November 24, 2020

Weekly Update from President Bresciani

NDSU Community,

It’s Thanksgiving week, which represents an opportunity to take few days break before the end of the semester. Personally, I am going to be reflective and thankful for the good things in my life. Among the most significant of these things is the opportunity to work at NDSU with and for each and every person reading this email. 

I want to use this update to recognize what we’ve accomplished together this semester. I don’t want to talk about safety guidelines or worsening metrics or travel or testing. I just want to say thank you to the entire NDSU community for the amazing work you’ve done to keep NDSU operating.

Back in late August when the semester started, we really did not know how the semester would unfold. It took considerable time and effort to develop the HyFlex concept, and it also took a lot of money to buy the equipment to make it a reality. None of it would matter, however, if the faculty, students and staff didn’t embrace the changes and accept the new challenges.   

Thankfully, our faculty learned the HyFlex delivery method, our students agreed to lifestyle restrictions that would have been unthinkable in other times, and our staff continued to make the campus function despite innumerable changes to their operations. 

I know this has not been easy for anybody. However, because of everybody’s hard work and commitment, we are only a few weeks away from finishing the semester in the same way that we started it. It’s absolutely amazing that we have come this far. Once again, thank you for your effort toward reaching this goal.

That being said, although it is likely to be a difficult winter, I am excited about the successful vaccine trials and the possibility of distribution starting soon. Until then, I know that every student and employee is under a great deal of stress. While there is only so much NDSU can do to help the situation, we need to try. When we started the semester, I asked everybody to use four over-arching concepts to guide our decision-making during the pandemic: (1) flexibility; (2) adaptability; (3) patience; and (4) personal responsibility. I’d now like to add a fifth: grace, in its meaning of kindness and courtesy.

We need to pull together to continue our important mission. To do that, kindness of spirit and kindness of action will be important, including being aware of people’s need to have meaningful breaks from work. To that end, I am asking everybody, including supervisors, to be thoughtful about workloads, meetings and emails during the upcoming holiday seasons. For many matters, there will be plenty of time to deal with issues after the start of the new year. 

We need people energized for the spring semester, so please be considerate to each other during this time between semesters. With a vaccine on the horizon, spring will be better than winter. We are starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel, and we need to continue to be strong together. 

Please do what you can to take care of yourself and each other. The President’s Council on Well-Being has gathered a list of helpful campus resources here. In particular, I want to note that the mental health and wellness app known as Welltrack is now available to the entire NDSU community.  

Have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving holiday!

Dean L. Bresciani, President

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