Update from Provost Aaron J. Kuecker, March 19, 2020

Dear Faculty,

Good morning! I write this morning with a brief update.

If you have not yet communicated to students in your courses, would you make an effort to do so today? Your email can simply let students know how you are anticipating approaching classes next week. You need not have all your details in order before your email – but your contact with them now will help ease student anxiety about this transition.

To provide space to launch courses next week, we will suspend all faculty committee meetings for at least one additional week. I will be in touch with committee chairs in the coming days to determine the most appropriate course of future action for committees that have work remaining for the semester.

I am working with the Academic Council to provide guidance on grading for the remainder of this semester. As an institution, we want to be highly attentive to the fact that students will experience this disruption in widely varied ways. Some will return to quiet homes with ample tech, while others will return to homes without ample tech and with numerous siblings participating in e-learning (just to cite one plausible example). Our goal is to ensure that students are not adversely impacted by this academic transition. Watch your email for guidance on this important issue.

Our colleagues in student life and athletics are working on an innovative and high touch approach to student success coaching during this transition. You can expect more information on this strategy in the coming days, but know that as you work to reconfigure your courses many others are working on other initiatives related to the flourishing of our students. We will all continue to seek their good in this challenging season.

Perhaps this goes without saying, but it is clear that we are now in a season that has activated widely shared grief, anxiety, fear, uncertainty, and confusion in our community. As we walk forward in faith, please be attentive to the fact that every one of your students and colleagues are navigating unprecedented circumstances that impact their lives and their families in profound ways. Let us move forward with an abundance of grace for our students and for one another. In so doing we can continue to reflect the self-giving love of God, which God has lavished upon each of us. Our community as a whole, and each of us as individuals, are in God’s care.

Thank you for the extraordinary steps that you are taking this week to prepare to launch your courses again on Monday. Please let me or my office know if there are particular ways we can support you today or in the days to come.


Aaron Kuecker, Provost

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