Monday Morning Message 3.16.2020 We Are All In This Together.

Posted 2020-03-16 11:13am

“Our CSU Pandemic Response Team continues to work together to aggressively prevent the spread and transmission of COVID-19. We continue to remain vigilant, and will continue to communicate with you as events evolve during this difficult and uncertain time…. this new workforce flexibility reinforces our resolve to limit health risk from COVID-19 to the CSU community — and the Cleveland community at large — while maintaining our focus on delivering on our Engaged Learning promise in these challenging times.” – CSU President Harlan Sands

This has been an extraordinary week for all of us in the Cleveland-Marshall community. Thank you for your continued flexibility as we adapt to a very fast-changing set of circumstances and for your willingness to do what needs to be done on behalf of our students. This is an unprecedented, fluid, and evolving situation, and requires adaptive leadership by all of us.

The health and safety of the entire campus community – students, faculty, and staff – are our highest priorities and continue to guide all of our decisions. We are working to ensure ongoing effective teaching and learning, while also protecting public health and observing effective social distancing.

President Harlan Sands has provided strong leadership during this unprecedented public health challenge by forming a CSU Pandemic Response Team led by Provost Jianping Zhu and Vice Admiral (Ret.) Dr. Forrest Faison, the former Surgeon General of the Navy and CSU Senior VP of Research & Innovation, and Chief Healthcare Strategy Officer. Vice Admiral Faison led the planning and response to SARS, MERS, Zika, Ebola, and Influenza for the Navy and Marine Corps. The Response Team is closely following the recommended guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and is in close and regular contact with the Cleveland Department of Health, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health and the Ohio Department of Health for guidance and information.

I convened a law school task force to work on the particular needs of the law school, led by Associate Deans Carolyn Broering-Jacobs and Jonathan Witmer-Rich. We have been and will continue to send at least one daily weekday update on how this is affecting our law school community.

The university has extended spring break by one week, is finalizing plans to suspend all non-essential, on-campus operations beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17 until at least Monday, April 13, will deliver university-wide services remotely starting on Tuesday, March 17, and will move to remote instruction through at least April 10.

The extended spring break week begins today, Monday, March 16, as we transition to remote teaching and learning operations. Most faculty and staff will work remotely starting on March 17, and we will provide the necessary support. We are determining a plan for our staffing needs in consultation with our staff. The current plan is to begin classes remotely for all students on March 23 and continue through April 10.

Throughout this rapidly evolving situation, our students remain our top priority. With each change, our staff and faculty have worked to quickly adapt in order to provide remote services and instruction, and for that I am very grateful. I am also grateful for our students, who are adapting to these changes with the kind of grit and resilience for which CSU Cleveland-Marshall students are well known.

  We are working to ensure that every law student has both adequate internet access and technology to participate fully in remote classes starting March 23. Any student who has concerns about access or technology has been asked to reach out to or Associate Dean Broering-Jacobs or Associate Dean Witmer-Rich.

Assistant Dean Sarah Beznoska has reassured our students that key student services will continue to be available during the coming weeks and that our student support team remains committed to assist. Specifically, Academic Support, Bar Preparation, Career and Academic Advising, and Records/Academic services all will be provided remotely during the coming weeks.  

For the safety of the entire Cleveland-Marshall community, we have cancelled all law school sponsored or funded events, on and off campus, through April 12. It is possible that we will be cancelling events after April 12 as well; we will continue to monitor the situation and make decisions based on guidance provided by the University and other experts, with the health and safety of our community in mind.

Our April 3-4 Admitted Students Weekend has been postponed, but we have an alternate plan. Assistant Dean Barbara Andelman and her team are hard at work on a virtual event that will encompass much of what our admitted students would have enjoyed at our in-person event.

Recognizing, of course, that things can change, we currently feel confident that we will complete the semester in a timely manner.  We know that completing the semester on time is important to all our students, but timely completion is particularly important to those on track to graduate and sit for the July bar examination. Our faculty, staff, and administration (as well as the University) are fully committed to doing everything within our power to enable our students to finish their courses and graduation requirements, and to graduate on time.

The most critical starting point is to take care of yourself, and the people around you. We are all in this together. Given the need for social distancing, it can be hard to feel connected to others. If you're feeling alone, it's important to reach out for support, whether that's to trusted friends, family, colleagues, classmates, or a trained professional.

My sincere thanks to every member of the CSU Cleveland-Marshall community for the steps that each of you is taking to help minimize the impact of this global health crisis. I ask each of you to work with us in the coming weeks. In this situation, individual actions can make a huge difference.

Please email questions, comments, concerns to: Dean Lee Fisher (;

Associate Dean Carolyn Broering-Jacobs (; or Associate Dean Jonathan Witmer-Rich (

You can also email the university at:

Please regularly check the University’s Coronavirus Updates page and your law school email for further updates. Please use the following links for additional information:

CSU Coronavirus Updates

 CSU Coronavirus FAQs

 CSU Events Status

 CSU Health & Wellness Services

 CDC Coronavirus Facts

 CDC Travelers' Health

 Ohio Department of Health Coronavirus Facts

 Ohio Department of Health Coronavirus FAQs

 Ohio Department of Health Coronavirus Prevention

 Cleveland Clinic Coronavirus Information Page

MetroHealth Coronavirus Information Page

 University Hospitals Coronavirus Information Page


 This Week’s Monday Moment:  CDC Coronavirus Information Videos



Have a great day. Have a great week.

 For copies of past messages, please go to this link: Monday Morning Messages

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 My views in all my Monday Morning Messages are my personal views alone and do not reflect the views of our law school or our university.

My best,


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