will support student emergency travel funds, remote education assistance, community online training sessions, and other campus responses.
While we are in challenging times, our commitment to each other will help us all see this through.
Wishing you good health and a happy spring.
Dean of Arts and Sciences