Dear Colorado Law students, faculty, and staff,
I want to follow up on the message sent yesterday by the CU Boulder Provost, Russell Moore, and Interim Chief Operating Officer (COO) Patrick O'Rourke. But before I do, let me once again express my hope for the health and safety of each one of you and gratitude for the extraordinary efforts everyone is making to continue our community of learning.
I’d like to highlight and add information relevant to the law school on two of the topics addressed in the message by the Provost and COO: building access and the coming fall semester.
The shift in building access protocols announced by the Provost and COO yesterday does not change your access to the Wolf Law Building. You can continue to access the building with your Buff OneCard as before, if you need to for limited purposes. However, you will no longer have access to other academic buildings on campus as you did before. More details are on the university’s coronavirus webpage.
As the exam period approaches, the law school administration is sensitive to students' needs to have suitable places to take exams. Reserved space in the building will be made available for any student who does not otherwise have an adequate place to take an exam. We are developing a procedure to reserve a space in the building for an exam, for those cases in which such a space is necessary. We will announce the procedure in the coming days.
I know it's started to sound cliché to say that these are uncertain times, but in fact these continue to be uncertain times. There are positive signs that the social distancing imposed by the university and the state are paying off, as the rate of infection of COVID-19 shows signs of declining. But how the COVID-19 pandemic will look in the fall and the rest of the next academic year is not fully known.
The university and the law school are determined to do all we can to bring student and academic life back to campus in the fall, when our current 1Ls and 2Ls will be continuing their law school experiences and a new class will begin its journey with us. Even if large gatherings will still not be possible, we are hopeful that conditions will permit, in some form, live classes and in-person interaction at the Wolf Law Building.
As announced by the Provost and COO, "the university’s leadership team is in the process of assessing scenarios including the timing of necessary decisions.… with our priority being the health and safety of our community members." Additionally, I am forming a task force of law school faculty, staff, and students to engage in a supporting process of contingency planning for continuing classes in the fall with the ongoing coronavirus situation in mind. Any recommendations of the task force and decisions by the law school about instruction next fall will be within the framework of the decisions and guidance of the university.
I know what I’ve just said about the fall semester cannot be entirely satisfying, because of the underlying persistent uncertainty. But rest assured these uncertain times will eventually end, and in the meantime our creativity, resilience, and compassion for one another will allow our community of learning to continue strong.
S. James Anaya
Dean and University Distinguished Professor