June 19, 2020
Update from the President
Dear Campus Community,
As we officially begin summer this weekend, it is hard to believe that it’s been three months since COVID-19 began consuming our lives. While West Virginia’s cases are lower than many states, it is important for all of us to adhere to the guidelines set forth. With states beginning to ease restrictions, now more than ever, we must remain vigilant and adhere to the protocols in order to slow the spread of this disease.
With the Fall semester inching closer, the University is getting ready for the return of students. Thanks to Lou Vargo, Director of the Ohio County Emergency Management Agency, we have 3,000 face masks to provide students, faculty and staff. I am grateful to Lou and Howard Gamble, Administrator of the Ohio County Health Department, for this donation.
The pandemic hasn’t kept staff from receiving training or slowed the work we are doing across campus.University faculty and staff have embarked on two major technology training initiatives this summer. On June 16, the staff attended day-long training sessions offered through the Independent College Enterprise (ICE). The training provided a comprehensive overview and instruction of the academic and administrative technology systems.
Wheeling University received an additional $386,000 in CARES Act institutional funds. We have chosen to utilize a portion of these funds to facilitate training for faculty. Next week, faculty will begin 16 weeks of training to become nationally certified online instructors through the Blackboard Academy – the University’s learning management system provider. By gaining certification, our faculty will be distinguished as members in Blackboard’s global consortium of trained instructors who reside in more than 30 countries worldwide. Additionally, a portion of this second round of CARES Act funding was used to offset room and board refunds to students.
I am thrilled to share that preparations have begun for paving the roads and parking lots on campus. Weather permitting, paving should be completed by July 23. I wish to thank Bishop Mark Brennan for allowing John Reardon, Director of Buildings and Grounds for the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, to assist the University with capital projects. His expertise has been a valuable resource, that has resulted in extensive savings for the University.
This Monday, be advised the portion of the main road from Whelan Hall to the CET Circle will be closedfor sewer line repairs in advance of the road improvements. Employees can enter through the main entrance, but will be detoured at Whelan Hall. You can use the back entrance to enter campus as well.
Also Monday, the cross from the Chapel bell tower will be removed so it can be repaired and painted by our maintenance team. A special thank you to Savage Construction for donating the crane and manpower to assist us in this very special renovation project.
Next Friday marks the end of our first Summer of Purpose session. The program, which we launched in May, provides online classes for incoming and current students, as well as upward rising high school seniors. I am happy to report we had students enrolled in each of our cohorts during the first session. The second Summer of Purpose session, which will be offered to incoming and current students only, begins on Monday, June 29. To learn more about the courses offered during the next session or to register for classes, visit the Summer of Purpose website.
Once again, the outpouring of help from this Cardinal family amazes me. Last week’s announcement that some graduates may need financial assistance to return for Commencement has brought additional donations, as well as offers for student sponsorships. Thank you! We are compiling a list of seniors in need of assistance and travel costs. If you would like to sponsor a student contact firstname.lastname@example.org. To make a gift to the President’s Fund for Excellence, please visit the online portal.
As always, I thank you for your dedication and support of our University – it is through our collective commitment that we have been able to accomplish so much. Let us continue to pray for those impacted by this pandemic. And to all the fathers – may you have a wonderful Father’s Day.
Ginny R. Favede
President, Wheeling University