A Letter from RMCAD President Chris Spohn in response to COVID-19

Dear RMCAD Community,

I write to share a new update on our response to coronavirus, known as COVID-19, and our plans for the remainder of the Spring B term. Beginning on Monday, March 16, 2020, Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design will migrate all on ground classes to online and our campus will be closed to students. These changes will remain in effect until the end of the term, April 26, 2020, at which point we will reassess the situation. All events have also been canceled. This is a temporary, proactive measure to protect the health and safety of our students and community. Ongoing updates will be communicated via email, school messenger, the RMCAD app, social media, and rmcad.edu/news.

Important Information for Specific Groups

Students:

  • Please monitor your email closely for additional communications.
  • All students, including those with studios in Spivak, must remove all materials from campus by 5 p.m. on Friday, March 13, 2020. After 5 p.m. on Friday, March 13, 2020, Facilities will not be available to assist with moving items. Any unclaimed items will be moved to storage.
  • We strongly encourage you to stay home.
  • We will do our best to make sure that you meet your academic requirements remotely, with special attention given to graduating students. The on ground curriculum has been repurposed for an online environment to maintain the integrity of each program, and there will be extended resources including equipment and tutors available to our students to assist with this transition. You will be hearing from Chairs and Faculty over the next week with details about your classes.
  • The Spectrum Store will continue to operate remotely so that students can get the supplies they need.
  • All Work-Study positions are temporarily suspended.

Faculty

  • Chairs will be in communication soon with more details about moving classes online.
  • Faculty will have an online mentor along with tools and resources to help them facilitate a lesson plan for completing the term online.
  • We will provide talking points regarding the LMS to empower you to assist your students.
  • A virtual faculty meeting will be scheduled for early next week.

Staff

  • For the time being, staff should continue reporting to work as usual and take the recommended steps to prevent illness including washing hands frequently, avoiding touching your face, covering your mouth to cough or sneeze, and staying home if you feel unwell.

Events

  • Campus events scheduled between March 13 and April 26 have been suspended, including Robin Hunicke’s artist talk on April 7 and Open House on Saturday, April 18.

Who to Contact

  • If you need technical assistance related to the LMS:
    Contact RMCADGO at RMCADGO@rmcad.edu
  • If you need additional tech support:
    Contact TECHBAR at techbar@rmcad.edu
  • If you have questions regarding schedule, access to the LMS, or other academic needs:
    Contact Advisors at advising@rmcad.edu
    Student Portal at rmcadportal.rmcad.edu
  • If you have additional questions:
    Contact Robb Fladry, Dean of Students, at rfladry@rmcad.edu or 720.525.7102
  • If you do not currently have access to a computer:
    Contact TECHBAR at techbar@rmcad.edu

These are obviously significant steps, and we regret that they will certainly cause some concern and disappointment. However, we feel compelled to take this proactive approach in light of the most recent facts. The virus continues to spread in Colorado and around the nation, although no case of COVID-19 has been reported from anyone in the RMCAD community.

We have been in touch with the local Health Department and will continue to follow necessary precautions and recommendations as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). As the evidence of the virus spreading grows more profound, our Executive Task Force concluded that the safest course of action is to take the above approach. The best time to take action is now, before circumstances escalate.

Our top priorities are 1.) to protect the health of our students and minimize the spread of this virus throughout the community and 2.) to maintain a strong academic experience and keep students on-track. By reducing the number of people on our campus, we can actively mitigate our risks and maintain these priorities.

I would also like to thank all of you for your patience and understanding. While RMCAD has never encountered something like this we have a strong, supportive, and creative community. I thank you all for your patience and your ability to make the most of this situation. Keep yourselves and others safe and remember, we’re here to support you.

Further resources and assistance are available through the following outlets:

Christopher Spohn, President