Sept. 30, 2020
Dear Students, Staff and Faculty,
We are about a third of the way through the most unusual semester in our history, and we are still here. My sincere thanks to all the members of our community who have made this possible. It is at this stage that it would be tempting to let our defenses down, so we have to guard against this natural tendency. We are still seeing small but troubling instances of positive infections, which at any time could quickly expand and lead to closing our campuses. Please stay safe, careful and vigilant. As the signs say, we can do this, together.
This is my third fall in New Hampshire, and I continue to be struck by its beauty. If you haven’t had a chance to take a walk in College Woods, or find another way to enjoy nature, this is your reminder to do so!
We continue to get feedback on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives that Nadine Petty and I shared recently. Our third town hall meeting is this evening at 6:30 p.m. (Zoom link: https://unh.zoom.us/j/98872448179). The consensus from the first two town hall meetings seems to be that we have identified the right issues but have a tremendous amount of work to do. Finding ways to create a more diverse and inclusive university, and especially to respond effectively to instances of racism or bias, are at the top of our list of priorities. We will be announcing more specific plans soon.
In the meantime, the UNH Theatre and Dance Department is putting on We the People October 7-11, which addresses themes of anti-Black violence. It is available either in-person or via streaming. Please go to unh.universitytickets.com.
For faculty and staff, I wanted to remind you that the deadline to apply for the COVID Early Retirement Program (CERP) is Oct. 15. For staff and non-union faculty who are interested in pursuing this, or finding out more, please visit here; for AAUP faculty who are interested in learning more, please contact Kimberly.Jennison@unh.edu.
As the semester progresses, our budget situation for the next year or so is becoming clearer. I will be back in touch in a few weeks with more information about where things stand.
With my sincere wishes for (despite it all) a productive and peaceful fall,
James W. Dean Jr.