Dear TC faculty:
These are extraordinary times, and you are extraordinary faculty. We are grateful, as we know your students are, for all that you are doing to rethink how you will teach things in fundamentally new ways, and under unprecedented conditions. We are writing to you today to say: please go easy on yourselves during this time in all areas of your work and your life that are not absolutely necessary.
Those of you we have run into around campus or in the neighborhood are taking the ever-changing and stressful events in stride and with good humor. You have embraced the move to online teaching, which is critical to the success of our mission under the circumstances. Thank you. We also know, though, that everyone is now juggling unforeseen balls – trying to keep everything in the air at once. We know, of course, that this is impossible. We understand – as will your peers around the country and the globe – that you will not demonstrate your normal productivity in research, service, and other professional activities. You have families to care for – whether small children underfoot, older children whose own lives have been disrupted, siblings and parents near and far about whom you may be concerned. These people – and your students – must be your priority, along with your own health and wellness.
We know that you have a deep commitment to your research and service. You would not have chosen this career if you did not. And we know that you may be concerned about what changes to your productivity might mean for your career. I assure you that we will do everything we can to account for this disruption (including, certainly, reminding our external colleagues about this time when we solicit letters in the years ahead for those of you who have not yet come up for tenure).
Take care of yourselves, please. Take care of your families, your friends, your colleagues, and your students. We are here to do the same for you.
Tom and Stephanie