Message from Dean Giordano – March 27, 2020
To all COSAM faculty, staff, and students,
I want to give you all an update with the latest information about the impact of COVID-19 on Auburn operations.
I want to begin by reminding you about the web page COSAM has set up with links to the latest news from the President and Provost, and other important information from across the campus. This web page is at: https://www.auburn.edu/cosam/about/coronavirus.htm.
Some of the following information was announced this morning by the President; it is repeated here because it is important that everyone see it.
First, the May graduation ceremony will not be held. All May graduates are invited to march in the Summer ceremony (currently scheduled for August 8), and there will no limit on the number of family and friends that each graduate can invite.
Second, courses in the 2020 Summer Sessions 1 and 2 will be offered online. A decision about Session 3 will be announced on or before June 1.
Third, a major effort will be made to encourage Auburn students, especially incoming freshmen, to consider taking summer courses to make the most of their time this summer.
Fourth, all Auburn study abroad programs for this summer are canceled. Plans are now being worked out for reimbursing students for any costs they have already been charged.
Fifth, a plan has been drafted to enable Assistant Professors to request an extension of their tenure clock in view of delays in their scholarly work due disruptions caused by COVID-19. That plan was announced today by the President. Interested faculty should contact me or their Department Chair.
Sixth, as you know, the campus is still open for research activities, subject to the requirement that all researchers exercise social distancing. Reports on the spread of COVID-19 in Alabama and the region suggest that the number of cases is still increasing. We also know that many of our peer institutions have decided to limit or curtail research activities. While Auburn has not yet made such a decision, it is only prudent that all faculty engaged in on-campus research should make plans now for how they would wind-down their research to a level that would maintain the health and safety of research animals, equipment, and personnel. Note that the time for such a wind-down might be as short as 24 hours notice or even less, so I urge all researchers to begin making such plans now and be sure that everyone working in the labs is kept informed.
Seventh, every April, we hold a meeting of alumni who are members of the COSAM Leadership Council. At that meeting I give an update on the latest news with the content being similar to what is discussed at my Spring State of the College presentation. We are now preparing to do this presentation to the leadership council via Zoom. Our plan is to record it so that everyone can view it at a convenient time, and I’ll soon be sending out information about how you can watch it online.
Finally, I would like to thank everyone in COSAM for their extraordinary work during the past few weeks.
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