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March 27, 2020

 Dear Fine and Applied Arts students,

For many of you this week has been a mix of navigating a new normal and dealing with the disappointment of not returning to campus after Spring Break.

For our seniors, learning that spring commencement has become a choice between a virtual one or delaying their celebration until December has been an additional hardship. Our students in studios and labs are being asked to approach their work far differently than before when we had access to spaces in Chapell Wilson, Wey, Katherine Harper and Beasley.

I want you to know that our faculty and staff share your disappointment and are being challenged, as you are, to adjust. I hope as we finish our first week of online course instruction that you’ve had a chance to talk to your professors over Zoom and reconnect with AppState friends through our technology platforms. 

We have met the challenges that have faced us quickly and will continue to adapt as needed to make sure you get the most of your Appalachian experience, given the constraints of social distancing needed to diminish the effects of COVID-19.

Remember to check the university’s COVID-19 resources page to answer questions you might have related to our campus response, including what to do if you think you’re sick.

Let’s stay connected as we face this situation together. If you have a story you’d like to share about how you’re persevering through this hardship, please take a moment and email us at .


All my best, 

Janice T. Pope, PhD

Interim Dean, College of Fine and Applied Arts


March 19, 2020

Dear Fine and Applied Arts students,

I’m sure you have all sorts of questions related to your courses and what will happen next in terms of our collective planning for higher education as we confront this global pandemic.  I wish I could offer you more answers to some of these larger questions. 

 But I do have a few suggestions for the immediate future that I’d like to share.  

What you can do: Please check the AsULearn website for each of your courses.  As you might imagine, your faculty are working hard this week to take their semester course plans from seated classrooms to online courses.  For many, this is their first effort at delivering course content online! 

In our college, this is an especially difficult task for many course instructors because of the applied nature of the content we teach.  As a university, we are working quickly and full-time behind the scenes to support your faculty as they create these new learning experiences.  I ask that you be patient with this process.  I know you’ll be experiencing uncertainty alongside your faculty.  So, an attitude of openness and flexibility will be helpful to all as we embark on this new endeavor together.

Before Monday, March 23rd, please check your technology to be sure you’re ready to go online from your end.  You should be familiar with Zoom, an easy-to-use technology for video conferencing, which is included in AsULearn.  As a student, you are included in our university license for this product. 

 The university has created a central website with links to all units of the university and how they are responding to this crisis.  Use these links to find answers to your specific questions.

 You and your faculty are in this together.  We all are.  And this is difficult for us all.  We have asked faculty to be flexible and compassionate with you students, realizing that you are adjusting to a life much different than you expected it to be.  I ask that you also be flexible and compassionate with your faculty, who are also adjusting to an unexpected change in their work lives. 

 I am sorry for this disruption to your education and to our collective university experience.  So many of our plans are no longer viable and our disappointment is real.  Please be kind and patient with yourself, too. 

 May your creativity flourish and your world view expands to include new ways of problem-solving, leadership and learning.


Janice T. Pope, PhD

Interim Dean, College of Fine and Applied Arts