Burlington, VT Campus Update from Interim President Laurie Quinn

Dear Champlain College Community:

Our foremost commitment to the safety and wellbeing of our students, staff and faculty, and ongoing developments with the COVID-19/Coronavirus, lead me to share with you the following decisions, also communicated on our update site:

  1. Champlain College will extend its spring break for on-campus students by one additional week, with no on campus courses held in any format from March 16 through 20. Students who need to return to campus for reasons of hardship may arrange special permission to do so by emailing reslife@champlain.edu.
    Please note: Champlain College Online undergraduate and graduate courses are not impacted by this change and will continue according to schedule.
  2. Effective March 23, all Burlington campus courses will be conducted through remote instruction. Remote instruction means that students will participate in courses online from home, except for hardship circumstances approved by the Dean of Students. Remote instruction will be in effect for at least three weeks, and students and faculty should expect that a longer period of remote instruction is likely. Review of circumstances will be ongoing, and I will update the community on the status of remote instruction the morning of Monday, April 6.  
  3. Those currently studying abroad who have not already received communication about changes may continue their programs. New developments will continue to be closely monitored and communication specific to your locations will be ongoing.

Students, please watch for an email later today from Dean of Students Susan Waryck with further details about how we will support you during the remote instruction period. I want our students to know that we are thinking of you, and will dearly miss your presence on our Champlain campus. Please remember that your Champlain education, while it may look and feel very different in the short term, can and will continue, thanks to our committed and creative faculty, who will have our full support, and our dedicated and talented staff, who will focus on ensuring continuity.

Champlain Seniors, we know that these developments change your final semester on our campus and introduce uncertainty for the final weeks and months of your Champlain experience. We regret that greatly, but we also trust in your understanding and patience, and we will be in communication with you as our team continues to closely evaluate possibilities for later April and May.

Faculty, I recognize that Champlain is asking a great deal of you with this decision. I know that you will approach teaching remotely with the same commitment and creativity you bring to teaching on campus. Please watch for a more detailed message from Acting Provost Catherine Morgan in the next 48 hours regarding plans and resources to support you and your students.

Campus Colleagues, our campus remains open, and staff and faculty who do not have either an increased risk, for themselves or those with whom they live, may work on campus. Those with an increased risk because of travel or health circumstances should please contact their manager and area Vice President directly to discuss specific remote work plans. As we strive to balance appropriate caution and necessary continuity, staff with other remote work requests should please follow the same process.

We will be observing continued vigilance and caution on campus. Here are our additional measures:

  1. Events and meetings that bring external individuals or external groups to campus are being virtualized or cancelled, effective immediately. Internal events will continue to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and will be reviewed by the area VP. For example, our scheduled Admitted Student Day events on April 3-4 and April 17-18 will be virtualized. Faculty and staff, please watch for more details on how you can help ensure continuity of these important events.
  2. There will be no new College-sponsored international travel, effective immediately.
  3. There will be no new College-sponsored domestic air travel or non-personal vehicle travel, effective immediately.
  4. The voluntary travel registry continues to be important for recording all employee travel, including personal and work-related travel, however reduced or modified. 

I ask all members of our community to consider that when I, together with the College leadership team, made the above decisions, we did so recognizing that in uncertain times, there are no perfect decisions. We weighed carefully members of the Champlain community’s many and varied expectations about timing, learning, and working, and we are confident that these decisions prioritize the health of our community and communities around us, to the utmost of our ability.

We also believe in the people of Champlain, in our values of engaged learning, practicality, inclusivity, innovation and interconnectedness, all of which we know will be tested–and we are sure will find new ways to shine forth–over the coming weeks.

Yours sincerely,