A Message from the Provost

Dear Bradley Employees,

This week marks the halfway point for the fall semester. It has not been typical or easy, but I believe there are many reasons for all of you to be proud.

This has been the most challenging semester any of us has experienced. I appreciate and am grateful for how hard the faculty have been working while facing tremendous adversity. You have been flexible and remained dedicated to our students even while trying to navigate new approaches to teaching. I also understand faculty members have had to neglect their scholarly agendas because of the teaching demands. I am hopeful we will be back to our normal teaching loads and delivery by next fall.

I understand the extraordinary demands of our staff as well. Many of you have been working long days and weekends in order to serve our students. I can assure you that our students, faculty and administrators are all thankful for your work.

We began the term with thoughtful COVID-19 control plans in place, but the virus managed to take hold and too many of our students found themselves in isolation or quarantine. Thankfully, we were able to turn things around. Even though we are seeing numbers decline, it is still imperative you continue to participate in our surveillance testing if you are selected. Testing allows us to get an accurate sense of the presence of this virus on our campus. It’s the only way we can monitor and mitigate its spread.

We recently announced preliminary plans for the spring semester. We will again offer in-person and remote-learning options. The semester will begin a week later than usual, and we are eliminating spring break so we can end the semester as scheduled. Staff who work remotely may continue to do so through the spring semester if approved by their supervisor.

We have also decided to push report dates for employees back a week. That means most staff will return to work Jan. 11 and the faculty report date will become Jan. 18, providing you with an additional week of vacation. Everyone is working extremely hard and this pandemic has caused an immense amount of stress for all of us. We hope this time off will allow you to relax, recharge, and prepare for the upcoming semester.

Please note, essential personnel will report for work on their regularly scheduled date. Faculty members who are scheduled to teach January interim or in our traditional online programs (Nursing, Counseling, EdD) prior to January 27 will need to report at their usual time.

Finally, your mental health is always important to us, and we recognize physical distancing and other COVID-19 precautions aren’t helping. As a reminder, Bradley provides resources to help full-time employees and eligible dependents cope with life events through our Employee Assistance Program (EAP). The EAP provides confidential, short-term counseling at no cost. Additionally, if you’re enrolled in a Bradley-sponsored health plan, you can schedule a time to speak with a counselor in the privacy of your home through the Virtual Visit option.

It’s essential we focus on our students’ mental wellbeing too. Encourage your students to check out Bradley.edu/unite, watch the flagship social media accounts and the Bradley University coronavirus homepage for mental health tips starting Nov. 2. Remind them to take advantage of Bradley Counseling Services if they need more personalized support.

Thank you again for your continued efforts on the behalf of Bradley and our students.

Walter R. Zakahi

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs