Dear IMSA Community,
I am writing to share with you a difficult announcement. Today, at 1:44 p.m., I was notified that the Resident Counselors Council, AFT Local 604, IFT-AFT, AFL-CIO filed an unfair labor practice (ULP) with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (IELRB) against IMSA. The ULP alleges that management engaged in unilateral decisions to reopen campus for repopulation and seeks to have a court injunction that would not allow us to open on Monday, April 5, 2021.
As you know, we have done everything in our power as an administration with incredible support from IMSA staff to bring our students back to campus for in-person living and learning in a safe and thoughtful manner. While we are confident that there is no basis for these charges and that we have followed all CDC and IDPH protocols to ensure a safe cohort experience, it is essential for our students to be placed in a positive, nurturing environment where they are psychologically safe and well supported by staff, including resident counselors. Regardless of any rulings, given the RC Council’s action, we do not believe the current circumstances allow for a genuine IMSA experience.
Therefore, it is with a heavy heart that I announce the cancellation of our repopulation plans and a decision to continue the rest of the semester in distance learning. Next week, I will communicate additional information about our plans, including our continued plans for in-person graduation on June 5.
I would like to thank the Repopulation Task Force who worked diligently with incredible hope that we would be able to bring everyone together. Again, we will remain in distance learning and more information will be shared next week.
José M. Torres, Ph.D.