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Thursday, May 28, 2020

On the death of George Floyd

(A message sent to CLA faculty and staff on May 27, 2020 and CLA undergraduate and graduate students on May 28, 2020.)

Disgusting. Infuriating. Tragic. Heartbreaking.

Those are words that came quickly to mind when I first learned of the outrageous and senseless death of George Floyd. To then watch a slow-motion killing is one of the most horrifying sights imaginable. And to see the cruel casualness by which it all happened, by which a man had his life taken away, was an assault to the senses.

Mr. Floyd was an African American man. It is difficult to fully understand what happened on Chicago Avenue without centering the basic fact that race ran through the entire sordid event.

I know that many staff, students, and faculty in our CLA community are hurting right now and grieving. For our African American colleagues and students, this event is one more distressing reminder of the danger and fear they, their family members, and their children must navigate.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Initial outcomes from the fiscal year 2021 Compact process

I reported to you in January about the campus Compact process for fiscal year 2021, which begins on July 1, 2020. At that time I wrote:

"In this year’s Compact process, CLA will need to put $1.84m on the table for reallocation. On the investment side, if everything goes according to plan -- the Regents approve tuition increases at the planned-for level, reallocation targets are met, and so on -- there will be about $7.75m for academic investments across the System, but much of that will be consumed by plugging budget holes at various campuses and colleges. Thus, the message is that there is not much available for additional investment, so only emergency requests should be submitted."

"If everything goes according to plan" may well be the funniest words ever written. They've got to be up there in the top five. Ah, for the innocence of youth and the warm and fuzzy memories of the halcyon days of January.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Commencement remarks to the Class of 2020

(These remarks were prepared for delivery for CLA's Virtual Commencement, May 16, 2020.)

Hello, class of 2020. In a typical year, I’d be talking with you from the stage at Mariucci. I’d be wearing a mortar board and academic robe, and you would, too.

I know this isn’t the Commencement that you -- or any of us -- imagined when you started your last semester here at CLA.

There’s something powerful about the traditional graduation ceremony. The music, the graduation gowns. Hearing your name, crossing the stage, receiving your diploma. And sharing that experience with your friends, family, and classmates. We’re all missing that traditional experience right now.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

CLA and Covid-19 resources

CLA's extensive Covid-19 resource page is at z.umn.edu/cla-covid19. This page includes FAQ, pointers to further resources, guidance by topic, and an archive of communications.

Research related to Covid-19 and pandemics by CLA faculty is at z.umn.edu/clacovidresearch

CLA is also participating fully in the summer curriculum related to the coronavirus and pandemics

Career Services for undergraduates and graduates both feature pages related to the career launch during a time of pandemic. 

CLA held a Town Hall for alumni and friends on April 17, featuring our Student Board president, several administrative leaders and faculty, and me discussing the college's operational response to the pandemic.