Last upated: 8 May 2020
A word from Provost, Jeremy Brown:
As we embarked on our odyssey at the beginning of the ’19-’20 academic year, not one of us could have foretold the events that have indelibly marked this year in our hearts and minds. Yet, as we approach the final few weeks of the year, we should take great pride in all that we have accomplished, the challenges we have faced and overcome, and the bright future that awaits us.
We’ve learnt to appreciate more the simple things in life that we had taken for granted: the ability to sit and have coffee with friends, to go to the cinema, to be able to be with family and loved ones whenever we wanted. These times will return. I hope then that we will cherish them more.
We all look to the future. However, that vision is obscured by uncertainties regarding the new ‘normal’ and how many stages it will take to get there. As much as we envisage a future landscape with many of our favorite activities, we must focus on the present. One of the things that we have learnt from this situation is that the present is ever changing, and we must learn to adapt.
Presently, the end of the academic year commotion will soon be on us. Of particular note, and I do not need to remind you, this means final assessments of how much you have learnt this semester. As much as they are reviled, examinations are an essential part of the learning process. Our faculty have done a great job in transitioning to this new learning environment and have put a lot of thought into how best to assess your learning without any unnecessary burden on an already stressful situation. I encourage each and every one of our students to finish the semester with a flourish and to demonstrate to us all that no matter what obstacles are thrown in your path, you are up for the challenge. You’ve come a long way already not to let yourself down at the end of this journey.
Our faculty and staff have done wonderfully well in assuring business continuity and we should applaud them for that. Just because we do not see each other on a regular basis, does not mean that we are not committed to providing you with the best education both inside and outside the classroom. Please reach out to us as necessary for any reason, e.g. student affairs, IT, housing, immigration, admissions, registrar, library, academics etc.. We’d be delighted to hear from you.
While we have been busy managing the present we have, of course, had one eye on the future. Frankly, there is not a great deal of clarity. Universities around the world are uncertain what the ’20-’21 academic year will bring. AUM is no different. The only certainty is that classes will begin on time according to our calendar. We shall shortly be announcing the fall schedule and encourage you to register as soon as possible.
If we are mandated to continue our classes in a remote learning environment, we shall be prepared for that. However, at present we are planning for classes being held on campus in our usual format. We therefore advise you to make similar plans to be back on campus in time for the start of the ’20-’21 academic year. However, I should advise you that these plans may be subject to change depending on circumstances. We will work diligently to ensure that we remain in contact with you regarding any developments which may affect this plan.
Finally, I want to wish all of you good physical and mental health, and to encourage you to take all necessary and advised precautions to remain well. As we emerge from the pandemic, and we will, please recognize that this virus is not going away. Relaxation in acceptable behaviors does not mean that we should let down our guard. Please do not become complacent and succumb to this or future waves of the virus. You are very important to us and we miss each of you on campus.
Dr. Jeremy Brown