We thank The Exponent for its continued coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, which well illustrates the challenges faced by America’s top research universities in formulating a response that balances many competing factors over a prolonged period of uncertainty.
In response to national news coverage, we recently wrote to The Washington Post to share our perspectives on Purdue’s reopening. These perspectives — shared by many of our colleagues — would we feel be of value to your readership:
First, we are proud to be welcoming nearly 40,000 students this fall, the vast majority opting for on-campus instruction. This is a powerful motivator for all of us who call Purdue home.
Second, over the past two months Purdue has with care reopened the entirety of research operations while also welcoming successfully one of its largest Summer classes. These achievements should not go unremarked, and indeed impel us to continue.
Third, we assert that Purdue has endeavored to the best of its ability, consulting with a broad set of individuals, to create a campus that is safe, welcoming, pedagogically effective and resilient for our students, staff, and faculty.
While these points cannot guarantee success, we fully support the vast efforts. We will work to help ensure that Purdue remains vigilant and agile in its approach, responding nimbly and appropriately to evolving data and conditions as our campus navigates this unprecedented and dynamic situation.
Thank you for allowing us to add our voices to this crucially important conversation.
— Patrick Wolfe, Miller Family Professor and Dean of Science, Purdue University with Eric Barker, Professor and Dean of Pharmacy; Erica Carlson, 150th Anniversary Professor of Physics and Astronomy; Jean Chmielewski, AW Kramer Distinguished Professor of Chemistry; Richard Kuhn, Anderson Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences; Julia Laskin, Miller Professor of Chemistry; Marcy Towns, Bodner-Honig Professor of Chemistry