Pace, prepare, protect!

Bill Maurer
Thursday Apr 9 16:17:22 PDT 2020
    Dear all,

    Some of you will have heard my standard "pace, prepare, protect" speech
    I always give our incoming first-year undergrads during orientation
    week. I've got a modified version of that you for today, upon reflecting
    on some of my own meetings on this Thursday.

    Pace: Not everything has to happen immediately or according to the same
    timetable we were adhering to before this pandemic. Not everything CAN
    happen as quickly as it used to--just given logistical challenges we
    all face, the care we are giving to others, and the self-care I hope
    we're all taking some time for. I am increasingly aware that digital
    commuting does not equal the frictionless and fast tech utopia we're
    always being promised. Let's just all be aware of that as we deal with
    each other and our students.

    Prepare: There's a ton of uncertainty right now about... most things! We
    don't know how long stay-at-home will last; we don't know how university
    policies will continue to adapt and adjust to our new circumstances,
    or how fast they might do so (see "Pace" above). But I do want you
    all to know that an awful lot of contingency planning is indeed taking
    place. I was in a meeting with all the deans today talking about all the
    "what ifs," and what information we think we'll need as we face changing
    circumstances. I admit I've never had the patience to sit through all of
    Wiseman's film, "At Berkeley," but I thought of it today when marveling
    at all planning taking place at all levels of the university. From the
    New York Times film review: "In its refusal to identify anyone by name
    or job title, this four-hour film [yep, 4 hours!] ... makes a profound
    statement about democratic participation. It’s not the 'me,' but the
    'we,' that keeps democracy alive. From the humblest janitor to the
    most esteemed professor, everyone belongs to the same community and is
    equally important."

    Protect: On another front--while we're all socially distancing and
    obsessively hand-washing, my colleague Claire Greene at the Atlanta Fed
    (who contributes to my favorite blog, Take On Payments (yes, I am a dork))
    alerted me to some of the truly horrible scams going around that are
    trying to take advantage of people's economic uncertainty and health fears
    right now. Forewarned is forearmed. Please do not fall victim to these
    scams. They're targeting the elderly, students, and those experiencing
    financial difficulties in particular. If you get a call from the Social
    Security Administration--it's not the Social Security Administration! If
    someone is offering you new lucrative work-from-home opportunities--don't
    fall for it. The Federal Trade Commission has been keeping track of most
    of these scams and has a "Scam Alert" email list you can subscribe to.

    Grad students: THIS, however, is not a scam, but very welcome news from
    Grad Division: "Dean of the Graduate Division Gillian Hayes offers a new
    support program for graduate students who find themselves in financial
    distress. These students are encouraged to fill out the Request for
    Hardship/Emergency Support Form. While support is not guaranteed to
    everyone, we will strive to assist you with the resources that are

    And that's about it for today! In our deans meeting I was the only guy
    wearing a tie--last week, there were two other male deans in ties--but
    I was pleased to see two of the female deans still wearing what I'd
    consider work attire. I may end up being the last holdout!

    Take good care,