Review campus updates, policies, and procedures regarding COVID-19.
July 10th, 2020
I have received a lot of questions about remote and in-person options, how to know which classes will be taught only remotely, and how students sign up to take their classes. I will try to address these questions as well as I can below, but faculty situations (and student situations) are evolving as the effects of coronavirus on Florida evolve, and more (and possibly different) information will be provided as we get closer to the start of classes. I will be in regular communication with you. Our goal is to keep everyone as safe as possible while delivering a robust education.
(1) First, New College students will “sign up” to take classes in the same manner as pre-pandemic times:
(2) Information about how each class will be delivered (entirely online/remote, online/remote as the primary mode of content delivery with optional in-person activities, in-person as the primary mode of content delivery with options for online/remote attendance, a 50/50 blend of online and in-person activities, with the in-person activities having a remote option, etc.) is not yet available, and this information may change as we get closer to the start of classes, but we will soon have some information about classes that will definitely be entirely online/remote. Additional information will be provided as we get it, but some information may only be available from faculty at their mini-classes.
(3) Options for remote students are fairly limitless. Faculty are deeply involved this summer in preparing to make their remote courses as creative, interesting, and educational as possible. Our faculty will connect individually with students in their courses and tutorials, as is our way at New College, even if remote.
(4) The number of courses that have in-person options will be more limited than usual. We understand that this is not ideal for those of you who feel healthy, miss the before-times, and are frustrated with the pandemic – being robbed of your expected college experience and personal freedoms – but that won’t change the reality. Most in-class face-to-face and other face-to-face interactions will be limited by social-distancing and masks. There may be some in-person classes that don’t have enough classroom space for every student to attend every day. In that case, the faculty will develop a rotating approach to allow any student who wants to attend face-to-face to do so on some days. There will be frustration as unknown details are worked out. A healthy dose of positivity, compassion, and collective can-do attitudes will get us through this together!
I hope you are all staying safe and taking care of yourselves as best you can. As always, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
June 30, 2020
Dear New College community,
Positive COVID-19 cases in Florida have continued to increase. This has made protective measures such as testing, social distancing, face-coverings, and frequent handwashing even more urgent.
We are asking all employees returning to campus for work to get tested before their return, and not to return unless they test negative and feel well. Employees currently on campus should either have been tested, or arrange to be tested, as soon as possible. Employees should submit the negative result to Human Resources. We have asked the same of students.
We are making arrangements for those who have been unable to secure testing, and will be sharing details as soon as we have them.
The Covid-19 pandemic has ravaged our economy and, in particular, the State of Florida’s revenues.
Apart from physical safety and the excellence of our academic program, a large priority for us has been to keep our employees not just safe physically, but financially, by keeping as many employed (and insured) as possible. Yesterday, Governor DeSantis vetoed over a billion dollars in state funding in order to make up for the shortfall in revenues, including nearly 1.5 million dollars in recurring funding to New College that had been directed at our data science and CEO programs. We are not anticipating layoffs in these (or other) programs. Quite the contrary, these programs and others such as computer science, which had been funded out of the same source are critical to New College’s future and our scores on the PBF metrics. We will be working hard not just to retain the essential aspects of these programs, but to build on their success.
In addition to the vetoes, the Governor has ordered that 6% of the funding that was appropriated (but not vetoed), for any state-funding enterprise be withheld, just in case the state needs it. If it is not used, it will be restored to its original purpose at the end of the legislative session.
Because of the increases to our budget over the last three years in anticipation of growth, and our healthy carry-forward and reserve balances, we believe that we will weather these cuts with some belt-tightening, but without major surgery.
I wish everyone a peaceful, healthy and safe Independence Day.
June 26, 2020
We are so happy to welcome you to campus! This will be a terrific term, and everyone on campus is looking forward to having students on campus this fall. We have been working all summer to work on ways to make the campus as welcoming a place as possible while taking into account the changes necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our procedures are meant to create a positive and healthy campus community. This endeavour needs everyone to do their part! We need to care for those of us in the population who are vulnerable, and these practices should reduce the virus spread.
Our current plan is to have all students, faculty, and staff take a COVID-19 viral test prior to the fall term. Students need to take a test between July 25-August 5. You should contact your healthcare provider or utilize your local resources to do so. Documentation of COVID-19 viral tests should be sent to the Counseling and Wellness Center at email@example.com. You will not be able to come to campus until the Counseling and Wellness Center receives your test result.
Any student with a positive test will need to remain off campus for 14 days. Students who may have difficulty with testing with this should contact us, as we are ready to help! This testing is to ensure the health of our campus. We know that tests can only see the infection on the date of the test, but this is currently our best practice and will allow us a baseline of health as we start the fall term. We are the only State of Florida School to attempt 100% testing of our community population.
If you travel internationally, you should quarantine for 14 days. If you travel within the U.S., you do not need to quarantine.
For anyone, if you have had contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, please self-isolate for 14 days.
We will be working with our provider, USF Student Health Service, to provide healthcare for students this year. We will have enhanced services provided to students who might fall ill with the COVID-19 virus, including twice-daily check-ins with a care manager to ensure each student has the resources they need should they have the virus. For initial screenings, telehealth will be used this fall to ensure the health of everyone. In the Counseling Center, sessions will also be delivered remotely.
We all wish you the best for the fall semester. Some things will be different this fall, but we are making sure that you will have the best experience possible!
Dr. Anne Fisher
New College aims to open campus for instruction, both face-to-face and remote, in the Fall semester. Our goal is to make working and living on campus safer than working and living in the surrounding community.Learn more