Monday Message from Dean Nancy J. Uscher - April 20

Apr. 20, 2020


Dear Colleagues:

Greetings to all!

In this time of remote living, we have been transformed by global forces and are coping with uncharted territory. This pandemic scenario unfolded so quickly that the reality of the situation has been difficult to grasp. There are some mornings when I wake up not quite remembering the present circumstances and then suddenly I do recall (with a bit of a shock!) that life is not what it was. 

In today’s message I will go back to a theme that I have touched upon previously:  this time of Covid-19, with its sorrows and isolation, can also be a time for rich learning and personal growth. Our time of being apart can actually be for us, together, the education of a lifetime. I believe we will have new insights that might never have come to the surface had it not been for this crisis. This is not only about adapting to the online teaching and learning environment, which our faculty and students have done remarkably well, but it is much more than that. I have already seen that our college, with its deeply creative and innovative culture, has made special meaning of these weeks. New perspectives and outlooks may well be transformative for the college and UNLV in whatever world we encounter in the future.

I have observed some very positive outcomes emerging from this time of the pandemic that will have powerful resonance. Recent conversations with wonderful friends of the college about building new partnerships that will benefit our students and faculty in the future underscore this point. There is an intensity about the way in which we are living that can spark particularly inventive ideas and nurture the entrepreneurial talent that is pervasive in our college – and this includes taking risks. Members of our college community are exhibiting a boldly independent spirit and showing all of us how artists are leaders in society.  Another point to make here is that we can be nimble during this crisis. Our imaginative and resourceful impetus moving forward will make ideas happen more quickly. The projects our colleagues are sharing as possibilities for UNLV Arts Worldwide – representing all of the disciplines in our college -- are distinctive and thought-provoking. Both the range and experimental aspects of the proposals are inspiring! A reminder here is that Episode 2 of the series will air tonight, April 20, at 6 p.m. on the college’s YouTube channel. You can access it at this link:

I would like to leave you with two thoughts:

The first is to emphasize how special each and every one of you is in the way you contribute every single day to the well-being of our college and community.   

The second is an acknowledgement about how very challenging this time has been for many of us. It is, quite frankly, hard to get our basic needs met. We are worried about our students and their families, who may well be experiencing financial difficulties and other kinds of distress. We may be caring for loved ones who are particularly vulnerable or we may be unable to see family and friends because of the restrictions on our normal way of life. Additionally, we are living in a time of extremely uncomfortable ambiguity – which can regrettably amplify feelings of stress and loneliness. 

Please know that I am here to help all of you, however possible. Do not hesitate to call upon me for any reason – I look forward to hearing from you.

With warmest wishes,