Dear UNC Community,
As alumni and friends of UNC, you are undoubtedly paying attention to our decisions and prevention efforts in response to the evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. UNC is closely monitoring the situation and is in regular contact with state and local officials.
Foremost, we aim to provide a safe environment for our students to live and learn, for staff to manage operations, and for faculty to deliver a world-class education. A UNC education is known for personalized learning, access to faculty and staff, and robust extra-curricular activities and events. But sometimes the way that we deliver a UNC education must change in the interest of public health and safety.
For this reason, UNC closed on-campus operations to all but essential personnel effective Tuesday, March 17 at 5 p.m. You can read the full announcement here. Right now, our students are on spring break, but will resume classes remotely on Wednesday, March 25. Academic and information technology offices are assisting faculty in transitioning course work to an alternate, remote format and the library is providing laptop checkouts to better support distance-based learning. Student Affairs and administration staff are making accommodations for student housing, dining and support services. As difficult as this decision is, I am proud and grateful for the campus-wide response.
Additionally, the Big Sky Conference, Western Athletic Conference and Big 12 Conference, the three conferences in which UNC competes, canceled the remainder of winter and spring sporting activities. This means that all of UNC’s NCAA athletic competitions are canceled.
The closure also means that all in-person university events are canceled for the remainder of the semester, including the 2020 Honored Alumni Ceremony and the Spring 2020 Commencement Ceremonies. While this decision is disappointing, it is critical that we limit large campus gatherings and practice public health guidelines on social distancing. Our team is working on alternate plans to allow our spring graduates a chance to celebrate their graduation in the future. As soon as information is available, we will share it with you and ask that you help us celebrate this important milestone.
It is an understatement to say that UNC students depend on the support and involvement of our network of alumni, donors, parents and friends. You are the network critical to providing important support and access to educationally enriching opportunities. I appreciate your understanding of these changes and the accommodations to our operations.
Some have asked how they can help during this difficult time. My answer is “support our students.” Students remain the focus and reason for our work. Consider a financial gift to the Disaster Relief Fund or the UNC Bear Food Pantry to offset the financial hardship our students face, or uplift the graduating class by sharing an encouraging message on social media. Our students need the entire Bear network to come together to support their health, safety and academic completion.
As UNC continues to monitor the evolving situation, I am committed to providing our community with timely and relevant updates. Please follow www.unco.edu/coronavirus and our social media sites for the latest campus news and information.
Rowing, Not Drifting