Letter from President Hauser
March 11, 2020
To the Colorado Mountain College family – students, employees, community members, partners, alumni, and friends:
We all find ourselves in unfamiliar territory as we hear constant updates on the status of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and want to know how we can keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. The health and safety of our students, employees, and greater community is extremely important to us.
I want to reassure you that Colorado Mountain College is taking the threat of this illness quite seriously, while not allowing ourselves to panic over what might happen. With the guidance of state and local health departments, we are adapting our longstanding emergency preparedness plans to fit the needs of this particular situation. Indeed, some of the plans we are using were developed or honed during 2009, when the H1N1 virus was of great concern.
Through our college-wide emergency response team, college leaders are:
- In regular contact with local health departments, local school districts and the Colorado Department of Higher Education so that we can stay current with developments, news, and advisories.
- Closely following the guidance of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) as well as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on preventing the spread of the virus and on responding to any further spread. We remain in contact with the governor’s office, as well. On March 10 the governor declared a state of emergency in response to COVID-19. The declaration will help ensure resources are available to the state to combat the spread of the virus. For more on this, please read the announcement.
- Actively preparing for the possibility our operations might be affected because of a widespread COVID-19 outbreak in our communities or on campus. CMC is preparing for responses to various scenarios; our response would depend on the severity of a local outbreak and guidance from CDPHE. These responses might include transitioning to online instruction, issuing incomplete grades to be completed in the next term, modifying the semester length where possible, encouraging employees to work from home if needed, and, if necessary, temporary closure of one or more campuses. Please keep in mind that while we are planning for all of these possible scenarios, and more, we are hopeful that all of this remains just a plan.
Because all credit courses have been integrated into our online shell, Canvas, we are well prepared should face-to-face classes need to be cancelled. Kathryn Regjo is reaching out to faculty with guidance on this.
Our main website has information about the novel coronavirus, as well as links to fact sheets from CDC and the CDPHE, frequently asked questions and other information. We are also providing information to students and employees via our intranet, social media, emails, and campus flyers. In the event of a campus closure or other disruption, we would make use of our CMC Alert emergency notification system.
For more information, please go to:
- coloradomtn.edu/student-services/cmc-alert/ – for CMC students and employees; please check that our CMC Alert emergency notification system has your most up to-date contact information
Again, at this stage, the college is simply being prudent while avoiding unnecessary alarm. We take quite seriously our responsibility to raise awareness, and to inform students and employees of potential next steps. CMC continues to offer classes as scheduled. We have cancelled one study abroad class (and have notified all students in the course) and are currently assessing trips that depart within the next eight weeks.
We are actively monitoring state and federal guidance and encouraging active preparation, but hope to maintain operations unless directed otherwise.
I am extremely grateful to the team of hard-working employees across the college who have been working to educate themselves and to mold our emergency plans to the needs of this particular virus outbreak. And I am even more grateful for the front line – the health care workers, first responders, and other public servants – many of whom are our own students, faculty, and alumni – who are working day and night to keep us informed and as healthy as possible.
And remember – wash your hands, cover your cough, clean the areas around you, and stay home if you are sick.
With kind regard,
Carrie Hauser, Ph.D.
President & CEO