July 21, 2020

Dear students,

To say 2020 has been a year like no other is an understatement of epic proportions. If nothing else, you can be assured that there will be even more changes ahead.

CIM has centered its pandemic-related decision making around one single priority: the health, wellness and safety of students, faculty and staff. With that goal, our provisions for your return to campus next month have been extensive.

The Safety Measures page on our website details the many steps taken to create a safe physical environment, and President Hogle and Dean Bundra have shared (and will continue to share) updates about the plans for orchestra, opera, chamber music, lessons and classes. These plans reflect our best understanding of how to minimize risks, maximize the spaces we have available and serve the needs of remote and in-person instruction. We have also made necessary investments in technology for remote instruction, including software systems and training for faculty; hardware upgrades in classrooms and other spaces; and high-quality webcams and microphones for teaching from home or from studios without pre-wired technology.

This essential work comes at a cost. The Institute has incurred significant expense to ensure an educational experience that meets the CIM standard. To help defray these costs, effective immediately, all enrolled students (regardless of location) will be assessed a $250 Coronavirus Response and Technology Fee each semester for the 2020-21 academic year. Because bills have already been sent, this fee will be due on September 3.

CIM has been, and continues to be, committed to keeping costs as low as possible for students. We reduced tuition by 15% in 2018 and have held tuition flat since that time – while most of our peer institutions raise tuition by 3-5% every year (frequently eclipsing $1,500 in additional costs each year). The necessary precautions caused by this pandemic have increased expenses beyond CIM’s operating budget and cash reserves.

CIM has successfully fundraised to cover some of the extraordinary costs associated with a safe and technologically accessible learning environment, and budget cuts have already been made to control expenses. Even so, a gap remains. We are staying flexible and focused on our people – students, faculty and staff – as we navigate 2020, and thank you sincerely for being part of the CIM community.

Dan Hout-Reilly