Recruitment and marketing strategies shift, summer classes move online, plans underway for revised commencement

University Communication to Faculty, Staff, Students, Campus School
Distributed: 04/08/2020
Posted: 04/08/2020

Dear Carlow University Community,

As we move through Christianity’s holiest week and begin Passover, we pause to reflect upon the extraordinary ways our community has continued the University’s mission. We’ve rapidly transitioned into successful remote learning and work environments; continued to support the mitigation of COVID-19 spread by staying home and engaging in social distancing practices (and now masking); and maintained a positive, collaborative spirit throughout this very difficult and unprecedented time.

Today we share with you a few updates before we depart for our four-day holiday:

Stay-at-home order extended

Pursuant to Governor Wolf’s expanded “stay-at-home” executive order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and save lives, all nonessential employees continue to work remotely and are encouraged to consistently stay engaged with their manager and team. If this time is extended beyond April 30, or if other changes occur, the University will send further communications.

Below are valuable resources to support you during this time:


The Commencement Team, led by Provost Sibdas Ghosh, and including staff, faculty, and students, is diligently working to provide recommendations for a May 9 celebration - along with a date for a face-to-face commencement in late December 2020. This will be communicated by the President as soon as its determined.

The Provost and Assistant Provost are working with the Deans of each college to prepare all summer courses for delivery in online, alternative, and remote modalities.

All summer camps are cancelled, and summer activities for the Neighborhood Learning Alliance will be offered remotely. For details, contact Howard Stern

Marketing and Recruitment

The Enrollment Management and Marketing and Communications teams have shifted their approach to recruitment and marketing.

Enrollment Management is collaborating with faculty and utilizing video to enhance recruiting efforts, and they will continue to jointly host virtual Zoom events such as Admissions chats; traditional, adult, and graduate-focused academic informational sessions; and virtual transfer events with CCBC and WCCC. New events will be added weekly.

Historically, only 36% of students used virtual events to assess student fit. During COVID-19, this is the primary way that students are determining institutional fit in the absence of a campus tour. They are seeking live events to engage with academics, financial aid, and student life. These requests continue to shift the strategy for engagement.

Marketing and Communications has transitioned into more digital modes of marketing to capture the stay-at-home market and will continue to scale multimedia to support the community, brand, recruitment, and retention.

Information Technology

Given our remote work environments, Carlow’s computing assets (such as laptops) have become a vital tool for staff and faculty. They are also a limited resource; IT would be stretched to replace damaged or failing equipment. Everyone is asked to care for these assets accordingly.

Skype for Business is the officially supported teleconferencing tool for Carlow University. Its technology is far more secure than similar technologies, including Zoom, which has recently exhibited security and privacy flaws. The University is encouraged to utilize Skype for Business as much as possible, particularly where privacy and secure information is involved. Information of this nature should not be shared on Zoom.

Student information

After carefully weighing the unpredictability of the pandemic and personal safety considerations, residence halls will be closed over the summer months. Students who were planning to reside on campus, or who are uncertain of their summer living options, are asked to contact Director of Residence Life Keith Cerroni.  

Students who are in need, or who may be facing barriers to academic success, are encouraged to submit information to our CARE Team.

Watch special student video message from President Suzanne Mellon Ph.D.


Stories of hope and encouragement continue to be shared among the internal community. We encourage you to regularly visit Carlow’s webpage for inspiration and support - which extends into the Oakland community, as demonstrated by our signage on Forbes and Fifth Avenues.

We will keep you apprised with another update next week. In the meantime, we wish everyone well over the holiday break.


The COVID-19 Internal Response Team