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Invitation to Virtual Gatherings and Sharing a Short Video

Contributed by News on 03/23/20 

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Dear Campus Community,

I am reaching out today, as we restart our spring semester, to share news of some upcoming meetings for faculty, staff, and students to hear from the leadership of the college and for our community to connect during an incredibly challenging time.

But before I get into those details, I want to intentionally pause and offer all of you my heartfelt gratitude. This has been a trying time for our IC family, and I hope this little video brings you some peace and hope today.

To our faculty and staff, thank you for your flexibility, creativity, and fortitude as we continue with our semester in a truly unforeseen way. And to our students, thank you for your patience as circumstances outside our control have required us to make very dramatic changes to your IC experience.

Today is the first day of our move to remote instruction in the thick of an unprecedented moment, and as we move forward, I ask that we all be supportive of and compassionate toward each other as we do our best to face this pressing time together.

All Faculty and Staff Virtual Gathering
I hope you have had a chance to read Saturday’s message from Vice President Hayley Harris and Provost La Jerne Terry Cornish explaining what Governor Cuomo’s recent executive order around essential services means for Ithaca College, and giving some concrete guidance for our faculty and staff as we persist in delivering the IC experience.

In this time of change and constant flux, my senior leadership team and I are going to offer biweekly virtual faculty and staff gatherings, beginning next week. Our first virtual faculty and staff gathering will be next Tuesday, March 31, during the common hour (12:10 – 1:05 p.m.). An Outlook invitation to next week’s meeting will be sent to faculty and staff shortly, containing the link.

The purpose of this and subsequent virtual gatherings for faculty and staff is to update you about our collective circumstances and college business, as well as to provide an opportunity for you to ask questions of me and the senior leadership team.

This virtual gathering is obviously a new approach, and as we scale up our technological capabilities to accommodate new methods and far more users than we normally serve, I ask for your patience. While I hope to be able to take your questions in real time next Tuesday, I highly encourage you to submit questions online, in advance, by using this link. Please submit your questions by 5:00 p.m. Friday, March 27.

All of our virtual meetings will be recorded and posted online for faculty and staff who aren’t able to attend.

Please note that the scheduled all-faculty meeting initially planned for Tuesday, March 31, will now take place during the common hour on Thursday, April 2. Provost Cornish will be in touch with faculty to confirm the details of that meeting. In addition, she will be sending an email out to faculty and students later today around important academic topics and pending questions that are being addressed as we dive into our first week of remote instruction.

I know, given the transition to remote instruction and remote work, many of our faculty and staff are adjusting their usual schedules to accommodate this new practice. Provost Cornish, Vice President Harris, and I ask that you reserve the common hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays for important college business and communications. New challenges are likely to arise as this semester unfolds, and we want to be able to share important news or discuss critical topics in real time with you.

As we solidify the schedule for future virtual faculty and staff gatherings, I’ll send an invitation out to all of you via Outlook and post notices about the meetings on Intercom and on my social feeds.

All Student Virtual Gathering
Students, please know that Rosanna Ferro, vice president for student affairs and campus life, and I will be hosting similar virtual gatherings for all of you, starting next week.

We know you have many questions around things like refunds and credits, Commencement, and access to your belongings. Even if we haven’t been able to respond directly and as frequently as we’d like, we’ve been hearing you as you’ve voiced your concerns to us via email, social media, and by phone. Dr. Ferro will be reaching out with an email tomorrow with details about our upcoming meetings and other information about your student experience for the remainder of the semester.

In addition, as I mentioned above, all students will receive an email today from Provost Cornish and her team sharing some important information about your academic experience.

On a personal note, I want to acknowledge the significant anxiety around the pandemic and its effects, as well as the fact that social distancing may be causing a stress all its own, particularly for individuals like me who get so much energy from connecting in person. I hope that you continue to find creative and compassionate ways to be present for one another even though we cannot be together physically as a community.

I look forward to engaging with all of you very soon.

In solidarity,

Shirley M. Collado
President

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