Spring 2022 Semester Begins with Remote Classes

January 3, 2022

By Dylan Miner, Interim Dean
Residential College in the Arts and Humanities

Interim Dean Dylan Miner


Dear RCAH Community,

I hope that your break has been restful. In the RCAH Dean’s office, we are preparing for the upcoming semester.

As you have likely heard, President Stanley announced yesterday that MSU will commence the semester utilizing remote teaching modalities. According to his communication, students who choose to, may live on campus during January, with recreation facilities open. If you haven’t yet, please read President Stanley’s message from December 31 at 11:46 a.m. This must have been a difficult decision for university leadership and—as I understand it—takes our individual and collective well-being into account. At this time, the university will start the first three weeks of the semester with classes offered remotely and continue to monitor the situation throughout the month of January.

With the pending semester just over a week away, we want to thank you for your ongoing flexibility. We understand that the Omicron variant—and the university’s decision to begin the semester remotely—may be causing increased anxiety and additional stress. In RCAH, we care deeply about one another. We are committed to our shared well-being and public health. Personally, I am extremely grateful for your RCAH professors who have proven excellence in creating engaging learning environments in a variety of course modalities, including remote.

In RCAH, we will follow university-level guidance. This will impact the modality of your MSU courses during the beginning of the semester, including those in RCAH. This will also impact co-curricular programming in RCAH and across campus. Given that this is new information following President Stanley’s previous email on December 29, we will need to respond with agility. As we learn more in the Dean’s office, as well as make college-level decisions, we will share that information with the RCAH community, including students, faculty, staff, and community partners.

With the beginning of a new year today, one in which we will continue to be impacted by the pandemic, I am thankful to your ongoing commitment to make RCAH an inclusive community. I am reminded of the words of Black feminist intellectual bell hooks—whose writings have impacted many of us in profound ways. In particular, she recognized that “the classroom remains the most radical space of possibility in the academy.” This is something that we recognize in RCAH.

As we start the semester remotely, the “classroom” will take a different form. Nonetheless, the “classroom” will be a space where RCAH professors create transformative experiences. bell hooks also emphasized that “the pleasure of teaching is an act of resistance countering the overwhelming boredom, uninterest, and apathy that so often characterize the way professors and students feel about teaching and learning, about the classroom experience.”

In RCAH, your professors are committed to the craft of teaching, something they greatly enjoy. I would like to thank them for their ongoing attentiveness to teaching and learning as an enjoyable experience (and therefore resistant act) within RCAH.

Have a safe New Year’s weekend.