William L. MacDonald
Dean and Director, The Ohio State University at Newark
A message from the dean
As Buckeyes, we're in this together
Tragic examples of our society’s long history of racial injustice continue to confront us. They strike at the fabric of humanity, the health of our nation and the mission of The Ohio State University at Newark. In a recent email to university colleagues, Ohio State President Kristina M. Johnson wrote, “We must come together to draw strength from each other and advance our collective vision for a better world where we one day have justice for all. There is much work to be done.”
I affirm the campus’s commitment to that work, and in the face of disheartening and frightening words—broadcast to the world—that appear to support white supremacy, I find my spirits lifted by community partners who are also affirming a commitment to justice for all and who are working with the campus to fulfill that vision. Racial injustices and inequities cannot continue, and we have a large role to play in ending them. I have issued a letter to the community calling for a commitment—especially from those of us who are white—to do more work than we ever have in that regard.
We must commit to that work even as we deal with the effects of the pandemic, which Ohio State Newark continues to respond to with creativity and strength. Throughout the pandemic, the health and well-being of our campus community remained our highest priorities. Last spring, as COVID-19 cases increased, Ohio State Newark faculty and staff moved swiftly to provide our students with exceptional remote learning opportunities and the virtual delivery of all but a few essential services. Throughout the summer, while all classes continued in remote formats, extensive preparations were put in place for a safe return to campus for autumn semester. Social distancing, masks, reductions in classroom occupancy limits, enhanced cleaning, daily wellness checks, virus testing for students and contract tracing are just some of the protocols that are now standard in our new routines.
I’m pleased to report that as Ohio State resumed full operations at all of its campuses for autumn semester, procedures at the Newark campus restarted smoothly. Approximately 40% of our classes here have some in-person component this semester, and I’ve seen firsthand the exceptional commitment that faculty, staff and students have demonstrated in adhering to our safety protocols. And while our residence halls are at near capacity with close to 300 students, the number of positive cases in students at Ohio State Newark is extremely low. These successes would not be possible without the hard work, patience and compassion of our faculty and staff, and students. I thank them for everything that they have accomplished during this crisis.
They have reminded me that Buckeyes are resilient, and that by working together, we will meet the world’s evolving challenges — today and tomorrow.
Stay safe and stay well.