A Letter to the Editor


Acquired from Syeda Saberi – News Editor

From: Dr. Kenneth Newbold (Provost)

I am excited to be joining the Benedictine University community at this unprecedented time in history. Since beginning as Provost and Chief Academic Officer in May, I have felt welcomed and have worked to form relationships across the university. It has been a little different meeting everyone virtually, but we are all finding new ways to make connections and collaborate. I have found the Benedictine community to be supportive, passionate, and driven by the mission to provide a transformative educational experience. I look forward to meeting students and engaging more deeply in the life of the university as the new academic year begins.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made a profound impact on many aspects of our lives, including higher education. Our planning for the 2020-21 academic year included many voices and was driven by the guiding principle of providing the BenU experience in the safest approach possible for all members of our community. I appreciate the hard work and creativity our faculty have put in to create rigorous learning experiences in the virtual environment and the outstanding efforts taken by our facilities and housekeeping teams to make our campus safe.

The Fall semester is unlike any other previous term but one that I believe will provide an environment for online and experiential learning, student support services, and community building. While the transition to the remote campus in March was sudden, the planning done over the summer included faculty development workshops, technology enhancements, and new approaches to supporting students academically, emotionally, and spiritually. I expect the BenU Learning Center will create new ways for our community to engage with each other and remain committed to an outstanding academic experience.

I encourage our students to actively engage with their professors and communicate regularly. Although the majority of our classes are not face to face, it is important that we find ways to connect. We are a supportive community so if you are struggling in a course or have questions, please reach out to schedule a virtual meeting with your professors or to seek out tutoring options through the ACE Center. The library is open both physically and virtually to support student learning. Our campus is open with spaces designated for study and taking online classes. Please register using Bookings to reserve a space on campus.

Regards,


Kenneth F. Newbold, Jr., PhD