Thursday, May 7, 2020
Dear Rider Community,
As we approach the end of this academic year, our attention has already turned to the upcoming fall semester and the ongoing impact COVID-19 will have on our campus operations. Even if the worst of the pandemic is behind us by then, we know there will be a lasting impact and possibly recurrences of coronavirus that we must plan for now.
Today I am announcing the formation of the Fall 2020 Planning Task Force to evaluate and recommend a comprehensive plan to address the myriad of issues and challenges we will face next academic year. Dr. Kelly Bidle, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, is chairing the Task Force, and I want to personally thank her for leading this very important work.
Dr. Bidle is joined by a small group of senior leaders and faculty on the Fall 2020 Planning Task Force. The Task Force is currently evaluating all options for the fall semester. While we intend to be fully open in the fall, that could mean many things. We will make decisions based on the goals of protecting the health and safety of our campus community while also maintaining the highest level of academic instruction our students deserve.
To date, the Task Force has identified four key areas of campus operations to focus on:
- Facilities & Public Health
- Student Experience
- and Finance & Enrollment
By the end of the week, Dr. Bidle plans to invite faculty, staff and students to join Working Groups dedicated to these four areas so their work can commence immediately. I encourage everyone who is invited to participate so that they can contribute their expertise to this important work.
Dr. Bidle and I plan to frequently communicate more information and updates regarding our decision making for the fall semester with our faculty, staff, students, parents and extended Rider community as frequently as possible. We anticipate knowing much more within the upcoming month.
We appreciate your patience and understanding as we continue to confront the compounding challenges presented by this public health crisis. While it is requiring us to make hard choices, I'm confident we are up to the challenge and that the talented and resilient individuals working urgently together as one team will help lead us through to brighter days.
I wish you and your family good health.
Gregory G. Dell’Omo, Ph.D.