July 23, 2020 WSU Tri-Cities going mostly virtual for fall – Message from Chancellor Haynes
Dear WSU Tri-Cities students, faculty and staff,
I am writing to you today with an important message about the fall 2020 semester. Like many of you, I did not anticipate that we would be in the situation in which we find ourselves now with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic when the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” protocol ramped up in March. The infection rates in many states, including Washington, are increasing and they are especially high in Benton and Franklin counties.
After much discussion with a wide range of constituents and in an attempt to ensure the safety of our faculty, staff, and students, WSU Tri-Cities has made the difficult decision to start fall semester courses in a mostly virtual format. We are not alone in this decision. All campuses in the WSU system are moving to distance delivery and we are in the company of other institutions of higher education across the nation who are doing the same.
I understand that this decision may be disappointing for some of you and a relief for others. I am certain that many of you did not imagine that your college education would be disrupted this way and are concerned about your experience and education. Rest assured that while we focus on safety, we are fully committed to providing the excellent education and the student services you have come to expect from WSU Tri-Cities.
We have been preparing all summer for any eventuality as we navigate this time of uncertainty. Faculty and staff are being trained on the latest technology for class delivery, including a specialized platform called Learning Glass. Because we had planned for HyFlex course delivery, we are prepared to begin opening campus whenever conditions change. Student services and campus-wide events will be in a virtual format to be sure we remain connected to your colleagues and campus community.
We will also host an information session for Spanish-speaking students and their families next week on Thursday, July 30, at 5 p.m. via Zoom.
We will be sending further information out to campus community members, soon, with more specifics, including a link to a web page entirely dedicated to plans for fall and what to expect.
I cannot thank you enough for your input, patience, and care for each other as we navigate this ongoing and uncertain time. We are here for you. Together, we will weather this storm and be stronger on the other side.
Sandra Haynes, Ph.D.
Chancellor of WSU Tri-Cities