Monday, March 16, 2020
Dear members of the Bellarmine community,
These are unusual and challenging times. The campus is not the same without students and faculty and staff engaging in the most noble work of educating our students, engaging them in the gritty issues of our day and enjoying one another’s company. One of the best parts of my job is being able to watch “miracles happen every day” as I observe our students develop into wonderfully engaged and ethical leaders. I am especially sorry for our seniors who are commendable leaders in their own right and will change this world for the better. I have no doubt that this is true.
In the past week, our faculty and staff have responded swiftly and with amazing resilience to ensure that our classes are able to move online this week to ensure that the educational experience continues on track toward on time degree completion and for each and every student to work toward completing their coursework. Trust me, this takes incredible work, persistence and adaptability. It will also take incredible work, persistence and adaptability on the part of each of our students throughout the university. I thank you for your patience, your creativity and your eagerness to learn.
I’d like to thank students for their understanding and Residence Life staff for their help as most students moved out of the residence halls over the weekend. Thanks also to the Public Safety officers who volunteered to drive some students home. At the recommendation of the governor’s office that all restaurants close except for carry-out, Food Services will be operating on a carry-out basis only. I appreciate our Sodexo employees and the other staff members who are working on campus to keep things running smoothly and safely.
We are fortunate to live in a time where technology allows us to remain connected even while we are apart. It does not capture the full Bellarmine spirit, but I encourage you to be respectful of our faculty and staff as we take on these hurdles. There will be some natural mistakes I am sure, but we are working to make this as smooth a transition as possible. Please help us.
As noted last week, Summer/Fall 2020 course registration began today, and classes will resume online on Wednesday, March 18. Professors and instructors should have communicated with students via email by now about their plans to deliver courses remotely. The Registrar’s Office will be available to assist with registration questions via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Advising is available through your faculty advisor or through the Student Success Center.
We will continue to update the Bellarmine coronavirus website with information specific to students, faculty and staff. If you have concerns that are not addressed there, please send them to email@example.com.
Being isolated can cause feelings of anxiety and/or depression. Remember to take a few minutes each day to get some fresh air and exercise. You can reach Bellarmine’s Counseling Center for consultation and crisis management during normal business hours at 502.272.8480. Students can access online resources at any point, and faculty and staff can access the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) here.
This is an unprecedented situation that our community is handling with professionalism and grace.
Bellarmine University is known for our commitment to community service. Ordinarily, we frame that service in terms of going out into the community and helping others. But these are not ordinary times. Now, the best way that we can help others is to stay in our homes, slow the spread of the virus, and try to keep our healthcare system from being overwhelmed.
Please take care,
Susan M. Donovan, Ph.D.