March 19, 2020
Like all of you, I am accustomed to the buzz of campus - students, faculty and staff going about their daily routines. Over the last few days, campus has become increasingly quiet as our collective routines have been upended by the measures taken due to the coronavirus.
So much is drastically different in a really short period of time. Face-to-face classes have been moved online, and most faculty and staff are working remotely. Where possible, students who live on campus are being encouraged to move back home.
Based on guidance from health officials, and on directives from state and federal government leaders, social distancing is being implemented to limit personal interactions in hopes of slowing the spread of the coronavirus. For an institution that takes great pride in its personal and caring approach and maintaining a family-like atmosphere, these changes are really difficult for all of us.
But caring deeply about our students requires that we do everything possible to protect your health and safety. The University’s role in our community and society also means that we must do everything possible to help protect public health. As a result, we are implementing these difficult measures.
I know each of you have frustrations and challenges resulting from these changes. Many of you did not sign up for online classes – that is not what you expected and planned for. Please keep in mind that many faculty members did not expect to be teaching online courses. Like many of you, some of them also face personal frustrations and challenges stemming from the changes caused by the coronavirus.
Because we all find ourselves in a situation for which we had not planned and did not expect, we have to have realistic expectations. It may not be much consolation, but keep in mind that right now, everybody everywhere is dealing with their own version of these challenges.
I am asking everyone to be patient and to be calm. I assure you our faculty and staff still care deeply about you. They are working hard every day to help preserve the health and safety of all members of the Southeastern family while still providing you, our students, with the opportunity to continue making progress toward achieving your educational goals.
As always, I want to thank you for being part of the Southeastern family.
John L. Crain