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Message from Dean Cooley to Graduate Students

March 27, 2020

Dear Graduate Students,

My colleagues and I have heard from many of you about the delays you are facing due to the restrictions on classroom teaching and research resulting from the onset of COVID-19. Each day brings news about how your lives and research have been negatively impacted by our current situation. Some of you are living in cities under lockdown. A number of you do not have access to the equipment or internet bandwidth you need. Research in the laboratory and field are not possible at this time, and archives and other sources of primary research are inaccessible.

Please rest assured that we will find ways to compensate for lost time, especially if you are a senior student nearing completion of your degree. We will update you in this regard in the coming weeks.

While you are scattered locally and all over the world, I want to assure you that we are here for you. We are very much at work on solutions to help you navigate the difficulties you now face. We have been working closely with the GSA to gather your immediate questions and disseminate answers as quickly as possible. Some of the issues at hand are naturally complicated to resolve. Please be a little patient – this is a global crisis that impacts us all and we are finding our way through it step by step.

Let me remind you of your graduate school support system, and the contacts you should not hesitate to use as challenges arise: 

If you have issues pertaining to your academic progress including issues with remote access, funding, or disruptions of any sort, please contact Richard Sleight at

For questions regarding your current teaching assignments, please contact Pam Schirmeister at

For assistance with disputes, disagreements or discrimination from anyone inside or outside the Yale community, please contact Michelle Nearon at or Denzil Streete at

For questions regarding university housing, please contact George Longyear at

Please follow our social media accounts and check our COVID-19 GSAS FAQs webpage. If your question is not answered there, contact our communications director April Swieconek at

I look forward to the day when I can welcome you back to campus. I deeply regret this will not come in time for Commencement, but we will be planning some way to celebrate your success in the near future. For now, please take excellent care of yourselves and those around you and stay strong.

With warm regards,
Lynn Cooley
Dean, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences