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Memo to Faculty & Staff: Thank You

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Last week was a period of rapid change. Many of you reported to your offices on Monday, and by the end of the week, most of us were working remotely. We’ve also been adjusting to new routines, new workspaces, and new co-workers (children, pets and other loved ones). We’re finding ways to stay in touch, thanks to technology like conference calls, message boards and video chats. But I know it will be a different experience in many ways over the coming weeks, not least of which is not seeing your students and your colleagues in person.

Our faculty and many of our graduate students are putting in tremendous work to prepare courses for remote instruction starting on Monday. This has been a huge task. The work has involved learning new technology, adjusting syllabi and assignments, seeking out resources, viewing webinars from KU and elsewhere, and connecting with colleagues to learn from them, all in the name of ensuring as rigorous an educational experience as you can still provide. This shift also has impacts to your research, pausing or significantly altering your progress in many cases.

Our staff have also had to make many swift adjustments, switching operations from in-person services to remote. Advisors are now working remotely, and made that change with incredible speed. In our departments, administrative staff have taken the lead in ensuring normalcy in whatever ways they can for daily department needs and operations. There have been communications to send, event cancellations or postponements to manage, and we’ve seen many staff thinking creatively about how to connect with our students and other partners without their physical presence on campus.

Please take good care of yourselves, be kind and patient with one another, and please let us know where we can help, at clasdean@ku.edu. We are monitoring this inbox frequently and sharing responsibility across our Leadership Team to answer your questions. If you haven’t yet, I also encourage you to visit https://remote.ku.edu/ to take stock of the many resources available to faculty, staff and students.

On behalf of the Dean’s Office and our students, I share deep appreciation for all your efforts to make this change. We are all in this together.


John Colombo, PhD
Interim Dean
Director, Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies
Professor of Psychology