Remote classes and virtual graduation ceremony

March 18, 2020

Dear Johns Hopkins School of Education Students, Faculty, and Staff,

These past few weeks have been defined by our ability to adapt to change and rise to challenge. I want to thank you for everything you have done, and what you will continue to do for the foreseeable future, as we have moved toward a new normal under COVID-19.

That being said, you have just received an important email from Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels and Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Sunil Kumar indicating that even more change is needed.

Following guidance from Johns Hopkins public health authorities and infectious disease and epidemiological experts, it is vital that we do our part to keep ourselves and those around us safe. For that reason, the following steps have been announced:

  • An extension of the remote learning environment through the Spring 2020 semester.
  • A suspension of all university-sponsored events pending further notice, including SOE alumni events.
  • A decision to transition to a virtual SOE Graduation Ceremony in May 2020.
  • A restriction on travel for all non-essential university-sponsored travel and pending campus visits.
  • A requirement for university meetings and work activities, even those deemed essential, to be conducted remotely whenever possible.

The full text of the university email will be posted on the SOE website. Faculty and staff can refer to the COVID-19 Incident Command Page, and students can find the updated information our COVID-19 Updates.

There’s no doubt that these changes may cause unease, uncertainty, and disappointment. Please continue to reach out for assistance. Faculty members, consult with your department chairs; and students, contact your instructors or Teri Murray, in the Office of Student Affairs, at Staff members, communicate frequently with your supervisors, Human Resources, and the Staff Forum for the latest information.

Finally, a few School of Education notes:

  • SOE Senior Leadership will begin offering virtual office hours. Please look for an email from April Stanson, my administrative specialist, who will provide more details.
  • If you had visitors with pending trips this spring, please contact Vice Dean of Academic Affairs Hunter Gehlbach for guidance.
    All employees who receive paper checks are encouraged to sign up for direct deposit no later than Tuesday, March 24. You can easily start your direct deposit in Employee Self Service (ESS) at, and additional instructions can be found on the website.
  • If you are unable to set up direct deposit via ESS or wish to receive a paper check, contact Payroll Shared Services (PYSS) and verify your home mailing address no later than Tuesday, March 24. PYSS can be reached by email at or phone at 443-997-5828.
  • Microsoft is offering a series of training sessions for faculty and staff. How to Telecommute with Microsoft Teams will be held this Friday, March 20, at 1 p.m. Visit the Microsoft Teams Training Site for the training schedule, links to register, and access to the previous webinar recordings.
  • Thank you for enabling us to transition during this unfolding situation. Your flexibility, creativity, and ingenuity has made me proud. Please take care of yourselves and I will continue to keep you updated.


Christopher C. Morphew, PhD
Dean, School of Education