COVID-19: A message to the Purdue HHS Community

Dear HHS community,

There is a lot of uncertainty in all our lives right now. Life as we’ve known it has been uprooted in many ways. Purdue classes are being delivered by remote instruction for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. All students who can move home or to a different location are being asked to do so. And, although the West Lafayette campus remains open as of today (3/20/2020), a large percentage of HHS faculty and staff are telecommuting or working remotely. Meanwhile, our HHS Extension specialists and educators across Indiana are following local health department requirements while maintaining important programs where necessary for the communities they serve. As of March 18th, Purdue Extension has postponed or cancelled all face-to-face Extension programs and events throughout the state through May 17, 2020.

Regardless of where we might be working from, HHS faculty and staff stand ready to address questions from current, admitted and prospective HHS students, as well as those from our alumni and friends. We anticipate a heavy volume of phone calls and e-mail messages, but we will do our best to respond within 48 hours.

Current students who have questions regarding specific courses should contact their instructor directly. Undergraduate students who have non-coursework questions should reach out to our student services staff. At this time, all undergraduate HHS academic advising and recruitment communications and “meetings” are being conducted via telephone, email and/or virtual meeting. The HHS Student Services’ main office telephone number is (765) 494-8533.

Alumni and friends, please don’t hesitate to contact our development and alumni relations staff. All other inquiries can be submitted by e-mail to or by telephone at (765) 494-8210.

I am tremendously grateful to the HHS faculty and staff who have been working tirelessly to prepare for online instruction. I understand there could be challenging or complex situations associated with this new way of working and teaching. I appreciate such unwavering dedication to educating our students in the best way possible throughout this demanding time. I also am extremely grateful to the faculty and staff who are working in HHS research labs even while faced with a quickly changing landscape. They continue to move their vital work forward, either remotely or with a minimal number of personnel needed to operate and maintain their projects.

I know the Covid-19 pandemic is very challenging for all of us. My heart goes out especially to our graduating students and their families who will not get to experience an in-person Purdue commencement this May. I am extremely grateful to the thousands of Purdue HHS healthcare and public health professionals who are on the front lines of this pandemic, fighting for all of us. And to our alumni who work in finance, retail, hospitality, and the multitude of other health and human science related professions and industries, I offer you my best wishes.

As Purdue President Mitch Daniels and Provost Jay Akridge said in their March 16th address to the Purdue community, “Boilermakers are exceptional people.” We will get through this. Together. Hail Purdue!

Marion Underwood