From: OFFICE OF ALBION COLLEGE PRESIDENT. FULL REMOTE MODE
Since our communication yesterday regarding new guidance for winter break departures, the situation on campus, locally and regionally has continued to evolve rapidly. Our COVID-19 team has been monitoring developments closely. Out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to send the majority of students home by no later than Saturday, November 14 at 12:00 p.m. We are making this decision based on the following recent developments:
The majority of faculty have responded to the voluntary invitation to move online by confirming they are doing so. Thank you for making these accommodations.
The uptick in positive cases at Albion College has continued over the past few days and now has led to the quarantine of significant members of essential support staff, creating the potential for a challenging environment in which to provide essential services to the entire student population.
As mentioned in yesterday’s email, the recent student positives have led to greater numbers in close-contact quarantine than in past weeks. This is taxing our capacity to manage the significant number of students in quarantine on campus.
Calhoun County Department of Public Health has informed us that they are struggling to keep up with the increases in positive cases across the county and are strongly encouraging us to de-densify the campus as fast as is reasonably possible for the safety of our community.
We wanted to communicate this decision to faculty and staff as soon as possible. Please begin making appropriate arrangements to transition your classes at the earliest opportunity but not later than Monday, November 16. Students will be notified in the next hour of this decision. Later today, we will send additional information about how students with exceptional circumstances may request consideration.
We know that a small number of faculty have indicated that it is essential that they complete some of their courses in person. The Provost’s office will be communicating directly with these faculty. Students who are enrolled in the small number of courses that require in-person attendance will be contacted separately about how long they may remain on campus.
We are tremendously grateful for all of your hard work to get us to this point in the semester. It is unfortunate that the outside surge is necessitating this early departure, but we hope you recognize your achievement of providing nearly a full semester of in-person learning under very challenging circumstances. While we are very aware of the limitations and hardships that the semester has presented, I hope you see, as I do, that the vast majority of our students have benefitted from spending the semester here, Together Safely. Thank you once again.
Office of the President
Image Courtesy of Blue Skyworks Studios Photography