April 1: Message to Staff and Administrators
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
These have been a tumultuous few weeks. We are very proud, and grateful for two things. First, because of your efforts we kept our students safe. Second, through your patience and good will, we kept our community safe. These are remarkable accomplishments, and we pause to give thanks.
The COVID-19 pandemic changed our college and university in a very fundamental way. A few weeks ago, we had nearly 3,400 students living on our campuses. Now we are planning to refund those students millions of dollars. We had a large number of employees who had jobs because we are a residential community. Now, there is little work for these employees. When we moved our employees off campus for their safety, some did not have enough work or technology to be completely employed.
We view these issues as human questions, with an obvious financial significance for the health of our college and university. We do expect some assistance through the federal CARES Act, but we still have work to do financially. As we consider financial steps, we understand and honor deeply your personal question of what happens to me and my family?
The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University employees will be paid through Saturday, April 11. We are endeavoring to balance the needs of our workforce, our resources and this everchanging environment.
As we make progress, we will continue to keep you informed. We will work with VPs and supervisors to ensure any decisions regarding staffing and operations are shared transparently.
Thank you for your dedicated service to our students and to the institutions.
We hope you have a blessed Easter.
Mary Dana Hinton