As the new semester gets underway, we write to those responsible for campus research spaces, with three purposes in mind:
First, to thank all who have contributed to safe operation of our labs, studios, workshops, and archives. We’re grateful for your diligence, your adaptability, and the understanding and accommodations you’ve extended to others including your students and your faculty and staff colleagues. Special thanks go to all who devised plans for safe operation, and to the many who collaborated with their neighbors, fellow users, and departmental colleagues to make things work.
Second, to ask for your continued care and diligence. As you know, due to increases in surveillance testing positivity rates among undergraduate students, new steps are being taken to reduce spread. Campus research spaces have not been identified as venues for transmission. Our shared intention is to keep it that way. The email you received on campus status changes includes reminders on steps to take to reduce risk, including new steps such as double-masking. Please review all aspects of operation of spaces for which you’re responsible to ensure that guidelines are being followed. Please note also that testing is available to graduate research assistants and you should encourage your graduate students to be tested.
Finally, and importantly, to acknowledge all whose research remains hampered or on hold. Many require travel that’s not possible, access to venues that remain closed, or close contact with other people that can’t occur. Others’ research involves procedures that are very difficult to adapt to physical distancing requirements. Many are without students who’ve been unable to enter the country. If you are among those able to get on with your work, please remain aware of the hardships and frustrations that others are dealing with.
With thanks for your ongoing efforts,
Alan J. Snyder
Vice President and Associate Provost for Research and Graduate Studies