4-15-20 Message to Community


The President’s Executive Cabinet (PEC) and other leadership across the university have been working all weekend to plan for what for whatever unknowns may come our way in the next week. This includes helping students move out of residence halls and return to permanent residences, and contingency planning for our faculty and staff. It is difficult to believe that it was less than a week ago that we asked everyone to move to remote instruction. We as a community must continue to support and encourage each other, question everything we do in the light of current public health needs, and engage in patience and self care when anxiety and fear are understandable human responses. Eventually, this will pass and we will emerge from this crisis intact, but to get there, we must do the right thing by limiting interpersonal contact. We will emerge from this crisis intact. Looking forward, we will be different, but we will remain a vibrant, strong, and student-focused residential lberal arts university, a Public Ivy, with a bright future and the same core values as before. Thanks to everyone for making a difference.
Topics for this evening:

  1. Do everything possible to help facilitate students working remotely
  2. Make sure we are communicating with students about clinical placements, internships, licensure requirements - even when the future isn't entirely certain
  3. Limit nonessential face-t0-face meetings,
  4. Limit nonessential searches within Academic Affairs
  5. Research facilities and university remain open


Help students go home or work remotely where possible

We must do everything we can to allow students to leave campus quickly and to be safe in this fast-moving time.

  • No faculty may require students to remain on campus for any reason- labs, clinicals, studios, etc.
  • No faculty member can require students to assume an undue burden by purchasing equipment, licenses, supplies, etc. aside from those similar to what is routinely required for face-to-face sections.
  • Do your best to help students achieve the learning objectives of your courses without undue cost, technological burdens, etc.

Please help us in getting this message out to your students. We can not require students to potentially risk their health in this moment because of unreasonable expectations.

Reassure our students who are nervous about internships, clinicals, practica, and capstone projects

For all faculty and leaders who are engaged with supervision of internships, clinical practica, or other state licensure requirements, please communicate with your students, even though all the answers are not known at this time.
There will be significant anxiety, particularly for those students who are expecting to graduate and obtain licensure. Reassure them we are and will do all we can to work with licensure boards. Given the scope of this global public health and state administrative messaging - I do not anticipate that there will be irrational expectations on students who were affected by measures taken by the country, state and University. In fact, some of us have heard supportive comments from state agencies that rigid expectations will likely be relaxed this year where public health measures have interfered with a student’s ability to complete hours.
It is important that you let us know your concerns so that we can advocate with the appropriate state agency, but understand, most agencies may not have answers for a few weeks yet.
If there are independent study or capstone experiences students need to graduate, please work to allow students flexibility in achieving objectives remotely and without imposing unreasonable burdens.
Limit non-essential face to face meetings, provide alternative remote options for people to attend meetings

Ohio State Department of Health Director Amy Acton has told us throughout the week that COVID-19 has more than likely already spread within all of our communities already. As expected, we are seeing cases within Ohio increase dramatically. Although numbers remain small, the path of this virus is now predictable and the only way to limit spread is to limit human contact, both at work and outside of work. We must all make tough personal decisions in this moment for the greater public health so that serious complications due to this virus doesn’t overwhelm our health system capabilities. Toward that end, I would ask each one of you to immediately limit nonessential face-to-face or in-person meetings. Department meetings, research talks, lab meetings, etc. should be curtailed to essential only, allowing people to join through WebEx or other technology as needed.

Prioritize ongoing searches, with essential searches utilizing remote meeting technology

I also ask that all faculty, administrative, and staff searches should be evaluated and categorized as essential or non-essential. I am defining essential to mean critical to the ability of the university to continue operation. Those designated essential should utilize WebEx or other remote meeting technology as travel is likely the largest risk to personal and public health. Please delay or cancel non-essential searches.
The university is still open for business

As long as we can maintain campus operations, research facilities and all on campus services will remain operational and accessible, although it is likely that buildings will be locked and key card access will be required. If you come to campus, maintain social distancing and all other preventative measures.  Our library facilities are operational, although we will limit walk-in services and access to non-Miami individuals in an effort to keep our staff healthy. Remember that we need to keep teaching, researching, and serving our public mission. Please continue doing all you need to do, but do it without unnecessary person to person contact where possible. 

Love and Honor,
Jason Osborne