University releases Re-Entry and Resiliency Plan rooted in common good

University Communication to Faculty and Staff
Distributed: 06/19/2020
Posted: 06/26/2020
Dear Carlow University Faculty and Staff,

First, I want to acknowledge the resilience, innovation, teamwork and dedication to our students that has been demonstrated by faculty, staff, and administrators across the University since Covid-19 emerged. We successfully evacuated campus and moved all learning online in the space of a week, adjusted ourselves to working from home with all its implications, supported a class of students through to completion and graduation and other classes through the semester. We worked together every day to remove barriers to our success. It is a testimony to the Carlow Spirit present on our campus.

On June 5, the Governor and State Department of Education issued Pennsylvania’s Re-Opening and Recovery Plan Guidance for Higher Education, the official guidance to be followed by all colleges and universities. To implement this guidance, Carlow University is publishing our Re-Entry Resiliency Plan During Covid-19 , that provides a roadmap for continuing our mission as an educational institution, while also providing for the health and safety of our community. Our plan was collaboratively developed from every division and area of the University. This was a major focus of our work these last months, inclusive of the President’s Cabinet, President’s Executive Council, Covid-19 Rapid Response Team, divisional teams and academic departments, academic areas, the Campus School community. Bridgette Cofield, Assistant Vice President of Human Resources, Equity and Inclusion, was the project manager and lead for ensuring that all of the components would come together into a comprehensive plan. She was assisted by Melanie Byrom, Senior HR Generalist and Employment Specialist, and Katie Crawford, Creative Director for Marketing and Communications. Throughout the pandemic, the Presidents of the Pittsburgh Council of Higher Education institutions, and other regional collaborative teams have met with state and county/city leaders, to discuss our plans, examine best practices, and look for ways to collaborate. This has been very valuable in the formulation of this initial plan.

To be successful, the plan is framed around the concept of The Common Good, an ideal defined by the Greeks, and espoused by the Catholic Church. At its core, The Common Good is about how we care for one another. It recognizes our essential dependence on one another and the critical need for all of us to think beyond ourselves to act in everyone’s best interests. This is essential to the successful implementation of our plan and goal to keep our community safe. Our plan is a plan of action – wearing masks, socially distancing, temperature taking, frequent handwashing, leaving spaces cleaner than you found them – you will be required to do these things as a member of the Carlow community.

As we return to campus in the fall, we will present every member of our community with the Common Good Pledge and ask you to sign it as a commitment to following these simple requirements. At the core of Carlow’s culture are the values we hold dear that are inherently about respect, trust, and care for one another. As a close knit, relationship based community, caring for one another is in our DNA.

What you find attached is our initial plan. This is a management plan that will evolve as new science emerges along with new guidance that is adopted state-wide and regionally. When it is updated, we will inform you and the plan will continue to also reside on our website for your easy reference. The plan will be supported with a robust communication plan, campus signage, and other provisions of PPE.

Questions about the plan may be referred to your supervisor/chair/dean/cabinet member. A great many members of our faculty, staff and leadership contributed to dimensions of the plan and will welcome discussing it. The Cabinet will hold the responsibility for implementation and oversight. However, the Covid-19 Rapid Response Team will transition with the re-opening of campus to a Covid-19 Re-Entry and Resiliency Implementation Team.

I thank you again for your commitment to Carlow University, our students and our mission and ask you to participate with me in this important endeavor. We are strongest when we work together. Together We Can Do This!

Suzanne K. Mellon, PhD
President