Message to Faculty & Staff—Pre-Thanksgiving Guidance and Gratitude
Dear Faculty & Staff:
As we approach Thanksgiving, I want to express my gratitude to each of you for your commitment to our community—and especially our students—this fall. As you are undoubtedly aware, COVID cases are rising rapidly in Vermont and all around the country. Today Governor Scott announced several new restrictions, including some that impact our students, faculty, and staff.
Among the new restrictions is an order that only essential employees continue in-person work. Champlain has adhered to the Governor’s guidance throughout the pandemic to reduce density on campus and our efforts have been successful at keeping the rates of COVID-19 on our campus remarkably low. At this time we are evaluating any additional steps we need to take to limit employee presence on campus and will provide guidance to faculty and staff next week.
In response to the Governor’s guidance, this afternoon our residential students received a message from me encouraging them to depart campus at their earliest convenience, rather than waiting until Champlain’s campus closes on November 22. Although schools are allowed to remain open and in-person instruction may continue, I would like to remind our faculty that you may shift to remote teaching prior to November 22 if you wish. If you do make a change to your instruction delivery method for the week of November 16, we ask that you reach out to your students with clear instructions for accessing class remotely.
In addition to the message from me, students also received an email from Champlain’s Medical Director, Annika Hawkins-Hilke, with information about an update to the College guest and event policy, testing, travel, required quarantine upon arrival home to a Vermont residence, and other logistics.
As we provide guidance for sending our students home safely, I also want to ensure that all of you remain healthy. I encourage all of us to follow the guidance from the state, and continue to be vigilant as the pandemic evolves. At the same time, I hope that you are able to take time over the Thanksgiving holiday to enjoy some well-deserved rest.
I wish you all a safe and healthy holiday season.
Benjamin Ola. Akande, Ph.D.