At every turn, Fort Lewis College has risen to the challenge of keeping our students safe and learning during the global pandemic. We never lost sight of our values of personal connections, deep engagement, and academic rigor. During this crisis, we have upheld those values and more. I could not be prouder of our students, staff, and faculty.
Whether you are a current student, future student, parent or alumni, I want you to know that our faculty and staff have made great sacrifices and taken risks to uphold our mission and keep our students safe while they make progress toward their academic goals. It has not been easy and we will continue to face challenges moving forward. Our staff and faculty have been inspired to action because they know many students in our FLC community are facing extremely difficult circumstances. Our thoughts are with you and your families.
As we head into the last week of our modified spring semester, the question I am asked more than any other is: Is FLC going to return to campus in the fall?
We are actively planning for an in-person fall semester. We are putting in place social distancing protocols, taking advantage of our spacious campus and many flexible spaces, to safely deliver in-person instruction. If permitted by local and state authorities to open in the fall, we will do so as safely as possible.
I’ve seen our campus show incredible resiliency and responsiveness. We have proven to be a flexible institution, leveraging our small class sizes and close faculty-student relationships to successfully navigate the interrupted semester. Our community is agile and able to respond to individual needs. We are not naïve to the possibility that COVID-19 could disrupt future in-person instruction. Should we have to again adapt normal operations, we will be prepared to do so.
What our students can achieve at FLC is more important than ever. Our students will play a key role in rebuilding and reimagining how we move forward as a society. At FLC, that’s exactly what our students learn to do. We’ve always been a community of problem-solvers and way finders, inspired by what we do in the classroom and what we can learn in our backyard of the Southwest. I know our students, guided by world-class faculty and staff, will use their education from FLC to make our world better.
Between now and fall, we will continue to prepare so that we are ready to keep our students safe and learning. We’ll do our part to be as flexible as possible—providing more financial aid to students, implementing fully refundable deposits, and disbursing stimulus and institutional emergency relief funds. The COVID-19 situation could change and we ask you to be prepared and flexible as well. You can expect to hear from me with monthly updates. And, trust that the same diligence and urgency which guided our response in March will guide how we approach the fall.
I can’t wait to get back and see our students on campus. Until then, take care of each other and please reach out to me directly with any questions or concerns.