University of Florida Homepage

Friday Bulletin March 20, 2020

Anthropology Office

The office remains open for business.  After a conversation with the staff, we’ve decided to continue business in our normal place.  We have plenty of Lysol wipes!  However, we’d encourage folks to avoid coming in unless it is absolutely necessary.

Although we might be pretty good in keeping everything disinfected (our doorknobs have never been so clean!), we’re might not be #1.  The English Language Institute has been pretty diligent, and they’ve documented it here.  (and yes, it might generate another groan.  Or, it might go …. viral!)

Rumor Control

We’re all well aware that the situation is changing continually, and we’re equally aware that the university is scrambling to respond to new issues as they appear.  Please also be aware that there are plenty of rumors, speculation, and outright wild guessing about what the university may or may not do in response to COVID-19.

What does this mean for us?  For faculty and staff: many of us have roles and responsibilities that may provide us some insight into discussions in the Dean’s, President’s, or Provot’s office.  Keep in mind that these are only discussions, and be aware that broadcasting those discussions may be misunderstood as official policy before a decision has actually been made.  The easy solution? Keep any policy discussion or speculation to yourself.

For all of us … official policy announcements, guidance, and policy changes will come through the Dean’s Office, the Provost, or the President.

Using Zoom for Dissertation Defenses

Thanks to Lance Gravlee for passing along a Twitter thread (apparently from a colleague at UF) that offers some great suggestions for how to use Zoom most effectively for dissertation defenses.  You can find the thread here:

I’ll add that if you happen to have had positive experience transitioning to online, or if you’ve developed some lessons are strategies that have been effective and you want to share, please drop me a line and we’ll set up an exchange.

Aid-A-Gator for Students

Kate Grillo forwarded this around earlier in the week from the FLMNH, but I’ll reiterate here:  If you are having any financial trouble at all, consider applying for funds from UF’s Aid-A-Gator program ( It has already funded students to travel home who had no funds to do so. Over 250 applications have already been submitted and the program is running strong.  I’ll add that if you are otherwise in distress, please let us know by contacting either me of Kate (, and we will do our best to help you.

You might be interested in President Fuchs’ reply to a student expressing concern about online-only instruction and other disruptions.  You can find it here.

I know it’s been a crazy week-plus, and it looks like it will get a bit nuttier in the short term.  Thanks to everyone for all their flexibility and hard work in moving their courses online on such short notice.  Male sure you take some time to enjoy your weekend while foraging for canned beans and toilet paper!


Pete Collings

Associate Professor and Chair

Department of Anthropology

University of Florida