A note of gratitude
Dear Members of our Faculty, Staff, and Administration,
The recent days and weeks have been challenging and extremely busy. The pandemic brings plenty of uncertainties for everyone. I have spent many restless moments thinking about the effect this is having on every member of our community and marveling at the incredible efforts I have seen in all corners of our campus.
As we face this unprecedented threat to our nation and our College, let’s remember that our community has time and again come together to tackle and overcome enormous challenges. In our current situation, I have seen this spirit emerge more strongly than ever.
While we continue to maintain the core functions of our campus and support our students, you remain at the heart of what makes Skidmore the great institution it is. Please know that the extraordinary commitment and resilience you have exhibited are not only greatly appreciated but stand as remarkable demonstrations of our best selves.
Although our campus appears relatively empty, nearly 200 students continue to live here, and many people are working tirelessly both publicly and behind the scenes to support critical academic, service and administrative functions. Although we have encouraged employees to work remotely where possible, I do understand that certain roles require a presence on campus. I extend a special thank you to our colleagues who continue to do those jobs.
I want to express my thanks to all of the faculty members and support teams who are working so hard to prepare for the transition to remote learning. It is an exceptional challenge to move so quickly from face-to-face instruction to online teaching, and I am tremendously grateful for the commitment, creativity and flexibility you have demonstrated in responding to the extraordinary situation we are confronting.
The news that one of our employees tested positive for COVID-19 understandably creates additional anxiety and concern. Let me emphasize that Saratoga County Health Services has advised us that, because the employee has not been anywhere on campus at any point since exhibiting symptoms, self-isolation or other measures should not be necessary for other employees or students. We wish the employee a quick recovery, and they and their family remain in our thoughts.
We also have heard concerns from students about how some aspects of our process for deciding who is eligible to remain on campus have played out. Members of our Student Affairs staff and I have met with student leaders and heard their concerns, and we are working to address the issues they have raised. As always, our students are at the center of what we do at the College.
Through many hours of emergency meetings and consultation with members of the President’s Cabinet and the COVID-19 working group, we have consistently recognized that our ability to manage this situation is largely dependent on the goodwill, dedication, and above all the actions of everyone who works at the College.
Please accept my gratitude and know that we will continue to care for our students and employees during these unsettling times.
Philip A. Glotzbach