We are here for you: Special message from Dean Rajagopalan to NIU Business students about COVID-19

Dear NIU College of Business Students,

The NIU College of Business community shares your deep disappointment with the disruption in every aspect of your lives caused by the global pandemic COVID-19. We are sorry this has happened, especially to you, our amazing students who, irrespective of your level of study, stand at the threshold of an exciting journey ahead.

We share your dismay that you will miss experiences that create lifelong memories. I know you will miss laughing with a friend over a cup of coffee in the Three Sons Bistro. I know you will miss meeting outstanding alumni who speak in your classes and student organization events. I know you will miss corridor conversations with a professor. I know you will also miss going out with your friends and being there for a fellow student to help with a class or a personal challenge. I know you will miss going on field trips, taking a stroll across campus, watching spring come alive and all of life on campus. And a really big miss for seniors – May graduation. And we will miss seeing each and every one of you light up Barsema Hall with your energy like only you can.

Indeed, your energy has the power to profoundly change the world. I have seen this time and again. Whether it is through a social impact project or raising funds for a cause, NIU Huskies change the world for the better every day. Through your ingenuity you launched Barsema’s Closet to help fellow Huskies. You volunteer for organizations like the Northern Food Bank. You have done amazing things. You inspire us. And now, we need you to unleash that energy and ingenuity to overcome this challenge of a lifetime. We are here with you every step of the way. Together, we will emerge stronger and more vibrant than ever before.

An important step for us to work together in this time of great challenge is to keep communication open. Communicate often with your peers, faculty, advisor and anyone at NIU who can help you. To get timely updates, please visit the NIU COVID-19 webpage. There you will find a link to frequently updated messages from NIU President Freeman. On the NIU COVID-19 main page, you will also find helpful tools for learning remotely. Please direct your comments and suggestions to me at busdean@niu.edu. Let me know how we can help you.

Please take all precautions to stay safe and healthy. Your well-being is our utmost priority. As we face such a fluid and challenging situation, I cannot overemphasize how important it is for all of us to be kind to each other. Check on a friend or family member. Go easy on yourself. Be patient. Breathe.

In the words of one of my favorite poets, Ralph Waldo Emerson, “What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” What lies inside every Huskie is the grit to overcome the greatest of challenges, limitless compassion to help others, and soaring optimism for the future. And this is why I know we will get through this together with our resolve stronger, dreams bigger, and hopes brighter.




Balaji Rajagopalan
Dean and Professor, NIU College of Business


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