Dear College Community,
So much has happened since COVID-19 entered our lives. We first heard about it late last year. Then suddenly, it was here. Directives started flowing in from the Governor, the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, and health authorities and we got to work. Let’s look at what we’ve done so far, and what’s coming next.
March 2 – Incident Command structure activated and a larger business continuity team formed. Students and employees alerted to the situation and to prepare for changes. COVID-19 webpage established to post updates, communications and links. (If you haven’t bookmarked this page, do it now and visit it often: https://www.lanecc.edu/covid19.)
March 6 – College travel suspended to Level 3 countries and to states with the highest number of reported cases.
March 13 - College interstate and in-state travel suspended. Nonessential events postponed. In-person winter term finals replaced with online or other options. Decision made to deliver the first three weeks of spring term by remote methods and start as scheduled March 30. Employee telecommuting authorized by arrangement with supervisors. Campuswide cleaning protocols implemented.
March 17 – Decision made to delay the start of spring term by one week to April 6, but end on time on June 13, absorbing finals into the term. Decision made to use remote instruction through May 8. Health professions programs with external mandates for hands-on time allowed to proceed using social distancing and hygiene protocols. On campus meetings cancelled, essential meetings remote. Campus events suspended.
March 20 – Decision made to extend remote instruction and services to end of spring term. Commencement postponed until further notice.
Throughout this time, we found ourselves to be one step ahead of many other colleges. Many of these decisions have been painful and all have been challenging. LCC remains committed to do everything it can to stop the spread of COVID-19.
So what’s next?
First and foremost, we each have to follow CDC recommendations: wash your hands for 20 seconds; cover your cough; stay home if you’re sick; practice social distancing. As a former nurse I can’t stress enough how important it is to wash your hands.
It’s also important that we be consistent with our messaging and put our best public face forward: We’re open. We’re serving students and the community through virtual technologies. We are delivering the education and services that our students and community need—through alternate formats.
Yesterday, Governor Brown prohibited in-person instruction at colleges and universities effective March 21 through April 28. Exceptions were granted for agency-mandated, hands-on learning, provided that social distancing and sanitation protocols are followed.
We are looking for ways to mitigate financial impact on students who depend on financial aid.
We are looking for ways to simplify processes, for example, minimizing dependency on placement tests and employing multiple measures where we can.
One thing for sure is that we are a strong and creative institution. From my position, I have seen dozens of examples of leadership, innovation, and resilience at every level. I can’t imagine a more stressful challenge than what we’re facing now, but nonetheless we are coming together, coming up with solutions, and moving forward in fulfillment of our mission.
When I came to Lane three years ago to be your president, I was well aware of the college’s excellent reputation. I see that excellence play out every day in every classroom, every office, every gathering space. I cannot thank you enough.
I know this is incredibly difficult, but hang in there. You have risen to the occasion, and I am proud to be a part of the LCC team.