Kudos to the Brandeis community for a successful fall semester

December 3, 2020

Dear Members of the Brandeis Community,

When I wrote to you nearly five months ago outlining our plan for the fall semester, I noted that being successful in both returning to campus and conducting virtual learning would require unusual levels of flexibility, patience, and understanding. Today, I write to say thank you for bringing those qualities and more to our community this fall. Together, we effectively navigated the challenges of operating safely in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

From faculty who adapted teaching styles and curriculum for virtual and hybrid learning, to staff who took extra steps to maintain a safe environment, to students, on campus and off, who followed what were stringent health protocols and invented new ways to maintain connections and engagement—everyone has shown discipline, resilience, and strength. 

As a university community we have not let the pandemic limit our learning, personal relationships, or growth. We continued to have substantive discussions about academics, politics, and issues related to equity, and to participate fully in our democracy. And I am told that a good number of you even had fun!

A dedicated COVID-19 Task Force was responsible for the planning and execution of our successful return to campus. But each of us played a significant role in the plan’s successful implementation; this includes the families that supported our students, both on campus and at home, the community partners that helped us conduct testing, and the healthcare experts that offered sound public health guidance since early March.  

Thank you for your efforts and your continued commitment.

Let me close by wishing all of you good luck on finals—whether you are taking them, grading them, or supporting those who are taking and grading them. As the winter holidays approach and this most unusual and challenging year draws to a close, we, like so many around the world, have much to reflect on. I hope that you can do so in good health and in connection, real or virtual, with loved ones and with optimism for the year ahead.

Best,

Ron Liebowitz