From the President’s Desk: A Hopeful Spring

May 10, 2021 9:00 AM


There have been several encouraging signs this spring that we are heading toward a return to a more normal fall semester. Extensive vaccination efforts, an on-campus Grad Walk option for our seniors and the loosening of some state and CDC health and safety guidelines are all welcome news for our students, employees, alumni and friends.

Yet there remain extensive challenges ahead — such as exactly what the fall semester will look like. We have announced that FSU will require vaccinations for all eligible on-campus students and employees, with some exceptions, as part of the University System of Maryland’s decision for all USM schools. We hope to be back to increased campus activity allowing for greater classroom interactions and student-life experiences outside of class. Our goal is to allow the community on campus as well if we can do so safely within health guidelines.

The entire university pulled together to provide a hybrid (in-person/online) experience for our students this semester. Our twice-a-week testing protocol allowed us to administer more than 40,000 tests during the spring semester. Our faculty and staff worked hard to provide an effective learning environment on a socially distanced campus with extensive use of technology for instruction and meetings.

It has been a daunting effort, but one we felt was essential with so many of our students and employees facing struggles. I am happy to report we were able to provide CARES Act housing awards to all eligible students — $375 to help with housing costs — as we did in the fall, as well as provide monies to students from FSU's emergency and crisis scholarship funds. Using federal money, we have made over 4,000 awards to over 2,000 students totaling more than $2.5 million.

I’d be remiss if I didn't thank all of those in our Bobcat family who provided additional financial support, despite the pandemic-related issues each of you faced. So, thank you for your donations, thank you for your time and thank you for your help.

Remember to celebrate with our May 2021 graduates during Virtual Grad week. Details on commencement can be found here.  

As a final reminder, the work of the university continues in many other areas. For example, you can keep track of the construction on the new Education and Health Sciences Building here. The building is scheduled to be completed by fall 2022. And, we have implemented professional development opportunities and expectations on racial and social justice for faculty and staff. We have also moved the Alumni Relations and Advancement operations back to campus in the Fuller House.

Here’s hoping we continue to move toward a return to more traditional university life this fall.

Ron Nowaczyk, President
Frostburg State University