Dear Faculty and Staff:
During the University’s period of necessarily rapid responses to the emerging coronavirus pandemic, the University was very ably guided in its COVID-19 health-related actions by Dr. Patricia Ruiz, Director of the University Health Center. More recently, I asked several other individuals to join Dr. Ruiz in considering our longer-term health-related plans. Those individuals included, Dr. Scott Herness, Vice Provost for Research and Dean of the Graduate School, Dr. Lora Billings, Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, and Dr. Janice Smolowitz, Dean of the School of Nursing.
I am now establishing an expanded Presidential Advisory Committee on COVID-19 Related Planning. The Committee will have the specific charge of providing recommendations on policies and protocols related to the reopening of the campus in the fall. Their work also will include implementation plans for: COVID-19 testing and contact tracking; protocols for the use of protective equipment; social distancing practices for on-campus instruction, work, residential life, food service, and a wide range of campus activities; and general campus health policies and health services.
The members of the Committee all bring specific expertise to the group, and they are:
- Dr. Janice Smolowitz, Dean of the School of Nursing, CO-CHAIR
Specific expertise: Clinical nursing practice and adult primary care
- Dr. Lora Billings, Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, CO-CHAIR
Specific expertise: Mathematical modeling in epidemiology
- Maria Anderson, Esq., Associate University Counsel
Specific expertise: Legal regulations and compliance
- Gena Coffey, Assistant Director of Environmental Health and Safety
Specific expertise: Occupational health and safety
- Lt. Tim Fox, University Police
Specific expertise: Enforcement protocols
- Dr. Scott Herness, Vice Provost for Research and Dean of the Graduate School
Specific expertise: Research protocols and continuity
- Dr. Patricia Ruiz, Director, University Health Center
Specific expertise: Clinical care and regulatory compliance in public health
- Donna Sadlon, Associate Vice President for Enterprise Application Services
Specific expertise: Implementation of computer applications, reporting and analytic tools
- Dr. Joan Valas, Professor of Nursing and Director of the Graduate Nursing Program
Specific expertise: Emergency preparedness, acute clinical care, and public health policy
As we reopen the University in a controlled and carefully considered manner, the work of this Committee will help the University find the right balance of providing both a vibrant educational experience and a safe environment for our University community. I am very grateful to the individuals listed above for agreeing to take on this very important work on behalf of the University.