I am so pleased to be writing this letter of welcome and greeting you at the beginning of the 2020-2021 academic year. The end of spring semester was marked by significant challenge -- as students, faculty, and administration pivoted to a distance-based learning environment in record time -- and I would be remiss if I didn’t begin by recognizing the perseverance and dedication showed by faculty and students alike as we engaged in what was a truly historic educational effort. We are a better, wiser, and more resilient community as a result. Thank you to all involved in those efforts. As a result of them, we have been able to work with an informed intentionality over the course of the summer months to prepare the campus for your safe return, and we are ready to welcome you back to pursue your intellectual and professional interests.
When you arrive, you will undoubtedly see that things are different from what you may have experienced last spring. Among other things, hand sanitizing stations are distributed throughout campus, targeted online technologies will still be used with some regularity, and GTAs and GRAs with face to face classes will be issued PPE -- all in an effort to protect your health and help us mitigate the risk of COVID transmission. Your well-being is of paramount importance to us and is driving our decision-making process. We hope that the interventions we have put into place will allow you to focus on your studies and achieve your academic goals, at the same time that they secure your aforementioned well-being. If you have questions or concerns about your health and safety, please refer to our
or reach out to me directly. I would be happy to hear from you, and grateful for the opportunity to listen to and address your concerns.
As much as we prize our individualism and uniqueness, please recall that we are also a community -- and that what impacts one can easily impact all. In a generous spirit of caring for one another, I want to encourage you to be mindful of how your practices on campus might affect those around you, and to recognize that some of the changes you will see are driven by that sense of care. We are providing branded cloth face coverings for all students, for instance, and are requiring that they be worn when on campus so as to better protect each other. In addition, your classes may meet in locations different from those you are accustomed to, and with physical distancing requirements in place. More information about these and other attempts to secure your health will be forthcoming by email as our start date approaches.
Finally, we would like to invite you to join our Graduate Student Orientation events during the week of June 10-14. While targeted specifically to the incoming graduate students, all are welcome. The orientation will be an online event, with informative and resource rich videos as well as live interactive sessions. Of particular interest might be the faculty-student panels which will occur on August 14 at 3 p.m. for Pocatello students, and 4 p.m. for Meridian students via Zoom. You can find more information on the
Graduate School website
Welcome back to campus, Bengals
we’ve missed you and couldn’t be happier to have you here!
Roar, Bengals, Roar!