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    This letter was sent to CGS member deans on October 19, 2021.

    As announced earlier this fall, the Council of Graduate Schools is moving forward with its plan to host a place-based Annual Meeting, Leading Change in a Rapidly Changing World, in New Orleans from December 1-4, 2021. As the CGS President and members of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors, we write now to emphasize our commitments to CGS members planning to attend the meeting.

    First, we are committed to making the place-based meeting as safe and comfortable as possible for those who choose to attend. If you haven’t done so already, we encourage you to review CGS’s COVID-19 safety protocols, which require proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test, taken no more than 72 hours prior to the event, for all meeting attendees. We expect a smaller, “de-densified” meeting this year, one that will allow more space between participants in meeting rooms. If you are still planning to register for the meeting, please consider doing so by the Early Bird deadline of November 1, as this will help CGS staff provide better participation estimates to hotel staff.

    Second, we are committed to registration flexibility in the current environment. Please review our Frequently Asked Questions for information about early-bird rates and refunds. In short, if you have a COVID-related reason that you’re unable to participate in the meeting, you will be issued a full refund or allowed to transfer your registration to a colleague.

    Finally, we are committed to ensuring that our meeting program continues to address the most pressing challenges in your current environment. Our meeting program, currently online, addresses a wide range of issues, including the more conceptual and inspirational (navigating issues of free speech, using personalized learning to support social justice) to the more practical (supporting enrollment management and managing student deferrals, leaves of absence, and skipped cohorts). We look forward to this opportunity to discuss how graduate education has changed since we last met in person and to anticipate new trends on the horizon.

    For those of us planning to travel to the meeting, this will be an important opportunity to reconnect with old colleagues and to meet new ones. For those who are not able to attend, we will save a seat for you at the next meeting. If you have any questions about meeting logistics or safety, please don’t hesitate to contact Heidi Shank, senior director of meetings.

    Best regards,

    Suzanne T. Ortega
    Council of Graduate Schools

    Andrew G. Campbell
    Chair, Board of Directors
    Dean of the Graduate School
    Brown University

    Julie Coonrod
    Chair-elect, Board of Directors
    Dean of Graduate Studies
    The University of New Mexico

    Suzanne Barbour
    Dean of the Graduate School
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Graham Hammill
    Vice Provost for Educational Affairs
    Dean of the Graduate School
    University at Buffalo, SUNY



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