SNC remains online through the rest of the semester

March 18, 2020

Dear SNC Family,

As we learn of people around the world making extraordinary sacrifices for the common good, I write to you now of my deeply felt pride in the lead our whole college community has taken at this time of global crisis. We moved swiftly and proactively, and continue to do so. This is only made possible by the help, initiative and public responsibility shown by all of you, together with the love I know you have for our college and its mission.

Today I need to share news that I know will be very disappointing to you all:

  • St. Norbert College, in line with colleges across the country, will need to remain online through the rest of this semester. As we make this decision, I feel completely assured that our faculty members will continue to provide quality instruction to our students, allowing course learning outcomes to be fully achieved. Faculty members are supported by our wonderful staff in ITS, the Library, and Faculty Development.

As the needs of the world weigh heavy on us all, the cabinet and I are focusing first and always on those whom our actions can support most immediately. In particular, this means focusing on the needs of our student body. Most particularly, we’re daily mindful of the sad disruption for our seniors of this, their final semester. I want to give you all my absolute assurance on two things that I know have been top of mind for us all:

  • We are absolutely committed to honoring our senior class – the big-dreaming, A-game-bringing Class of 2020 – as that becomes possible. Though Commencement will not take place as originally planned and will be rescheduled, it is our firm intent to celebrate this major and meaningful milestone with you. This will be one for the history books and we’ll make sure it will be a fitting culmination of all your achievements – including the sacrifices you are making now. We honor you.
  • As a result of the disruptions to this semester, the college continues to actively work on a plan to provide a refund or credit for room and meal plans. We understand this is of serious concern to students and their families. We expect to have the details of the plan ready to share by April 3.
  • Students still residing on campus at this point should plan to fully move out as soon as possible. We recognize some students are facing particular circumstances, and REH will contact them directly as part of our ongoing efforts to support solutions to their needs.
  • We realize that all our residential students will have questions about moving out. Residential Education & Housing will be sending an email by the end of the day tomorrow, Thursday, March 19, with instructions.

Faculty and staff, I struggle to find sufficient words to thank those of us who stay on campus to care for those very few students who still remain in their college housing; and sufficient words to thank those faculty and staff who are now working remotely to make sure all possible services will be delivered online, and will continue. I understand how difficult a time this is for you, too. I am keeping the needs of you and your families close, and hope things are well with you all.

Employees now required to work off campus, again, we need to ask you to continue your department’s remote-working arrangements through March 27. Employees still working on campus and their supervisors, we all owe you a debt of gratitude: You should continue to monitor email as any new changes in operations are communicated. In our overriding commitment to keeping our people safe, we are implementing building access by card swipe only, beginning tomorrow.

We continue to work out the details of all the above, and we will continue to provide more information as soon as we have it to share. But I did not want to wait to relay these cornerstone decisions that you will need to include in your planning. I know that these are uncertain and difficult times for us all, with many personal decisions depending on our communal and developing understanding of the situation.

We know, too, that students and their families will have many other questions. We can only take this day-to-day, and continue to stay tuned to email and to Questions can also be addressed to

Then, I want to let you all know I will be holding virtual office hours Monday-Friday for the next two weeks from 3-4 p.m. Students, e-mail me during that time and I can call you or offer a Google Hangout.

Friends, when our SNC News team was picking the campus daily meditation for Monday morning this week, they chose this prayer for people facing great uncertainty. I feel I can do no better than to close by offering it, with you all if you would join me, this afternoon:

God of the present moment,
God who in Jesus stills the storm
and soothes the frantic heart;
bring hope and courage to all
who wait or work in uncertainty.
Bring hope that you will make them the equal of whatever lies ahead.
Bring them courage to endure what cannot be avoided, for your will is health and wholeness;
you are God, and we need you.