Thursday, March 12, 2020 – 9:45 a.m.
A Message from Sandy Shugart, Valencia College President
As we continue to monitor the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) and understand more about the measures other educational institutions are taking in response, we assure you that Valencia College’s leadership is communicating on a regular basis to make the best decisions we can with our students’ learning and the health and safety of all members of our college community in mind. Though our university partners have a different set of considerations in their decisions regarding face-to-face instruction and students residing on campus, we continue to partner closely with them in determining our next steps.
Today, our senior leadership team met and made the following decisions:
Given that one-third of our classes are already delivered online, and many of our face-to-face classes already make use of online tools to support learning, we are encouraging faculty, in coordination with their dean, to begin transitioning their instruction to alternative modalities to reduce face-to-face interaction as early as Wednesday, March 18, 2020. Lab, studio and other courses that must meet in person because alternative modalities are not appropriate may continue face-to-face instruction at this time. Should conditions change that would warrant additional considerations for face-to-face instruction, additional guidance will be provided. We will evaluate the best methods to continue the facilitation of instruction for our students. Deans and faculty should expect a message tomorrow afternoon (Friday, March 13, 2020) with additional details about making plans for continued instruction this spring.
We are preparing our facilities for students to return to classes after Spring Break. This preparation includes careful and in-depth cleaning of frequently touched surfaces, ensuring soap in restrooms and placing hand sanitizer in locations around the College. We appreciate your support in maintaining a healthy work and learning environment including following the protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for hand washing and staying home if you feel ill.
The College is encouraging faculty and staff members to carefully consider the necessity of all meetings, gatherings, events and travel. All non-essential domestic and international travel should be postponed or canceled. College events should be carefully evaluated based on the latest CDC guidance and canceled if non-essential. Meetings should be evaluated to determine if outcomes can be reached via an online format including Microsoft Teams or Skype for Business.
Our campuses will reopen after the break, and we ask that you plan to return to work next Monday, March 16, 2020, as scheduled. We hope you enjoy the remainder of your Spring Break and that you look forward to resuming our efforts to serve students and our college community in the best ways possible next week. We will continue to share updates via email and our webpage dedicated to our response to the Coronavirus 2019 situation.