NOV. 25: Message to Faculty and Staff from President McPhee
To our Faculty and Staff,
These past few months have truly been challenging. But, with Thanksgiving rapidly approaching, we all have much to be thankful for. Near the top of my list would be our incredible MTSU family, whose service and dedication has been extraordinary. Your response to this international health crisis demonstrated incredible resolve and professionalism, allowing us to complete our fall semester and offer our students the chance for a true graduation ceremony last Saturday. For that, and so much more, please accept my sincerest thanks!
Over the next couple of weeks, we will complete our fall semester, with final exams going to a virtual environment. Like everything else we have undertaken the past few months, this will be a new experience for many of our faculty and students. While it is essential that we maintain the academic integrity of our programs, as we have learned this fall, a little patience and empathy goes a long way in our students’ success.
Also, with the official end of the semester two weeks away, I also want to remind everyone of the need to maintain business continuity between now and our start of the Spring 2021 semester on Jan. 25. We will have considerable ongoing activity during this period, including a new Winter Term that begins Dec. 21, which will require our attention. As such, I need to be clear that from Dec. 10 through Jan. 22, all offices are expected to remain open and accessible during our regular business hours.
For all supervisors, while I expect we maintain traditional levels of service and operating hours, I would suggest you consider work-from-home opportunities for your teams as deemed appropriate and practical. It is well documented that, for a campus like ours, reducing density is an effective mitigation strategy against the coronavirus. With the expectation that virus levels will remain high during the holiday season, this will also help guard against campus clusters that could negatively affect employees and their families, and our ability to operate effectively.
Again, many thanks for your efforts this year, I can never express enough my appreciation and gratitude for all that you have done. With the new year just six weeks away, I think I can safely say that we will all be happy to bid 2020 goodbye. With your continued dedication and cooperation, I am sure we can make 2021 a much better year for our campus and university community.
Best wishes to each of you for a Happy Thanksgiving!
Sidney A. McPhee