President’s All College Update: May ’20

12 May 2020

Additional State Funding Commitment

Conversations are ongoing, but the Legislature is committed to providing additional funding to the VSCS for a bridge year for planning purposes. The amount is still being determined through the collaborative work of the VSCS Deans of Administration, the State Treasurer, and the Chancellor’s Office. They are working very hard for us all to create a longer planning horizon with space for appropriate analysis, data gathering and community input.
Thank you to everyone who reached out to their legislative representatives and the Governor’s office to help make this a reality!

Transitional Advisory Taskforce

In an email early last week, members of our Transitional Advisory Taskforce were announced. A diverse, representative group that includes students, union members, staff, faculty and administration will advise the Executive Committee and me on our transformation planning. A key responsibility of these members is to work toward consensus-based feedback and disseminate information back to the college community. We want a two-way communication flow to be at the forefront of this process. Watch out for emails and updates on our website for news about this process. A full list of these taskforce members will be listed on the Tech Talk version of this All College newsletter.

Student Belongings in Residence Halls

When we sent students home on March 13, we thought at the time that students might return as early as April 6. Remember those days? Well, student belongings continue to reside in their rooms while we wait for restrictions to lift to permit retrieval of their items. As recently as this week, State Officials continued to restrict the college from initiating the phased plan for students to return for their belongings. There is a group addressing colleges and universities and Jason Enser, Dean of Student Affairs will be informing that group.  We will keep asking and keep you posted via email and on this webpage about any changes!

On a related note, the State’s Emergency Management has not used our facilities for expansion of health care services. Therefore, we have not had to move any belongings out of rooms and into storage. Everything should be where you left it.

CARES Act Emergency Funding Available to Students

There is emergency funding available to cover expenses related to the disruption of normal institution operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as directed through the Department of Education. Students are encouraged to apply for financial relief through this grant process. Apply online by May 18, 2020.  Contact Key Student Services if you have questions.

Adaptive Marketing

Between the influence of the coronavirus restricting our usual spring on-campus events and the VSCS being in the news about campus closures, marketing the college during these times has had to be responsive. That’s why you’ll see a number of virtual events planned for prospective students and a new virtual tour. Throughout April, Admissions, Financial Aid, VAST and Student Life held online info sessions. We recently launched a series of Facebook Live events to showcase our labs (an attempt to substitute Try a Major Day). We are working to set a date in May for a virtual Open House, in collaboration between Admissions and Schools. In addition, our spring advertising typically runs this time of year. It supports of our spring events and fosters word-of-mouth referrals. That too has had to adapt to the messaging needs of recent news. The marketing team has posted marketing assets on the Portal so folks can see the creative associated with these campaigns. Many thanks especially to Jimmy for creating most of these videos in-house! Links below require logging in and may open to a Word document with links to ads and videos: