Email crafted on March 10, 2020
Dear Colby Community,
In the fast-paced environment of COVID-19, institutions of higher education are taking a range of steps to protect their communities and mitigate transmission of the virus. These include limiting large group gatherings, restricting travel, instituting remote learning, and many variations of these and other measures.
At Colby, we are focused on three guiding principles: supporting the health and safety of our community, preserving our ability to continue our exceptional educational program, and, to the extent possible, maintaining the essence of the distinctive Colby experience for our students.
We are working with many campus groups to evaluate potential scenarios for completing the semester in alignment with these principles. I am grateful to the leadership of the Student Government Association, the Faculty Steering Committee, and many others who are making time for these discussions. We are considering modifications to the academic calendar that would allow us to continue instruction on campus, understanding that we may need to adapt as the situation necessitates.
Our academic calendar is currently in our favor: while travel is a primary risk factor in the transmission of this virus, our spring break falls later than most, giving us slightly more time to work through these issues than some of our peers. With that said, we are moving quickly to make decisions that give clarity to our community about how we will proceed this spring. It is essential that we weigh the need for swiftness with our commitment to our principles and determining the best solution for Colby.
I will be meeting with groups across campus over the next 24 hours, and I welcome the input of all members of our community as we consider the range of issues this unprecedented situation has created. I also invite you to visit colby.edu/covid-19 for updates on the College’s response.
Since its founding, Colby has built its strength on delivering an education that is rooted in close interaction among students and faculty. We are committed to doing all we can to preserve the essence of what we offer even in these extraordinary times.
David A. Greene