Faculty communication

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Dear Smith School faculty,

We write to you today with important reminders on academic accommodations and open lines of communication. 

A Maryland Smith student, who recently lost her father, shared on social media an email exchange with a faculty member. We want to assure you that we are working to address the student’s concerns and will ensure that appropriate and compassionate accommodations are made.

Let’s all remember that this is an extraordinarily difficult time for all of us and our students. Struggles both seen and unseen are occurring all around us. In some cases we may be aware of what a student is going through, but in many others we are not.

When students reach out to us, it is our responsibility to find the appropriate accommodations, be flexible in our approach, and be compassionate and considerate in our communications. We know that many of you are going to extraordinary measures to assist students through difficult times, and we thank you. We continue to encourage everyone to be empathetic to students’ circumstances. Please make accommodations and be flexible as necessitated by the needs of your students. 

Thank you for showing kindness to our students as they are trying to finish this very challenging semester.


Ritu Agarwal
Interim Dean
Distinguished University Professor and Dean's Chair of Information Systems
Director, Center for Health Information and Decision Systems

Michael O. Ball
Dean's Chair in Management Science
Senior Associate Dean for Faculty and Research

This statement was emailed to faculty on April 30.