President Ali’s Message to Faculty and Staff

Dear Roosevelt Faculty and Staff,

Thursday, March 26, we were made aware of the first student who tested positive for COVID-19. The student is in the College of Pharmacy and was last on the Schaumburg Campus March 16 and 17. As mentioned in the notice, we were able to contact individuals this person was in direct contact with and advise them to self-quarantine. Fortunately, the student has improved and is reported to be in good condition. I hope this is the only incident that we have, but based on the national outlook, now that the United States is doing more testing, unfortunately we will likely see more of the Roosevelt University community testing positive. I hope this does not happen, but this virus does not discriminate against age, color, ethnicity or gender.

I want to commend you all on the first week of online delivery and remote working. The situation we are in calls for extra measures and increased effort in order to continue the delivery of education to our students. This is not easy for anyone. Working remotely to do your job and give instruction online is very challenging, but everyone has stepped up and has done a great job. In addition to the stress of staying in your homes, some with other family members, to stay healthy and avoid getting others sick, Roosevelt added 1,300 new students and new academic programs with the recent integration of Robert Morris. I want to especially send my gratitude to the new Roosevelt employees who have just come from Robert Morris. You have either gone through or are going through onboarding and are just getting used to new processes and procedures as they relate to your job and function. I recognize the amount of anxiety and stress everyone must feel. As I’ve said before and will continue to say, we are going to get through this as a much stronger University.

The administration has had to make some adjustments and contingency plans during this time. We canceled or delayed many events, lectures and guest speakers as well as our Commencement and anniversary celebrations. We are doing our best to reschedule some of these events, including Commencement, when we can.

I have been thinking about our mission a lot during this health crisis impacting the entire world. The Roosevelt community likes to be challenged and act not for ourselves, but for others. We fight for those who might not have access or opportunities, particularly in higher education. Through all of these challenges, I have also been hearing about the variety of things that people are doing for others and our communities. The College of Pharmacy is collecting supplies for Mount Sinai Hospital, CCPA students are hosting virtual concerts online, and just a week ago, some of you took your weekend to help move Robert Morris into Roosevelt’s building. In addition, we launched a campaign to raise money for the Student Emergency Assistance Fund and in just about a week, we raised over $31,000.

Finally, I’d like to say that in absence of the State of the University address that was planned, I’m going to be giving a Presidential Address online that will provide updates related to Roosevelt in various aspects including COVID-19. I am also looking forward to announcing the social justice award winners. You can find information and details about the Presidential Address on Inside Roosevelt.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I continue to express how proud I am of your work and commitment to our students and each other.

With warm regards,

Ali R. Malekzadeh, Ph.D.