CHANCELLOR’S 3 THINGS TO KNOW
Like every person and organization across the nation and around the world, the University of Mississippi has experienced a turn of events this past month like nothing experienced in our lifetimes. In keeping with the character of Ole Miss, our staff, faculty, students and alumni have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with extraordinary capability, confidence and compassion. Although our classes are now being taught remotely, we remain together in spirit. With our focus on responding to all things COVID-19, this issue of @ The Flagship will do the same. Here are three things you need to know about our response to COVID-19:
What’s Driving Decision-Making? While we have had to take drastic steps for the university in these uncertain times, the driving factor in our decision-making has been – and will continue to be – protecting the safety, health and well-being of our university community. We are committed to enabling our students to complete the Spring 2020 semester in a manner that safeguards everyone’s health. And our faculty and staff leapt into action to uphold this commitment, going the extra mile to adjust to online and remote teaching. The transition of our operations to a mission-critical status in just a matter of days and taking classes to online or alternative formats in a week’s time required a herculean effort, and I’m extremely proud of how quickly and effectively our university responded.
Healthcare Heroes on the Front Lines: From treating patients to designing and building ventilators to spearheading an effort to address the state’s COVID-19 outbreak by offering free screening, our Medical Center has a leading role in the state’s response to this global health emergency. Our doctors are stepping up in other ways too. Dr. Laura Vick, associate professor of general surgery and longtime seamstress, is making surgical masks for our healthcare professionals in low-risk settings at UMMC in order to free up precious personal protective equipment for employees taking care of patients. “What we’re trying to do is prepare, not panic,” Vick said in the Facebook video she posted demonstrating how to make the masks. We’re so grateful for all healthcare workers — they are selfless and remarkable!
Staying Informed and Connected: Now more than ever, we must stay connected as a community, and we have established a number of resources to accomplish this. We have a team of dedicated university employees staffing our Info Line (662-915-3600) Monday through Friday. Our COVID-19 website is your go-to source for up-to-the-minute updates, essential announcements and invaluable resources. Since the emergence of this crisis, we have published a COVID-19 email update (with past editions available on the website) because the flow of information and changes made on a daily basis has been astounding. We also launched three major resources:
- Keep Teaching to offer strategies and resources for our instructors,
- Keep Learning to provide academic resources for our students and to ensure their success in remote learning, and
- Keep Discovering for maintaining the continuity of our mission-critical research function.
And in order to celebrate and honor our community, we launched a web page to announce our Elsie M. Hood Outstanding Teacher of the Year, Taylor Medalists and other award recipients. We remain committed to staying connected with our university constituents throughout the duration of this trying time.
Stay healthy, stay well and stay safe.
Glenn F. Boyce
An outpouring of support came from students at the Medical Center as they responded to a call to volunteer for COVID-19 efforts.
With surgical gowns for medical personnel in short supply, volunteers at the University of Mississippi donated more than 1,300 ponchos to Lafayette County Emergency Management officials responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Several Rebel greats have had the 2020 Summer Olympics Tokyo circled on their calendars for many years. While their dreams and training are on hold with the Games postponed until 2021, they remain optimistic and adaptable.
For more stories about the university’s response, please visit our COVID-19 website.
Take our new Virtual Video Tour of campus, guided by several of our outstanding students: