March 20, 2020

Dear UD Community,

Each day we are experiencing right now brings new challenges, and the UD community is adjusting in ways that none of us could ever have imagined…with innovative resilience, reassuring grace, heart-felt support and undying spirit. I appreciate your patience, understanding and cooperation in uniting as one University community to carry on and do everything we can to sustain our academic commitments while staying safe and healthy. I continue to be impressed by the support and positive attitude of everyone. Though we are not together on campus, you all are contributing in multiple ways as we weather the storm of the COVID-19 situation with a focus on returning to our normal rhythm of life at UD as soon as possible.

While we have taken significant measures to adapt to multiple changes already, the University must continue to adjust our operations as the COVID-19 situation evolves. The news and guidance from federal authorities and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is changing every day, and we want to keep UD aligned with all best practices for the health and safety of our community. To this end, the period for faculty and staff to work from home is being extended to April 13. We will update you as new guidance becomes available in case this period needs to be extended. Only essential operations will be carried out on campus until April 13. As previously communicated, we are continuing with the plan that classes resume via virtual instruction on March 30.

In the meantime, please continue to prioritize your health and safety...not only through our newly adopted lifestyle behaviors around social distancing and heightened attention to hygiene, but also in being mindful about the emotional effects of the coronavirus on our community. The mental health and wellbeing of everyone in our community is equally important to our physical health.

Students who are in need of counseling and support should call the Center for Counseling and Student Development at 302-831-2141 or the UD Helpline, which is available 24/7 for students feeling anxious, overwhelmed, depressed or otherwise in need of counseling. By calling 302-831-1001, students can get live counseling assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Additional information may be found at the center’s website.

In support of faculty and staff, all employees, their spouses, dependents, parents and in-laws have access to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at no cost. To access this program, call 800-343-2186 or visit the program’s website (Note: If using the website, UD employees will need to enter "State of Delaware” in the login box).

Please note that as we adapt to these rapidly changing times for the University’s operational continuity, there are several University process changes that UD faculty and staff need to be aware of, which go into effect immediately.

My deepest gratitude goes to everyone who has shown such unity of purpose, strength of character and dedication to this University in these recent days. We are now truly in uncharted territory for our community, and while new challenges and questions arise every day, I am confident in our ability to work as a team to ensure the continuing success of our University.

Thank you all.

signature of President Dennis Assanis

Dennis Assanis

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