Weekly Update - July 30


From: President <President@manchester.edu>
Sent: Thursday, July 30, 2020 12:01 PM
To: All Colleagues <AllColleagues@manchester.edu>
Subject: Weekly Update

Dear Colleagues,

This year at Manchester will look like no other, but we are looking forward to it. Having our full complement of students on both campuses brings an energy and vitality that we have sorely missed these past few months.  For returning students – and especially new students – I know we will find creative ways to welcome them even if they can’t see the smiles behind our face masks and we can’t shake hands or hug them.

Follow up to our All-Colleague Meeting

Thanks to everyone who attended the All-Colleague Meeting Wednesday and for your good questions regarding this fall at Manchester. A recording of that meeting is posted on ChetNet and you can link to it here. I hope that the Spartans United Reopening Plan, which Abby Van Vlerah explained, answered many of your questions.  The plan has been posted here so that you can refer to it as needed in the weeks ahead. And please continue sending your questions to health@manchester.edu and we will answer them as promptly as possible.

A few more questions came in since the meeting Wednesday:

Question: If a student comes to campus but decides on their own to leave and study remotely, would they receive a refund on room and board?
Answer: If a student chooses to leave campus, our normal refund policy, outlined in the Catalog, will apply. Room payments aren’t refunded and board payments are refunded on a limited basis. Extraordinary circumstances will be taken into account, as they are in normal years.

Question: Will the tentative plan circulated by the Office of Academic Affairs (OAA) for staggering class times (or something similar) be implemented?
Answer: We are making final decisions about the possibility of staggered class times very soon. More information will be sent from OAA as soon as it is available.

Question: For students in field experiences, how will the sites be notified if a student at their site tests positive?
Answer: The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) is in charge of contact tracing. If a student tests positive, the field site will be notified by ISDH. Faculty will be notified via a Spartan Success flag if a student needs to move to remote learning. The student’s field placement coordinator should update a field site supervisor if the student is unable to.

Question: Will we have counseling services for students on both campuses?
Answer: Yes, like normal.

Question: If a student refuses to wear a mask in the classroom, may the faculty member ask the student to leave the classroom?
Answer: Yes, faculty have discretion to ask a student to leave the classroom. However, it should be a last resort. There will be locations on both campuses where students can get a disposable mask, if needed.

Question: Will students schedule a time to move in? Over different days? Will they still have help moving?
Answer: Students will be assigned move-in dates and times over multiple days to promote social distancing. We will not help them move in this year, but we still need volunteers to help welcome students to campus. Please contact Tish Kalita if you have further questions about moving in.

Question: If a student or colleague needs to quarantine because they had close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19, will they be tested? If they test negative, can they return to campus immediately?
Answer: If you come into close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, we ask that you contact health@manchester.edu. Someone will reach out to you, talk about testing options and help you determine how soon you can return to campus.

Enrollment: As Brandi Chauncey and Tommy Smith explained at the All-Colleague Meeting, we are doing everything possible for a strong enrollment this fall. There are, though, many factors that we cannot control. We know that student-athletes who compete in football, volleyball and soccer are disappointed to have their seasons move to spring, but there is every reason why they should enroll this fall. Their coaches are working hard on creative ways to give student-athletes a meaningful experience this fall, including practice and bonding with their teammates. Especially for first-year student-athletes, the fall will give them time to acclimate to college life, focus on their courses, develop good study habits and lay a solid foundation for their four years at Manchester.

Mental health support: Recently, I shared information about Manchester’s Employee Assistance Program. An additional resource that can connect you to mental health professionals is our telemedicine vendor, OC24. Support is available by phone, video or app messaging. Attached please find information about the service, which Brandee Estes also will post on ChetNet.

January courses: As many of you already know, most University-sponsored travel will not be allowed through January 2021. As a result, traditional study abroad programs are not being offered during the 2020-2021 academic year. Students who signed up for a specific trip have been notified, and Abby will notify all students of the decision in an update next week.

Gratitude: It is a hectic time for many colleagues, but I’d like to extend a special thanks to two teams in particular.

Student Financial Services is finishing distribution of approximately $750,000 in CARES Act funds to more than 1,200 students. Some distributions were made according to a formula based on Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and some were in response to direct applications from students. It was a complicated, time-consuming process involving back room processing of payments and student-facing communication with students and families. The SFS team is managing this extremely well and deserve our thanks.

From ITS, Joel Waggy, with assistance from Jim Manis and Randy Metzger, worked throughout the weekend to get a number of COVID-related forms online that are essential for bringing people back to our campuses. This will allow colleagues, students and families to respond to information requests remotely and reduce the need for face-to-face interactions.

Thanks to all of you who are working through difficult, pandemic-related challenges for which there is no instruction manual or roadmap. You are doing hard, often emotionally taxing, work and I appreciate each one of you.


Dave McFadden
Manchester University