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Message from University Leadership: Returning to operations with Care and Compassion

View of the Old Well on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.                                        (Johnny Andrews/UNC-Chapel Hill)

As our campus community continues to grieve Monday’s tragic events, we are navigating many challenges ahead for the remainder of this week for our students, faculty and staff. Aug 29, 2023 via University Communications

Dear Carolina Community:

As our campus community continues to grieve Monday’s tragic events, we are navigating many challenges ahead for the remainder of this week for our students, faculty, and staff.

Our culture of care and compassion at Carolina is essential to supporting our community. Please be generous and kind to yourself, as we realize everyone may experience the effects of yesterday’s events at different times and in a multitude of ways. Because of this, there is no simple answer or formula for the process of returning to class and work, but how we do it is vitally important.

For Students

Counseling and Psychological Services are available to any students who need to speak with a mental health provider. CAPS can be reached via 919-966-3658 or

There is in-person student counseling support in these three locations Wednesday., Aug. 30 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.:

• Carolina Union, Room 2420
• SASB North, Room 1118
• Campus Health

Due to the campus reopening on a normal schedule for Thursday and Friday, CAPS student walk-in centers (SASB and Carolina Union) will close, and CAPS services will resume as usual in the Campus Health building.

For Employees

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) will have dedicated counselors available for faculty and staff today and Wednesday. Information about times and locations will be sent directly to all employees. EAP support is also available online through GuidanceConnect. Log on to with a username and password or register with Web ID: TARHEELS. You may also call 877-314-5841 to make an appointment with a counselor. Support is free and confidential.

For Faculty

Carolina’s faculty should also show grace toward our graduate students, who are our cherished colleagues as well as students, and for whom ongoing laboratory work or work in a research environment is often necessary. Please be thoughtful to identify work that is truly critical and be selective as to who is best suited to do that work considering our graduate students’ overall well-being.

Faculty have the discretion to grant excused absences as they see fit; a University Approved Absence (UAA) is not required. Students should work with their instructors to seek approval for requests that are beyond the scope of the course requirements and UAA policy. Students can also consult the relevant course syllabus for guidance.

We are asking that faculty be generous to their students as far as practical and compatible with learning objectives. Please try to ease back into the classroom and be authentic about how we are each processing Monday’s events. Deans will provide guidelines for faculty to help them address the challenges of returning to the classroom in the context of profound tragedy and trauma.

We recognize and acknowledge that many of you are working through your own responses to Monday’s events, and we hope you’ll grant yourselves grace as well.

The University Approved Absence policy remains in effect, and students may seek approved absences for the following:

1. Authorized University activities
2. Disability/religious observance/pregnancy, as required by law and approved by Accessibility Resources and Service and/or the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office(EOC)
3. Significant health condition and/or personal/family emergency as approved by the Dean of Students, Gender Violence Service Coordinators, and/or the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office (EOC).

When classes resume, remember that the instructor of record may be a graduate student serving as a teaching assistant. Faculty advisors, chairs, and deans should ensure that TAs have the support they need for the return to class.

Faculty are encouraged to consult with their department chair or dean for guidance if they wish to consider a temporary alternate mode of instruction.

Thank you for all that you do to support each other through this difficult time. We are grateful for your continued care for our Carolina community.

J. Christopher Clemens
Provost and Chief Academic Officer

Amy Johnson
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Beth Mayer-Davis
Dean, The Graduate School

Becci Menghini
Vice Chancellor for Human Resources and Equal Opportunity and Compliance

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