Message from SCICU President and CEO Jeff Perez –
The SCICU Newsletter is back after summer hiatus, just as thousands of students are returning to the campuses of the SCICU member institutions.
The students are desperately eager to get back to campus. Their educations have been disrupted by the pandemic and they’ve been looking forward to getting back to normal, as are faculty and staff. Incoming freshmen want to start their college journeys, and surrounding communities also await thriving, vibrant campuses.
However, the delta variant is throwing us all a curve ball, and, as the American philosopher and Yankees catcher Yogi Berra said, “it’s déjà vu all over again.” Across the state DHEC is reporting an increase in the number of delta variant COVID-19 cases, particularly among the unvaccinated.
Yet again, campuses must adapt to rapidly changing conditions. Having worked closely with the SCICU presidents I can attest that their very highest priority is the wellbeing of their campus communities. And while the welfare of the students, faculty and staff is paramount for each president, responding to COVID-19 is not a one-size-fits-all proposition.
The leadership of each campus is responding in a manner that best meets the needs of the institutions for which they are responsible. The campus location, facilities, demographics of the student population, and infection and vaccination rates are just a few of the many factors they must take into consideration in developing a campus response. Because no two campuses are exactly alike, neither are their pandemic plans.
In the last year and a half the presidents and their leadership teams have proved their capacity to be flexible and adapt quickly to the changing circumstances resulting from COVID-19. They had to make tough decisions, but thanks to their strategies, supported by faculty, staff and students, their campuses were noteworthy for their low rates of infection.
I am entirely confident that we can expect the same resilience this fall.
I would also like to offer a warm welcome to SCICU’s newest member institution, Bob Jones University. Now every eligible college and university is a SCICU member.