I’m Michael McRobbie, president of Indiana University.
Welcome to the beginning of the fall semester of a new academic year at IU.
We are all extremely pleased to have students back on campus again. Of course, this is not the way we had hoped to welcome all of you back — especially those of you who are just beginning your college experience. But we greatly appreciate the patience and determination that you, and your families, have demonstrated during the start of an academic year that will be like no other year in our history.
As you know from the messages you have received over the past five months, we have been extremely busy preparing our campuses for your arrival. Your health and safety are our top priority as we continue to confront the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It will take a strenuous and dedicated effort by each and every member of the IU community in order for us to stay on campus this semester and this year. We must all strictly and carefully abide by the requirements and behaviors we have agreed upon. Our faculty, staff, and students share this responsibility. We will all collectively need to follow all of IU’s guidelines—and those of our campus communities—at all times.
We have done everything in our power to ensure that you can have a successful on-campus, in-person experience this year. Our campuses now have in place some of the most rigorous testing and contact tracing operations of any university in the country. Your instructors have invested countless hours in course design work to ensure you can receive the best possible education, whether you are learning in the classroom or virtually.
As we begin a new semester, I want to recognize that COVID-19 is not the only major challenge facing our campuses. Like many of you, I have felt deep dismay, anger and frustration over the scourge of racism in our society. At IU, where students of color now make up more than a quarter of the university’s total enrollment, we stand united against racism. And we are taking action. We have many anti-racism initiatives already underway, though with much work to do moving forward.
Once again, in so many ways, life at IU—and on campuses across the country—will look completely different this year.
We have done the preparation. In many ways, our work to meet the challenges we face is now truly beginning. I am confident that, working together, we can overcome these challenges and have a safe and successful year. This will need a combination of creativity, courage, kindness, perseverance, personal responsibility and an unwavering concern for others. These are all characteristics that embody the Indiana University spirit and I believe they will carry us through.
I have no doubt that you can meet the moment.
Thank you for doing your part to keep our campus community safe and healthy.