From President Cornwell
Doubtless you are tracking developments around COVID-19.
For campus news and communications, specific updates, or advisories on COVID-19, I urge you to check the Rollins College COVID-19 web site frequently emergency.rollins.edu. All information and policy will be posted there.
The purpose of this letter is to help you understand how we are managing this highly dynamic situation at Rollins College. There is nothing that is more important to us than the safety and well-being of our students, and we take seriously our mission to educate for global citizenship and responsible leadership. These values inform all of our policies, practices, and decisions.
I have charged a highly qualified team of professionals at Rollins to convene as the COVID-19 Response Team. The advantage of our history with hurricanes is that we have deep experience managing risk, collaborating to make sound, informed decisions, and solving problems in the service of our core mission during times of potential disruption. The COVID-19 Response Team is currently meeting on a daily basis, in person or virtually, and will continue to do so as long as is required.
Our current position is that we will continue to deliver on our promises to you and our students to provide the highest-quality liberal education anywhere in the country. What makes Rollins distinctive is our commitment to the importance of small class student-faculty interaction, to experiential learning where students put their Rollins education to work, applying it to real-world issues, and to the learning that takes place in every nook and cranny of our residential campus. This is what we do that makes us who we are, and at this juncture we intend to persist in the best ways we know.
This said, I have implemented some restrictions, meant both to protect the health and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff, and to demonstrate the ethics of global citizenship and responsible leadership we teach. Therefore, we are cancelling all College-sponsored travel to any region, domestic or international, with high incidence of COVID-19; any deposits submitted for College-sponsored travel will be refunded without penalty. We are also prohibiting travel for students, faculty, and staff to any large professional conferences, domestic or international, since these large gatherings can be places of heightened risk and may serve to spread COVID-19.
With Spring Break upon us, we are urging students, faculty, and staff to be cautious and mindful of all personal travel plans, domestic or international. Under no conditions should anyone travel to areas coded by the Center for Disease Control as Level 3.
Finally, I know we have all urged our kids to wash their hands and practice good hygiene since they were children. At this time, however, I ask that you join me in impressing upon them that the health advice regarding personal behavior is of the utmost importance: wash hands frequently and thoroughly, avoid touching one’s face, and be mindful of clean surfaces.
You may rest assured that I and my colleagues at Rollins will continue to monitor this global health event and make changes as necessary. We have extensive contingency planning under way for a number of scenarios. With a steady hand, we will neither take actions nor implement policies unwarranted by the evidence or by the guidance of the CDC, nor will we shy from stronger actions and policies if indicated by this evolving situation.