IT Community Message - 4/8/2020

Happy Spring. May the warm(er) weather bring sunshine into your life... and hopefully drive away the coronavirus.

Where I'd like to start this note is with a sincere thank you, from not just myself but all members of the Cabinet, for the hard work and dedication that all of you have shown over the past month. Our chancellor likes to point out that, in a matter of weeks we have transformed the way we run UCI. If you think about what it takes to move the entire spring quarter to remote learning, the ability to support almost every UCI employee to work from home, the amount of work to set up the medical center for the expected surge of COVID patients, set up testing centers, launch virtual visits for doctors and patients — we have done a year's worth of work (easily) in a matter of weeks.

While far from the end of this crisis, I think it's a good time to step back and realize just how much change we have been a part of creating for this campus, its continuity, but also for its future. The chancellor attended one of our recent IT leadership calls to thank everyone for all the work and talked about how none of this would have been possible without a strong IT function and a committed team.

I know it's been an adjustment, for everyone. There is not a person on this planet who has not been impacted by the coronavirus. By this time, it is likely that many of you reading this email know someone who is positive, is dealing with complications, or even has passed away due to this terrible pathogen. I myself have lost a former coworker to the virus. But we all must forge ahead, doing our part both here at work, at home and in our communities. The courage you all have shown stands as strong examples for taking steps necessary to reduce the impact that this virus is having on our UCI community.

The University is doing its part to step up as well - whether it be our faculty adapting to remote instruction, researchers being willing to put aside the work, or people stepping outside their responsibilities to lend a helping hand - it speaks to the selflessness and commitment to the mission we see here at the University every day. I want to call out the tremendous leadership we have here at this University, the president and our chancellors, for the position they've taken and the commitment they helped make in the announcement (related to layoffs) circulated on April 2. I hope you saw this as a strong gesture to value the individuals who work at the University. This is not true in every organization, and there are organizations out there that are just not in a position to make such a commitment. We should be proud to work at a place that is willing to make such a strong statement about how it cares for its people.

And finally, I want to encourage all of you to keep your creative thinking caps on. There will still be many challenges in the weeks ahead. Some days things may work just fine. Other days they won't. Some groups have had a surge of activity, while others a reduction. I am reminded continuously that we're all in this together. So please if you have creative ideas for how you can support our collective efforts to make it through this challenging time, please bring them forward. All ideas are welcome and encouraged.

That's all for now. Be well, be safe.

Zot, zot, zot