Faculty Meeting News and Notes: April 16, 2020
By Benjamin Pontz, Editor-in-Chief
The Gettysburg College faculty met for about 40 minutes Thursday afternoon, an affair devoid of official action and with limited new information from President Bob Iuliano on how the college is adapting to circumstances associated with COVID-19.
Iuliano opened by announcing that Vice President of Enrollment and Educational Services Barbara Fritze has agreed to delay her planned retirement to stay through the coming 2020-21 academic year and help the college navigate a treacherous enrollment environment.
“She came to me and said this is a moment where if we wanted her to stay, she would be happy to stay,” Iuliano told the faculty. “I enthusiastically and quickly said yes. I can think of no better person to help steward us and shepherd us through the admissions year this year and the admissions year next year.”
In that vein, Iuliano thanked members of the faculty for their participation in virtual admissions events and asked for their continued support in enrolling the Class of 2024.
He also asked for faculty members to continue to support students as motivation and interest in course material wanes, a request echoed by Provost Chris Zappe, who asked faculty members to reach out to their advisees by phone or email this week.
Iuliano also reported that he has begun to convene conversations to plan for various potential scenarios for the fall of 2019 including what to do if the coronavirus prevents starting classes on time. A conversation with the Forward Thinking Group, composed of senior administrators as well as members of Faculty Council and the Faculty Finance Committee, was “constructive and important” but led to “no answers,” he said.
“We share everyone’s fervent hope that we are back to a residential environment under our normal schedule,” said Iuliano. “We also have to recognize, of course, the possibility that the virus may not let that happen and that we may not be able to resume our on-campus programming under the schedule that we have established.”
The financial ramifications of COVID-19 have not yet come into full view either, but, already, the college is preparing for increased demand for financial aid come fall as well as loss in forecasted revenue should the residential operation not be able to continue.
News and Notes
- On-campus summer programs — such as the Cross-Disciplinary Science Institute (X-SIG) and the Civil War Institute’s annual flagship summer conference — have been canceled due to the coronavirus.
- The Faculty Governance Committee has moved to postpone a sextennial governance review planned for the coming academic year to the 2021-22 academic year. A vote will come at a future faculty meeting.
- Faculty Council Chair Jocelyn Swigger, whose committee sets the agenda at faculty meetings, said that the faculty may continue to meet through the summer to fulfill its shared governance responsibilities in conjunction with the college’s evolving response to COVID-19.