Greetings Saints Community,
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have ramifications that are hard to predict. The latest is the concern among international students that a new Trump Administration rule could cut off their studies in our country. We are doing all we can to make sure our students are not affected; please see my message about this from earlier today.
I am very grateful for the work that has been accomplished by the Saints Rise Up Steering Committee which has developed and implemented strong protocols, processes and procedures for the times with which we are dealing. Having open and transparent communication channels to inform the community is one vital element that will allow us to stay strong and informed as a community. As such, going forward, expect to see future updates regarding COVID cases impacting the College coming from SHS Clinic Manager Christine Sandal.
Work continues on preparing our College operations for the return of our students, which will begin in earnest in mid-August with our athletes. All Duluth classrooms have now been reconfigured for safe physical distancing and we are working on similar measures at our extended sites. With each passing day we are more ready! I continue to be impressed with the creative energy and shared sense of purpose I see from everyone. Remember, if you have questions about our planning, visit css.edu/SafeReturn.
As many of you already know, Dr. Diane Vertin has been named Chief Operating Officer for the College. This position was established to provide direct oversight of the College's strategic plan and priorities, and to develop an institutional effectiveness model that will inform the College community and the Board of Trustees in its decision-making for the future. Consistent and ongoing evaluation is more important now than ever as we navigate these challenging times.
Diane will lead preparations for the College's Higher Learning Commission comprehensive visit in 2022-23. She will also oversee the development of new strategic partnerships in collaboration with Dr. Rick Revoir, Dean of Strategic Partnerships, and the Career Center.
As Diane begins her new role, I have asked her to meet with College constituent groups to gather input, expectations and desired outcomes to ensure alignment with the College's goals and mission. Through these listening sessions, we hope to build a strong framework with a focus on accountability and celebrating our successes. Thank you in advance for participating and being part of this important engagement!
Last month the Cabinet members and I, along with the deans, had the good fortune to receive anti-bias Search Advocates training. This very valuable experience also included a cohort of faculty and staff receiving advanced Search Advocates training last month. The Cabinet and I also are going to benefit from reading and studying the book "A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota" as part of our professional development around equity, diversity and inclusion.
Dr. Bergstrom has reorganized our newly named Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion with the help of Sarah Stewart, associate director, and Dan Soulier, student support specialist. A new office website will be unveiled in August. She has been meeting with dozens of students, faculty, staff, community leaders and alumni to get their best thinking on how the College can achieve a new level of equity and inclusion. This is informing how she structures a broadly inclusive advisory committee. In addition, Dr. Bergstrom has joined the President's Cabinet in her new role and we welcome her to our team!
Amy and her team are developing a new Inclusive Excellence tab on Cor to serve as a clearinghouse for information relating to IE. They're working on a plan of programming for the coming academic year, which will include professional development opportunities, book reads, speakers and more. If you have ideas or questions, please reach out to Amy at firstname.lastname@example.org. She'd love to hear from you.In media coverage this week, we had exciting news for our men's hockey program as Kevin Moore is set to take over as head coach. Welcome Kevin!
As always, I am thankful for all you do to advance our mission. I hope you will have a relaxing and enjoyable weekend! Be safe, stay well!