Dear Stan State Faculty:
When they matter most, words often fail me. This is certainly one of those times as I have struggled to find the words to accurately express my feelings to you. As I sat in front of my laptop this past evening, I struggled to find a way to best communicate with you. I have always endeavored to be authentic and present in all my interactions with you. The past few weeks have been very stressful and tiring, to say the least; the days that lie ahead of us are full of uncertainty. We are in unfamiliar times and are facing personal and professional challenges that can feel very unpredictable. Feelings of anxiety and lack of control are heightened. I understand these feelings because I am experiencing them, right alongside of you. Nothing feels normal right now.
While I have been worried about you and our colleagues across all divisions of the university, I have also been inspired and humbled by you. One of my biggest sources of encouragement and motivation throughout this ongoing public health crisis, has been the way that our campus has banded together. You, our faculty, have been incredibly thoughtful and innovative in your approaches to continuing the primary mission of the university - the endeavor of teaching and learning. Your commitment to our students and to our community is on full display and I am so grateful.
I know you are doing your best and I want you to know that your best, at this moment, does not require perfection. You have my full support and encouragement to be flexible in the approaches you take with your courses. We all have high standards for our professional performance but these times require that we give ourselves permission to re-think the way we inspire and educate students and the grace to feel really uncomfortable when we cannot interact with students in the ways we prefer. I have no doubt that the most lasting impacts you will have on students this year are the lessons they will learn from the ways you faced this unprecedented challenge and adapted. I cannot tell you how you should teach your classes because there is no one size fits all solution but I encourage you to start with the most low-tech options that will accomplish the learning outcomes you believe are most important. We have instructional designers and faculty peer mentors waiting to help; please contact them and/or Dr. Jase Teoh, Director for Academic Technology, and Dr. Shradha Tibrewal, FCETL Director.
Things continue to change by the minute and we are all struggling to do our best. One thing is for sure – we need to stay committed to caring for one another, for our students and for ourselves in this constantly evolving situation. I, and the entire Academic Affairs team, are here for you now and always. I hope you will not hesitate to reach out to us with questions and suggestions. With an abundance of Stan State grit, we will meet this challenge together.
Kimberly Greer, Ph.D.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs