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March 25, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you!

I can think of nothing more important to say this morning as I look out over our nearly empty campus than this: thank you to all our faculty, staff, and administrators.

To our faculty, thank you for the incredible job you have done in converting your courses to remote delivery in such a short period of time. You are making it possible for our students to complete their semester coursework and to progress to their degrees without interruption. You are enabling Rutgers to be true to its core mission of education. And you are demonstrating to everyone what people of intelligence, creativity, and good will can do to overcome adversity.

To all our Rutgers researchers, who are leading the local and national charge to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, thank you. You are providing new rapid tests for viral exposure, new on-site rapid-throughput diagnostic testing to service our entire region, new clinical trials for therapeutics; the list goes on.

To all our faculty and staff on the front lines of clinical care, thank you. We are witnessing real acts of heroism in our hospitals and clinics, and our own clinicians at Rutgers are among those heroes. To all of you engaged in the care of patients, working tirelessly and at your own personal risk to bring us your expertise and compassion, I send you my deepest admiration and thanks.

And my personal thanks to our entire university staff, so many of you working remotely while tending to the needs of your families. None of our efforts would have been successful without your tireless efforts. Our IT, HR, Finance, and Facilities personnel have literally been working 24/7, and we are all in your debt.

Finally, to our chancellors, provosts, deans, chairs, and other academic leaders, my deep appreciation. What has been accomplished so far could not have been done without your leadership and wise counsel.

Let me close by saying how humbled I am to be part of this incredible group, and how proud I am to be a member of the Rutgers community today.

Bob Barchi