Thank You, Penn Faculty From Amy Gutmann
March 26, 2020
As we conclude the first week of remote instruction, I am overwhelmed with pride at what all of you have accomplished in moving our essential educational mission into a virtual environment in such a short period of time. I have long known that the talent, dedication and collaboration of Penn’s faculty is unsurpassed in the world but it has never been more evident—and more stress-tested—than this past week when everyone worked so hard to do so much to help our students continue their education during a global crisis unlike any we have witnessed in our lifetimes. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for all that each of you has contributed to continue our students’ education.
Even more vividly and on a scale like never before, we know the unique challenges that accompany the delivery of remote instruction. It’s truly impressive, in light of the magnitude of what so many dedicated people—working together yet staying at a safe distance—had to do to move over 4,000 courses to online learning in short order, that there were few major glitches. By all accounts, this first week went off better than anyone could have reasonably expected. This is entirely due to your commitment to our students and everyone’s resilience. Whenever the dust settles, I hope all of you will take a few moments to reflect with pride on what you have achieved. And right this moment—and every moment you can—take to heart that what you are doing now matters so much to everyone in the Penn community.
As we move through the remainder of the semester, there surely will be challenges. I am particularly mindful of keeping our eyes on those students who have special needs in managing the virtual environment. I know I can count on you to do what’s needed in supporting them as you help all of our students conclude this semester successfully.
We are still in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, and it is impossible to know how it will ultimately play out. It has presented some enormous challenges to the University, especially to our world-class health system whose doctors and nurses are on the front lines of saving lives.
One constant throughout this crisis has been the imagination, creativity and resourcefulness of our faculty. I want you to know just how much your work is deeply respected and admired by everyone who is a part of the University of Pennsylvania.
Stay healthy and be well, and thank you so much for all you do to carry on Penn’s essential mission.
Amy Gutmann, Penn President