Greetings Forsyth Tech faculty and staff!
I wanted to give you update as we wrap up the Spring 2020 semester! Who would have believed in March that this is how we would spend the last day of classes? I would like to congratulate you on all you have accomplished these last several weeks! You have overcome challenges, you have helped each other and you have shown me your strength and dedication to our students and to Forsyth Tech. We all hope that the summer will be the time we can return to campus and see each other again!
Virtual Commencement – May 7, 2020 at 5 p.m.
Please join us for our first ever Virtual Commencement next Thursday evening on Forsyth Tech’s YouTube channel! While COVID-19 has changed some things, it hasn’t changed our support for our graduates! We still plan to raise excitement and cheers for these graduates who have forged ahead to arrive at this moment.
Graduates can check out our virtual commencement webpage for more information. The bookstore is still mailing caps and gowns to any graduate who asks so they will have them in time for May 7. We still hope to hold an in-person graduation ceremony later this summer or early fall. As we continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and its impacts on large group gatherings, we will let you know as soon as we know about in-person graduation.
CARES Act Distribution
We continue to prepare for distribution of these federal aid funds, through the national CARES Act to help preserve jobs and get the economy growing again. We were grateful to be recipients of some of those funds and are we have an action team working to determine how we can quickly access and distribute those funds to eligible students who have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. The CARES Act provides very specific guidance about who we can give these funds to.
With the stay-at-home order extended to May 8, we are planning what our process will be for re-entry on Main Campus and throughout the off-campus centers. The team has completed a draft of their plan which will be announced next week. I want to assure you that we want to be safe while allowing us to begin to return to some sense of normalcy. It will not be overnight, but it will be a phased approach. As the team develops plans and we know more, we will share information with you.
State Budget – Memo attached
I wanted to share the attached memo from President Peter Hans from the system office regarding the state budget. Some of this information is not entirely unique for this time of year. As you see, nothing in the correspondence we’ve received indicates furlough for colleges. We are pausing hiring, except for mission-critical positions. However, especially with the economic situation nationally and at the state level, this is still an evolving situation. We will let you know as we have additional updates.
Mask the City
As Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines has encouraged everyone to wear a mask whenever they leave the house, Forsyth Tech will help do our part. We purchased nearly 1,000 masks for distribution to employees and then students. If you haven’t acquired a mask yet, please contact your manager or ELT member. It is critically important to us that we help equip you with the tools to stay safe above all else.
Facebook Live – Tuesday, May 5, 2020
I hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead! As I said before, I have enjoyed talking with you in the Facebook Live sessions. I hope you will be able to join me for another Facebook Live for you at 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 5, 2020. Please join me if you can to talk virtually with students and together help answer their questions!
What lies within us
I wanted to leave you one last thought as we wrap up Spring 2020 together.
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson.
I believe that together we have demonstrated we all have strengths we didn’t know we had seven weeks ago. Thank you for being the most flexible and resilient faculty and staff, I have ever worked with. You have proven yourselves each day throughout this pandemic.
Thank you for being Forsyth Tech strong! Take care and have a great weekend!