COVID-19: A message from Dean Gabe Paquette to CHC students

Dear CHC Students,

I hope that you’ve had a chance to read President Schill’s message about COVID-19 and the University of Oregon’s response to it. If you haven’t, I urge you to read it here. We find ourselves in an unprecedented situation. There is considerable uncertainty and recent events have been incredibly disruptive: you are now completing your finals and end-of-term assignments remotely and preparing for the beginning of a spring term without in-person classes. 

I’d like to share three things with you:

First, as Dean, I have the benefit of seeing the UO’s response to this evolving situation up close and I assure you that there is an impressive team working to safeguard the health and well-being of the entire university community. My own anxiety has been significantly allayed by the professionalism and expertise of our Incident Management Team and Senior University Leadership. There is a dedicated website to keep the UO community abreast of COVID-19 developments and I encourage you to bookmark this page and familiarize yourself with it.

Second, CHC faculty are working around-the-clock to ensure that the unorthodox arrangements for the beginning of spring term will not impair or impede the delivery of high-quality courses. CHC faculty members have chosen to join and remain in the CHC because of their uncommon dedication to students. They are rising to the challenge of remote teaching and learning. To be sure, remote learning is different from that which occurs in person. One of my favorite things about the traditional classroom is the informal and often illuminating conversation that precedes or follows the class session itself. While we won’t be able to simulate that delightful serendipity in a virtual environment, the faculty are striving to ensure that the learning experience at the beginning of spring quarter is every bit as rigorous, stimulating, and fulfilling as what you’ve experienced in your in-person CHC courses. 

Third, please know that the entire CHC staff is ready to assist you in these uncertain times. Please reach out to us! Chapman Hall, like the rest of the UO, is open. If you decide to remain on campus, please know that UO and CHC resources remain accessible. I also realize that your families may have questions about the current situation. In addition to directing them to President Schill’s letter and the dedicated COVID-19 website, please have them send questions or concerns to the following email address: chcdeansoffice@uoregon.edu. Sending a message is better than calling the CHC because it enables me to route the question or concern to the appropriate member of staff and to share links and other detailed information (as necessary). Of course, I personally welcome the opportunity to have follow-up calls with your families.

With best wishes as you prepare for finals this coming week,

Gabe Paquette

CHC Dean