University of Miami
Office of the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost logo
March 21, 2020
Dear Deans and Faculty,

On Monday we launch a bold endeavor at the University of Miami with the full implementation of online learning. This transition has required hours of training, reworking of courses and syllabi, and translating your teaching into digital platforms—all accomplished in a single week. This is an extraordinary testament to your hard work and dedication. Your professionalism, creativity, enthusiasm, and willingness to engage in new experiments in pedagogy will forever, and indelibly, change the University of Miami. Thank you!

Most importantly, we have forged even stronger relationships with our partners across the University, including UMIT (and Instructional Technologies) and other areas in Business and Finance; the Division of Continuing and International Education, which has been on the forefront of online learning and provided tested models for us to follow; and the Division of Student Affairs, whose advocacy for students’ needs ensures we always put our students health, welfare, and UM experience first.

Undoubtedly there will be challenges ahead. While we are in uncharted waters, and the scale of conversion is unprecedented, every journey begins with that first dramatic new step. Some might say that this began when we started stepping up efforts to build a robust academic continuity infrastructure following Hurricane Irma. Few of us were thinking of a quickly spreading global pandemic; yet, hurricane or pandemic, the ramifications of our efforts will continue to ripple through not only higher education but all areas of our lives in unforeseen ways. We are a better and stronger institution as a result of your efforts.

I want to thank each of you for committing to the success of our students in completing their spring semester. We are resilient and committed. We are ’Canes.
Jeffrey L. Duerk, Ph.D. signature
Jeffrey L. Duerk, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
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