July 10, 2020: A Message to Employees from President DeHay Regarding Phase 2 Reopen Plans
As I shared last week, we will begin Phase 2 of our reopen plan on Monday, July 13. The S.C. Department of Administration’s reopen plan directs all state agencies to return to normal service levels while adhering to physical distancing and other health and safety guidelines. However, we have the flexibility to determine which employees need to return to campuses and how to deliver services. Details of our Phase 2 reopen plan can be found here. In summary, the most notable differences between Phase 1 and Phase 2 are:
• More essential employees are permitted to work on campuses
• Face coverings/masks are required for all employees, students and visitors
All other employees will continue to work remotely.
I understand that some of you may have mixed emotions about moving to Phase 2 when there is an increase in COVID-19 cases in our area and across our state. I understand and share your concerns; however, I also believe that, as a college, we are taking the appropriate steps to minimize the spread of COVID-19 on our campuses while providing much-needed services to our community. Our campuses are more than classrooms, labs and offices. They are places where we challenge and support our students, places where we create a sense of belonging, and places where we deliver learning experiences that ignite transformation that lead students to a rewarding career, create a sense of personal fulfillment, and build character that ignites a lifetime of learning.
As an institution of higher learning, we are called to promote economic diversity and prosperity in the communities we serve. Our communities need us now more than ever, and it’s imperative that we continue to deliver accessible, affordable, high quality learning experiences for our students whether that is in person, online or a combination of both.
The pandemic continues to create unique challenges to achieving our mission, particularly for the 2020-2021 academic year, but I am grateful to be on this journey with you. I continue to be amazed at your ability to respond with such creativity, flexibility and determination. Your resilience inspires me and gives me confidence that we will not only survive this crisis but continue to thrive as we have throughout our nearly 60-year history.
My weekly office hours will resume on July 15, and I welcome you to join me to discuss whatever is on your mind. I enjoy hearing about the innovative things you are doing, answering questions, and considering opportunities for the future. Finally, I encourage everyone to take moments to reflect, think about what we are learning about ourselves, each other and our organization during this pandemic that can aid us in the future.
I look forward to seeing you soon. Stay safe and be well.
In your service,
Galen DeHay, Ph.D.