SaintsRiseUp Safe Return | Campus Reopening Updates

Oct. 16 Safe Return update

Safe Return

Safe Return

Greetings, colleagues!

Thank you for your continued efforts to follow safety guidelines and keep our community healthy after last week's Level 2 - Medium Alert COVID announcement. By working together, we will be able to keep each other safe. 

Health Department tour and recommendations
On Oct. 7 the College hosted two representatives from the St. Louis County Public Health Department. The team's goal was to tour campus in light of our recent move to Level 2 on the alert scale and to make recommendations for improvements to health and safety protocols based on their observations. Safety and Security Manager Mike Turner and members of our Saints Rise Up Steering Committee led the team on a tour of major campus facilities including the Burns Wellness Commons cardio area and athletic facilities, Student Health Service clinic, dining service areas, the Science Center and Tower Hall. 

They made a few recommendations for improvements, but overall the team was pleased with our adherence to our Safe Return plan guidelines. One problem area they noted, which I would like to emphasize again, is a lapse on following guidelines in our dining areas. Please remember that there should be no more than four people sitting together at any one table, and face coverings are required unless you are actually eating or drinking. Thank you for your continued efforts to follow our safety rules - your hardwork is paying off!     

Virtual Homecoming: a great success!
The College's Homecoming Weekend represents a time to celebrate what it means to be a St. Scholastica Saint, even if that celebration is held virtually! This year, we transitioned our traditional festivities to intimate, community-building Zoom conversations with our alumni, faculty, staff, students and Sisters. We had a lot of participants from Duluth, the Twin Cities and even as far as Arizona. Thank you to the Alumni Engagement team for their work in developing a well-planned and organized event.

Higher Learning Commission reaffirmation
It's that time again! Every 10 years, St. Scholastica undergoes reaffirmation of accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Along with a written assurance argument, the reaffirmation includes a visit to our campuses. Our next reaffirmation is slated for the academic year 2022-2023 (exact dates yet to be determined). Therefore, we are beginning to prepare the community for this event. The structure will consist of a steering committee co-chaired by Diane Vertin, Chief Operating Officer, and Anne Kruchten, Director of Assessment; a federal compliance committee, chaired by Kris Church, Institutional Research; and criterion committees that will be co-chaired by members of the President's Cabinet. The purpose of the steering committee is to oversee the overall process and criterion committees, while the criterion teams will be responsible for evaluating the criteria and providing evidence to address the criteria. The federal compliance committee will provide evidence that we are in full compliance with federal regulations. The steering committee is scheduled to meet in November to kick off the process.

Accreditation by HLC is very important because it assures the public that our College meets the standards based on five criteria: 

  • Mission
  • Integrity: Ethical and Responsible Conduct
  • Teaching and Learning: Quality, Resources and Support 
  • Teaching and Learning: Evaluation and Improvement
  • Institutional Effectiveness, Resources and Planning. 


This is a comprehensive assessment of the institution. The accreditation assures that St. Scholastica is eligible for federal funds (such as Title IV) and assists in the transfer of credits to other institutions.

Stay tuned for more on this to come!

Benedictine Hospitality on display
Thank you to all the staff, faculty and students who made our MEA Break visitors feel welcomed to campus this week. While we weren't able to hold our usual large-scale Open Houses, more than 50 students and their families were shown outstanding Benedictine Hospitality in a COVID-friendly way.

Faculty Colloquium - absence and authorship
During an upcoming School of Arts and Letters Faculty Colloquium Dr. Nathan Carroll will present his investigative findings on absence and authorship in relation to Martin Scorsese's "Street Scenes 1970." The long-lost film showed the anti-Vietnam student strikes that took place in New York City and Washington D.C. in May of 1970. The event will be held via Zoom from 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 23. Visit spotlight.css.edu to register.

Data and health policy
The LaTour Eichenwald Forum on HIIM Leadership and Innovation will be hosting retired Ambassador Jimmy Kolker as guest speaker at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 19 via Zoom. Kolker will be speaking on the topic: "How Diplomats and Policy Creators use (or fail to use) data and evidence when making decisions about public health interventions." To register, visit css.edu/leforum.

2020 holiday festivities
The College is finalizing plans for this year's holiday festivities. Currently, plans are for our annual Lighting a Tradition event to be held a little early, prior to the Thanksgiving Break. It will take place at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 18. This year's Advent Vespers service and the President's Holiday Dinner will be held virtually on Tuesday, Dec. 1. Please stay tuned as plans continue to develop.    

With snow in the forecast, I hope everyone stays warm and safe this weekend! Stay well, be safe!
Barbara