Monday Memo March 23, 2020

Dean's Message

Dear A&S Family,

Thank you all for pulling together to move all of our instruction online while at the same time moving offices and work to remote operations. I know how incredibly difficult both of these actions have been, but I am hearing many positive reports about how well we have made this transition in just a week and a half. In fact, just today Neeli forwarded me a note from a student who was very impressed by the honesty, vulnerability, compassion, and encouragement expressed in an email from their instructor.  In the note to Neeli, the student said “This is the Cardinal spirit that will get us through this bump in the road.”  I couldn’t agree more—that it will be the compassion and decency of each member of the A&S family that will carry us through these frightening times. I urge you to not only be compassionate and encouraging, but also to check in with your students about the stresses and anxieties they are feeling right now. Several faculty I have spoken to have done this and done it to great effect. It has proven helpful to the instructors and students alike. 

Administratively, we are continuing to adapt daily to the situation. A hiring freeze for all faculty and staff hires has been instituted because the budgetary impact of this pandemic is expected to be severe. All on-going searches are suspended until further notice. Appeals for exceptions will come to the Dean’s office, and then go for final approval to the Provost. Guidance about the details for how to appeal for an exception are forthcoming.
Finally, both the Provost and A&S Dean searches have been suspended until the fall because it would be impossible to conduct on-campus interviews with the finalists. I have agreed to continue as interim dean until the search resumes. A permanent dean is expected to be hired sometime next academic year. 
I count myself fortunate to lead A&S during these trying times—you all have truly demonstrated the Cardinal spirit in the past few weeks, and it is this spirit that makes us a community of care, and a family. I wish each of you good health in the coming weeks.

Great Place to Work

Engagement Scholarship Consortium Small Grant program

The Engagement Scholarship Consortium (ESC) is moving forward with the ESC small grant program and expects to support 4 or 5 proposals. Find more info and apply.

Student Rec Center offering online workouts

Keep moving by joining live classes from the Student Rec Center via Instagram Live all week at

Community of Care

University Writing Center Faculty and Student Writing Group

The University Writing Center’s Faculty and Graduate Student Writing Group will meet online for the remainder of the semester. Meetings occur on Thursdays 5-7 p.m. The group’s goal, whether online or in-person, is to provide support, community, accountability, and feedback for scholars. Participants can work on any project and do not have to attend every meeting. All disciplines and programs are welcome. Please contact for more information and the Google Hangout link.

Anonymous Feedback

Interim Dean David Owen is committed to making A&S an inclusive and equitable work environment where the Cardinal Principal of “Respect” is valued and put into action. However, he needs your input in order to achieve that goal.

Please submit your feedback using our new anonymous feedback tool.


Stream Sustainability Now! on Soundcloud

On this week’s edition of Sustainability Now! on Forward Radio, host Justin Mog gets deep in the grease traps with Todd Bluechel, President of Sales, Marketing & Business Development at Oil Tech. A local, family-owned company, OilTech collects waste cooking oil from restaurants, institutions, and residents so it can be turned into a renewable fuel known as biodiesel.

In the News

Kentucky Eating Disorder Bill Aims to Bring Awareness to the "Silent Epidemic" (Spectrum News 1, 3/2/20) Prof. Cheri Levinson (Psychological and Brain Sciences) interviewed.

U of L interior design students to design tiny homes for veterans in need (WDRB, 3/5/20) Interior Design program featured.

Opinion: For black people, the real 'prize' is not defeating Donald Trump (Courier-Journal, 3/5/20) Op-ed by Prof. Ricky Jones (Pan African Studies)

'Men of Quality' holds 24th annual forum for JCPS students (WDRB, 3/9/20) Prof. Brandon McCormack (Pan African Studies) was the keynote speaker.  

Mental health expert cites effects of canceled sporting events (WLKY, 3/14/20) Prof. Michael Cunningham (Communication) discusses ways to cope.

How Louisville is adjusting to a 'new normal' amid coronavirus (Courier-Journal, 3/17/20) Prof. Michael Cunningham (Communication) quoted. 

The One Change John Roberts Can Make to Depoliticize the Supreme Court (Politico, 3/18/20) Prof. Laura Moyer's (Political Science) research referenced.