Message from Dean Lach: some Friday evening thoughts

March 20, 2020

Dear SEAS Faculty and Staff,

As I sit here in my home "office" (a bedroom with a chair and table) on the Friday evening of what has been by far the most stressful, challenging, and surreal Spring "Break" that I've ever experienced, I am thinking about all of you and all of our students, and I wanted to share a few thoughts.

First - thank you! I know everyone has been working hard to support our students and each other while still ensuring that our school effectively pursues our mission. People are going above and beyond during an unprecedented time of uncertainty, and it is truly appreciated.

Part of that hard work has been preparing for next week and the move to online education. I'm sure there will be challenges in that, from technical difficulties to pedagogical concerns, but I know you all are committed to providing our students the best possible education. And for that, I am very grateful, and I'm sure our students, their families, and the global community they ultimately serve will be, too. (Reminder: a number of instruction resources are posted here: https://seascf.seas.gwu.edu/instructional-resources)

Finally, a reminder to please be patient and understanding with our students and with each other. Many people are experiencing great hardships and tremendous anxiety that might be difficult to fully appreciate, especially online. The university has taken steps this week to help with that (pass/fail grading options, remote work guidance, etc.), but it is critical that we continue to work together to ensure everyone in SEAS feels supported. We are a strong community, and we need that now more than ever. I am honored to be the Dean of a school that has proven itself to be so resourceful, adaptable, and compassionate during such challenging times.

Warm regards,
John