Letter to Beloit Faculty & Staff from President Scott Bierman
We need to stay focused on the health and well-being of our students. All of education across the world—not just higher education—is increasingly recognizing that rapid and significant changes must take place to ensure that all students can continue to learn. I have just informed our students that following the end of the extended spring break on March 23, all Beloit College instruction will happen at a distance for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. This decision was made in close collaboration with the COVID-19 taskforce and in consultation with other staff and faculty.
What this alternative approach to instruction does is to best protect the health and safety of the Beloit College campus community and the health and safety of the residents of the City of Beloit/Stateline area, while maintaining academic continuity for our students throughout the current semester and into the future. Our students will be able to continue to make good progress toward graduation as we move in this direction because of our ongoing commitment to excellent teaching and advising and the strength of the relationships we have with our students.
I am enormously confident that the creativity and dedication of all staff and faculty who work every day to support our students will get us through this and strengthen our community and Beloit College.
This moment is stressful for everyone. I am deeply appreciative of your understanding as the college develops an evolving series of responses to the COVID-19 outbreak. Your continued commitment to the college’s success will allow us to succeed. Already the staff have taken on different responsibilities and adjusted to new concerns, risks, and conditions with generous collegiality and professionalism. Already the faculty have embraced the challenge of developing plans for transitioning instruction from classrooms to delivery at a distance. Thank you all!
I know you have many questions–some of you may be wondering how this will impact your work schedule. The COVID-19 Task Force will send a message to employees early next week responding to these questions. The COVID-19 Task Force will also continue to anticipate and respond to questions about other matters. In the coming weeks and months, we will need contributions from all of you. Our response must be a collective one to support our students and each other. Again, I am grateful for everyone’s efforts.
All of us must remember that staff, faculty, and student health concerns have always been, and still remain, private. At the same time, the health of our entire community is a concern we all share, especially now. The taskforce is working diligently and thoughtfully to balance these two important ideas. Supervisors and individual staff or faculty who have questions about potential exposure to the coronavirus should reach out to the task force at COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org for guidance before taking any other actions or speaking about it to co-workers or others on campus.
As we move forward over the next few months, our work will present us with new challenges as well as opportunities, all of this taking place in an environment that continues to be volatile and challenging to us all. At this point, I ask each of you to remain focused on the work of educating our students and running our operations, stay calm, be kind, and keep yourself healthy.
In the meantime, I ask you to read the message below that was sent to students and is also being shared today with parents, alumni, and the board of trustees.
Following this message was the letter sent to students on the same day.