University of Miami
Office of the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost logo
June 4, 2020
Dear Faculty,

The events of the past week in response to the tragic death of George Floyd remind us that our purpose as educators and scholars is more important than ever. Knowledge leads to understanding, and in that understanding lies the fundamental lessons of respect and responsibility for one another. By recommitting to our own continued professional development at this time (as described below), we reaffirm that purpose to our students.

In the face of COVID-19, we are confronted by the challenge of adapting to a new educational frontier. The rapid conversion from onsite instruction to virtual lectures has forever changed the landscape of higher education. The new academic year will necessitate that classes be taught in both traditional and new ways, with select courses moving entirely online and others taught in a hybrid format with some students in the classroom on certain days and others connected through Zoom, and then switching formats on other days. There are numerous pedagogical methods open to us today that were unimaginable only a few months ago.

My commitment to you and your professional development is to provide you with tools and resources that can enhance your teaching as well as student experience and outcomes. The Division of Continuing and International Education and Academic Technologies has created an Online Teaching Workshop series, which will be offered via Zoom during June and July. This academic professional development series includes nine one-hour workshops organized into foundational, intermediate, and advanced levels. To see the complete schedule and register for one or more workshops, visit Please use the next couple of months to learn about these important teaching methods.

As you complete these workshops, please keep track of the sessions you attend and include them as part of the annual review process to demonstrate your continued development as a teaching professional.

We have a unique opportunity to transform higher education. Our commitment to enlighten students’ hearts and minds through teaching and research is a powerful force against the darkness of ignorance and fear.

With gratitude, admiration, and appreciation,
Jeffrey L. Duerk, Ph.D. signature
Jeffrey L. Duerk, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
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