Employee Message from President Standifird Re: Remote Teaching

Dear Colleagues,

We continue to operate in challenging times. First and foremost, thank you for all the incredible work I know is happening this summer to prepare us for the upcoming academic year. One of the difficult things for all of us, myself included, is the continued uncertainty of our environment. We have now published the criteria we will be using to determine if a shift to a virtual format for the fall semester is necessary; hopefully you have had an opportunity to review them. We still plan to operate in a face-to-face format in the fall, but everything is subject to change as we continue to monitor the situation on campus, throughout our region and nationally.

All of us are here because of our collective passion for the success and well-being of our students and each other. Of this unwavering commitment, I have no doubt. It's this spirit of community that binds us together. I have heard from a number of you about your continued interest in being engaged face-to-face teaching in the fall. Out of genuine concern for your health and the well-being of your loved ones, I am also aware some of you remain worried about face-to-face instruction. Please know I truly empathize with both groups and perspectives.

As part of a caring community, I want people to be able to do what they believe is necessary for their health and well-being as well as that of the wider university community. For those who are comfortable being on campus with our students in the fall, we will do everything we can to allow this to happen safely. I encourage you to review our attached guidance document and perhaps tour classrooms to see the effort devoted to making these spaces safe. For those who are uncomfortable coming back for face-to-face instruction in the fall, we will attempt to accommodate you.

If you are interested in teaching some or all of your classes online this fall, let your department chair know by no later than noon Monday, August 10th. This timing is important so we may let our students know and plan their class schedules accordingly. You don't need to provide medical justification for making your request. Instead, I ask you to be thoughtful about your request based on your individual circumstances and the needs of the department and university. We will need to be particularly mindful about how we handle areas where accreditation requirements make online learning difficult.

I have long maintained if you want to understand the true nature of an organization, see how it operates in crisis. We are operating in a level of crisis most of us have never seen. And yet I remain optimistic precisely because the crisis has revealed to me the true nature of our university. Your steadfast commitment to the success of our students and to the well-being of each other speaks volumes to the nature of the place and the prospects of our long-term success.

Thank you for all you have done and continue to do to make this such an amazing place. It is an honor and a privilege to work with you through these most difficult of times. It’s going to be a rough year but we will get through this. We will survive and then thrive because of your impressive dedication and our collective commitment to the community that is Bradley University.

Sincerely,

Stephen Standifird
President
Bradley University

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