Dear Salem State Parents and Families,
These past few weeks have been a time like no other in higher education. We are learning that things we hold dear at Salem State – in-class discussions, study abroad and service learning opportunities, living among peers, and more – currently pose significant threats to health and safety. While there have been no cases of the coronavirus on Salem State’s campus, difficult decisions have had to be made to prioritize the safety of our students, faculty, staff, and the surrounding community.
Most recently, these decisions have included transitioning to remote instruction for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester, vacating our residence halls as much as possible, and canceling university-affiliated travel.
I made these decisions not only as a college president, but as the parent of a son in college and a daughter applying to colleges for the fall. I think about the experiences I want for my children along with the need to make safety my number one priority. I make these decisions while our campus works diligently to ensure a strong academic experience for the remainder of the semester.
I have been deeply moved, but not surprised, by the resilience that our campus community has shown at this difficult time. Our students, faculty and staff have been flexible, adaptable and understanding. Faculty are quickly mobilizing to shift their course plans to a remote format while maintaining their high educational quality. Students have exhibited the can-do attitudes that I have come to associate with the very meaning of being a Salem State Viking.
I often reflect on the resilience that I believe distinguishes our student body and our entire campus community. This resilience is apparent now more than ever. As I see how our campus has responded, I know that we will come through these challenging times as an even stronger community.
As this situation evolves, I am also aware that access to ongoing information is important. Salem State has established a special section on our website, salemstate.edu/coronavirus-preparedness, to keep parents, families and our extended community members updated. Communications sent to our students are regularly added to this page under “Campus Message Archive.” I hope you will visit this page regularly to stay updated on the latest developments, while also encouraging your student to continue checking their Salem State email for important updates about remote instruction and other campus news.
Thank you for your understanding as we put the health, safety and well-being of your student and our entire community first. I have never been so proud to be a Viking.
John D. Keenan