Coronavirus Message from the President to Students, March 11, 2020
I am writing to update you on the College’s plans regarding COVID-19, more commonly referred to as the coronavirus. In developing these new policies, we have relied on the advice of medical professionals, keeping the safety of the entire College community foremost in our minds.
We are fortunate that there have been no cases of this virus on our campus, and as of the time I am writing this memo, there have been no confirmed cases in Dutchess County. However, with students and community members traveling for spring break, there could be heightened risk when they return to campus. Therefore, to monitor the risk of this outbreak, we have made a decision to extend our spring break for students by one week. This means classes will continue through Friday, March 13, and will reconvene on Monday, March 30.
Residential buildings will remain open during this extended spring break to accommodate certain students. For example, student-athletes, international students, and other students who choose not to return home will be able to stay in residence halls.
During this spring break period, we will be monitoring the spread of the coronavirus, and reevaluating the risk of continuing our campus-based education. At the same time, we are asking all our faculty to begin preparing for the possibility that we may have to move all our courses to an online format. Marist is fortunate in that we have had long experience in delivering high-quality online education, and have the technology and expertise to do this.
I want to assure you that, regardless of the delivery format we decide upon, all students will be able to complete their spring semester credits and stay on track for their planned graduation dates.
During my 40 years as President of Marist, this is the fastest-moving issue I’ve ever had to deal with. Please know that, in making these and future decisions, I will always be guided by the most current medical advice, and the best interests of the members of the Marist community.
Dennis J. Murray