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Dear Cornellians,

Our lives have changed the past few weeks, as we navigate the severe challenges posed by the pandemic. As Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, I am reaching out to offer an update on how our community is adapting to change, and to perhaps offer some hope as we forge a path through these extraordinary circumstances.

At this point, the vast majority of our 4000+ undergraduate students have returned home. Our faculty and staff are working remotely, and we are preparing to move all 1177 courses taught in the College this semester to remote learning by April 6 when classes resume. As the largest college at Cornell with the most students, faculty and courses taught, it’s a monumental task to be accomplished in the span of only a few weeks.

I am continually impressed by the talent and perseverance of our community, and we remain committed to ensuring the success of our students. We prepare our students to thrive in this rapidly changing world, and we know that they will, just as so many who came before them continue to rise to the occasion, to lead, to serve and to innovate. I know that many of you are on the front lines, in hospitals, in government, in business and in other institutions that will see us through this global crisis. You are problem solvers. You think critically and deeply, and you care about your children’s and grandchildren’s futures, as well as your fellow Cornellians’.

Below we have included a few stories that convey how we have been adapting to these changes and how our faculty are engaging in the broader public discussions around the coronavirus pandemic. I wish for you and all of your family members good health, and I hope to see you on campus once we get through these uncertain times together.


Ray Jayawardhana
The Harold Tanner Dean of Arts & Sciences
Cornell University

"Everyone is just coming together right now."

Cornell's Center for Teaching Innovation is helping faculty prepare for the shift to virtual learning April 6.

“We’re so happy to do our small part to support the essential and heroic work being done by the health care professionals."

Faculty are helping students come up with solutions – ways they can be productive remotely, read papers and write.