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    COVID-19 Message Archive

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    Emergency Response Fund

    Because many in the Colorado College community asked how they can help, we have established the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Emergency Response Fund to meet needs during these uncertain times. Many of our alumni, parents, and friends, as well as members of our Board of Trustees and the president’s cabinet, have contributed. The fund also provides the college with resources to respond to unexpected expenses developing during this crisis and for lost revenue.

    If you wish to contribute, please visit

    In response to inquiries, we have created a form for families interested in donating their room and board credit to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Emergency Response Fund: Alternatively, please contact for more information.

    Working Groups

    Ten working groups have been formed, led by cabinet members and including faculty and staff, as well as student and trustee participation. Working groups will consider scenarios and make recommendations about how we move forward as a campus community.

    2020-21 Budget Scenarios Working Group


    The working group is responsible for recommending budget scenarios which the college could use to deal with significant revenue shortfalls in the 2020-21 fiscal year.

    One scenario shall provide a course of action which would respond to a $5 million revenue shortfall. The working group shall develop at least three other scenarios designed to deal with revenue shortfalls of $7.5 million; $10 million; and $15 million.

    The working group will submit its proposed scenarios to the president by the end of May 2020.

    Working Group Membership:

    *Robert Moore, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration

    Emilie Gray, Associate Professor of Organismal Biology, Chair of Faculty Executive Committee Budget Subcommittee

    Vibha Kapuria-Foreman, Professor of Economics, Member of Faculty Executive Committee Budget Subcommittee

    Lesley Irvine, Vice President and Director of Athletics

    John Lauer, Associate Vice President for Student Life

    Mateo Munoz, Assistant Provost for Budget and Strategic Planning

    Lori Seager, Associate Vice President for Finance

    *Working Group Chair

    2020-21 Flexible Academic Calendar Working Group


    We have an incredible opportunity to use the flexibility of the Block Plan during this period of change and uncertainty. Faculty and staff did heroic work to move classes online in Blocks 7 and 8 but we all realize that a residential liberal arts education is so much more than the learning that takes place in class and that we all miss the personal interaction of the classroom and beyond.

    With the possibility that social distancing, limitations in travel, and stay-at-home or safer-at-home orders may continue into the fall, we must plan for the possibility that the academic year may not start on campus in August or that a winter resurgence of the virus would cause us to suspend campus operations for a period. Because we want to offer students as many options as possible to experience the full value of a CC education, we should consider altering the academic calendar for the 2020-21 academic year.

    This working group is charged with this exploring our options and developing a recommendation for the 2020-21 academic year, which will be considered by Cabinet.

    Working Group Membership:

    *Jill Tiefenthaler, President, Professor of Economics

    Shannon Amundson, Director of Financial Aid

    Sakina Bhatti, CCSGA President-elect

    Elizabeth Coggins, Associate Professor of Political Science, Faculty Executive Committee Representative

    Pedro de Araujo, Vice Provost, Associate Professor of Economics

    Ethan Greenberg, CCSGA President

    Miro Kummel, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, Faculty Executive Committee Representative

    John Lauer, Associate Vice President, Student Life

    Alan Townsend, Provost, Professor of Environmental Studies

    Lyrae Williams, Associate Vice President, Institutional Planning and Effectiveness

    *Working Group Chair

    Academic Continuity Working Group


    This working group will plan for a scenario in which students will not be able to return to campus for the start of the school year in August 2020 because of state, local, or national policies surrounding the spread of COVID-19 and that traditional classroom teaching will not be possible. We will also create an academic plan for the possibility of a second spike in COVID-19 cases in November, as some experts are predicting.

    Our focus will be on the delivery of meaningful academic experiences. We will investigate and make recommendations regarding how many and what kind of classes would need to be offered in a remote-learning format; what kinds of support and resources would be necessary to deliver excellent classes; how to ensure a quality experience for both students and faculty; and how to minimize the emotional and social stress on staff and faculty involved in teaching during the disruption. We may also develop a plan that would account for social distancing measures that might limit class sizes and activities. The COVID-19 situation changes rapidly week to week. Our final recommendations would be dependent upon what health experts are saying in June.

