Message from Monmouth College President Wyatt Regarding COVID-19
Spring classes will begin Monday, March 23, under a Flexible Plan.
MONMOUTH, Ill. (03/13/2020) — The following email was sent 11:04 am CT today to Monmouth College students by Monmouth President Clarence Wyatt. Monmouth students are currently on Spring Break.
Dear Monmouth College Community --
We are living in an extraordinary time. No college or university has as a one-size-fits-all universal playbook which will help us get through it. For us, we remain true to our two commitments: the quality education of our students and the well-being of our campus community.
Monmouth College's greatest gifts have always been its dedication and its creativity. At this time, its greatest strength also needs to be its flexibility.
As we continue to receive information, evaluate other models, and assess what is right for our students and our community, our plans continue to evolve. And those plans now show us that flexibility is our greatest need and our greatest opportunity, even at this tough moment.
Our original plan was to begin classes on campus next Wednesday to give our faculty and staff some time to think about moving elements of the curriculum online, should we need to move that direction. We realize now that that doesn't provide for the needs of all our community best. What serves our community best is the ability for faculty, staff, and students to make choices about how they work, whether that work is teaching, or learning, or carrying out the other roles the College needs.
Thus, on Monday, March 23, classes will begin again under a Flexible Plan. Classes will be canceled Monday, March 16, through Friday, March 20. The Flexible Plan will be in place for the rest of the semester.
This Plan allows for individual choice about how to work:
* After consulting with their families, students can make the choice to return to campus or stay at home to study online. Our residence halls and food services will be open and working from this weekend, as planned. If you're studying online, professors will contact you about how that will work for their particular courses. If you choose to stay at home and continue your studies, please notify Student Life that you are not returning to campus.
* Teachers can choose to move their classes fully online. Those who prefer to continue classroom instruction can choose that, while addressing the needs of students who will be studying off-campus.
* Staff will also have options regarding flexibility in their work. A separate note from the Personnel Office will provide additional details.
From now until March 23, we will be running workshops of various sorts to help faculty move materials and classes online, including those workshops already scheduled for Monday and Tuesday of next week. Students are welcome back to campus this weekend, as planned, but classes will not begin until the next Monday, the 23rd. For further updates, please continue to check your email regularly and to look on the Monmouth College Covid-19 Update page (monmouthcollege.edu/covid).
There is no perfect answer to the crisis that has happened upon us. Instead, we work together to continue focusing on our twin commitments to quality education and campus community well-being -- even as we acknowledge that a pandemic has a way of throwing a wrench into that mission. Given the information that we have, and that we continue to gather and reassess, this is the plan which we believe serves all the members of our community best for the present, and the immediate future.