Experiencing change and uncertainty: We build resiliency

Mar. 23, 2020

This message was sent to the students, faculty, staff and personnel at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Our world and our campus have experienced a great deal of change and uncertainty since the middle of March. Our academic calendar at that time indicated that it was the observance of spring break. The reality, however, has meant anything but a break for you, our students, faculty and staff. Our institution has had to quickly pivot in the face of the challenges presented by coronavirus (COVID-19). Among many actions, we have asked faculty to deliver content for for-credit courses online, and we have transitioned the vast majority of delivery of our services online or remotely in order to limit the number of people we have on our campus.

I am aware that our responses to remote instruction and administrative work is disruptive and that working from home with schools and other businesses closed, children and other family members home, presents challenges. We all are responding to a pandemic we have never before experienced and our responsibility is to take care of ourselves and everyone else by practicing social distancing and carrying on our lives, teaching, research, other work as best we can.

As we begin the final weeks of the spring semester, it is important that all of you know how much your work and sacrifice is valued by our University. Your efforts are making a profound difference for the health of our University community and broader community in Nevada, the region, and the world as we all do our part to fight community spread. Remember that although you may be studying or working remotely, you should still keep in touch with your work colleagues, fellow students, friends and families through a variety of amazing technologies that can ease feelings of isolation or anxiety. These are technologies that over the coming weeks promise to keep us together – as we maintain social distance. The renowned physicist Stephen Hawking said it best: “Mankind’s greatest achievements come about by talking, and its greatest failures by not talking . . . with the technology at our disposal, the possibilities are unbounded. All we need to do is make sure we keep talking.”

Thank you for the many adjustments you are making to keep the University open with social distancing. We all are experimenting with ways to build resiliency in our lives and in our work. These tools may be useful in many other ways in the future. But for now, stay home and stay safe.

Please be sure to continue checking the University website for University and coronavirus information and updates.


Marc A. Johnson