As a college, overcoming hurdles is what we are known for. Together, we will see this through.
With an unprecedented semester coming to a close, I had hoped to be shaking hands with our outstanding Human Sciences graduates at commencement and wishing faculty well as they traveled for study abroad or visits to family and friends. Although circumstances have changed, we look forward to the day that we can resume these traditions.
What began as a "routine spring semester" quickly turned into something very different. It is now part of our collective history, one that I am sure we will all remember for the rest of our lives.
Through these challenging few months, you all have overcome numerous obstacles and met new challenges in both your professional and personal lives. There have been many interesting Zoom meetings, and we have gotten to know each other in different ways. I now know the names of many more pets and the unique stories you have shared from your home offices. I've been amazed that you have all kept up your good humor and spirits and have immensely enjoyed getting to know people in different ways across the college.
One of the most challenging things about this time has been having to cancel commencement ceremonies, but I'm impressed by our Human Sciences family's ability to adapt. It has been an honor to join many Zoom graduation celebrations. While these are not an ideal way to hold a university commencement, it has been wonderful to see the warm greetings from faculty and staff in celebration of our students. It has also been clear that our students have appreciated the efforts you have all put into maintaining a sense of community and celebrating their successes.
Summer and Fall Semesters
As we look forward to summer and fall, we will once again be faced with a rapidly changing environment. Our campus will be operating very differently as we gradually reopen. I look forward to being back with our faculty, staff, and students, but know that it will be part of a continued transition to an altered way of operating.
Classes will look very different. Office practices and meetings will change. We must all prepare for these changes, but we must also remain resilient and ready to adapt to evolving situations. With that in mind, I am incredibly grateful for the people who are part of our team and am confident we can face these challenges together. We have innovative and thoughtful leadership in our departments and faculty who genuinely care for our students and their wellbeing. Our staff are focused on providing exceptional service and are discovering new ways to make sure our mission to make an impact on the lives of those around us is a constant focus.
As a college, overcoming hurdles is what we are known for. I'm eager to tackle the challenges ahead in the coming months. I know that as we confront these upcoming changes, we will find innovative solutions and will be one step closer to getting things back to a new normal. Our college has the creativity, empathy, and resiliency to make exponential progress through our teaching, research, service, outreach, and engagement activities. Together, we will see this through.
Tim H. Dodd, Ph.D.
James and Kailee Young Professor