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Dean's column (March 2021)

Dear colleagues,

This month marks one year since Extension faculty and staff began working remotely. We have seen overwhelming change in a short time, and I am very proud of how Extension pivoted so quickly to offer its educational programming online or in distanced formats.

As COVID-19 vaccinations become more widely available, restrictions on public gatherings are relaxed and the end of the University of Minnesota’s order to work remotely approaches, many people are asking if typical Extension summer events will be held this year.

Unfortunately, we do not yet know the answer to that question. Decisions will be guided by state and University public health rules, which are continually evolving. Most Extension programs are planning for some in-person or hybrid events this summer, as we expect a gradual lifting of restrictions, but plans will have to be flexible.

Please watch for further announcements in the coming weeks about our summer retiree luncheons; I hope that we will be able to gather later this summer or fall.

In the meantime, if you would like to learn more about how Extension has adapted during these unprecedented times, please visit the Extension website’s news and features section. And of course, I always enjoy hearing from you directly, so please feel free to contact me with questions or suggestions.

Thank you, and I hope to see you soon!

Bev Durgan

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