DSA COVID-19 Communication Update

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Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The following message was sent to Division of Student Affairs staff on June 24, 2020 from Vice President for Student Affairs, Patty Perillo.       


Dear Student Affairs Colleagues,

I hope this note finds you and your loved ones healthy, safe and well. And, it is my prayer that you remain such!

While we are all currently working hard, whether via telework or physically on-campus, I know you have lots of questions still about how we will provide for a gradual, phased opening in the fall semester. As you may remember, President Loh commissioned seven working groups that have been meeting for nearly two months to develop scenarios and make plans. In addition, a COVID-19 Return to Campus Working Group has been working through logistics. Some of this information has been shared broadly and I understand that what has been shared has invited many more questions for some and no definitive answers for others. 

I know that sharing information and providing answers is essential and an act of care for colleagues. As such, I want to share as much information as possible with you as soon as possible. I know that each of us has different comfort levels for ambiguity and uncertainty. I also know that we have some answers and we are still working hard at providing answers to many issues. I can honestly say that in my 30-year career, I have never personally been in a position where we are developing new procedures, practices and policies to meet the current need…trying to remain ahead of the issues as best as possible. As the expression goes…we are literally building the plane as we fly it. None of us have ever lived through a pandemic and financial crisis of this magnitude, and we are having to find solutions ASAP, while anticipating the next hurdle. Suffice it to say, that many in leadership are working very hard to meet the many demands. And, we will get to all questions in time.

But, I know that this is not enough. You need to know that your questions are being considered and you also may need to know when your particular question will be answered. As such, I invite you to submit your questions via this Google form. You can also see the questions that are in the queue to be answered in this Google doc. We will continue to capture questions for as long as you have them. At every weekly VPSA Council meeting (Assistant Vice Presidents and me) and SALT meetings (AVPs, all directors and me) we will tackle questions on the list. So, keep adding your questions so you can be comforted to know that they are being tended to and we will do so!

Additionally, starting in July, I will begin to send weekly updates regarding COVID-19 response plans and fall opening. We will also hold weekly ZOOM meetings with members of my senior leadership team and any member of DSA can join to ask questions and get updates. It is my hope that collecting questions, sending weekly updates, and holding weekly open meetings will help you get the questions you have answered and will provide greater clarity regarding our Fall 2020 opening.

As always, I am open to your suggestions about the best ways to keep you informed and engaged. It is very important to provide you with what you need to be successful and to feel comfortable and safe.

Keep your questions coming! Share and read via the Google form and doc! We will get them answered and we will definitely get to a good place before the fall.

THANKS for your continued commitment to our campus community and students! 

Stay healthy and well - Patty

Patty Perillo, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs

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