April 16, 2020
I have been thinking about you all very much over the past weeks. And if there is one thing I know for certain in this very uncertain time it is how much I miss you all. I hope you are taking care to stay healthy and strong.
I am writing today to let you know about the steps we are taking to continue addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. Early in March we established a set of three working groups—on academic, student life, and business continuity—to anticipate and to tackle the myriad disruptions brought on by the pandemic. The purpose of these groups has been to evaluate the issues and to make timely decisions to ensure the health of the campus and the continuity of academic, campus life, and business operations.
Naturally, the first phase of that work focused on immediate matters related to flattening the contagion curve: moving you safely off campus; shifting faculty and staff to remote teaching and teleworking arrangements; and adjusting the on-campus workforce in response to a reduced student body, canceled programs, and government orders.
We are now in the second phase, focused on plans for the future, including summer and fall academic programs; calendar options for a healthy fall; and post-pandemic financial sustainability. Members of the senior administration are co-chairing the students, faculty, and staff on each group to connect the range of issues being addressed. All groups are charged with working in coordination with campus leadership, local health authorities, external advisory groups, colleagues across the NESCAC—and especially with each other—to ensure the strongest vantage point for decision-making.
Below you will find the groups’ charges and membership. I invite you to share ideas directly with the members by using the google forms linked below. Thank you in advance for your involvement.
In reflecting on the ways that you have already responded to the crisis, I have been moved by your equity-mindedness, your hard work, and your openness to change. These are traits that have defined the character of Connecticut College from the beginning. The impressive, collective actions of our community in the past weeks go further: they reveal our nimbleness and strength as a College, qualities that I know will help us persist through this crisis and emerge stronger in the future.
Working Group on Academic Continuity
This group is focused on the continuity of summer and fall academic programs both on and off campus. First and most importantly, the group is considering a variety of scenarios for a healthy reopening of the campus in fall 2020 and spring 2021, including potential adjustments to our academic calendar and models that feature both residential and remote instruction. In concert with the fall academic program, the group is making recommendations about the viability of college-sponsored travel in the fall, including study away programs and international conferences. Summer programs under consideration include those associated with the Summer Science Research Institute, the Child Development Lab School, athletics and arts camps, as well as internships and college-funded fellowships. The group is also exploring a possible pilot of online summer courses for our own students—with the aspiration of offering limited online courses during future summer and winter breaks.
Use this form to contact the Academic Continuity working group, whose members include:
Jeffrey Cole, Jefferson Singer, co-chairs; Anne Bernhard, Sheetal Chhabria, Jenny Doak, Amy Dooling, Danielle Egan, Libby Friedman, Noel Garrett, Karen Gonzalez Rice, Christopher Hammond, Heidi Henderson, W. Lee Hisle, Beth Labriola, Andrea Lanoux, Laura Little, Sean Martin, Jessica McCullough, Benjamin Meyer '22, Jacob Nozaki '22, John Nugent, Ken Prestininzi, Michael Reder, Doug Thompson, Derek Turner, Pam Wrinn
Working Group on Continuity of Campus Life
This group is focused on the co-curricular dimensions of the calendar for 2020-2021. In coordination with the academic and business continuity groups, the campus life group is evaluating implications of each calendar scenario on key areas of the student experience. Such areas include: community health and wellness, housing, dining, athletics, New Student Orientation, student engagement, equity, and inclusion. Different enrollment scenarios are being reviewed along with government guidance related to COVID-19 mitigation.
Use this form to contact the Campus Life Continuity working group, whose members include:
Victor Arcelus and John McKnight, co-chairs; Ingrid Bushwack, Sarah Cardwell, Stanton Ching, Lucie Englehardt '23, Julia Ferrante, Sam Kilpatrick, Emily Morash, Geoff Norbert, Sara Rothenberger, Ariella Rotramel, Mary Savage, Daniel Varela '22, Mo White
Working Group on Business Continuity
This group is tasked with providing a clear roadmap toward the recovery of normal business operations, including measures to facilitate the continuity of operations in the wake of the pandemic. Planning is focused on emergency management; campus health and safety; financial scenarios related to changes in enrollment and workforce; and the maintenance of campus assets, including endowments, buildings, and grounds.
Use this form to contact the Business Continuity working group, whose members include:
Rich Madonna and Pamela Dumas Serfes, co-chairs; Merrill Collins, W. Lee Hisle, Samirah Jaigirdar '22, Jean Kilbride, Sam Kilpatrick, Andrea Lanoux, Trina Learned, Amanda Mayfield, Cheryl Miller, Rachel Spicer, Miles Sax, Andrew Strickler, Madeline Vanech '23, Kimberly Verstandig