President Alison Byerly sent the following memo to faculty yesterday in preparation for Thursday’s faculty meeting:

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you for your flexibility in accommodating the faculty meeting postponement in support of #ShutDownSTEM #ShutDownAcademia today. If you would like to learn more about this effort, some colleagues have shared the following information links:  https://www.particlesforjustice.org https://gizmodo.com/scientists-call-for-academic-shutdown-in-support-of-bla-1843944068 The goal is to “ask … science professionals and academics to stop doing business as usual and to instead focus on long-term action: protesting, educating themselves on the issues that Black academics face, and drafting plans based on existing work done by Black leaders on how they’ll dismantle the racism entrenched in their respective fields.” I appreciate everyone’s willingness to create space for this important discussion.

In advance of Thursday’s Faculty Meeting, I write to share some updates and background.

Many thanks to the 359+ faculty and staff who attended the Town Hall meeting held on June 1. We tried to address many of the questions raised in advance through our remarks, and to field as many of the real-time Q & A’s as we could. We recognize that in many cases a general answer on a topic may not have addressed the specifics of all questions, so we encourage you to check the continually updated FAQ’s related to the compensation reductions, to submit questions related to fall planning through the Implementation Plan Development site, and to feel free to follow up as needed with any member of the administration.

As we continue to work on plans for the fall, we appreciate the input of the many community members involved in various working groups, and the hard work of a number of faculty committees, and the Administrative Council,  who have weighed in with counsel or significant advice. Our meeting agenda reflects a number of these items: the significant advice of CEP on the 20-21 Academic Calendar, the significant advice of ITAL and Teaching & Learning on technology acquisition, and the significant advice on budget reductions from FAP and FCC.These items are integral to our plans for the fall semester, and we greatly appreciate the time and energy that these faculty committees have devoted to these critical issues.

As I mentioned at our last meeting, we are anticipating a public announcement next week of what the fall semester will look like. While all plans are preliminary at this stage, and dependent on further analysis and preparation, we believe that having a shared picture of what we are aiming towards will help all of us in our planning.

In particular, we know that faculty are eager to understand what teaching modalities we expect to employ, and what accommodations we will make for colleagues who need to teach remotely due to health vulnerabilities or other factors. For staff colleagues, understanding the operational implications of the social distancing protocols we all must abide by, and the changes in workflow that are needed, will be easier once we have a specific scenario in place.

As a final note, I know that many colleagues are concerned about how the students who remain on campus following the end of the semester are being supported. We currently have approximately 160 students on campus. Many of these students received payments we distributed of CARES act funding which is helpful to them during this period. I am very pleased to report that Development and Alumni Relations has been successful in generating donations for student support from alumni donors, allowing us to also provide funding to some students, such as international students, who were not eligible for federal CARES act funds. In addition, the Pard Pantry remains active, with a good flow of donations and high use by students. Many thanks to all who have offered support.

I look forward to our discussions. See an additional report below.

From Greg MacDonald, Vice President for Enrollment:

As of 6/5/20, we had 702 students enrolled in Class of 2024. This compares to 713 YTD.

44 international students (vs 70 YTD). We have not yet felt the enrollment impact of the fall, as students appear to be waiting to see what our plans look like. Complete information is available in the EPC report.

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