Representatives of the College’s Continuity Task Force met on Friday, July 3, with state officials, who gave their assent to our plan for reopening Providence College with fall semester classes commencing on Monday, Aug. 31. This is a significant milestone, affirming the excellent work of our planning team over the past two months. I am pleased today to provide you with highlights of that plan and other relevant information.
As we developed this plan, we followed these guiding principles:
As with everything in the life of the College, we must consider our response in the context of our sacred mission. As members of God’s loving family, we are called to act with integrity, guided by our commitment to compassion, equity, and generosity. We are approaching a challenging semester – one unlike anything any of us has ever experienced. Every day, we will be asked to set aside some of our natural self-interests and do things that are solely for the good of others. This will take discipline and commitment, but it is – without a doubt – the key to our prospects for a successful fall semester. Guided by God’s grace and the commitment to the greater good that characterizes the Friar family, I know we can live up to this challenge.
All of our decisions are based, first and foremost, upon guidance provided by State of Rhode Island and federal government health officials. Whereas the coronavirus will be a significant factor in all of our lives for the foreseeable future, we will continue to rely on these experts to give us the evidence-based information we need to make sound decisions in support of our overarching goal of keeping everyone in our community healthy and safe. Relatedly, we are fortunate to have expertise among those on our faculty and staff, dedicated professionals who will continue to help us assess information and apply it to circumstances specific to Providence College.
As faculty members, staff members, and administrators, we must commit to keeping the welfare of our students foremost. We owe it to them and their families to provide the guidance and resources they need, and the examples they should follow, to thrive — safely and successfully – during the fall semester. Despite the challenges, we will provide the high-quality academic experience, supplemented by outstanding co-curricular and extracurricular programming, that has defined Providence College for more than a century.
Based upon the tireless work of some 150 faculty members, staff members, students, and others, this plan represents the best of Providence College. It is responsive both to the situation we face and to our mission. While it will remain a work in progress through the entire fall semester and, perhaps, beyond, it represents our guide to managing one of the most vexing challenges the College has ever faced.
I ask you to join me in praying for the institution, and that every member of our community may remain healthy and safe.
Rev. Kenneth R. Sicard, O.P. ’78 & ’82G