As you finish your last day of the semester, I want you to know how very proud I am of your response to the health crisis we face. I commend you for learning remotely and for your perseverance to make it to the end of the term. I applaud your faculty who moved your lessons and labs online in an extremely tight timetable and for the staff who supported you, even from a distance.
Throughout this crisis, the leadership of the university have been meeting regularly to discuss how D’Youville will adapt to this unprecedented situation. As you know, D’Youville was the first higher education institution in Western New York to take measures to protect the welfare of our community by moving learning online. The health, safety and well-being of our community remains our number one priority as we plan to return to campus for the first day of the Fall 2020 semester. We also remain committed to academic excellence. Student achievement is why we exist, and we hold to that commitment as we plan instruction and student development in the Fall. Finally, we remain committed to making sound financial decisions and to manage our resources to keep the cost of education affordable, especially during challenging times.
So, what are the next steps for reopening the campus to new and returning students?
Together with guidance from health and government officials, key university administrators, faculty experts and students, we have designed a pathway for a phased reopening of the campus for instruction, residency and dining, recreation and wellness, activities, events and student employment.
Pending government approval, D’Youville is planning to resume on campus instruction in the fall at a reduced level of classroom density. We are currently exploring ways that will allow your faculty to teach groups of students which rotate their participation between face-to-face and digital formats. From this respect, we will practice social distancing while aiming to ensure that every student will have the maximum level of face-to-face educational interactions possible, particularly in settings that require personalized hands-on learning contexts such as labs and simulation. Additionally, we will have a whole new set of behavioral protocols and support mechanisms that will be used to keep everyone safe and healthy. These protocols will be communicated out in greater detail as the summer progresses.
We will do everything in our power to ensure that students benefit from the intrinsic value of a D’Youville education. We are here to serve and support you. We cannot wait to welcome you back to campus. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Congratulations again for the successful completion of the Spring semester-- you did it!
Best wishes for a relaxing summer,