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Dear faculty, staff and graduate students,

Our daily lives have changed dramatically in the past few weeks. This note is not to pass along another policy change, but to acknowledge what you have already accomplished and to thank you for your perseverance throughout these difficult times.

We are worrying about our parents, other family members and friends, while we adjust to solitude or a house filled with rambunctious children. We are negotiating internet bandwidth and home office space with our partners, and some of us are seeing them off to face a job on the front lines of this pandemic. With two young children at home and a spouse who works in a hospital, I take comfort in knowing that we can all relate to the challenges that we face collectively.

At this point, the vast majority of our undergraduate students have returned home. We have paused our work in research laboratories and onsite collections. Nearly all of us are now working remotely, and we are preparing to move all 1,177 courses taught in the College this semester to remote learning by April 6 when classes resume. That is no small feat, and I thank you most sincerely for rising up to the challenge.

I realize these changes are painful at times, and we will no doubt have more challenges ahead. However, I am confident that we will come out of this disruption stronger because I have witnessed so many of you supporting others and contributing your talents and expertise to forge ahead. I am proud to be a part of this caring and resilient community.

In the meantime, please stay connected to one another. If you have questions, we have compiled resources, links to contacts and past communications for reference on the College’s COVID-19 Resources & Updates page. Given the positive feedback that we received about last week’s virtual forum, we do plan to hold another soon.

Read on for some great stories that feature members of our community and the ways they are adapting to these changes, as well as a roundup of faculty in the news addressing the pandemic from a variety of perspectives.

Please prioritize your health and that of your families. We will get through this together.

Sincerely,

Ray Jayawardhana
The Harold Tanner Dean of Arts & Sciences

"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.

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

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

Recently in the Media

Kaushik Basu, “More than rate cuts: The coronavirus demands a coordinated global policy response,” MarketWatch

Magnus Fiskesjö, “China is mobilizing to control the narrative on coronavirus,” Quartz

Lawrence Glickman, “Is Donald Trump delusional or a gaslighter? Media should say clearly: It's both,” Salon

Suzanne Mettler, “The pandemic could change how Americans view government,” The Atlantic

Noliwe Rooks, “Inside New York City’s blitz to create online classes for 1.1 million students,” Wall Street Journal

Jeremy Lee Wallace, “China is reporting big successes in the coronavirus fight. Should we trust the numbers?” Washington Post

Jessica Chen Weiss, “Coronavirus worsens U.S.-China ties and bolsters hawks in Washington,” New York Times