Jan 13: Weekly Update from President Nowaczyk

Jan 13, 2021 5:15 PM

Good afternoon,

In light of events around us, between last week’s attack on the Capitol and subsequent fallout, and the ongoing pandemic, it is important to be able to provide this weekly message with updates and what we currently know. It is indeed a stressful time for all of us, but we will keep moving forward. Please recognize in your own life — and those you interact with — the impact of these events. Reach out to one another or to supervisors, advisors, CAPS, healthcare providers and all those who you support and support you.

Here are some updates:

Spring Semester COVID Testing: While we are still working on logistics of acquiring tests and arranging for personnel, our plan for COVID testing in the spring is to have the entire population of those who live on or come to campus COVID-tested numerous times throughout the semester. We will share details once logistics are nailed down. And as before, we will be doing universal testing at the beginning of the semester, this time with rapid tests so results will be known the same day. There will be no cost to individuals for these tests. Anyone who wants to submit a negative test in advance may do so through the www.frostburg.edu/checkin portal any time before the start of school.

REMINDER About Online Schedules: Students who want an online schedule to opt out of coming to campus MUST choose classes designated as “online” in PAWS or use inter-institutional enrollment to choose classes from the USM online university, University of Maryland Global Campus. The deadline to do so is Jan. 25. Details about inter-institutional enrollment are available at this link, and UMGC’s spring 2021 course offerings are available at this link. (Using inter-institutional enrollment protects a student’s full-time status for financial aid, veterans, athletes, etc.) Please contact your academic advisor or department chair for assistance.

Social Compact: We have updated the Social Compact, which outlines expected behaviors for the campus population in light of the pandemic. This update reflects things we have learned during last semester, such as the importance of symptom monitoring using the daily check-in (www.frostburg.edu/checkin), as well as reflecting changes for the spring, such as required participation on the comprehensive COVID testing program for those who will be coming to campus. I encourage you to read and acknowledge the compact (found at this link) as soon as possible.

Enrollment: We are starting to see some hopeful enrollment trends. I am pleased to report that applications for next year are up. As of the beginning of January, we had more than 2,200 completed applications, a 61 percent increase over last year. Acceptances and deposits are running ahead of last year as well. And Intersession enrollment was up, with a headcount that was nearly 14 percent higher than in 2020.

Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday: Monday, Jan. 18, is the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It is often encouraged to spend the day in service to our community, something that is more difficult but still possible in the age of COVID. But it can also be spent as a day of learning, as the Rev. Dr. King was a learned man. Earlier this week, Assistant VP for Student Affairs Wynder offered suggestions of virtual events and activity materials from the National Museum of African American History and Culture. That email is attached. Or you can visit the Museum’s website for a wealth of other learning resources.

Stay safe and well,

Ronald Nowaczyk, PhD