Hello, Gallaudet community, and especially our students, staff, and faculty:
The last week has been tumultuous for all of us because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. This is the first time that many of us have experienced this kind of disruption to our daily lives. The situation has affected all of us worldwide, and it has changed by the day, the hour, even the minute. I want you to trust in the knowledge that the Executive Team, the Academic Continuity and Accessibility Task Force, and the Crisis Leadership Team are all working around the clock to ease our transition to a “new normal.” The “new normal” that we are experiencing now will have a long-term impact on how we operate as a university, and how we teach and learn.
There will be more communications this week and in the weeks to come. We ask for your patience and kindness in working with the administration to get the information that you need. Please watch your email, and visit both the dedicated website, coronavirus.gallaudet.edu, and our main website, www.gallaudet.edu. Both sites are updated constantly. We are also sending text alerts that you can read on your smartphone.
Again, we ask the community to exercise patience and understanding while exercising on-the-ground problem solving with one another. If you are waiting on the administration and do not receive answers, we trust you to make the best decision.
We are guided in our work by the following values:
- We are in this together and need to support one another.
- Our individual and collective health and safety as a community.
- Our commitment to communication and working together in English and American Sign Language.
- We are committed to our mission of teaching and learning with our students.
- We are committed to slowing down the spread of this virus for the health of the community and the world at large.
- We are committed to adapting with one another throughout this process and learning.
The creativity and compassion we have seen in the face of the unknown is unlike any we’ve seen. We have taken the lead in this challenge, and we stand out among other universities in all that we are doing. We have a lot to be proud of in the recent days and weeks.
We are now in the second week of this pandemic, and fatigue is taking its toll. We ask that the community stay strong and stay in this together. Meaning we must recognize when others are tired and need support. We need to step in for one another and take turns bearing the weight. Please give your time to other efforts where the need is greatest. Feel free to reach out and offer your support.
If we all do this for each other we will come through this stronger. We will have a strong finish to this semester, just as our students are expecting. What is true for them is true for all of us as faculty staff, students and community members as a whole. Let’s continue to be strong and finish this semester strong, as well.
Roberta J. Cordano