On behalf of the College’s COVID-19 Institutional Response Team (IRT), we have drafted an Institutional Planning Document, which reflects the ongoing work of the College’s IRT and includes a great deal of thinking about the planning necessary to reopen the College for in-person operations this fall.
This document outlines the challenges presented by COVID-19 and provides data to inform the decisions and preparations that need to be made as North Central College continues to fulfill its mission amidst the unfolding COVID-19 global health pandemic. Because the global pandemic circumstances are rapidly changing, this should be viewed as a working document that can be adapted in line with evolving governmental, public health, community, and institutional factors.
The IRT has been meeting in some configuration since late January 2020. Initially the team was comprised of a small number of staff from communications and the Wellness Center and the focus was on sharing health information with the campus community. As the concerns around COVID-19 and the impact for North Central College broadened, an expanded group began meeting at the end of February 2020 to coordinate a variety of emergency response functions (e.g., assisting students returning from study abroad, closing the residence halls). In the weeks and months since, membership of the IRT has grown and the focus has shifted to coordinating the variety of planning activities occurring throughout many areas of the College while considering the myriad future scenarios. As the group’s direction shifted and membership expanded, Peter Barger joined the IRT as co-chair. This document summarizes and builds upon the current work of the IRT. As the College continues through the planning stages, additional input from faculty, staff, and students will be critical.
As you review the document, we wish to call to your attention the following:
The document reflects a shift away from the College’s spring emergency response toward planning for a variety of fall semester scenarios;
This is very much a working document that may require revisions and additions during the days and weeks that lie ahead;
You will observe throughout the document the creation of several working sub-teams, which include student, faculty and staff representation from throughout the College; there remain a few faculty slots on the working teams for which the Faculty Speaker continues to solicit faculty volunteers; these teams will continue to make progress, and updates will continue to be shared with the campus community.
We have created a Qualtrics Survey that will allow you to share comments regarding the document and the College’s ongoing planning. On behalf of the IRT, thank you for your continuing support of this important work, and we look forward to sharing additional updates with you throughout the summer. Have a great week!