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April 30, 2020

Dear Members of Business and Finance,

A few weeks ago, Provost Duerk and I wrote to you about the financial challenges facing the University and the steps we were taking to mitigate these challenges. On Tuesday, you heard from President Frenk who addressed the additional actions being taken to ensure the overall financial stability of the University. I know that these messages may create additional anxiety at a time when many of us are already feeling anxious. Our intention is not to cause fear and worry, but to be transparent about the University's current challenges and the ways in which we are addressing them. I assure you, the difficult decisions we make today and how we choose to respond in this time of uncertainty will determine how we emerge from this crisis.

Although the finish line is not in sight, today, we are closer to reaching the end of this pandemic than we were in March. That, in and of itself, is a small victory to celebrate. This week, Miami-Dade County announced it will be opening parks, marinas, and golf courses, with additional restrictions to ensure public safety; and Governor DeSantis announced the phased reopening of Florida, except for our tri-county area. The process of safely resuming activities is a key step for our community—and for the University—when we begin a similar path in the future.

With testing capabilities rising, a key gating criteria toward a safe reopening, we have begun the process of planning for a progressive resumption of on-campus services and a full reopening in the fall. A Multi-disciplinary Course Grid and Reduced Campus Density Task Force has been formed to assess options available to ensure the safety of students when they return to classes in the fall, while also maintaining a dynamic and engaging learning environment. Additionally, UHealth is gearing up to resume certain surgeries and patient visits that were postponed as a result of the pandemic.

Let's celebrate these small wins, as they are small steps inching us closer to the finish line. I encourage you to search for the small wins in your personal lives, too—time spent with family, finishing a novel or Netflix series, a new walking or jogging route around the neighborhood, etc.

I was delighted to see that many of you are making self-care a priority—more than 2,815 employees have attended FSAP wellness webinars ranging from dance therapy, balancing working from home with kids, and muscle relaxation exercises to name a few. New wellness webinars continue to be developed, and as added benefit, you can now earn wellness points. Please be sure to register in advance.

HR's Talent and Organizational Development (TOD) even hosted a sold-out webinar on "Navigating Change in Challenging Times" last week! Additional details are forthcoming on a new webinar "What's On Your Playlist."

Thank you, again, for all that you are doing to keep the U services operating to support our community and live out our mission. Every day I am inspired by your resiliency and unwavering commitment. We will get through this and cross the finish line together.



Jacqueline A. Travisano, Ed.D.
Executive Vice President for Business and Finance & Chief Operating Officer