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Message from the President – Nov. 5, 2020

Nov. 5, 2020

Dear Students,

I hope you are participating in Homecoming week: the Soaring 20s! The Division of Student Affairs, the Office of Alumni Relations, and many others have been hard at work to make this modified experience one to remember for our students, faculty and staff, community and alumni! I encourage you to participate in our virtual events and socially distant gatherings, which will culminate with us cheering on the Eagles to victory against Troy on Saturday. Thank you to our staff and our students who have worked tirelessly to plan a memorable week for us all!

This week, and in the coming weeks, as we witness how the nation moves forward in the wake of the election results, we must remember that it is important for us, as a university community, to model Inclusive Excellence in our words and our actions and to honor and respect what makes each of us unique. This is a time for us to lead by example – to grow together and to unite in our shared vision of creating a campus climate that values our differences and encourages positive dialogue on subject matters of which we may or may not agree. We have stated these words in our new Inclusive Excellence Action Plan – now let’s live them together!

Speaking of Inclusive Excellence, this week you should have received an invitation to participate in our first Inclusive Excellence Climate Survey, the implementation of which represents the last of seven recommendations from Damon Williams’ Inclusive Excellence Report. This survey is a university-wide assessment that will help inform critical areas of intervention by illuminating our campus community’s views on the workplace and campus environment. Most importantly, it will help us focus on the greatest areas of improvement in alignment with our Inclusive Excellence Action Plan and programs. 

Our Return to Campus Plan and our CARES Team efforts continue to work in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 within our campus environments, but we must remain vigilant in exercising responsibility both on and off campus­—to wear face-coverings, remain socially distant from others, and wash our hands frequently!

With Thanksgiving and other winter holidays approaching, the CDC has provided new guidance to help protect individuals and their families, friends, and communities from COVID-19. The site lists considerations and recommendations for a variety of celebrations, including low-risk, medium-risk and high-risk behaviors, and a wealth of other information such as coping with stress and traveling safely during a pandemic.

As you begin registration for spring semester, you will see that we have clearly identified the course mode of delivery and scheduled more fully face-to-face course offerings. Following all public health and safety guidelines and maintaining appropriate social distancing standards for students and faculty in the classroom, we have increased the number of face-to-face course offerings by expanding times throughout the week.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge and give my appreciation to you for your hard work and willingness to make this semester successful. You have adapted and innovated in the face of one of the most difficult and uncertain times we have experienced as a nation in many years. There is nothing normal or certain in these times other than the continued implementation of our planning, continued assessment, active communication, and most importantly caring for each other.

I remain thankful, inspired and in awe of Eagle Nation’s continued efforts to go above and beyond each and every day for you, our students, and for our communities.

Go Eagles!

Dr. Kyle Marrero

Last updated: 4/2/2022