About Manchester

Manchester Update - May 7


From: President <President@manchester.edu>
Sent: Thursday, May 7, 2020 3:06 PM
To: All Colleagues <AllColleagues@manchester.edu>
Subject: Manchester Update - May 7


Dear Colleagues,

As Indiana works through a phased reopening over the next few months, Manchester is also planning a phased approach for bringing colleagues back to our campuses.

The working group led by Abby Van Vlerah is meeting frequently with three goals in mind: to mitigate risk and protect colleagues’ health, to help ensure the well-being of the community, and to prepare for the fall semester.

We understand that a one-size-fits-all approach does not work for Manchester, and we will continue to rely on government and public health officials to guide our decisions. In case you missed Abby’s overview of the group’s work so far, please refer to the email she sent Wednesday for more details.

Summer hours

Even though most of us are off campus for now, the University will offer flexible summer schedules for all employees with staff benefits from May 18 through July 31, 2020.  University offices should be appropriately staffed every day between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., and summer work schedules must be approved by the employee’s immediate supervisor. Please see today’s HR Newsletter for more details.

Summer camps update

We have decided to extend our decision to not host overnight or athletic campus through the rest of the summer, mostly to conserve our cleaning and other resources for the fall semester. If approved by Alexis Young, day camps may still convene. Alexis also will schedule other logistics, such as office moves.

Masks are safe and helpful

I am aware of one colleague’s concern that masks themselves can present a health risk if they seal in our carbon dioxide (CO2). Trent Towne, our infectious disease expert, assures us that is not a problem, particularly with the simple cloth masks that we would wear. Masks “may help us combat this pandemic,” says Trent. “Every little bit helps.” 

Fireworks on North Manchester campus

Manchester is planning to host the annual July 4 fireworks (July 5 rain date), but we expect the event will look a bit different this year. For one, social distancing guidelines will be in effect. Also, there was some concern that fireworks shrapnel could damage the new artificial turf of the athletic stadium, but the North Manchester Fire Department has assured us that they will set off the fireworks at a safe distance from the field.


This week’s gratitude is from Maegan Pollonais, who earned her Doctor of Music degree May 2 from Ball State University. Maegan was understandably disappointed that her in-person commencement ceremony was canceled. She is grateful, however, to her Manchester colleagues for their support during challenging times this academic year. “I could not have done it all without your support, emails, positive energy and words of encouragement,” writes Maegan.

A smaller group of colleagues loaned Maegan a cap, gown and hood and helped make the attached graduation photo possible. Please join me in congratulating Dr. Maegan Pollonais!


Dave McFadden
Manchester University