05/04/2020 1:29 pm
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
While the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted virtually every aspect of our lives, I have no doubt that in ways we may not yet recognize or fully appreciate, it has made us stronger and more adaptable. The uncertainty of this time has raised questions about how Rockford University, along with our peers across the country, will resume operations in the fall. We are thinking about potential answers to these questions daily.
First, let me state clearly that it is our intent to begin our fall semester with in-person instruction and to open the residence halls. I say this with complete acknowledgment of the continued fluidity our current environment dictates. I believe we have a distinct advantage in being able to offer smaller classes and activities in a variety of flexible spaces, which will aid in our ability to adhere to the latest public health standards. In all circumstances, the University will follow the guidance of our local, state, and federal health authorities to ensure that we are doing everything necessary to protect the health and safety of our entire campus community.
We are also aware that it is likely that a second wave of the virus will occur. As such, several contingency plans are being vetted to prepare us for whatever situation may face us this fall. This includes not only asking our faculty to prepare for the possibility of both in-person and online delivery options for all classes, but also scheduling options that involve a hybrid blend of offerings (classes that meet both face to face and online) to allow us greater ability to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Large gatherings, student activities, performances, and athletic events may still be limited. Be assured that we are considering multiple scenarios so that we can make every effort to start the 2020-2021 academic year together.
There are still many unknowns between now and August. We will continue to provide updates as we progress through the summer to keep you informed. These efforts require a delicate balance between making premature decisions with potentially long-term ramifications and acting soon enough to allow for students, families, and University personnel to plan as needed.
Thank you for your patience and flexibility over the last couple of months. I have every confidence that we will find a good and positive path forward – together.
President Eric W. Fulcomer, Ph.D.
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