A letter from Dean Marcilynn A. Burke

Marcilynn A. Burke

“The ultimate measure of an individual is not where they stand in moments of comfort and convenience, but where they stand at times of challenge and controversy. The true neighbor will risk their position, their prestige, and even their life for the welfare of others.”
– Adapted from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1963 book, Strength to Love

March 17, 2020

Dear Alumni and Friends:

Like many of you, I have been following reports of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and reflecting on just how connected we are to one another and how our choices affect those around us. You may have received a message earlier this week from the university alumni office updating you on some measures taken by the university. I want to keep you updated on law school operations as well.

Instruction for our JD and LLM programs is being delivered remotely for the remainder of the spring semester. Classes in those programs end on April 26. Instruction and exams for our undergraduate legal studies program and master’s program in Conflict and Dispute Resolution (aka CRES) will also administered remotely during spring quarter. 

Per the State of Oregon's orders and recommendations, we have and will be, cancelling many events - including the in-person JD and LLM Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 16.  Of all the tough decisions we have made lately, this one is among the more difficult. However, protecting the health and safety of our community is our highest priority. We remain committed to honoring the Class of 2020 and celebrating their many accomplishments in a reimagined ceremony. To that end, we are considering options for and will be consulting with student leaders about some type of online, virtual celebration to help us mark the occasion. We’ll share updates as they become available. 

Another one of Oregon Law’s signature events, the 18th Annual Frohnmayer Public Service Award Event in Portland, will be postponed until further notice.  We will be celebrating the Honorable John V. Acosta in the future.  If you have already signed up, we will be sending a separate message to you soon.  Please check our website for updates.

To keep up-to-date on the University of Oregon’s response, here is the official website regarding information on the Coronavirus, which will be updated as needed.

Through all of these changes our faculty and staff have continued to put our students’ learning and overall wellbeing first.  I am proud of the way that our community is adjusting and taking care of each other.

Please stay healthy and safe.  We look forward to seeing you in person once the risks subside.


Marcilynn A. Burke
Dean and Dave Frohnmayer Chair in Leadership and Law