Coronavirus: Update From President Elaine C. Collins

Coronavirus: Update From President Elaine C. Collins

March 18, 2020

A Message from President Elaine C. Collins:

Dear NVU Students, Faculty, and Staff,

I am reaching out to you to reassure you that the Northern Vermont University Administration and the Vermont State Colleges System are working diligently to bring as much normalcy to our community as possible during the COVID-19 situation. As a lifelong educator, this disruption is difficult on so many levels, and I know that is true for all of us.

My first concern is for each of you. I want to ensure your health and safety and the quality of education we are giving our students. For college students—and students of all ages—across our nation and the world, this is not a normal spring semester. Learning is taking place through remote means. Normal student activities and traditions are suspended. The COVID-19 epidemic will likely stand out as a global event that changed history — or shaped generations.

Students, we are working hard to bring you an NVU experience. In addition to the remote learning your faculty are preparing for you to begin Monday, departments across both campuses are collaborating to develop virtual events to be delivered across our social media platforms. Stay tuned for notifications about when and where these will take place and how you can participate.

Faculty, I know Provost Atkins is in touch with you as you work to bring your instruction online. Please use support resources, including your department’s technology support liaison, the Canvas champions, and our Center for Teaching and Learning. Use these resources to help deliver the best for your students. Thank you for the extra lift you are making to deliver the education your students deserve.  

Staff, thank you for your commitment and dedication to your work. Thank you also for bringing creativity to your work as you develop new ways to support our students from afar. We know the quiet on campus sits with you differently than the quiet a normal spring break brings.  I know life has changed for workers across Vermont as K-12 students have been sent home. Thank you, faculty and staff, for making NVU a priority amidst these challenges. Please know we are working through your remote working requests to enable remote working to begin.

For all, we know questions will continue to arise. We are making decisions as we speak. Some decisions are being made on the system level and this takes time. Please bear with us.

Please remember as you practice social distancing and isolation to make time in your days to find calm in the stress of the COVID-19 situation. Go for walks, breathe deep breaths, read, and even FaceTime friends or family.

Here on our campuses, spring is starting. The snow is melting away, water is trickling and flowing in the streams, and the sun is shining strong. Spring will arrive and this too shall pass.

-Elaine