Dear Campus Community,
Congratulations! As I write today, we move into the weekend that marks the official halfway point of the most challenging semester most of us have ever experienced. Thank you all for the part you have played in getting us here. Living, learning and working under these conditions can be exhausting and frustrating. This milestone speaks to the resilience and grit of this community, and it deserves recognition.

On Wednesday, October 7, we will officially celebrate Halfway Day together on campus with Chocolate Ship cookies and ice cream. Swing by one of the locations from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and grab a cookie and special Ship swag.

I hope you dive into the second half of the semester by taking part in our campus diversity week October 12-17. This student led initiative celebrates our “one campus, many cultures” inviting thought-provoking conversations, community building and fun including appropriately socially distanced in person activities and events as well as virtual offerings.

The midpoint of the semester also marks when students and advisors begin planning for the next semester of coursework. We will return to campus and begin the Spring 2021 semester on February 1, 2021.  As is necessary to continue successfully navigating through the COVID-19 pandemic, we will offer spring 2021 undergraduate and graduate courses in the blended modality. The course schedule will indicate whether classes are fully remote or offered face-to-face with a hy-flex option, including all graduate courses. We will continue to follow federal, state, local and state system guidance to open our campus, and will adjust when necessary prioritizing the health and well-being of our community.

The Chancellor returns to our campus virtually on October 12. The campus community is invited to an open forum by Zoom from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m., and is encouraged to submit questions in advance. Chancellor Greenstein will also entertain questions submitted through the chat feature on zoom during the live forum. I encourage you to come and hear the latest from the system about redesign plans and the process.

Finally, I am pleased to announce Ms. Lorie Davis ‘98M joins the Office of the President as Chief of Staff on Monday. As Chief of Staff, Ms. Davis will operationally lead the Office of the President, manage special projects, and move forward matters of policy and institutional importance on behalf of the President. With her experience developing relationships with industry and community partners in her role at the Career, Mentoring and Professional Development Center, as well as managing and advancing strategic initiatives, her skill sets make her an ideal fit for this role. Please join me in congratulating Lorie on her new responsibilities and thanking her for her continued dedication, support, and leadership.

Stay vigilant to carry out the mitigation protocols. Your adherence has been and continues to be key to our success. We have come so far in these last seven weeks, and November 20 is within our reach. Keep going, Raiders!

Laurie A. Carter