Monday Memo April 6, 2020

Dean's Message

Dear colleagues,

This has been an extraordinarily difficult semester for everyone. We are facing a global crisis that has created enormous challenges for research, teaching, and our everyday work, but it also takes a personal and emotional toll on each of us. I know everyone is juggling multiple demands on our time, energy, and emotional lives. While we need to continue to offer the best possible education to our students under the circumstances, taking care of ourselves is also critically important. Please take time to breathe, exercise, enjoy the pleasant spring weather, and discover new ways to connect with each other (remotely of course!). Looking forward, there is still much we don’t know. No decision has been made about whether the fall term will be a normal one, as that will depend on how the pandemic evolves in the coming weeks and months. Taleia and the fiscal staff are working to understand what the financial impact of this crisis will be, both for the current fiscal year and the next. For now, we will continue to plan the next fiscal year on the prior assumption of a flat budget, as that will give us a solid baseline from which to begin. As the financial impact becomes clearer, we’ll make any necessary revisions to our budget planning. For now, though, we just don’t know what the impact on A&S and the university will be. I will continue to provide updates when I have new information. Thank you for persevering through this tumultuous term. Our strength is in our people and together we will become more resilient. Best,


Hiring Freeze

The University has instituted a hiring freeze. The Provost’s Office has a process for requesting exemptions. If you wish to request an exemption, they are due to A&S by Wed, April 1st.  If you wish to request an exemption to the hiring freeze, you must complete this form and email to Susan Ryan, Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs.   

A&S Spending Policy during COVID-19 Crisis

Effective: Immediately and through June 30, 2020 Dan Durbin, Vice President for Finance and Administration/CFO, is projecting a multi-million dollar deficit for the current university budget from the coronavirus crisis. Consequently, A&S has instituted a spending freeze on all discretionary expenses charged to general fund and distance education accounts. This spending freeze excludes grants. To request an exception send a justification, including expense amount and funding source, to Taleia Willis, Interim LFO. During the period of this policy, the following will hold: 

  • ProCard expenses will be monitored.
  • Necessary and essential expenses are those that are required to fulfill our core academic mission. If the expense is essential for providing online instruction, then it may qualify for an exception.
  • Unfortunately, much research is already being impacted and only absolutely necessary and time-sensitive research expenses can be considered.
  • Before requesting an exception for new technology purchases, confirm that there is no other equipment that can be re-used.
  • Overtime will not be permitted for the duration of this policy.
  • Hold off on making any new financial commitments for the foreseeable future, including in the next fiscal year.


Great Place to Learn

Senior Chemistry major mobilizes food delivery to senior citizens during COVID-19 outbreak

Praneeth Goli, a senior Chemistry major with minors in Philosophy and Biology, recently assembled a committee of volunteers that have so far distributed nearly 800 meals to those who need them during the COVID-19 outbreak. The committee is working with Blessings in a Backpack to facilitate the meal deliveries and are focused on making sure the food needs of the city’s elderly population are being met during this crisis. Read the full story here.  

Online summer term enrollment

Summer term will be fully online due to COVID-19. As such, we are keeping tuition low for students enrolling online this summer in courses that would have traditionally been delivered in-person. The new rates apply to Summer Term 2020 only. Priority enrollment begins Tuesday, March 31. Schedule of classes

Scholarship Opportunities for Undergraduate Students

The UofL Women's Center has scholarship opportunities for undergraduate students for the 2020 fall semester: the Dr. Ann T. Allen Endowed Scholarship and the Women's Club of the University of Louisville Scholarships. Dr. Ann T. Allen is a retired professor of History and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at UofL and the scholarship is for a single student parent in the College of Arts & Sciences. Founded in 1929, the Women’s Club of the University of Louisville is a social organization whose mission is to provide tuition assistance to deserving students and sponsor monthly activities that engage, enlighten, and educate its members. Download the criteria and application here for email for more details.  

