Letter from President Mary Sue Coleman, Provost Paul Courant, and Vice President Royster Harper regarding Community Response to Tsunami Disaster
We are writing to express our great sadness and grief over the terrible disaster faced by Southeast Asia, South Asia, and Africa in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami on December 26. These events have taken an unimaginable toll in human lives, and millions of individuals face hunger, illness, and the challenge of rebuilding their shattered communities. More than a thousand University of Michigan students, faculty, staff and visiting scholars potentially have been affected by this tragedy, and a number of U-M resources are being mobilized to offer them support.
We ask that administrators, faculty and staff extend the maximum amount of support and flexibility to members of our community who have been affected. Some students and scholars may have been in the region and may have considerable difficulty returning to Ann Arbor. Others may have lost family and friends, be uncertain about the whereabouts of their loved ones, or have surviving family and friends in very difficult circumstances. Some may want to return home. These individuals will need our personal support and understanding.
The Dean of Students Office will serve as a coordinating resource for efforts to reach out to students. If you need assistance and are not sure where to turn, please contact the Dean of Students at 763-9595, firstname.lastname@example.org or Assist-Me@umich.edu. Similarly, please contact the DOS Office if you are a faculty or staff member from one of the affected countries and you are available to offer support to students or others from your home country.
The International Center has begun to contact students and scholars from the region. We are pleased to report that the single student who was studying abroad in the region is safe. As we learn more, we will communicate with each school and college and other administrative offices to provide information on those who have been located. Schools and colleges have been asked to designate a point person to assist with the needs of students, faculty and staff in their units. The Registrar’s Office will be able to help with issues related to registration and adjustment of class schedules, and the Office of Financial Aid will seek to assist students who find themselves in financial difficulty as a result of the tragedy.
Counseling and Psychological Services has extended its walk-in hours and will be available for those students who need emotional support. The Faculty and Staff Assistance Program is a resource for U-M employees who would like to seek counseling.
In addition, the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching will post guidelines for instructors at http://www.crlt.umich.edu/, and CAPS will post support strategies at http://www.umich.edu/~caps/. Student Activities and Leadership will serve as a central point of contact for community efforts including remembrance events and student fundraising efforts. The University will post comprehensive information updates to the Student Matters website, http://www.umich.edu/~ovpsa/studentmatters/. In addition, you may want to visit the U.S. government’s website, http://www.firstgov.gov/Citizen/Topics/Asia_Tsunamis.shtml, which offers a wide variety of information resources and links to fundraising efforts and relief organizations.
We thank you in advance for your caring and understanding in this difficult time. If you have been personally affected by this tragedy or if you know someone who needs additional support, we encourage you to contact the Dean of Students Office or one of the many additional resources listed below.
Mary Sue Coleman, President
Paul N. Courant, Provost
Royster Harper, Vice President for Student Affairs
Ann Arbor Campus Resources for Students,
Faculty and Staff
- Dean of Students Office
- Student Matters website
- International Center
- Counseling & Psychological Services
- Faculty and Staff Assistance Program
- Center for Research on Learning and Teaching
- Office of the Registrar
- Office of Financial Aid
- Student Activities & Leadership
- University Housing – Family Housing
- Association of Religious Counselors
c/o Dean of Students Office