April 1, 2020

To: CCSJ Students, Faculty and Staff
From: President Dr. Amy McCormack

Dear CCSJ Community,

It has been a week since the official work from home order went into place for Indiana, and I anticipate Governor Holcomb will extend the order through the end of April. President Trump indicated in his recent remarks that the next two weeks are going to be very tough for our nation, so I wanted to touch base with the college family. I have been tracking the daily updates on COVID-19 on the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) website. It probably isn’t healthy to view it daily, but I am sharing the link at https://coronavirus.in.gov/ . Lake County is the county with the second highest number of positive cases in Indiana with approximately 7% of the total cases. In the past week, we also became aware of an employee and a student that have tested positive. I am happy to report they are recovering.

I try to pause periodically to take in the reality of the situation and to pray for family, friends and those that are experiencing great challenges and anxiety right now. April will be a difficult and long month, so please know that Calumet College of St. Joseph is part of your support system. While things will be different during April, your pay and benefits will be the same. Even if your job responsibilities can’t be done from home, your pay will remain. CCSJ is also planning to support student workers during April, even though they are not able to work. At a time when your communities need funding, make sure you are counted in Census 2020. It is another way you can have a positive impact.

I have heard from a few students and hear from faculty members that transitioning to a new mode of learning is going well — for the most part. There are some students that are not engaged and faculty, advisors, and counselors continue to reach out and offer support and guidance. I know that some students are lonely and some are struggling with financial matters, which I am sure is true for some of our faculty and staff. We are waiting on the final details for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and working through the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) to access funds. Calumet College of St. Joseph also qualifies for the Small Business Administration (SBA) loan because we have less than 500 employees, so we will be submitting our application. The SBA Loan Program also provides for a paycheck protection provision. Be assured that we are pursuing numerous channels to help support the college family and the institution.

We have established our virtual tour on the website and continue to reach out to our prospective student pool to help guide them in their decision making at this uncertain time. We know that high school students are also adjusting to e-learning and weighing options at a time when families are strained and the path forward might appear unclear. We want prospective students to know that CCSJ is a community that cares in good times and bad. Seeing posts on social media from some of our current students helps remind me of the important role that CCSJ has played in the life of so many students. I am grateful that we have been such a positive force, and I look forward to continuing to offer a community with a sense of belonging. I long for the time when we can gather, in person, as a college family.

Once again, I want to thank you and recognize your commitment to Calumet College and to maintaining the community and the quality that make us all grateful to be part of something bigger than the coronavirus. Be strong, be safe, and take it one day at a time.


Dr. Amy McCormack