Dear Members of the University of Bridgeport Community,
Our second week of remote operations is now in full swing. With the new week comes new directives from Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, as well as even broader and more sweeping restrictions on what businesses and services are considered essential. Fortunately, higher education and its e-learning delivery were deemed “essential” in the state, and we continue to focus our daily efforts on educating and supporting our students in our virtual classrooms and beyond.
State and national higher education lobbying groups are making every effort to advocate on behalf of colleges and universities for increasing appropriations in the Coronavirus Relief Package that is under negotiation in the Senate. While we are appreciative of the efforts being made on both sides of the political aisle, the funding proposed to support institutions is simply not enough. The National Association of Independent Colleges & Universities estimates that the direct aid that we would receive is less than 10 percent of what we have expended in response to the crisis: $6 billion out of a requested $60 billion. I spoke with U.S. Senator Chris Murphy over the weekend and shared details regarding how UB is responding to the crisis. I stressed that institutions face the all-important task of maintaining continuity for students, especially as they work to complete their degrees. I am pleased that our lawmakers are actively listening to our concerns in this very difficult time. As legislative decisions are made that affect all of us, I will continue to work with our elected officials to ensure that UB’s voice is heard.
I have received questions from many members of our community, as well as from those outside UB, regarding the various technologies in use by faculty in their efforts to bring in-class instruction online. Please see the attached letter from Chris Cassirer, vice provost for online learning, digital services, and strategic initiatives, that provides a great deal of information on this topic. I would like to reiterate his call for patience as the IT staff supports the transition to online delivery. Please prioritize and submit your requests of IT through firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today, my students and I agreed to a fitness challenge—a 30-second plank each day—increasing the increment on Wednesday. I welcome you to join us in this fun challenge.
This week, in my messages to you, I will address topics such as room and board fees, graduate assistantships, work-study, and commencement.
Thanks to the Indian Student Association, I hope that you will enjoy this video from their recent Diwali celebration. Happy Monday to all!
Laura Skandera Trombley