Friday message

Bill Maurer
Friday June 12 16:58:12 PDT 2020

  Dear social sciences community,

  Congratulations -- we have reached the end of Finals Week! I want to
  take this opportunity to thank you all so very much for your incredible
  efforts this quarter. Our staff made a remarkably effective transition
  to telecommuting in record time; our computing services folks kept us
  all connected; our facilities team made sure the lights were still on
  and our buildings were properly cared for in our absence; accounting
  dealt with an onslaught of totally unprecedented Covid-related expenses
  (while also processing a large number of new grants!); the undergrad
  office maintained their exceptional level of support and service to our
  students, while SSARC made sure they got mentoring and had opportunities
  for fun, too. The grad office presided over the most significant
  transfer of funding and TAships to grad students we've ever experienced
  (and it's still going on for summer). Communications got our stories
  out--while our faculty, GSRs, postdocs and research teams kept up a lot
  of their research, despite the slowdown, and many lent their important
  voices to the fundamental transformations taking place in our society as
  I write this. Our personnel team helped us all navigate new policies and
  procedures related to the pandemic and work-from-home, while keeping the
  campus Academic Personnel and Human Resources folks on their toes.
  Department, program and research center staff stayed connected with
  their faculty and researchers, kept the trains moving on time, and
  supported us all through this transition. Faculty, lecturers and grad
  student TAs kept our students engaged through remote instruction, in
  many cases learning themselves how to do so as they went along, with the
  stalwart assistance of Janet DiVincenzo and our dedicated remote
  instruction coaches. Development, well, they kept the philanthropic
  donations flowing, and arranged some really innovative programming for
  our supporters and alumni. The Executive Committee had to do some heavy
  lifting, and the Chairs and Chairs' Council members provided crucial
  guidance to their departments and to the administrative team all along
  the way. Staff working-groups pivoted from their initial assignments to
  help maintain connection, morale, and to provide training in managing
  new technology and our new remote milieu. Finally, the Associate Deans
  and Assistant Dean have been working overtime, helping us all to see
  around corners as we tried to anticipate what would hit us next and
  prepare for all sorts of contingencies.

  So: THANK YOU. We did it. I know people have faced struggles and
  hardships. I have, too. But we made it through. And.... we're going to
  have to keep at it for a while, albeit at a different pace, as we move
  into the summer and the next phase of the pandemic. Thank you for
  supporting each other and me though this challenging 4-month period and
  in the weeks and months to come. I so appreciate it.

  I know some of you have come to depend on these daily emails, but I am
  hopeful that I can reduce their frequency beginning next week. Don't
  worry: I'm here, and you all know how to reach me. I will still
  translate any mixed signals we get from the central administration or
  other units on campus, as needed (and I bet it will be needed!). The
  Associate Deans will be in touch as matters related to each of their
  portfolios come up, as well. But I'll see if I can reduce my own
  messages to a couple times per week (and I'll be sure to include Rufus
  and Ginger, of course!).

  And tomorrow is Commencement. Please do tune in. It will all begin at
  10am on Saturday, with an all-campus celebration first, followed at
  10:30 by individual receptions, via If
  you're into social media, please light up the Internet with #UCIGrad,
  #IamUCI, #UCIpride and #zotzotzot. It means so much to our graduates!

  Happy weekend, happy grading (?!), happy summer. To our PhD and MA
  recipients: congratulations!!

  Thank you, UC Irvine School of Social Sciences.

  Stay safe, and be well.