Dear Campus Community,
I am reaching out to follow up on Tuesday's message regarding restrictions to travel and large gatherings on campus, and to share some critical additional information that impacts our entire community relative to our ongoing and evolving response to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.
This is a time in our country and within higher education that is unprecedented, and I want to thank you for carefully reading our previous messages and demonstrating your patience as we respond to this situation.
As many of you are aware, the scope and potential spread of this virus has prompted a number of colleges and universities around the country to seek out and implement alternative methods for instruction and operations.
At Ithaca College, we have intentionally made the decision to take a phased approach in our response to a public health issue that is changing by the day. This means that we are moving incrementally and thoughtfully through our response as we make major decisions that impact this campus and our community. A phased approach gives us an opportunity to remain nimble and ready to adjust our practices to respond safely and appropriately to shifting realities around this virus.
I want to take a moment and be very clear about how the decisions below were made. The Core Emergency Response Team (CERT), which is composed of a rich representation of highly trained experts from across campus, has been meeting frequently to review the latest information about the virus. That includes data and guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the responses of other institutions, organizations, and local, state, and federal governments. The CERT works in collaboration with local and state health officials and with on-campus leaders, such as deans, vice presidents and associate vice presidents, as well as faculty, staff, and student leadership on campus. I want to thank the members of this team who have dedicated an enormous amount of time and energy into this critical work.
Above all, I want to make it explicitly clear that the decisions we are making prioritize the safety and health of all faculty, staff, and students, and are aimed at minimizing the impact of a public health issue on our local community.