April 2, 2020

Letter from the Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences

CHaSS Adapts to Covid-19

This issue of Liberalis arrives in your hands at a very difficult time for us all. Thankfully, our collective efforts at social distancing are slowing the transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19, but they have also overturned many aspects of our daily lives. At USU, President Noelle Cockett ably guided us as we abruptly moved all classes to remote access (largely online). I am very proud of the outstanding work of our faculty and staff as we have focused on helping our students during what has proven to be an unusually challenging final third of the spring semester.

Compounding their academic challenges, many of our students are struggling to respond to other aspects of social distancing, such as the loss of employment opportunities and the need to supervise children as schools and daycare centers have suspended their operations. I have been moved by the outpouring of support for our students from alumni and friends of our college, and I am confident that our students will find ways to reach their goals despite the roadblocks that have sprung up in their paths — they are Aggies after all!

Although it is sad to see our Logan campus take on the appearance of a ghost town, especially as gorgeous spring weather arrives after a long Cache Valley winter, I am reminded that a university is far more than a collection of buildings. Above all, USU is a community bound by our shared desire to create and disseminate knowledge to improve the lives of people. As you read the stories in this issue of Liberalis I hope that you will be reminded of the strength and resilience of our college community. We are eager to emerge from this current period of profound challenge and prove that our best days lie ahead.

Written by Joseph P. Ward | Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences USU

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