    Working Group Membership:

    *Claire Garcia, Dean of the Faculty, Professor of English

    Andrea Bruder, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

    Drew Cavin, Director of Field Study, Center for Global Education and Field Study

    Pedro de Araujo, Vice Provost, Associate Professor of Economics

    Jennifer Golightly, Academic Applications Specialist, ITS

    Jane Murphy, Associate Professor of History, Director of the Crown Faculty Center

    Aaron Stoller, Director of the Office of Academic Programs

    Tina Valtierra, Assistant Professor of Education

    *Working Group Chair

    Board of Trustees Meetings and Engagement Working Group


    The working group will recommend plans for continuing the work and engagement of the Board of Trustees through the COVID-19 pandemic. The group will consider this issue in general, and based on these scenarios:

    • The board’s summer retreat (June 2020) cannot be held as planned.
    • The board’s regular meetings (November 2020, February 2021) and special, extended standing committee meetings, are disrupted: either no in-person meetings, or in-person meetings are allowed with restrictions.
    1. If the board’s summer retreat cannot be held as planned, how should the board conduct its essential business, strategic discussions, trustee orientation, etc.? We will consider a blended model (in-person and virtual) and fully virtual options.
    2. How should board standing committees and special project teams continue their work during the pandemic?
    3. What types and frequency of communication with trustees will be needed over the summer and for the duration of the pandemic?
    4. If the board’s November 2020 and/or February 2021 meetings are disrupted, what contingencies do we need to think about for those meetings?

    Working Group Membership:

    *Kim Waldron, Chief of Staff and Special Assistant to the Board of Trustees

    Molly Bodnar, Associate Vice President and Campaign Director, Advancement

    Susie Burghart ’77, Chair of the Board of Trustees

    Carolyn Cullen ’91, P’20, ’22, Trustee

    Alan Townsend, Provost and Professor of Environmental Science

    Brian Young, Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Technology Officer

    *Working Group Chair

    Class of 2020 Commencement and Recognition Working Group


    To determine and implement the most authentic, meaningful, and inclusive ways to recognize our graduating seniors in May 2020, and to develop a plan for the postponed Commencement for the Class of 2020 to honor our graduates in a manner that is true to their wishes, traditional, inclusive, and celebratory.

    Working Group Membership:

    *Jane Turnis, Vice President for Communications

    Pedro de Araujo, Vice Provost, Associate Professor of Economics

    Jerry Cross, Director of Athletics Communications

    Rochelle Dickey-Mason, Senior Associate Dean of Students

    Brenda Soto, Director of College Events

    Karen To, Director of Web and Digital Media, Communications

    Kim Waldron, Chief of Staff, Special Assistant to the Board of Trustees

    Gretchen Wardell, Career Coach, Career Center

    Emerald Green ’20

    Pedro Tirado Velez ’20

    *Working Group Chair

    Community Back Together Working Group


    Staff and faculty can return to work but there is still no vaccine for COVID-19 and stay-at-home or safer-at-home orders have been eased with social distancing still in place. What things do we need to have in place to return to work safely? What functions should return to work with social distancing in place? What would a return to work look like? How will we accommodate required modifications like social distancing? What equipment (gloves, mask, etc.) would the college need to provide? How would we go about limiting the number of people in a building? What other items do we need to consider?


    Our team is being asked to come up with recommended solutions/strategies to properly and safely get employees back on campus and back to work. Our goal is to craft practical recommendations that CC can deploy as we slowly get back to some kind of normal.

    Working Group Membership:

    *Brian Young, Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Technology Officer

    Angie Bardsley, User Support Specialist - Deployment Team Lead, ITS Solutions Center

    Ryan Banagale, Associate Professor of Music, Director of Performing Arts

    Jessica Bridge, Performance Excellence Coordinator, Human Resources

    Cathy Buckley, Assistant Director for Community Connections, Campus Safety

    Idris Goodwin, Fine Arts Center Director

    Tom Monahan, Head Athletics Trainer

    Andy Obringer, Assistant Athletics Director for Operations

    Linda Petro, Project Manager, ITS Innovative Technology

    Denise Sheridan, Environmental Health and Safety Coordinator

    *Working Group Chair

    Fall 2020 Retention Working Group


    The central goal of this working group is to help maximize student retention as we go into an uncertain 2020-21 academic year. This effort includes a focus on the newly admitted class as well as returning students. The specific charge is to:

    • Think broadly and creatively about how to foster connections with our students from afar, and thereby keep them engaged with CC through the summer and into next fall.
    • Consider a Fall 2020 scenario in which we have to begin with distance learning, combined with what we learn from this spring, to identify strategies which will keep students enrolled under a distance-based launch to the academic year.
    • Engage with department chairs to be sure those essential links between departments and majors, as well as potential majors, are strong even from a distance.
    • Starting with historical data we already have, seek to identify the major risk factors to student attrition right now, and suggest strategies to counteract such loss.
    • Focus a portion of the WG time on international students, who face a series of notable obstacles to returning next year.
    • Help Admission and Communications identify and market what features of CC make it an especially attractive option in this unique moment in time.

    The group will also interact with those on the working groups for the academic calendar and on yielding next year’s class to share essential information and ideas. The WG will begin work immediately, and seek to have a first set of recommended actions by the end of Block 8, if not before. It is anticipated that meetings will continue at some level throughout the summer as the national and international landscape evolves — along with the decisions of our students — so that we can quickly respond to any unfolding scenario.

