Before I begin, allow me to take a moment to address the deeply troubling situation in Ukraine, which I believe is top of mind for many of us.
I share the outrage of the international community at Vladimir Putin’s deeply unjust invasion, which has cost hundreds of innocent Ukrainian lives and displaced millions from their homes. As I noted earlier this month, Duke is committed to doing all that we can to support Ukraine by providing care to Duke students, faculty, and staff who are members of the Ukrainian community, seeking opportunities to support Ukrainian scholars and students, and marshaling our expertise and research toward a better understanding of, and peaceful solution to, this terrible war.
We can all be proud of our efforts to that end. I particularly want to acknowledge our own Charlie Becker and Edna Andrews, who arranged an extraordinary panel just this afternoon with scholars from the Kyiv School of Economics. I know that many other faculty have been involved in similar undertakings and that there will be more to come. Thank you.
The other piece of news that remains on our minds is of course the pandemic. So let me also take a moment to thank all of you—as members of our faculty—for everything you have done to maintain our commitment to teaching and learning these past two years. I am so grateful for your resolve, flexibility, and grace in unprecedented circumstances. I’m proud to call you colleagues.
That word, unprecedented, has been invoked often over the past several years, and with some justification. But with all the changes it has required, the pandemic has also given us an opportunity to reevaluate the precedent—to think deeply about our purpose and direction, and to chart a new course. All of us have faced these questions, both big and small: Am I fulfilled in my work? How do we balance collective responsibility with individual autonomy? When will we return to normal life? What’s appropriate attire for a Zoom meeting?
Amazingly, after more than two years, that last one’s still a real quandary. But we’ve got our best minds on it.
I know that these past years have caused many to feel uncertain and anxious, and my hope—I think it’s the hope of many—is that SARS-COV-2 is finally receding, and with it COVID-19. Certainly th
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