Migration to Distance Learning

March 19, 2020

Dear UAlbany Community:

As we continue to navigate the consequences of COVID-19, I wanted to reach out and let you know how proud I am of the very positive way our community has responded to this challenging situation. The altruistic, generous, and compassionate nature of our University community has been inspirational.

There is truly no precedent for what we are currently experiencing, so we have to learn how to adapt and move forward, each day, in real time. And this is what we have done—with the incredible support of our students, faculty, and staff.

Yes, we have had to make difficult decisions regarding our campus operations and the day-to-day functions of our institution while putting at the forefront the health and well-being of our community—and this will continue.

You have received numerous communications regarding different issues relating to academic and student affairs, University operations, as well as other critical information. Our goal is to keep you informed, as best as possible.

Last week, I asked you all to bring three critical things to the table as we go through this together: leadership, flexibility, and empathy. And in the past several days, I have seen those qualities emerge again and again.

I have seen them in our faculty members who have moved mountains to begin teaching their courses remotely after spring break.

I have seen them in our dedicated staff who are working around the clock to respond to the extraordinary demands of this crisis.

And I have seen them in our students and their families, who have been incredibly brave, patient, and understanding throughout these disruptions.

As of this moment, while we will allow students who have extenuating circumstances to remain in the residence halls, we have made the difficult decision of limiting on-campus housing for the duration of the spring semester; this is just one of many disappointments.

We must acknowledge the extremely difficult and uncertain circumstances that we face. At the same time, we have to remain optimistic and focused on serving our students and our communities—locally, nationally, and globally.

In the past few days, we have received some emails showing that our faculty and staff are doing great work, despite the limitations we all confront in the current scenario. One student wrote praising “the Great Dane team that’s helping everyone who is dealing with this situation right now.” Also, a parent thanked us for keeping families “as up-to-date as we can be on a situation that changes by the hour.” This is due to all the work that you are doing, which we greatly appreciate.

On Monday, March 23, we will launch a new chapter in the University’s history. As we migrate to nearly 100 percent remote or distance learning, we have an incredible opportunity to once again demonstrate UAlbany’s resilient and innovative spirit.

This is an extraordinary moment for us all, and a difficult time for you, your families, and our University community. However, let us find new ways to learn, new ways to thrive, new ways to support and care for each other, and new ways to unleash greatness!

As always, please stay healthy, be safe, and continue monitoring your email and UAlbany’s COVID-19 webpage.

Thank you all so very much. ¡Muchísimas gracias!



Havidán Rodríguez