May 18, 2020
Dear Spalding Community,
I cannot say enough about the resilience our students, faculty and staff have demonstrated during the upheaval of the past two months. I have been inspired by the way you have supported each other and continued carrying out Spalding’s mission of learning, service and compassion, and I have never been more proud to lead this institution.
We can rely on the collective strength of our campus community to help us move forward as we wind down the 2019-20 academic year and look ahead with hope to 2020-21. We can’t wait for our current students to return for the next step in their academic journey, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome our new students.
It is fully our intention to return to campus and in-person instruction this fall if, and only if, it is safe to do so. We are making preparations to that end.
I am pleased to announce the formation of a coordinating committee focused on developing Spalding University’s “Return to Campus” plan. Chris Hart, Chief of Staff and Dean of Operations, will chair the Return to Campus Committee.
The committee will include representatives from all academic, operational and student support departments, and they will work with me to formulate a plan for the safe reopening of campus for in-class instruction and other campus activities this fall.
Importantly, the Return to Campus plan will incorporate the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local and state government officials. One of the great advantages of being a small institution is our nimbleness, and we will change and adapt as necessary to support our students and keep our campus safe. All aspects of how the University operates will be evaluated within the context of ensuring the health and wellness of our students, faculty, staff and visitors.
This will include considerations for personal protective equipment and the safe configuring of classrooms, labs, residence halls, athletic facilities and other campus spaces. Our plan will also include creating the flexibility to move courses online in the event that’s needed, or to deliver courses with a blend of face-to-face and online instruction. We’ll take advantage of our expertise in teaching most courses in six-week blocks that we know our students find convenient.
At Spalding, our professors, advisors, coaches, admissions counselors, financial aid staff and student-support staff know our students personally and are there to lend a hand. We’ll continue to teach and conduct business with compassion, understanding the challenges the pandemic has created for many of our students and their families.
It is too soon to say definitively what our return to campus will look like. What we can say definitively is that your safety and the safety of the broader community will remain our top priorities. Another abiding priority is to provide our students with a great experience while receiving a great education.
We look forward to reporting our new planning committee’s work and welcoming you to campus this fall.
May you, and all those you love, be well.
All the best,
Tori Murden McClure
Spalding University President