In my almost three years here, I have seen time and again that Berkeley Law is a very special community, a place of extraordinary warmth and caring. I have seen it in the way people treat each other and, when needed, take care of each other. We have had many challenges—fire and smoke, power outages, and now coronavirus. No matter the situation, I always have the strong sense that we know we are all in it together and we all will work together as a community.
Never, though, has this sense been stronger than in the last few days as I have watched our Law School shift to something unprecedented for us: instruction entirely by distance learning. On Monday at noon, the campus announced that all live classes would be suspended beginning on Tuesday. Remarkably, starting Tuesday morning every class was conducted by distance learning. I am so impressed by our faculty who quickly shifted to a new mode of instruction, by our students who have adapted with great flexibility to this dramatic change in their education, and by our extraordinary staff who made all of this happen. I am very grateful to everyone for their patience and their hard work to make this succeed.
In-person classes are suspended at least up until spring break, which begins on Friday, March 20. There obviously is a chance that we will need to remain with distance learning for a longer period of time. This decision will be made by our Chancellor and Provost for the entire campus based on their consultation with public health experts. I will keep you posted on everything I learn as quickly as possible and our Preparedness Committee is continuing to gather the best possible information to guide our Law School policies.
Please know that we are with you during this difficult period. Our paramount priority is protecting the health of our students, staff, and faculty—and of course, by so doing, limiting the spread of the virus throughout the broader population. Consistent with this, we will do all we can to ensure that all of our students continue to receive a terrific education during this difficult time.