September 24, 2020

Dear UD Students,

I sincerely hope that the fall semester is off to a good start for you and that you and your families are all staying safe and healthy during this challenging time. The COVID-19 pandemic has tested all of us in many ways, both individually and as an institution, and I am grateful for the culture of caring that defines the UD community as we continue to be mindful and take necessary steps to protect each other during this public health crisis. Like you, I am eagerly looking forward to the time when it is safe for all of us to be together on campus again.

Our shared mission at the University revolves around your academic success, and we are deeply committed to ensuring that you achieve your educational goals, despite the many pandemic-related challenges facing our community. In parallel with our constant efforts to minimize the impact of the pandemic on our core academic operations, we have undertaken a series of administrative actions to ensure the financial stability of UD and to ensure that we are appropriately positioned to not only navigate this unprecedented crisis, but also emerge from it stronger than ever.

Over the course of the past several months, UD administrators, faculty and staff have been working to manage a significant gap between our revenues and expenses brought about by the pandemic. Revenue from tuition, sponsored research, philanthropy and other sources is down, while expenses are higher for student financial aid, additional technology for online courses, and safety and health equipment and services, among others. To help close that budget gap, we have instituted a salary freeze for all faculty and staff, cut salaries for senior administrators, curbed expenditures and reduced our part-time workforce. We have also reduced our overall operating budgets while leaning on UD’s endowment portfolio to help cover the projected deficit.

At this time, though, we regrettably must also implement additional personnel-related measures, which I communicated to our faculty and staff earlier today. These steps will include a voluntary retirement incentive program, voluntary schedule reductions, personnel reductions and other measures to help close the budget gap. While these cost-cutting decisions are difficult for everyone in our community, they are necessary to protect and enrich your academic experience for the long-term at UD.

I want to assure you that we — myself and all our UD faculty and staff — are working diligently to continue to provide you with the rigorous standards of excellence that drew you to the University of Delaware. Certainly, you have had to demonstrate flexibility and creativity to continue your courses and interact with your classmates through remote platforms this semester. I understand it is not always easy, so on behalf of your professors and advisors, I want to thank you for your patience and resilience as we all navigate this “new normal” together. Please, continue to reach out to them for assistance, let us know if you need counseling or other services, and keep supporting each other in true Blue Hen spirit.

As you well know, the University of Delaware’s strength is its people — the faculty and staff who every day provide the educational, research and service opportunities that our students need to build a better world. Now more than ever, we must all work together to keep ourselves, each other and our entire community healthy and strong, creating an everlasting experience of Blue Hen pride and endurance.


signature of President Dennis Assanis

Dennis Assanis

University of Delaware   •   Newark, DE 19716   •   USA  •   (302) 831-2111   •