This message was shared with the students, faculty and staff of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa on August 23, 2020.

Aloha UH Mānoa ʻohana,

Allow me to be the first to virtually welcome you to an academic year that will be unlike anything we have experienced before. As we embark on a semester of physical distancing and masks, without the usual large gatherings to welcome each other to campus, let’s pause for a moment and affirm our commitment to protecting each other as we work together to ensure that the mission of this great university continues strongly. I am confident that we can do this while expressing Aloha for each other and for our community.

I want to thank our faculty and staff for going above and beyond during these challenging and yes, sometimes scary times, to stay true to our commitment to provide the best possible learning experience for our students, to engage with those students in the conduct of world-class discovery and invention, and to be present in the community to deliver the essential services on which Hawaiʻi depends.

And to our students, I know that this may not be the college experience that you imagined but we are with you every step of the way as we take on this challenge. I am confident that science will find a way and that there will be brighter days ahead. In the meantime, we will find ways to make meaningful connections, in person and virtually, and to support and protect one another.

We are prepared for changing conditions and a number of scenarios that might arise. We have taken many measures designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but we have to remain vigilant and agile, ready to respond to any challenge or crisis that might present itself.

As members of the UH Mānoa ʻohana, we all share responsibility to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, not only among our campus community, but throughout Hawaiʻi, our island home. I cannot emphasize enough how we all must do our part by adhering to the personal safety practices put in place to support the health and wellbeing of our UH community. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to review the UH Mānoa COVID-19 Guidelines for the fall 2020 semester, and to check frequently for updates to those guidelines.

Stay home if you are sick. If you need to come to campus, you are required to use the UH health check-in app or web form that monitors for COVID-19 symptoms and exposure. When you are on campus, you are required to wear a face covering nearly all the time, indoors and outdoors, especially when six feet of physical distancing is not possible.

I also ask that every UH Mānoa employee complete the online UH COVID-19 safety training program. And students, please watch the COVID-19 student video.

Only through our collective efforts, can we stop the spread of the virus in our community and keep our campus safe in order to ensure that our work together carries on. We will continue to update all of you throughout the semester. In closing, I cannot thank you enough for your strength, your resiliency, and your agility as we embark on this challenging journey. Best wishes for a successful semester, please stay safe and be well. We’re in this together.

Me ke aloha,

Michael Bruno
UH Mānoa Provost

Tree lined walkway