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Coronavirus Campus Communication 3/30/2021 – Official Message from the Office of the President

Coronavirus Campus Communication 3/30/2021 – Official Message from the Office of the President

Dear Students, Colleagues and Friends:

I hope you have been enjoying the warmer temperatures this week. It is reassuring to see spring come into bloom and to see more of you gathering safely on campus lately. I am writing to provide you with information on upcoming programs and our ongoing planning for Fall 2021.

Diversity Convocation
This year celebrates the 15th anniversary of Diversity Convocation. On March 31 at noon, please join me and the Office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Compliance via WebEx in welcoming keynote speaker Reshma Saujani, CEO of Girls Who Code, and special guest Dr. Brian Bridges, N.J. Secretary of Higher Education.

Remembrance Day
In lieu of the annual in-person Remembrance Day Ceremony, the College will release a memorial video tribute online on March 31, 2021. The video will honor the lives and contributions of 17 members of the Ramapo community who passed away between July 2019 and June 2020.

New Academic Programs
At a special meeting this morning, the Board of Trustees approved two new graduate programs: Master of Science in Applied Mathematics and Master of Science in Computer Science. I extend my appreciation to Interim Provost Susan Gaulden, Professors Amanda Beecher and Scott Frees, and all others who helped contribute to the development of these new STEM programs. Pending State approval, they are expected to launch in Fall 2022.

Fall Planning
On March 26, Governor Murphy announced that higher education faculty and staff will become eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine beginning April 5. This expansion will also cover persons aged 55 and older, and 16 and older with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  For more information about eligibility, statewide vaccination site locations, and to preregister for a vaccination, visit https://covid19.nj.gov/pages/vaccine.

Many colleges and universities have communicated their plans for the fall semester and many institutions are citing a “return to normal” or “back to the typical college experience” within those plans.  Ramapo is not keen to make such lofty promises without more external guidance. To this end, last week, Interim Provost Gaulden, Vice President Chris Romano, Assistant Vice President Joe Connell, and Dean of Students Melissa Van Der Wall hosted a student-focused virtual Town Hall at which information about the Fall 2021 student experience was shared.

In keeping with previous messages from the College, students and families were advised:

  • the Fall 2021 course schedule includes six course delivery modes and that 50% of all scheduled courses thus far have been organized to have some in-person elements;
  • we plan to safely increase the number of students who live on campus for the fall semester;
  • we are currently engaged in safely increasing on-campus student activities and programming; and
  • we plan to continue the vast majority of safety and prevention measures that are currently in place.

A great deal of interest in and support of these measures was expressed by the Town Hall attendees. Their hope for a “return to normal” was as palpable as our commitment to honestly, safely, and thoughtfully manage their expectations.
Please continue to take care of yourself and one another.

Thank you.

Peter P. Mercer, President

Ramapo

State of New Jersey General Resources
If you have questions about COVID-19, you may wish to call the hotlines set up by the NJ Department of Public Health.

Ramapo Specific Resources
The College continues to provide resource information on the Health Services website and Return to Campus website, or you can contact us at:

  • Health Services: 201-684-7536
  • General Questions: 201-684-7265 or communications@ramapo.edu
  • Counseling Services (24/7, including emergencies): 201-684-7522
  • Human Resources: 201-684-7506
  • Public Safety: 201-684-6666