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Emory College Faculty

Dear colleagues,

I am hoping that you read the letter from President Fenves earlier today about the plans for the spring semester. The calendar includes a delayed start (January 25), the elimination of spring break, and a slightly later commencement. The College is also working to establish some non-class, mid-week "reading days" during the semester, and I will update you when we have a final decision on that issue. I understand it is important for faculty to know those dates before building their syllabi.

The increase to our on-campus student population will be modest. In addition to welcoming back those students currently in residence, we will invite back Emory College students involved in Undergraduate Research Programs, those first-year students not currently on campus, and international students who are able to make their way here. The majority of our classes will continue to be on-line, but I am hopeful that we can increase the number of in-person courses for the first-year students who are on campus.

I am pasting below the message that we are sending to Emory College students today. For you, I'll underscore something that I think most of you know already: This set of plans will be a real blow to many of our students who were hoping to be on campus this spring. We are all experiencing the continuing disruption of the pandemic; for these students, they are worried that they are missing essential experiences of their time at Emory. I know that we are all working as hard as possible to engage and empathize with our students, and the spring semester will require more of us still.

I will be speaking further about the spring semester at the upcoming meeting of the faculty, scheduled for 4pm on Wednesday, October 21 — and I will be happy to answer your questions there. At that meeting, I will also provide updates on a couple of additional matters, such as the planned transition to a saliva screening test and steps we are taking to support students in China and Korea. Here is the Zoom link for that meeting:

In the meantime, please accept my gratitude for the incredible work that you are doing this semester under these challenging circumstances. Your support for each other, for our staff, and for our students displays an ethical commitment to community that I find genuinely moving. Thank you.



Michael A. Elliott
Dean, Emory College of Arts and Sciences