Weekly update - July 9


From: President <President@manchester.edu>
Sent: Thursday, July 9, 2020 3:51 PM
To: All Colleagues <AllColleagues@manchester.edu>
Subject: Weekly update - July 9

Dear Colleagues,

For many of us, I think, the Fourth of July feels like the mid-point of the summer. Our planning for the return of students beginning in early August (in addition to the pharmacogenomics students who have joined us already) now takes on an even greater sense of urgency. As has been true since the pandemic reached us in March, events and news are fast moving and may alter the careful plans we are making. Flexibility and patience continue to serve us well.


Our reopening group continues its work. Some of the decisions that were made earlier in the summer have already been changed in light of new information and expert guidance. The NCAA and HCAC continue to develop guidelines for athletics and we are responding to changes in governmental policy that most recently targeted international students, impacting both undergraduate and pharmacy students. We will adapt and adjust as we approach the start of the academic year.


Absent the coronavirus, this would be shaping up to be a spectacular year for enrollment across the University. Pharmacy is on track to exceed our goal of 65 new students, we have over 400 new first year students ready to start and retention of last year’s incoming class sits well above 70 percent. We have reversed our plan to close Schwalm Hall in light of these strong numbers. We know that many of our students are eager to be back in the classroom and we are eager to have them back. All that said, fall enrollment will depend entirely on our ability to reopen campus and the comfort level of students about returning.


Faculty continue to prepare for the possibility of fully remote teaching this fall. We anticipate that some courses will be taught online even if we are able to return to our campuses, allowing us to reduce the load on classrooms and serve students who are unable to return for a variety of reasons. I share the appreciation I’ve been hearing throughout the summer for the good work being done by Melissa Rasmussen and Justin Lunsford, our instructional designers, and the sharing of ideas and experiences among faculty as they prepare for the fall.


We had a very successful visit with Toni Herron from the Indiana State Board of Nursing in June. We anticipate she will recommend approval of our accelerated BSN program when the full board meets next week. Soon after that vote, on July 30, Toni will be back to evaluate our application to start a traditional BSN program. Final touches are being put on teaching lab spaces on the North Manchester campus in anticipation of that visit. Both programs will also require approval of the Higher Learning Commission. Many, many people on both campuses have been working very hard on both programs, from curriculum to facilities. Special thanks to the nursing group including Lea Johnson, Beth Shultz, Nancy Schroeder, Dottie Bowers and Julie Bemiss for their good work.

I will have more to share with you in the days ahead as the Reopen Work Group finalizes plans. In the meantime, thank you for all that you do to advance the noble mission of educating Manchester students.

I look forward to seeing many of you back on campus in the coming weeks.


Dave McFadden
Manchester University