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Student Notifications

May 19, 2020

Dear MCPHS Community,

For over two months we have braved the uncertainties brought upon us by the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout this time, we have experienced the resilience of our entire community – our students, faculty, staff and administrators - unified in our educational mission. Our academic leaders and entire faculty have provided continuity of instruction delivered virtually through online venues and other forms of remote learning, leading to the completion of another academic year.

I would personally like to thank every member of our community for their extreme devotion to our University. Your efforts in supporting our students, and each other, have been truly inspiring. I was so proud to watch the commemorative video that celebrated our graduates and look forward to the time when we can safely honor them in person with our formal Commencement exercises. We have been forced to overcome extraordinary challenges and we need to draw comfort in the knowledge that our community is comprised of extraordinary individuals.

Recognizing that our return for the Fall 2020 is on everyone’s mind, I would like to give you an update on our preparation and planning process.

Our planning is guided by the following principles:

  • The health and well-being of our entire MCPHS community – this is our highest priority.
  • Maintaining teaching excellence.
  • Ensuring that all students will progress in achieving their educational goals.
  • Increasing the support for our entire community for the significant and complex challenges that we will continue to experience.

To be clear, we are constantly evaluating how we can best deliver on these following principles. For the Fall semester, we are considering numerous options, which is consistent with every college and university across the country. Such possibilities include a regular opening in the Fall with rigorous safety protocols in place, or a hybrid approach where a portion of the curriculum will be delivered on line.

As the situation becomes clearer and additional guidance is issued, you will receive more detailed information from the University. Rest assured, we will be ready when the Fall semester begins.

To help us plan, we continue to closely monitor guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Public Health (DPH), updates from our state and local officials, and approaches by other colleges and universities. We also carefully track guidance and recommendations from higher education consortia, accreditors, and other professional organizations that advise colleges and universities. We will carefully follow best practices as we position ourselves for the best possible approach for our Fall semester.

In addition, we have formed and launched a Recovery and Planning Task Force to carefully review and plan for all of our options for the Fall Semester. This Task Force, which is overseen by Provost Zeind and myself, meets regularly and includes representatives from the key strategic areas of our University. The work ahead is quite challenging, but I assure you that we have the right teams in place to make thoughtful, informed and timely decisions necessary to support a successful Fall semester. Please also know that we are deeply aware of the financial distress facing many of our community members and this will certainly enter into our planning process as well.

Lastly, although the toll that this virus has taken has been staggering, the health and safety of our entire community is our top priority. MCPHS University, with its nearly 200-year history, will proudly and collaboratively continue to deliver its premier academic programs. I am confident that although we may look a bit different when we emerge in the Fall, our resiliency will serve to make us even stronger.

Thank you once again, and as I mentioned previously, we will continue to update you in the coming weeks as guidance becomes clearer.

With gratitude and appreciation,
Richard J. Lessard, Interim President

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