Dean Rose letter to the Ohio State Marion community
April 19, 2020
As we enter the last week of classwork prior to exams, it reminds us of how different this semester is ending compared to how it began, not just in the more narrow view of our academic world but most significantly in the world around us.
A lot of conversation has occurred recently about reopening economic activities and loosening shelter in place requirements. To prepare for this next stage, the university has established a task force responsible for developing plans for how the university will reopen. As you can imagine, reopening this huge university in a considered and responsible fashion involves coordinating many parts— academics, operations, medical center, student life, residence halls, public engagement, etc. One overarching theme is that the university will reopen gradually in a series of carefully thought out steps, rather than a sudden reopening to full operations in a mirror image of how the university closed down a few weeks ago.
One important element will be to closely monitor the physical health of the population and the curve of infections for a potential resurgence. Some activity and gathering restrictions are likely to continue, at least in the near term.
Another important element will be to pay close attention to and support the mental health of our students and each other. This has been a stressful time for all of us, not only with the change in how we provide academic content and services to our students and each other but for our families, children in school, caring for elderly parents, jobs, in the disruption of our daily routines and activities, and worry about the pandemic itself. Those who help us cope--Ellen, Leslie, and their mental health colleagues—have jumped right in to meet the higher levels of demand for their services been while no doubt being under stress of their own. Professionals tell us to expect the increased need for mental health services to continue for some time.
I do hope you feel a rightful sense of pride in the wonderful ways in which Ohio State Marion faculty and staff have risen to the occasion during this pandemic crisis by sharing knowledge with each other, helping each other along, showing concern, sharing good will, concern, and humor, and just checking in. By your actions, you have eased the anxieties and fears of students and each other by helping make the best of a bad situation.
Showing our “culture of caring” to each other and our students is how we all pull through.
Gregory S. Rose, Dean and Director
The Ohio State University at Marion