Ripon College Response to Coronavirus | March 17, 2020

Dear Colleagues and Students,

I write to update you about several actions we are taking today as well as our timeline moving forward for the rest of the semester. The Administrative Council continues to meet on a daily basis so that we can collectively work through the appropriate responses to the issues facing the school in the days ahead.

  1. Following best practices suggested by national, state and local health officials, all employees should work with their respective Vice President so that they can complete the majority of their work from home, effective the end of the day Wednesday, March 18, 2020. Faculty and staff that need to use their office to get materials should minimize their time on campus to the best of their ability. Essential employees in student life, information technology and physical plant who need to be on campus should maintain appropriate social distancing and take all proactive measures to minimize health risks.
  2. The Willmore Center and the Lane Library will close at the end of the day on Wednesday, March 18 until further notice. Faculty/coaches/staff with offices in Willmore and Lane should refrain from the use of the building unless absolutely necessary.
  3. All public events for the month of April are canceled or postponed. Catalyst Day (April 22) may occur in an online format. No decision has yet been made about commencement  (May 17).
  4. Per impending decisions by the Midwest Conference and the NCAA, all in-person athletically-related activities–including practices, competitions (both Conference and non-Conference), tournaments and championships–are canceled. Virtual engagement (e.g. video “chalktalks,” distribution of and reporting on team workouts, etc.) is permitted per NCAA playing and practice season rules.
  5. Since many of the decisions we are making could have a fiduciary impact on the college, we have been in regular consultation with the Ripon College Board of Trustees.
  6. We expect to have a more complete picture of Ripon’s plans for the spring semester by the end of the day on Wednesday, March 18 and will provide you with further information at that time.

Finally, a few words of appreciation.

We have all been struck by the random acts of kindness, generosity, and care in our community: alumni and friends making unsolicited emergency donations; the concern of our student life staff and faculty to ensure that international students and those that must live on campus remain healthy; and the dedication of colleagues who selflessly want to figure out how they can best do their jobs and minimize the risk to their co-workers. Thank you all.

I also want you all to know how honored I am to work so closely with the college’s administrative team: Shawn Karsten, Andrea Young, Ryan Kane, Becky Matzke, Jenn Machacek, Chris Ogle, and Kara Kinas Jankowski. They have done all of us proud in the past week.

Zach Messitte, PhD

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