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April 30, 2020: Moving Forward + Town Hall Meeting

Communication from ESU President Allison Garrett

April 30, 2020

Dear Hornet Nation,

I hope this message finds you healthy and well. I want to update you about how ESU will move forward as we begin a phased re-opening. First, thank you to faculty and staff who made possible the pivot from traditional face-to-face to online classes this spring. And, thank you to our students who were flexible and made the transition with us.

Together, we demonstrated what it means to be Hornets. ESU displayed how well we can adapt as we adjusted to scenarios never before faced. Each of us has learned how to operate and remain connected in new ways. We all have a new appreciation for Zoom!

But, like you, I miss our face-to-face interaction. I miss seeing your smiles, hearing your stories and celebrating with you.

For weeks now, we have had groups meeting to deal with the myriad of concerns raised by COVID-19. As we transition to a return to campus and fall classes, different areas throughout campus are working to identify the questions that must be answered to make those transitions orderly and safe. As information becomes available, it will be shared with you.

In all planning our priority has been, and will continue to be, the health and safety of students, faculty and staff. Already we know that when we do return to campus, it will be with additional safety measures like wearing masks, continued social distancing, sanitizing, cleaning and sanitizing some more.

  • Faculty and staff return to campus: We are determining when and how we will come back to work on campus. You will receive at least one week’s notice before you are asked to return to the office. The process will be planned carefully and will be based on federal, state and local guidance.
  • Resuming face-to-face classes: Some face-to-face classes will resume for the second summer session. We plan to be on campus this fall offering face-to-face classes. Of course, some aspects of campus life will be different. And we must comply with federal, state and local guidance. Despite our hopes and planning for a face-to-face fall, we are also planning for other scenarios because we must be ready for whatever COVID-19 throws our way.

Dr. David Cordle and I will host the first in a series of virtual Town Hall meetings on Monday, May 4 at 2:30 p.m. We will share with you the factors we must consider as we begin to plan our return to campus. You may register for the Town Hall and submit questions in advance at You also can ask questions during the event.

You will continue to receive timely communication as new information becomes available. I look forward to talking with you on Monday.


Allison D. Garrett