Dear College of Arts & Letters Staff and Faculty, 

Happy New Year’s Eve! From the start of the COVID-19 pandemic the safety of our community and the success of our students have been our top priorities. Our commitment to these priorities is reinforced by today’s communications from President Stanley and Provost Woodruff (below) announcing that we will start classes remotely for the first three weeks of the Spring 2022 semester. The general principle here is the need to de-densify campus at the beginning of the semester to slow the spread of the virus. 

Remote Teaching & Working 

To the extent possible, staff, students, and faculty should work, learn, and teach remotely. In unique circumstances where in-person work is necessary to meet learning, research, and creative activity objectives, I have asked that unit leaders and staff supervisors work together with the Dean’s Office on contingency plans that will prioritize safety and maximize our capacity to establish meaningful human connections.  

Courses and Modality Shifts 

For courses whose learning objectives are determined to be best met in-person, faculty members should revert to the social distancing safety protocols they devised for AY20-21. All courses that may need an in-person modality should be aware that students may not be able to attend in-person. Instructors in these sections will need to be prepared to provide remote learning opportunities for those students. Instructors should reach out to Scott Schopieray, Assistant Dean for Academic and Research Technology, and the Academic Technology Support team to think through how best to engage our remote students. They offer workshops, resources, and support for teaching and learning in all modalities. 

No modality shifts need to be recorded/changed in the Campus Solutions system based on this announcement.  

Unit Service Level Expectations  

We know there are areas that will need in-person staffing on campus. In these circumstances, I have asked that the unit leader, the staff member, and your functional staff team leader work together on contingency plans that will prioritize safety and maximize our capacity to respond to and support our students, staff, and faculty. Decisions in these cases should be guided by the values, priorities, and principles outlined in the 2020 Contingency Plan, keeping in mind the general principle to de-densify the campus for the next three weeks. We in the Dean’s Office are here to help you work through your decision-making processes in specific instances as needed.

Studio and Performance Spaces & Labs 

The College of Arts & Letters will have some lab, studio, and performance spaces open for undergraduate and graduate students needing courses in these spaces. Please work through your unit leaders on these contingency plans if there is a need to use a studio, performance, or lab space. 

Thank You 

As we move into a new year, I am grateful to pause here to recognize the leadership and integrity you all continue to provide during this extended period of intense uncertainty.  

May the Culture of Care we are establishing in the College continue to guide and sustain us as we navigate together all that the New Year will bring! 


Black signature of Dean Christopher P. Long

Christopher P. Long
Dean, College of Arts & Letters
Dean, Honors College