Dissertation Writing Retreat

The University Writing Center still has a few spots available for its annual Dissertation Writing Retreat, May 18-22, 2020. Ph.D. students from all programs and stages of dissertation writing are welcome to apply. This year, the retreat will be held online. For application information, visit the website.

Writing Center Open for Online Appointments 

During remote course delivery, the University Writing Center is providing online-only appointments for students, faculty, and staff. Please visit this website, and share the link with your students, to learn how to schedule a written feedback appointment. We also have online resources, including over thirty handouts on writing issues, video workshops, FAQs about writing, and resources for teaching writing.

Great Place to Work

Online summer course support

The Delphi Center plans to provide additional support to instructors to take their courses online for Summer Term 2020. More information.  

Conducting Effective Performance Appraisals Webinar

April 8, 9-11 AM; April 9, 9-11 AM
We all want to be part of a high-performing, engaged workplace and a thoughtful performance appraisal process is one of the best tools for making it happen. Performance appraisals create an opportunity to set meaningful goals, discuss employee development, celebrate success, and provide constructive feedback for the year ahead. With a new instrument and schedule for appraisals, this workshop will provide tips and resources for making the most of the process. All employees are welcome. Register by noon Tuesday, April 7 to attend.  

A&S Staff Planning and Discussion Meeting

April 9, 11 AM
Taleia Willis, Interim Director of Finance & Lead Fiscal Officer, has scheduled an open planning and discussion meeting via Microsoft Teams. This will be an open conversation about any trainings, professional development, issues, or anything that you would like to discuss.  

"Calm in the Storm" Meditation Series

Every Friday at 12:30 PM through May 1
Bluejeans link: Join one of our Republic Bank Foundation Optimal Aging Clinic mental health providers, Anna Walton, LCSW, for a virtual meditation session specifically addressing our stress and anxiety during this uncertain time.

Great Place to Invest

Help Ensure Students Receive Critical Support

Approximately 40% of our students are PELL Grant eligible which demonstrates their underlying need for support. Please consider contributing to the Student Emergency Fund so that we can ensure that our students who encounter difficult circumstances can receive the critical support they need. Now is the time to come together as a community of care, the first of our Cardinal principles. If you know students who are in need, please encourage them to reach out to us for assistance or to apply for emergency funds.


Listen to the new episode of Sustainability Now 

Sustainability Now! | Palmer Stroup | Pandemic Perseverance (Forward Radio, 4/6/20) UofL Senior Sustainability major, Palmer Stroup, reflects on emerging from the pandemic as better people.

In the News

In this horrific battle, it's the coronavirus vs. naked American capitalism (Courier-Journal, 3/18/20) Op-ed by Prof. and Dept. Chair Ricky Jones (Pan African Studies).

UofL Professors switch course plans to online platform (WHAS 11, 3/20/20) Prof. Rachel Hopp (Biology) interviewed. 

Election Connection | Pandemic: Sellus Wilder/Cynthia Ganote (Forward Radio, 3/24/20) Prof. Cynthia Ganote (Sociology) discusses COVID-19 from a sociological perspective.

How This U of L Researcher Is Forecasting The Spread of Coronavirus In Kentucky (WFPL, 3/24/20) Prof. Dan Han (Mathematics) discusses coronavirus spread projections.

Structure, Self-Care Important For Parents And Kids During The Coronavirus Pandemic (WFPL, 3/26/20) - Prof. Judith Danovitch (Psychological and Brain Sciences) discusses the importance of structure in an uncertain world.

COVID-19: A Lesson on Compassion and Innovation  (The Cardinal, 3/26/20) - Prof. and Dept. Chair Jasmine Farrier (Political Science) quoted.  Can Andy

BAE-shear and other top governors save America from itself? (Courier-Journal, 4/2/20) Op-ed by Prof. and Dept. Chair Ricky Jones (Pan African Studies). UofL

Psychologist has high hopes for new statewide council (UofL News, 4/3/20) - Prof. Cheri Levinson interviewed.