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Chancellor’s Updates: March 13, 2020


Good afternoon, Vols. I’m standing here in the Emergency Operations Center that’s been live for several weeks. It’s been a busy and unprecedented week.

I want to take a moment to update you on the process our leadership team has been following and the decisions we have been making.

First, we have committed to following three principles as we prioritize and deliberate on the decisions we have to make. The first is keeping our community healthy and
keeping our community hopeful. The second is keeping our students on track for success and third is being creative, being compassionate, and being flexible.

We must lead by example. The decision we made this week to move our courses online and ask students not to return to campus after Spring Break was a difficult one but everything public health officials are telling us is that social distancing is one of the greatest tools we have to slow the spread of this virus. Slowing down the transmission of the disease will keep our healthcare system from being overwhelmed. This allows our medical professionals to care for those who need it the most.

We are Volunteers, and in moments like these it’s our responsibility to step forward
and do our part to help our community and our nation overcome this public health challenge. The health and well-being of our campus and our community remain our top priority and we are always committed to helping our students succeed in times like these. That means being innovative, creative, and flexible in how we support students and how we do our work.

Here are some examples of some of the things you can do as Volunteers. Do you have a laptop that you can share with someone who may not have a laptop? Can you help a colleague learn to use online platforms? Do you have a friend who needs a place to stay?

How we step forward in this moment with courage and commitment will define our campus and our community going forward.

Thank you.