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Today, I want to begin by thanking everyone for their diligence over these last few weeks in following our COVID-19 guidelines. Because of your hard work, our numbers remain manageable and, I’m happy to report, we’ve had no new positive cases since Tuesday. According to our dashboard, which is updated daily, we currently have 14 students, three staff members and two faculty members testing positive. The number of individuals in quarantine has also dropped significantly, with 72 students last week compared to only 52 students as of today.

Your adherence to our guidelines inspires me, and I encourage everyone to keep doing what they’re doing so we can continue to see our positive cases decrease. Last week, after detecting a small cluster of positive cases, the Department of Music pivoted to online instruction for two weeks. They are now in their second week, and we’ve spent that time thoroughly cleaning the Music/Mass Communication building and setting up alternate classroom areas, including a tent on the lawn behind Art + Design. I appreciate Dr. Eric Branscome and everyone in that department for working so hard to make sure our music faculty and students can safely return to campus.

As we continue to make strides, I’d like to remind everyone to be mindful of where you are eating and drinking – whether it’s just a quick snack or a meal such as lunch or breakfast. If you are eating in an academic building, please do so quickly so you can resume wearing your mask. I know this is inconvenient, but we need everyone to remain vigilant as we move into flu season.

On Monday, Sept. 28, I will host “Pop-Ins with the Prez” from 9:30-11:30 a.m., through Zoom. These “pop-ins” are a time for faculty, staff and students to share any of their thoughts or concerns with me. You can sign up for a 15-minute slot at this link.

Also, during this week’s virtual town hall, I briefly discussed several other campus topics, including some tentative plans for next semester (continuing with a mix of on-ground, online and hybrid classes) and an update on our virtual writing center. I also encouraged everyone to attend a special seminar, Civic Engagement 101, hosted by Human Resources and the Department of Political Science and Public Management, at 11 a.m. on Sept. 30. We all have a duty to vote in every election, and this event will provide important information on the entire electoral process.

If you missed yesterday's town hall session, you can watch it below.

September 16, 2020 Town Hall with Interim President Whiteside

Thank you again for your hard work and for continuing to make our campus’ safety your priority.


Dannelle Whiteside

Interim President