Dear Carolina colleagues,
There is no question 2020 has been one of the most challenging years we have ever faced personally or, certainly, as a University community. For many of you, this year has created a mosaic of hardships and frustrations that have collectively created a lingering weariness. We recognize and acknowledge that for our faculty and staff, juggling work — both from home and on campus — with the new demands of altered personal lives has often created a confusing mix of frustration, stress and fulfillment. As we enter the closing weeks of this year, we want to say thank you for all you’ve done to advance the mission of our great University in the most trying times.
Thank you to our health care workers, especially those on the front lines of the pandemic who have worked tirelessly since March caring for patients and enduring so much stress. We are enormously grateful for your sacrifice.
To our dedicated staff across campus from our housekeepers and grounds workers who keep our campus clean and beautiful, to our Undergraduate Admissions counselors who continue to review a record number of applications, to our ITS employees who keep our network running on campus and accessible from home to our Student Affairs staff who work around the clock to care for our students and their well-being, thank you.
Thank you to our talented faculty who quickly pivoted to remote learning last spring and found creative ways to engage our students. This fall, you did it again and with even more innovation and imagination. We see your hard work and appreciate the lasting impact you are making in teaching and learning. And a big thank you to everyone — both faculty and staff — who supported our students near and far with academic resources, counseling sessions and modified social and recreational activities that enriched their Carolina experience.
And, to our friends and neighbors who call Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Orange County home, thank you for your partnership and especially for the countless ways you have cared for our students. The abundant kindness you have shown all of us is but one more reason Carolina remains such a special place among America’s university communities.
We recognize this has been a long and challenging year for everyone and the holidays typically represent a time for reconnections with family and to recharge our batteries for the spring. However, we urge everyone to please follow Governor Cooper’s direction and consider modifying your holiday plans with others this year to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Science and data have shown us that these sacrifices can and do continue to make a difference.
We wish everyone a safe and relaxing holiday and a healthy start to the new year.
Kevin M. Guskiewicz
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost