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Terry Rhodes, at the piano, plays music with three students

Making music with students in February, before “social distancing” became part of everyone’s vocabulary.

As this magazine goes to press in mid-March, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, along with the rest of the nation, is experiencing a tumultuous turn of events. I have totally revised the original letter I drafted for this page, written before COVID-19 had made its presence widely known in the United States.

Instead, I would like to share with you how our extraordinary faculty and graduate teaching instructors in the College are using an extended spring break preparing to teach students using an array of remote instructional technologies. The University’s Center for Faculty Excellence and Information Technology Services staff sprang into action to assist with this unprecedented transition. As I write this, we are still figuring out the short- and long-term repercussions of the coronavirus on our Carolina community. Our ultimate goal is to keep everyone safe and healthy and for our students to remain on track for the timely completion of their degrees.

In its 227-year history, Carolina has witnessed a number of events that rocked the world, from world wars to the Spanish flu of 1918. Whatever challenges lie ahead, I am confident that we will rally as Tar Heels have always done.

My original letter to you was titled “Working together,” and the title is the only thing that has not changed. Because whatever we do, we will accomplish it together, as many of the stories in this issue of our magazine show. Our committed Carolina community is made up of not only our students, faculty and staff, but also you — our alumni and friends. We couldn’t accomplish all that we do without your support.


Terry Ellen Rhodes signature

Published in the Spring 2020 issue | Letter from Dean

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