    Working Group Membership:

    *Alan Townsend, Provost, Professor of Environmental Studies

    Phil Apodaca, Registrar

    Pedro de Araujo, Vice Provost and Professor of Economics

    Shiyanke Goonetilleke, Global Education Coordinator, Center for Global Education and Field Study

    Mark Hatch, Vice President for Enrollment

    Dennis McEnnerney, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Faculty Executive Committee representative

    Mateo Munoz, Assistant Provost for Budget and Strategic Planning

    Shawn Womack, Associate Professor of Theatre and Dance, Faculty Executive Committee representative

    Stephanie Wurtz, Assistant Vice President for Communications

    *Working Group Chair

    Travel and Events Working Group


    Students, faculty, and staff are back on campus. Staff and faculty can return to work but there is still no vaccine for COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders have been eased. Social distancing is still in place to varying degrees. Our goal is to test various scenarios that may impact college-related travel and events based on possible COVID-19 outcomes and mandated/best practice restrictions.


    The travel and events working group will evaluate the college’s current policies and guidelines in conjunction with state, federal, and national association requirements related to college business travel as well as events and meetings/gatherings of various sizes. The team will identify opportunities for travel and events to remain a priority with the understanding that they may be different moving forward. We will identify certain planned and future events for analysis. Budget implications will be part of our scope and flexibility with budget solutions should be explored. We will research high-impact practices at other organizations within and outside of higher education, and seek input from other departments and COVID-19 response working groups as we determine recommendations. We will monitor best practices and evolving changes to requirements and consider a phased process where safety and adherence to guidelines and mandates are paramount.

    Working Group Membership

    *Lesley Irvine, Vice President and Director of Athletics

    Kelly Banet, Interim Assistant VP for Advancement

    Nick Calkins, Associate Director of Campus Safety

    Greg Capell, Senior Associate Director of Athletics

    Amy Hill, Director of Campus Activities and Student Orientation

    Heather Kissack, Associate Vice President for Human Resources

    Brenda Soto, Director of College Events

    Ali Springer, Associate Director of Admission

    Rebecca Tucker, Professor and Director of the CSFAC Museum

    Tulio Wolford, Director of Solutions Services, ITS

    *Working Group Chair

    Student Life, Admission, and Work Continuity Working Group


    This working group is charged with envisioning and thinking through worst-case scenarios in light of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. As we know, the college has already determined that courses for Summer 2020 will also be delivered via distance learning, and that Commencement 2020 has been postponed.

    If stay-at-home or safer-at-home orders are still in place, or re-enacted as we head into the new academic year in August 2020:

    1. What are best strategies to recruit our incoming class?
    2. What will student life look like on a day-to-day basis?
    3. How do we create a virtual and engaged student body?
    4. How do mental health and other support resources best meet the demand of remote service?
    5. How does the college continue to meet and sustain institutional goals around antiracism, diversity, inclusion, and carbon neutrality?
    6. What will our campus and campus life feel like in the virtual world?

    The Educational Advisory Board, of which Colorado College is a member, maintains a tremendous COVID-19 Resource Center, which may also inform much of our work. The April 10, 2020 EAB briefing posed a number of questions for exploration, including:

    1. How can we minimize the equity impact that emergency changes might have on different groups of students, faculty, and staff?
    2. Do we have contingency and succession plans in place for administrators and faculty who are unable to continue to perform their job duties?

    Working Group Membership:

    *Mike Edmonds, Vice President for Student Life, Dean of Students

    Jessica Bennett, Director of Athletics Marketing and Promotion

    Matt Bonser, Director of Admission, Systems, Operations, and International

    Pedro de Araujo, Vice Provost, Associate Professor of Economics

    Rochelle Dickey-Mason, Senior Associate Dean of Students

    Bethany Grubbs, Director, Residential Life

    Ryan Hammes, Director, Outdoor Education

    Amy Hill, Director, Campus Activities and Student Orientation

    Heather Horton, Director, Wellness Resource Center

    Zak Kroger, Assistant to the Vice President, Student Life (Staff to the Working Group)

    Brenda Soto, Director of College Events

    Mateen Zafer, Coordinator of Mentoring and Diversity Initiatives, Butler Center

    (+ two students)

    *Working Group Chair

    Yield the Class Working Group


    To work through May 1 to commit and retain as many enrolling students as possible. This group will craft and oversee the messaging to all new students and their parents throughout the summer and into the next academic year for students who choose a Gap Year or Gap Semester. This group will also work closely with the retention working group chaired by Alan Townsend as we expect some of the messaging/efforts to overlap.

    Working Group Membership:

    *Mark Hatch, Vice President for Enrollment

    Amy Hill, Director, Campus Activities and Student Orientation

    Katherine Menendez, Head Coach, Women’s Basketball

    Megan Rhodes, Associate Director, Admission

    Libby Fletcher, Assistant Director, Financial Aid

    *Working Group Chair