PROVOST MESSAGE: thanks to faculty

Southern Oregon University , Public Updates

  • Sent 06/09/2020 22:44 PDT via
  • web

Dear Faculty Colleagues,

Please accept my most sincere thanks and congratulations for making it to the end of spring term. I can only imagine how incredibly difficult these past several months have been for all of you; know how much I appreciate everything you have done to respond to those many challenges. 

I write today to reinforce President Schott's previous calls for support for our students and, in particular, to ask that you exercise increased patience and empathy in the final days of AY 19-20. We know that, as a result of COVID-19, the economic recession, and race relations locally and nationally, college students are reporting rapid spikes in anxiety and depression.  SOU Cares reports have increased this term as compared to this time last year, as has student activity for counseling services at our Student Health and Wellness Center.

Like you, I've had the great pleasure this past week of (virtually) sharing with students my congratulations and words of encouragement. And in this extraordinary academic environment, I'm inspired by the ways in which all of you have creatively recognized both their many accomplishments and considerable sacrifices. This term, in particular, brought many significant life changes for our students, including but certainly not limited to studying remotely apart from their beloved faculty members and classmates, while at the same time confronting a variety of personal issues.  And for graduating seniors especially, there is a palpable sense of loss due to the postponement of commencement, that all-important culminating experience shared with family, faculty, and friends.  

And yet, they have persevered, due to their determination, and your unwavering sense of commitment and dedication to your profession. I truly believe that overcoming such adversity will prove to be a key factor in their continued success throughout their lifetimes.

I ask now that you please help me in celebrating all of our students during this unprecedented time in our University's history.  They will fondly remember SOU for many reasons -- and, it is my sincere hope that among those will be that SOU is a community of care and compassion.  

My very best wishes to you all, and we hope to see you tomorrow at the end of year un-breakfast. 


Susan Walsh
Provost, Southern Oregon University

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