Gary Marchionini, Dean and Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished Professor at the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS), sent the following message to SILS students, faculty, and staff on August 18, the first day of classes for the fall 2021 semester at Carolina.
I am very pleased to welcome everyone back to campus.
Returning students, I hope that the past semesters have been productive and helped you move forward on your degree progress and closer to your future goals.
New students, we are thrilled to have you join our vibrant community at SILS.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for everyone and we will all need to be mutually supportive, patient, and kind as we return to campus and some elements of university life.
It is imperative that we all adhere to the UNC-Chapel Hill COVID-19 community standards.
I strongly encourage everyone to get vaccinated and certify your status. If you are unwilling or unable to be vaccinated, you must abide by the university testing rules.
Everyone must wear a mask in any university building. It is also important that we all practice healthy habits (e.g., stay home if you are ill, maintain healthy hand-washing hygiene) and be respectful of others’ privacy and personal space.
SILS staff have been back on campus since July 19 preparing for the start of the semester, and SILS faculty have updated their syllabi and strategies to take advantage of the pedagogical and technical techniques learned during remote learning and teaching. We are all adapting and learning under high levels of uncertainty and must help each other overcome the various glitches, unexpected developments, and missteps that are inevitable in a complex and fast-changing environment.
SILS has always been a community of collaborators and bridge builders who value information and action that is rooted in diverse traditions, cultures, and intellectual contexts. We will become stronger for our struggles to learn, teach, discover and serve in the coming year, and I look forward to working with you to ensure there are more joys than tears and a pathway to an uplifting future for all.
Stay strong, stay healthy, stay kind.