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Email from President Davidson

Community Update

 

March 23, 2020

 

Dear MSU Denver community,

Over the past few weeks, I’ve heard from so many members of the extended Metropolitan State University of Denver family. You’ve reached out to see how we’re doing and to wish us well as we respond to this unprecedented health crisis. So, I thought I’d write with an update to fill you in on the last week.  

Let me start with some good news: On Thursday, more than 700 donors came together to raise $155,559 for our students as part of MSU Denver’s Day of Giving. That’s an extraordinary number that will make a significant difference in the lives of our most at-risk Roadrunners mainly through the Student Emergency Fund. To me, this is a testament to what can happen when this community stands united. Thank you so much to everyone who made a gift.

Here are some other updates:

MSU Denver had first confirmed case, campus closed to all noncritical personnel
Sadly, one of our employees tested positive for COVID-19 early last week, and shortly thereafter, a few other cases were reported. As a result of that development, we put our remote-work plan into place a few hours earlier than expected. Since then, we’ve closed campus completely, with some exceptions being made for critical personnel. Facilities are already being deep cleaned. From what we’ve heard, the transition to a fully online environment has gone about as well as can be expected. All of the services we normally offer students are now happening remotely, and our Student Affairs team is working on ways to create community for students online.

Spring 2020 Commencement postponed
The most disappointing announcement we had to make last week was postponing the Spring 2020 Commencement ceremony. With state and city limitations on large gatherings, we had no choice but to postpone what I consider to be the most important event of the academic year. This does not mean that students who have earned degrees won’t get them; it simply means we won’t be able to celebrate their accomplishments together in mid-May. The Commencement team is working hard to come up with alternative solutions for later in the year. We will keep you updated as we know more.

Higher education funding
As this crisis continues to unfold, I am working with my senior leadership team to ensure that higher education is not left out of the equation when federal and state leaders discuss emergency funding. I am speaking with our federal and state elected officials and asking that they continue to keep higher education funding among their priorities. I’ve told these leaders that the focus should be on vulnerable students who are now at a higher risk of not achieving their educational goals and are relying on the support that MSU Denver can give them to navigate these trying times. It is critical that Colorado does not further cut higher education funding, and that the state and MSU Denver receive help from the federal government.

Certainly, this has been the biggest challenge I’ve faced as president of MSU Denver. But I have been heartened by the personal kindness and generosity that our community members have shown each other. As a small example, this video was posted on Twitter last week from the Strength and Conditioning team in our Athletics program.   

Roadrunners know tough times; but we also know how to survive them. We are stronger together. We will beat this. I’ll share another update soon.  

Sincerely,

Janine Davidson, Ph.D.
President


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