May 22, 2020

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

Dear CCSJ Community,

Last week would have been commencement time and yet the campus was quiet. At the same time, the trees and flowers are in bloom and the grass is greening, which are reminders of the growth and renewal that comes with a new season. I was given a note from a student last year during finals, and I have it posted on my office door. The students were trying to encourage their fellow students during finals, and my note is simple, but yet profound. It says, “# you grow through what you go through.” The growing and blooming season of spring, on the heels of what we are going through, provides a sense of hope and encouragement.

Flexibility during the year ahead will be paramount. Faculty members are evaluating their courses and delivery method under various scenarios, which will include a combination of face-to-face, hybrid, and online options. The return to campus will need to be flexible to ensure we maintain social distancing and accommodate those that are vulnerable. The return to “normal” is not an option, but creating a new normal is an opportunity. The summer gives CCSJ a chance to slowly return to work and consider options to continue with flexible work schedules to avoid density in offices. We are blessed to have private offices for nearly all of our full-time faculty and staff, and we all know that summer is a very quiet time with few people on campus.

On May 1, Governor Holcomb announced the Back on Track Indiana plan. We will use the plan as guidance, and you can access the plan at Back On Track Indiana. A phased re-opening will begin in June, but on a very limited basis. Enrollment and Advising will work together to serve students, by appointment only. The building will remain locked and security will monitor entrances and require people to log in and out. This way, we can do our best to identify areas of travel and make sure extra cleaning is provided. For anybody that is on campus, you should have identification and 1) log in and out at the security desk, 2) maintain social distancing, and 3) follow the CDC guidelines posted. We continue to follow CDC guidelines around social distancing and have taken cleaning precautions as we prepare for people to visit our campus. If you are on campus, we ask that you have a face covering handy for situations where you might be in closer quarters.

It is important that students are able to complete placement exams and visit campus so that they can register and we can plan course offerings and identify faculty needs for the fall. During June, our committee will be preparing to welcome back faculty, staff, and students. We have ordered various supplies and will maintain social distancing recommendations with staff rotations to make sure we provide a safe working environment. At this time, we plan to re-open campus on Monday, July 6th. There is a COVID committee that is gathering, reviewing and sharing information. In the next few weeks, you will receive information on how to access agendas, meeting notes, and resources. In addition, we will be providing a tool to gather input and provide answers to questions.

The crisis of COVID can provide an opportunity for us to think creatively and identify new ways of teaching, learning and serving our students and our community. We can’t operate out of fear and limit our potential. I recall an important sermon I heard by our former Bishop Donald Hying when I was preparing to come to CCSJ. It is a message that I think of often during these days. His message was simple, but also thought provoking for me. While he didn’t know me at all, he looked right at me as if he did, and said, “If you operate out of fear and worry that means you don’t operate with faith.” My faith in CCSJ and our college family is greater than my fear. We will work together to be better.


Dr. Amy McCormack