Dear Fullerton College Family,
I hope that each of you are safe and in good health. I know that this pandemic has been challenging for our students and each of you on so many levels, and I am grateful for your resilience and your unending support for our students.
I hope that you had an opportunity to read our President’s Weekly update that was distributed yesterday via email. Each week, this communication will continue to serve as a key source of information regarding campus updates and new information about our ongoing response to this pandemic. In addition, we will continue to share additional email communication on a periodic basis, to keep our campus community informed.
I’d like to express my appreciation to each of you for doing the best that you can throughout this unprecedented experience. Thanks to the extraordinary leadership and support from a team of faculty and staff, 94% of our classes this spring were successfully transitioned to a remote format in a very short period of time! Thanks to Darnell Kemp, Angela Henderson, Mary Bogan, Deidre Hughes, Laura Melella, Jeff Rodine, Lugene Rosen, Tim Ream, Cory Thomas, Roger Perez, Kim Vandervort, Stewart Kimura, Tony Quach, Jose Ramon Nunez and our distance education division representatives, as well as many other faculty and staff from departments across the college. Thanks to the leadership of our Student Services team, we have also launched a new section of our college website that helps students find key resources and support: https://vpss.fullcoll.edu/student-services-remote/.
I also want to share my gratitude for each of our colleagues who have been working in on-campus essential roles throughout this closure, to help keep our campus environment maintained, safe and secure, while practicing appropriate social distancing and other safety precautions. We have recently acquired face masks and we strongly encourage anyone coming to campus or working on campus to utilize a face mask for their safety and the safety of others. Face masks are available in our Campus Safety department for distribution on an as-needed basis.
Update on Commencement
After careful consideration, we are sad that we will not be able to hold our traditional commencement ceremony at Sherbeck Field on May 23. As a result, we felt the most important thing we could do would be to ask our students what they and their families would prefer. In an effort to determine what our students would prefer as an alternative, we surveyed our graduating students. Based on the survey responses, over 72% expressed a preference for an in-person ceremony to be held later in the year, when it would be safe to do so. As a result, we are planning to have an in-person commencement ceremony in December 2020. In addition and to respond to the preferences of the other 28% of our graduating students who were open to a virtual recognition, we have decided to create a “virtual commencement experience” which will be presented on May 23. This will not take the form of a live commencement such as some of the virtual commencement ceremonies that other universities have planned. Instead, it will feature some video recorded content, as well as a list of the graduates, their degree(s) and hopefully, will serve as something they can keep and remember for years to come. We will share more on our commencement plans in the near future.
Providing Technology Support for our Students
As we learned that we would have to close our campus, we invited each of our students to complete a brief survey so that we could learn more about the challenges they are experiencing and more importantly the ways in which we can assist them. Over 4,200 students completed this survey, and 9% reported that they did not have access to a reliable computer. Others indicated that they did have access to reliable internet or WiFi access. In response and to support our students, Fullerton College has purchased 1,700 laptop computers, to be distributed to our students.
Students have the opportunity to request technology support by utilizing a brief form which they can access at the following link:
(https://TechRequest.fullcoll.edu). A communication will be sent later today to all students. Once the laptops are ready for distribution, our staff will be conducting a safe, in-person distribution (with appropriate social distancing). Based on feedback from the vendor, we anticipate that the college will receive the laptop delivery at the end of this week or next week at the latest. I want to thank the members of our Academic Computing Technologies team for their efforts to make this opportunity a reality.
Fullerton College Foundation Launches Student Emergency Fund
In a joint effort to provide emergency funding for our students, the Fullerton College Foundation partnered with the college to award student grants to help them with food, housing or other basic needs. As of yesterday, 16 students received funds from this partnership. For more information, please visit the Fullerton College Foundation website at https://www.fullcollfoundation.org/. Funds will run out soon, and I encourage you to donate what you can. The college has also received a recent update from State Chancellor Eloy Oakley regarding additional funds to support our students, from the CARES Act. The details on this opportunity are being verified and will be shared with students and our campus community in the near future.
President’s Office Hour & President’s Open Forum (Virtual Format)
This Friday, April 17 at 3 p.m. I will be hosting a President Office Hour via Zoom. For more information and the zoom call-in information, please see the April 13 President’s Weekly. In addition, I will be hosting a President’s Open Forum, using a Zoom town hall format, on Thursday, April 23 at 9 a.m. Additional details will be shared in the April 20 edition of President’s Weekly.
Although I’ve cherished the opportunity to be with my family, I must tell you that I miss seeing each of you on our beautiful campus every day. I look forward to the day when we will be reunited on campus, when it is safe to reopen the entire campus to all faculty, staff and students. This crisis has unmasked a number of challenges that members of our community face on a regular basis. Specifically, the crisis that we are navigating as a college and across our country has exposed the fact that students and families living in poverty are experiencing the worst of this crisis. Working with you in service to our students and our community gives me hope, however. What we do day after day is to deliver hope and opportunity by treating our students and each other with love, and leading with love. Thank you for doing your best to do this, every day.
Wishing you peace and good health,
Greg Schulz, Ed.D.