In Gratitude

June 26, 2020

Dear Colleagues:

As we near our July 4th Independence Day break, I wish to take this moment to express my most sincere gratitude to each of you for your efforts over these past few months as we have sought to navigate the impacts of the global pandemic on our community.

This is an unprecedented moment and we have significant work ahead to respond to the evolving challenges presented by COVID-19 and to address, with greater urgency and renewed commitment, issues of racial injustice across our country, and within our community.

Since my message on our Fall 2020 Planning on June 9, we have shared a number of announcements relating to our plans for the Fall semester. We have continued our planning with our Board of Directors and our public health experts, extensive consultation and engagement with our faculty and staff leadership bodies, and routine meetings with undergraduate and graduate student leadership. In the coming days, we will be sharing additional messages relating to our undergraduate programs and our plan required by the D.C. government, as part of our obligations under the city’s ReOpen DC plan.

Across our community, each one of you has contributed to our response over these past few months, and to our planning for the months ahead. As we take our next steps towards the Fall, we do so as a better and stronger community—working together towards the common good.

In recognition of this unique moment, we will be providing one special paid leave day to be taken to extend the July 4th holiday into a four-day weekend. This special paid leave day may also be taken as a floating holiday any day through Monday, August 31, if it is not feasible to extend the July 4th break. Our Interim Vice President of Human Resources, Charles DeSantis, will be following up with additional details.

Our University community has come together in extraordinary ways to respond to this moment. For all of your contributions, for your care for one another, for your dedication to our mission, and for your personal resilience during these challenging times, I offer my deep appreciation.

In gratitude,

John J. DeGioia