Carroll College COVID-19 Update: March 18, 2020

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Dear Students and Colleagues,

COVID-19 is an international challenge that continues to change the way we are serving our students and community on an almost daily basis. Our Incident Command Team has been meeting on a daily basis to continue to make adjustments and ensure that we help students achieve their educational goals and ensure the health and safety of our community.

I have also personally met with the Lewis and Clark County Health Department yesterday afternoon to ensure we are following their guidance.  They have been helpful and reassuring that we have taken and/or exceeded all actions recommended by them and the Centers for Disease Control.  They are supportive of our plan for moving forward concerning students who wish to remain on campus.

I wanted to provide you with a note about the latest developments on campus and remind you that at any time you can see our updates at our COVID-19 website. Going forward, we are committed to providing regular updates to all students, faculty, and staff on Tuesday and Thursday. You can expect those messages to come from covid19@carroll.edu, and we will answer questions sent to that address. Of course, if things change at any time, we will communicate with you.

Remote learning 

On Tuesday, March 17, the college went to all remote learning instruction. Our hope is to return to classes after our Easter Break. However, this is a fluid situation and we are guaranteeing that all students will be able to complete their coursework for this semester remotely, even if some students are unable to return. Our goal continues to be that all students will be able to successfully complete their coursework this semester.

Class of 2020

It is truly impossible to express how very sorry I am that your final semester has been disrupted in such a profound way. As President, I promise you that we will find a way to celebrate you and make sure that you have a commencement. It is possible that the date, format, etc. may have to change, but there will be a day that I will proudly, and with great joy, hand each one of you your well-earned diploma. Hold onto that during these difficult days. In addition, committees are in place to brainstorm ways in which we can celebrate the achievements of our students in alternative ways if needed, including SURF, Honors Convocation, Halo Awards, etc.

Changes in dining services through Monday at 8 a.m.

Lewis and Clark County Public Health ordered all county wide dining facilities be closed through Monday, March 23 at 8 a.m. This was primarily intended for restaurants and bars and in order to comply with this we have gone to grab and go meals through at least Monday at 8 a.m. We are working to ensure that students have good food options (both hot and cold), including our students who have special dietary needs. We will continue to work to make sure we have safe and nutritious meals.  For example, last evening on St. Patrick’s Day, our students were served hot “Irish Stew” in to go packages with a vegetarian option available as well as other grab and go options.

Hunthausen Activity Center (HAC) closures

Similar to restaurants, the county has ordered fitness and health club facilities closed through Monday, March 23. Therefore, we have closed the HAC through Monday, March 23. We are working on options for how to reopen if we can ensure the safety of our students who use the facility.   Once reopened, the HAC facility will only be available for those students who chose to remain living on campus. 

New Hours for the Library

The hours for the library have changed, and we are completely closed to the public. We are hoping to reopen on Monday, April 13. New hours are:

  • Sunday: 12:00pm - 6:00pm
  • Monday - Thursday: 7:45am - 10:00pm
  • Friday: 7:45am - 6:00pm (no change)
  • Saturday: CLOSED

Remote work opportunities

Some faculty, staff, and students are being afforded remote work opportunities where appropriate for their roles at the college. Our Carroll Information Technology (CIT) team has been busy working on technology solutions and has developed a process to get individuals the technology they need. In order to continue to serve our students, there are many individuals who will need to continue to be present on campus. I appreciate their service, and we are making every effort to make sure we can maintain appropriate social distancing.

This situation is evolving very rapidly. I am grateful for your patience, grace, and understanding during this extraordinarily difficult time.  I am sure there will be many questions as we navigate the days ahead together. I will plan to send out an update every Tuesday and Thursday in collaboration with our COVID-19 Incident Response Team.  It will come from a new email address: covid19@carroll.edu. 

Please know that my prayers are with you and I ask for your prayers and the intercession of our Blessed Mother for the College and for one another. Take care.

Thank you and Go Saints!

John E. Cech, Ph.D.
President