August 6, 2020
Dear AUCA community,
First, I wish the very best for the health of yourselves and your loved ones. COVID has struck Kyrgyzstan with a brutal fury this past month. I am distressed that about 20% of our faculty and staff are sick. The only good news is so far nobody is critically ill. I hope for a full recovery for all, and that the impact of the virus slows down soon.
Given current circumstances, we have decided that AUCA will be fully on-line during the Fall semester. We plan to keep to the existing academic calendar. I do not see any way we can responsibly provide in-person education this fall. My highest priorities are the health and safety of all of our faculty, students, and staff; and to provide the highest quality on-line education possible. With the knowledge now that we will be on-line for the fall, faculty can better prepare courses suited for on-line education; staff can better provide the resources for faculty and students to ensure better connectivity and technological means for a better educational experience. We all learned a lot from the experience last spring having to almost overnight transition from in-person to on-line. Of course it was not ideal, and we will greatly improve on it. Already last month after classes ended, many faculty were engaged in courses and training for improved on-line education. These trainings will be significantly increased in the coming weeks before the start of the semester.
Of course, I and everybody would prefer that we could return to our building this fall. I can promise you, however, that the Board of Trustees, the administration, our staff and faculty are all committed to providing the best learning experience possible this fall with the strong hope we can return to our building in the New Year. You will be receiving updates in the weeks ahead. As always, I am eager to hear your comments and suggestions.