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A Message from President Fitts: A Better and Stronger Tulane

March 16, 2020
 
Dear members of the Tulane community:
 
The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting all facets of our life. The rapid spread of this virus has caused communities worldwide to reimagine themselves socially, economically and personally. As we at Tulane temporarily change how we interact with one another, we must also ensure that we come out of this crisis stronger and better prepared for future challenges. And, I firmly believe, we will emerge from these trying times a more resilient and wiser Tulane.
 
We are rapidly implementing changes in how we operate so we can successfully continue our academic, research and operational missions. Over the past weekend and during the next week, most of our students will return to their hometowns for the remainder of the spring semester. We are very much going to miss engaging with our students face to face and seeing them on the quads, in the residence halls and throughout our campuses. They are the heart and soul of Tulane. Effective this morning, we have also implemented very flexible work arrangements for staff to further reduce the population on campuses. Even though our campuses are becoming quieter places, we are still here to support our faculty, staff and students. In fact, this crisis has only increased our commitment to all Tulanians – wherever they may be.
 
By next Monday, March 23rd, only 400 students will be remaining in our on-campus residence halls. It was important to allow students who could not return home to have a place to stay on campus. With the exception of certain clinical classes, our entire community will be engaged in an online format, rather than face to face. While the Tulane community has no known cases of COVID-19, these disruptive shifts are necessary for us to do our part in protecting our community and the public’s health during this pandemic.
 
These past weeks have been a challenging time for our community, but we have proven again and again that the bonds that hold us together are stronger than any threat we face. We will continue to keep you updated through many means of communication, including my video series. Again, rest assured that we will come through this a better and stronger global community and a better and stronger Tulane. Thank you for your flexibility, spirit and grit.
 
With much admiration,

Mike