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Columbus State University

April 23, 2020 - Message from President Markwood

Good afternoon,

As we approach the end of another work week of meeting the daily challenges, the only thing that has been constant is change. I am impressed with how we are able to manage through this environment and have confidence we will continue to keep our campus community safe and educate our students.

I have spent much time this week touching base with community and government leaders, including Congressman Ferguson, Congressman Bishop, and staff members from Senator Loeffler and Senator Purdue’s office. I was able to share with them my appreciation for their support of the CARE Act and how the funding provided in that act might impact our students and CSU. They are very complimentary of our student-centered focus, especially our Create Care efforts to reach out to our students to ensure they have access to the resources and support needed to overcome any obstacles to continuing their education.

The USG has provided guidance and a framework for reopening CSU. As a result, we are in the process of creating eight working groups that will focus on designing a strategy and process related to the reopening of our campus. At this time, we do not have a confirmed timetable, and we will provide updates as these plans are developed. Please keep in mind that we must continue to focus on doing what is needed to keep our faculty, staff, and students as safe as possible. By way of reminder, we are still under the “shelter in place” order until 11:59 on April 30. Prior to that time, we will receive new guidance of social distancing and remote work.

We will update you over the summer on our resource page, https://www.columbusstate.edu/covid-response/.

This week we launched a very aggressive marketing and advertising campaign focused on increasing our Summer and Fall enrollment. We will be using digital and traditional advertising platforms to inform current and potential students of the tuition freeze, fee reductions, and other cost savings available. We will always share the value and impact of a CSU education. If you have ideas to help market CSU, contact Sallie McMullin in Enrollment Services or University Relations, ur@columbusstate.edu.

This is a time of tremendous change, not just for CSU, but for our community, our nation, and our world. But I have faith in you — and in us! Though this crisis is hard, it will also be transformational. Columbus State University will be different when we return — so let’s work to keep making it better.

As our campus teams begin work on developing plans for returning to campus, please feel free to add your ideas, concerns and fears to the conversation because this will not be simple. We are planning for how we move forward in a new environment and a new paradigm of higher education. I was reminded of a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. when he said “our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change.”

Please continue to check on your colleagues not only to discuss work but to stay connected and maintain our sense of community across our campus. And remember to check on family and friends, who may need an encouraging word or a listening ear.

Thank you for all you do for our students, our community, and each other.

Dr. Markwood's Signature

President Chris Markwood