As we come to the end of the Fall semester on the Campus, I continue to be proud of the many ways Post’s faculty, associates, and students continue to support each other inside and outside the classroom. Our supportive community continues to give us opportunities to grow and I am grateful for that.
As previously stated, the learning modality at Post University will remain virtual for the Spring 2021 semester. The University continues to put the health and safety of students first. You can read the spring plan here. Specific information for students is in Part One and Part Three of the plan.
Back in the late fall, our Provost, the Deans of our three schools, and members of the Campus Student Government Association held town halls to hear how students were faring during the semester. We heard about our students’ concerns and challenges brought on or exacerbated by, COVID-19. As a result of those conversations, we are making the following adjustments to the Spring 2021 semester:
- Microsoft Teams instead of Collaborate: Campus students and faculty will use a different web-based conferencing tool for their virtual courses. The tool is Microsoft Teams, which is part of the suite of technology tools used by the University, and it offers faculty and students many more opportunities to engage in the classroom as well while out of the classroom. Teams offers the ability to have many students on camera in the classroom. Because you won’t always want to show others in the meeting what’s behind you, Teams offers the ability to change your background. You can blur out what’s going on behind you, effectively smudging a messy room or office into a grey mess. Or, if you prefer, you can choose a custom background to replace your real-life space.
- Swoop’s Perch: Because we want to continue to receive your thoughts and input about the semester, we have set up Swoop’s Perch in the Virtual Campus. This is the spot where you can share how the semester is treating you as well as take a quick survey. We pledge to report out how we are incorporating your feedback and survey findings.
- Mental Health: We continue to take a holistic approach, so our students flourish—socially, emotionally, and academically. We are stepping up our efforts to increase awareness of the services available to campus students and their families. From YOU@Post to SOAR and services offered by the Counseling Center, we continue to build on our strong culture of caring and compassion where students feel supported.
Regarding the spring athletic competition season, the news reports of the COVID-19 vaccine distributions to frontline healthcare workers is positive news but the infection rates are at an all-time high. Because vaccine information is rapidly evolving, the University Leadership Team is monitoring the public health climate in concert with the State of Connecticut and the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) restrictions, to determine the potential for spring athletics competition. Therefore, we are delaying our decision about spring play until mid-January. In an effort to be ready, we continue to move forward with our planning and requisite logistics for athletes to return in the spring.
What is evolving:
- Celebrate the start of 2021 with a live stream of fireworks on January 1 at 6 p.m. Post along with the City of Waterbury is hosting the program. It’s our gift to you! The link to watch the live stream will be www.post.edu/fireworks
- A working group is looking at Commencement to celebrate the accomplishments of the Class of 2021 and Class of 2020. Planning is underway but details are not firm. Our initial thoughts are to hold a ceremony in the summer. We will keep you informed once the details are finalized.
Please stay safe. I wish you a joyous holiday.
John L. Hopkins
CEO & President