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Novel Coronavirus COVID–19 (March 15, 2020)

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

We are a community of makers; collaboration, discourse, and critique are central to our work.  

However, as the COVID–19 pandemic continues to unfold around the world, it is clear that for the safety and well-being not only of those within our CCA community, but also our neighbors and our loved ones at home, we must take additional, immediate actions. We have made the difficult decision not to return to in-person instruction this semester. Following spring break, we will resume instruction remotely on March 30, and will complete the term using the distance-learning approaches our faculty are currently developing. 

This week, we will transition regular operations to a primarily remote work environment for our staff. Only staff whose presence on campus is essential to the safety and well-being of our students and the continuity of basic operations will remain on campus. 

Key points outlined below:

  • Classes will be held using remote instruction through the end of the spring semester.
  • CCA residence halls will remain open for those students who need it.
  • Most staff will transition to working from home this week.
  • Regular employees (students, staff, and faculty) will continue to be paid.
  • No decision has been made on Commencement.

Please read this entire message for additional important details, and continue to monitor the COVID–19 Portal page for updates, as circumstances are changing rapidly.

CCA residence halls will remain open through the end of the semester. We understand that many students will not want to stay, and we encourage you to decide where you feel the safest. Housing will continue to be available for those students who need it. Please talk with your RA or Residence Life Coordinator if you have questions or concerns about housing. 

Most staff will transition to working from home this week. Staff who are prepared to work from home should arrange with their managers to do so immediately. March 16–18 will be a transition period for staff to retrieve laptops, files, and other equipment and materials necessary to work from home. Consult with HR and your VP if you need equipment you don’t already have. Leaders are working on details and solutions to maintain continuity of operations during this period. Talk with your manager for specific instructions for your area.

Regular staff, faculty, student workers, and TAs will continue to receive their salaries. We acknowledge that the nature of your work may change. Faculty are preparing to deliver curriculum remotely and staff may find their skills applied in new ways. We are all making our way through this together, and support for our colleagues, with kindness and generosity, will be a lifeline as we navigate these unusual circumstances.

Beginning Monday, March 16, shops and studios will prepare for closure. Students may come to pick up work and belongings during regular hours Monday through Wednesday, March 16–18. If you are unable to pick up your work this week, don’t worry—it will be stored for you during the campus closure, and you may contact Public Safety for access to items in lockers and studios. Studio managers and staff should use the next couple of days to prepare the shops to be safely shut down until further notice.

Throughout this pandemic, we will be required to adapt in ways we can’t currently know or imagine. Some decisions do not need to be made today—we are still hopeful that Commencement may be able to go forward as planned, even as the Commencement Planning Committee explores other options in case that isn’t possible. We are optimistic that we will be able to reopen our shops and studios later in the semester to enable students to return to work on campus if they choose to do so, even though classes will continue through the semester using remote learning.

Each decision we make is grounded in two primary goals—safeguarding the health and well-being of our community, and providing meaningful and authentic educational experiences and learning outcomes to our students. Although this is not the semester any of us planned for or wanted, we will do all in our power to ensure our graduating students complete their degrees in the most meaningful way possible under extraordinary circumstances, and our continuing students stay on track as they make progress toward their degrees. 

We recognize that you may have many questions that we have not yet answered. Please continue to closely monitor your email and the COVID–19 information page on Portal, as we are updating information often as circumstances change. We appreciate your patience, understanding, flexibility, and resilience as we confront this pandemic together. 

Stephen Beal, President
Tammy Rae Carland, Provost