Dickinson has made the decision to move classes online for the rest of the semester. The campus is not open to visitors until further notice.
President Margee Ensign sent the following message to the campus community on March 16 to report that Dickinson has made the decision to move classes online for the rest of the semester:
To the Dickinson Community:
We have made the difficult decision to complete this semester online.
We are all living through extraordinary times. While there are no presumed or confirmed cases of COVID-19 on campus, five cases of coronavirus have now been confirmed in Cumberland County, the county Dickinson has called home for more than two centuries. As cases multiply across the state, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has closed all K-12 schools for two weeks and has ordered all non-essential businesses to close. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced last night that all gatherings of 50 or more be suspended for eight weeks. In addition, the CDC has said that closing schools for eight weeks or more may have a greater impact on mitigating the spread of virus than the shorter times currently planned.
This is not a decision we take lightly, and it is certainly not the decision we would prefer. Seniors, I know how difficult this must be for all of you. I truly am sorry that you will not be able to finish your Dickinson journey in the way you had hoped. However, this decision is one that we must make to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of our students, faculty, staff and community.
Dickinson is proud of its long history of educating leaders who will work for the common good. We are proud of the close relationship that exists between faculty and students. Our skill in innovating, our nimbleness in adjusting as the world changes, our comfort with ambiguity and our concern for one another—these will allow us to meet these difficult times. We will work through them together, emerging an even stronger community.
Students, you will be hearing from your faculty members this week as they work diligently to create remote learning options. To my wonderful faculty colleagues, thank you for all of your hard work under these taxing, unprecedented circumstances. To staff members, I am grateful for your loyal service and mindful of protecting your health and safety in the days ahead.
We will begin holding virtual meetings with various groups later this week.
Listed below are some impacts of this decision. We have created a website with Frequently Asked Questions. Please check this webpage for more complete information.
Dickinson prides itself on being a different sort of college. We have been a college, since our very founding more than two hundred years ago, that has sought to provide a useful education, an education to foster the common good. This is an attitude, an orientation, now indispensable in our college, our nation and the world. We must all of us be prepared to make the sacrifices necessary to do our part. I have every confidence that we will look back at this difficult time with pride in what we have done, how we have helped and how we have lived up to our ideals and principles.
Margee M. Ensign
Published March 16, 2020