Official University Communication

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Message From Chancellor Folt

Dear Carolina Community,

Welcome back to campus. We are glad you have returned, though we know that Hurricane Florence remains on your minds as so many of our families, friends and local communities continue to be affected by this catastrophic storm.

As you resume your regular activities, here are a few things that we want you to know:

Travel Precautions

Our campus was incredibly fortunate to be spared major damage, but many communities, including ours, are still dealing with serious flooding. State officials continue to urge caution while traveling on many roads across the state. Your safety is our highest priority, and we want you to travel only when it is safe to do so.

Missed Class

We know that some students may not be able to attend class in the short or long term, and we have asked faculty members to offer extraordinary flexibility in working with those affected by this unprecedented storm. Soon Provost Blouin will send an email with more specific information about how affected students can let us know their situation, and we will determine how we can help. We stand ready to do everything we can to provide care and resources to ensure affected students can make a successful return to campus. Please also know that you can always reach out to the Dean of Students office at 919-966-4042 or Counseling and Psychological Services at 919-966-3658 for assistance.

Recovery Efforts

On Saturday, the Friday Center, in cooperation with the American Red Cross and the State Emergency Management Team, opened its doors as a shelter for hurricane evacuees across the state. We know that many of you want to do all you can to support people who have been displaced by the storm. Please visit this website for information about how to get involved.
If you are a faculty or staff member affected by the storm, we also want to be sure you are cared for in your time of need. Please call the Employee Assistance Program, 24 hours a day at 877-314-5841.

Thanks to our Employees

I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone on campus who helped us before, during and after the storm. I am especially grateful to our staff who worked 24/7 to care for students still here, and to keep facilities running and walkways clear of debris. I also thank the team who worked in the Emergency Operations Center who monitored the storm and provided regular updates to the community. In addition, I am very appreciative of those who transformed the Friday Center to serve as a shelter for 500 North Carolinians in less than 24 hours and to numerous others who mobilized efforts to collect donations for people in need.

Serving our state is an important part of our mission as a public university, and we will do everything we can to help those in our own community and beyond. As we know from past experience, the road to recovery is a long one that will take all of us working together to persevere.
Sincerely,

Carol L. Folt

This message is sponsored by: Office of the Chancellor

Message From Provost Blouin

Dear Colleagues:

Thank you for the role you played in helping the University resume classes this morning.

As you know, other parts of our state and region were affected much more heavily by Hurricane Florence than Chapel Hill, and the effects are still being felt, as waters continue to rise in some places.

Although there are many ways that we can help those who are in need, one of the most important is to support students who have been affected. Some of our students went home last week to much worse situations than we experienced in Chapel Hill. We expect that most were able to return this morning or will be able to return by the end of the week. But others may require more time, and even those who have returned to campus may be preoccupied with worry about family members, their homes, and their livelihoods. The next few weeks may prove challenging for these students.
We must do all we can to support these affected students and demonstrate that we are committed to their academic and personal success.Towards this end, we are establishing a team of faculty and staff members to provide individualized care and guidance for these students. If you notice that one of your students is struggling or has not returned to class, please let this team know by completing a Care Referral Form.

I am instructing all faculty members to exercise extraordinary care and flexibility in their work with affected students. When in doubt, please err on the side of compassion and generosity, suspending penalties related to missed classes for students who have not yet been able to return. Other short-term ways to help include:

  • recording class sessions and posting the video online;
  • making other materials available online, including lecture notes and presentations; and/or
  • holding optional class meetings, study sessions, or project-completion sessions, and making those materials available online.

The Center for Faculty Excellence has offered to assist faculty members with these and other approaches. If you need such assistance, please contact Doug James, Associate Director for Teaching and Learning Faculty Development, at doug.james@unc.edu.

If you yourself should need additional support in coping with the effects of Hurricane Florence, I hope you will contact the Employee Assistance Program 24-hour ComPsych line at 877-314-5841.
Thank you again for the role you have played in our reopening this morning, and thank you in advance for supporting our students and encouraging their success.

Sincerely,

Bob

Robert A. Blouin
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

This message is sponsored by: Office of the Provost