Message from SCICU President and CEO Jeff Perez –
Will we ever shake hands again?
Hugging a loved one is now a decision.
COVID-19 is forcing all of us to face tough choices.
But making difficult decisions is something our campus leaders do every day.
They are responsible for the well-being of students, faculty, and staff while also providing for a vibrant academic environment and an elevating living experience. They must also adjudicate professional and social interactions that don’t always go as smoothly as they would like.
While it’s easy for the lay person to think of campuses as a collection of classrooms and labs, they are in reality communities – small cities – that typically operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Of course, there’s been nothing typical about this spring semester. Our SCICU member institutions moved quickly to create an online academic program that helped ensure the safety of their campus communities. And they made the very difficult decision of shutting down all the activities that are at the heart of campus life.
Their proven leadership is why we must trust our campus presidents and their teams to move forward and plan for reopening their campuses this fall, while taking all necessary precautions to keep everyone safe. These preparations are complicated by the unknowns we all face: How widespread will COVID-19 be later this year? What pandemic regulations will be in place? Will treatments be available?
Their students want to come back. They desperately seek the learning and living experience provided by being on campus. And I should point out our campuses are essential to the economic recovery of the communities in which they are located, and to the state as well.
We can be confident our campus leaders will make the right decisions for their campuses while maintaining as their highest priority the safety of students, faculty, and staff.
Our students should be back on campus where they will receive the education that will equip them to achieve their aspirations.
Let’s do everything we can to ensure COVID-19 does not deprive our students of a bright future.