The following message from President Brad Bateman was sent this morning via e-mail to all faculty and staff.
Dear staff and faculty colleagues,
With exams finished and the semester finally drawing to a close, I feel it is important once again to thank all of you for a job well done. It was not an easy semester, but you have done a tremendous job these past weeks and months. Together, we have overcome the obstacles put before us while remaining true to our mission and our first priority—our students.
I wish I could say it was all behind us. But as you know, the coronavirus has not disappeared, and the pandemic is not over. The Coronavirus Task Force has continued to meet daily since early March, and this group is working hard to address current issues, as well as make specific plans for the future. And while we expect to open for on-campus learning in the fall, the Task Force is also planning for other scenarios should other plans be necessary.
One thing we know for certain is that life on campus will look different in the fall as we work to ensure the safest and healthiest campus environment that we can. While we do not have specifics yet, this most likely will include changes in how we house, feed, and teach our students. Physical distancing will play an important part in our efforts, and most likely will change how we handle things like events that draw large crowds, group meetings, and office setups. Other precautions, such as recommending masks and increased cleaning and disinfecting may also be included. We will continue to rely on guidance and recommendation from health officials as we make plans for the future.
Many on our campus have been working remotely, and our plan at this point is to introduce a phased approach for the return of these employees. The timing of this phasing will depend heavily both on the state and its decisions in the coming weeks and the progress of the pandemic in our area. I do not anticipate beginning a return to campus before June 1, and it could be later depending on conditions. Please know that your safety and health are paramount in our minds and decision-making. You will hear more about these plans in the coming weeks.
I am fully confident in our ability to adapt to whatever changes the COVID-19 pandemic throws at us. We have been and continue to prepare diligently and to stay abreast of current conditions, guidelines, and expectations. We also all know that one of the best parts of the educational experience Randolph College provides is its close community. We are working very hard to do what is necessary to bring us all back together. I very much look forward to that day!
In the meantime, thank you for your continued dedication to our College.
With my best wishes,