By  March 12, 2020 - 9:19am

Dear CAFE Community

As we work through the considerable uncertainty surrounding the impact of the worldwide coronavirus threat on our community, we are getting new information constantly from many sources.  President Capilouto and a senior management team have developed a robust team at the central university level to ensure the safety and health of the university. 

Likewise, the college has formed strong Emergency Operations Group coordinated by Tim West, who is a main campus liaison, and led by Andrea Higdon, Emergency Management System Director for the college.  This team is tasked with identifying and resolving operational issues and communicating information as it becomes available.  This group is considering undergraduate instruction, extension, information technology, facilities, human resources, business functions and more. This team is evolving and will be providing updates as situations become clearer. Thanks to the following additional folks for placing coronavirus planning as an essential priority: Orlando Chambers, Susan Campbell, Carmen Agouridis, Brian Lee, Bob Houtz, Laura Stephenson, Roberta Dwyer, Laura Skillman, and Lisa Collins. Thanks go to Chris Canjar and many of the college’s IT staff for helping on the transition to online instruction. 

Helping our teaching faculty transition to online instruction is a critical and immediate priority for our college, and numerous people are assisting. I am sure they will be able to help each instructor provide the best learning environment. 

Our Cooperative Extension professionals are working constantly to sort through a myriad of issues concerning not only our own employee activities but all those we serve across the state. County offices and agents have an indispensable and huge role in helping our citizens sort through the facts of how this virus is impacting their communities. 

We are also assessing potential threats to the operation of the college farms, facilities and our research and graduate education programs. 

In talking to one of the senior UK officials two days ago about responding to this situation, he said “this is what your college is good at, right?” Such an expression of confidence should make us all proud!

As we move forward, there will be many questions and individual situations that probably have not even been thought of yet. Please be assured that our college leadership is working constantly to be responsive to the needs of our students, employees, clientele, and alumni.  Thanks to one and all for addressing this situation with the power of courage, sound science and service that our college is known for.

For the latest updates on the coronavirus and UK’s response, use the link below.