Message from President Caprio Regarding Fall 2020 Opening
Updated May 8, 2020
Message from President Anthony S. Caprio
Western New England University
Who We Are
We are currently crafting one of the most unique chapters in the University’s history. We are in the first year of our second century, still feeling inspired by all that we saw so clearly as we examined and celebrated our historic past. We have always demonstrated tenacity, creative thinking, and care and concern for the members of our community. We are a special place. In the past month, our faculty, staff, and students have come together exactly as I knew they would, quickly moving our high-quality curriculum to an online platform and ensuring that our student support services were able to be fully utilized as our students persevered to complete the semester. I am so proud of all the members of our Western New England community, and a special salute to all our students who will be receiving their undergraduate and graduate diplomas this month. All our students feel that they have been deprived of so much, while fully understanding what led to our remote learning for the last part of the Spring semester. We miss each other.
We are a proud University built on the idea that the best education takes place through the rich interactions that students have with caring and dedicated faculty, staff, and classmates. Personalized classroom instruction, residential life, extracurricular and service activities, and a strong sense of community among all members of our University—these are all essential components of who we are. And in that spirit, within the bounds of health considerations, we are committed to doing all that we can to maximize on-campus classes and life, given their centrality to a Western New England education as it has always been envisioned.
What’s Next – Fall 2020
We have not stopped for one moment planning next steps. We made the decision to move all of summer 2020 courses online and representatives from the entire campus have assembled to develop a plan for the fall 2020. We know who we are and what we need to do. We want students in our classrooms, in our campus center, and living in our residence halls. We want our faculty and staff to walk campus each day, supporting one another as we write the first chapter of Western New England University’s second century. We plan to be open for the fall 2020 semester.
What We Know – Safety First
While we are planning on opening as a campus community this fall, we will do so with the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff as our top priority, as it has been since we learned of COVID-19. Further, we will continue to follow all state and federal regulations regarding how to best keep our community safe. We have been studying the best ways to keep our campus safe, and are confident that we can do so this fall.
What We Don’t Know
We have all learned in the past weeks that uncertainty is about the only thing we can count on, at least for now. There are over three months between now and the start of fall classes. We are hopeful things will improve, and we are prepared for all scenarios.
Our Process and Plan
We have assembled multiple Work Groups since the COVID-19 outbreak to evaluate and make decisions concerning all aspects of our operations, including on how we will open. Currently, there are formal work groups meeting daily evaluating our curriculum, health and safety standards, and our residential community. In separate communications we will communicate the details of our multifaceted plan. In the meantime, rest assured that our plan will include testing, tracing, and isolation protocols along with social distancing and cleaning standards. We will be able to care for any students through what is one of the finest campus Health Services Centers anywhere.
We will come together as a community, as we have always done, to make sure that no matter what the fall scenario, we will be together in a way that always has been and always will be a unique part of the Western New England University culture.
A Note to Current and Future Students
We want you to know we appreciate you. We are going to provide you an outstanding education and experience this fall. We want you to feel as comfortable as you ever have been in making the personal investment to enroll here. We can’t wait to see you and to work productively with you as you realize your educational goals!
President Anthony S. Caprio