Winter Solstice Message to Faculty and Staff

Dear College of Arts & Letters Staff and Faculty,

On this longest night of a challenging year, the fire we light together calls back the sun. As the winter solstice turns us toward the brighter days of a still inchoate spring, may you find time to be with those you love, to rest and reflect, and to restore the energy we will need to support our students and one another in the year to come.

In the days since our December 2020 College Meeting, the Dean’s Office and the College Advisory Council (CAC) have been working to identify ways to put care into action and to reduce the stress of the Spring semester. The CAC has developed a survey that invites you to share your needs so we can identify relief resources. When you have a moment, please complete the survey. While the University requires a written annual review, my expectation is that we will adjust review processes to minimize the work involved this spring. I have encouraged Chairs to work with Departmental Advisory Councils (DAC) and asked staff supervisors to consider ways to reduce the workload associated with annual review processes while finding ways to recognize the tremendous efforts each of you have made during a very difficult year.

As we pause during this liminal period between semesters, on the cusp of a new year, may the fire we kindle together through intentional practices of care provide warmth through the winter and sustain us into the oncoming spring.

Please be well, stay safe, and take care,


Black signature of Dean Christopher P. Long

Christopher P. Long
Dean, College of Arts & Letters