CANR Dean Ron Hendrick's March 16, 2020 message to graduate students

From: Ron Hendrick, Dean, CANR
Date: Monday, March 17, 2020
Subject: Message to graduate students

Dear CANR Graduate Students:

As the world has been working to navigate the novel coronavirus, the impact to you, our students, has been profound. We understand that your lives and work are changing in real time and affecting your well-being in layered ways. We want to assure you that we are here to help you navigate the implications of the novel coronavirus and that you are not alone. 

Your ability to confront change and continue forward has been nothing less than inspirational. I want to assure you that university and college leaders are meeting daily to address issues as they arise. 

The health and safety of our community and your success are our top priorities. There are many questions including, but not limited to, exams, grades, graduation, research, mental health support, supporting undergraduates in your own research, your employment status (if on an assistantship, for example) and travel. The university and colleges are prioritizing these issues and dealing with the most urgent ones first. While it may be a while before you get responses to some questions, we ask for your patience and will work to address your concerns as quickly as possible.

Several websites are available and are updated daily to address questions. Please continue to monitor them:

  • MSU response comprehensive website with updates, emails from the President to the MSU community, travel information

  • Guides for remote access to Keep Working, Keep Teaching, and Keep Learning

  • Will help you in the event you are experiencing challenges with internet connections, etc.

  • Additional information that may be unique to CANR will be posted here. We have also added a section to submit questions you may You can submit anonymously or include your email address (responses will be sent directly to those who provide email addresses). 

We are encouraging faculty advisors to check in with you on things such as: basic needs, research progress, teaching assistantships and other funding, social distancing, and your general health and well-being. 

Please know you can also reach out to your department chair and graduate program director with any questions or concerns you may have. You are also welcome to contact Senior Associate Dean and Director for Academic and Student Success Kelly Millenbah ( and others in the CANR Office of Academic and Student Affairs for help and guidance (

I recognize that this is an exceptionally fluid situation, and urge you to do the best you can, be patient with each other and remain calm.

Ron Hendrick
Professor and Dean
College of Agriculture and Natural Resources