Re: Important Fall Update: Adjusting GW’s On-Campus Plans

August 27, 2020

Dear SEAS Community,

I'm writing to you today to follow-up on President LeBlanc's message. I imagine many of you may be experiencing a combination of relief and sadness; I share these emotions as well. Relief in knowing that this decision is in the best interest of the public's health and the most prudent path for keeping the GW community and our D.C. neighbors safe and healthy. Sadness in realizing that we will be kept (physically) apart this fall. However, I am also optimistic knowing SEAS is ready to offer the highest quality education to our students in an online format, and I hope you can share in that optimism as well.

This optimism is well-founded, as back in mid-May I charged the SEAS faculty and staff to prepare for the fall semester with two principles in mind:

Uncompromised Quality: SEAS will provide the highest quality education regardless of what the pandemic throws our way.

Resilient Inclusion: SEAS will utilize modes of instruction that are flexible and agile to resiliently support all of our students and faculty in the face of significant uncertainties and dynamics.

The SEAS faculty and staff responded by committing to hybrid modes of instruction that can easily pivot between online and in-person delivery. This effort has paid off, as we are now well-prepared for the on-line format, including laboratory activities and design projects. We are similarly working to adapt our experiential programs and events to ensure that all SEAS community members have a positive and enriching experience, even from a distance.

I understand this news is difficult, and many of you likely have questions and concerns. Please be reassured we will be providing more details in the coming weeks about specific courses, activities, etc. SEAS is here to support you, face-to-face or remotely. In the meantime, I want to thank everyone who has worked tirelessly throughout the summer to prepare for an uncertain fall and everyone who has been patient with us as we've done so.

The university's decision to move the fall semester online just applies to instruction; it does not apply to research. As of now, we are staying the course with the "return to research" plan. If that changes, I will let you know.

Stay safe and healthy,
John Lach

john lach
John Lach
Dean - School of Engineering and Applied Science
Professor - Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
The George Washington University
(202) 994-6080
[email protected]