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Dear UIS Students and Colleagues:

Two years ago, as the COVID-19 pandemic began to take hold of our world, we found ourselves experiencing a newfound sense of uncertainty, faced with decisions we had never before imagined making. Over a rapidly changing and very abbreviated period of time in March 2020, UIS leaders recognized the need to complete the semester remotely and asked anyone who could stay home to do so. By late March, a very small number of individuals continued to live or work on campus.

Never did UIS “close” or cease essential operations, in large part because of a small-but-mighty group of dedicated employees who continued to report to campus to support the university. To those of you in these roles, we express an extra special thank you. We owe you our utmost appreciation for your unwavering commitment in the face of uncertainty.

Regardless of our individual roles, on-ground or remote, our COVID-19 response has truly been a team effort. I fully recognize that the past two years have been challenging. We each have suffered loss of some kind and experienced significant stress and change. Yet, we pulled together to be United in Safety and have led ourselves and one another with care and compassion—and this deserves some recognition and celebration.

Today, I will be making visits throughout campus to express my thanks for two years of being United in Safety. I can’t wait to see as many of you as possible! For those of you with a sweet tooth, you can catch me in the Student Union between 12:15 and 12:45 p.m. today for a special thank-you treat.

Again, thank you for your continued commitment to prioritizing the safety of every person on this campus. I am proud to stand beside you as a Prairie Star.

United in Safety, Karen

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