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Dear Faculty Colleagues,

I write as a follow-up to Fr. John’s recent message, as our testing and behavioral trends are moving in a concerning direction. After a careful review of the situation and feedback that I received, it is critical that we all take the necessary precautions to best care for one another, limit our community’s exposure to, and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We know from experience what it takes to function as a campus with in-person learning, and we need to re-commit to doing all that we can to ensure we return to that type of environment as quickly as possible. Therefore, the College is implementing a few interim measures to help curb the spread of the virus.

Transition to Remote Status

We will transition to a remote status today, Thursday, February 4th, at 6:00 p.m.–Sunday, February 14th. All classes and labs will be in remote-learning mode. Our intent is to resume in-person learning on Monday, February 15th.

Notifying Students

Each faculty member must communicate to their classes how to connect to their classes virtually.

Remote Learning

To prevent scheduling conflicts, classes requiring synchronous learning (i.e., attendance is required at a designated time) must be offered during their current scheduled times. Alternatively, you may transition to asynchronous learning (i.e., students are able to access materials, ask questions, and complete assignments at any time that works for them) as long as you do not require that the class meets at a time other than the currently scheduled time. If you have any difficulty in transitioning to remote learning, please notify your Dean as soon as possible.

Remote Learning Support

Here are several resources for teaching remotely:

Health & Wellbeing of Students

From a health and wellness perspective, I want to encourage you to do a quick check-in with your students. Ask how they are doing and share any of the resources below if they would benefit from additional support or assistance.

Also, information on the three most common referral processes for students of concern can be found in the email that was sent the afternoon of Wednesday, February 3rd, from the Office of Student Affairs.

Student Support

Access to all student support services (e.g., Academic Services & Advising, Center for Writing & Academic Achievement, Accessibility Resources, Career Development Center, Library, Counseling Services), will be available virtually. Please remind students of this and encourage them to take advantage of these resources as needed.

Resources for Remote Learners

Please know and encourage that your students check out the Resources for Remote Learners page.

Office & Campus Access

Though access to campus for students will be restricted to residence halls and pickup locations at the dining areas across campus, if you prefer to teach in your office or assigned classroom, please feel free to do so.

COVID-19 Testing

During the period of remote learning, we are asking that you come to campus only for your once- or twice-weekly COVID-19 testing. Please remain in the testing protocol if you can. However, if you are unable and it has been a week or more since your last test, you will need to come to campus to be tested, return home, and return to campus only after you have received a negative result. During the remote learning period, the Testing Center will maintain its normal hours of operation:


Day(s) Hours
Mon. 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. 
Tue. 10:30 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. 
Wed. 5:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. 
Thu. 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. 
Fri. 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. 

Please know that it is possible to call the Testing Center at 508-565-1166 and request a drive-thru test (i.e., the test is done while you remain in your car).

You can view the message that was sent to students earlier this afternoon about the transition to remote learning here.

I recognize that you have already made many sacrifices and modifications to ensure that your courses and related work maintain a strong level of academic integrity. Please know that the decision to transition to remote learning was not made lightly. I fully acknowledge the difficulties that come with this transition for you. While I know this is not ideal, I thank you for your support during this challenging time.

As a community, we must continue to demonstrate our strengths, hope, and commitment. Therefore, I ask that we all do what we can to face this current challenge. Together, let us strengthen our resolve to do what needs to be done to stay on course and protect the nest so that we can quickly return to in-person learning.


DeBrenna L. Agbényiga, Ph.D., MBA, MSW
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs