Letter from the President: COVID-19 Information and update
March 23, 2020
I hope you have all been able to enjoy the past week of Spring Break and are settled in for this next week as an extension before classes begin again on March 30th. It’s hard to believe all that has changed since my first email to you just ten days ago. There has not been a decision in this process that has been easy, but every decision was based on doing our very best to ensure the health and safety of our employees, campus visitors, community members, and especially all of you! You are all part of our Butler Family and we care deeply about you, your friends, and family.
The uncertainly of the spread of COVID-19 has resulted in decisions at every level of leadership in our country. Those determinations have helped frame our path forward and will continue to be our guide as more information is made available. Please know I have not taken a single decision lightly. The impact of these decisions has affected all of us, changing the way we work, learn, and engage with one another. As I think about all of you and the bright futures ahead of you, I am reassured that these decisions are in our best interests and reflect the direction I would take for my very own family.
As we move to online learning for all Butler classes, I hope you know that we have teams of people who have worked to provide a smooth transition with layers of support for your success. Whether you’re taking an online class for the first time or you are familiar with our systems, we have training, support, and resources ready to help you finish the semester strong. COVID-19 may have closed our buildings but our offices and services are still available to you remotely. We are only one call, email, instant message, and video call away.
This week, check out your Canvas dashboard where you will see an announcement about a resource page called “Keep Learning @ Butler”. This page will be updated throughout the semester to provide you with workshops and resources for online learning. We have established a social media presence as well to get feedback and keep you engaged throughout the semester. Like and follow us @ButlerccStudentSupport.
I love the spring semester, as do my colleagues, because it is the time of year when we celebrate YOU! From Commencement to Nurses’ Pinning, Order of the Purple, the Student Life Awards, and opportunities to recognize faculty for their commitment to your successes, each event highlights the reason I come to work every day. We feel the sadness and disappointment that comes with having to cancel these celebrations, but it is our care for you and your families that led to this decision. To those who sent messages asking for a way to celebrate these outstanding achievements, rest assured that our Butler commencement team is meeting this week to find some innovative solutions. As soon as Governor Kelly ordered a ban of large gatherings we immediately started brainstorming ways to celebrate your accomplishments.
You may not realize it, but this situation is shaping the future of higher education. I cannot think of a better group of students to support as we make this journey together. While there will be challenges along the way, at Butler, we view every challenge as an opportunity to grow and innovate. To those who are intimidated or scared about online learning, remember that online doesn’t mean alone. Your Butler family is here for you! Reach out when you need help or support, chances are your classmates are experiencing similar things. In moments like these, we rise above because we work together.
This journey is not one that any of us expected or planned. I wish there were words to convey how sorry I am for the impact this has had on your lives. I, too share in that disappointment and sadness as I was planning to celebrate milestone moments in my own children’s lives this spring with a wedding and commencement. The important part is that we are doing what needs to be done to protect each other. Our time to celebrate will come and we will have achieved more through overcoming this adversity.
Whether this is your first year at Butler or you’re planning to graduate, my heart is heavy as I think about the impact this has had on your journey. Many of you were preparing for final performances, national competitions and championships, and amazing events to engage and support each other through student organizations. I wish I could change these circumstances, but deep in my heart I know that we are doing what is best for everyone. As you prepare this week to tackle the rest of the semester, remember that we are here for you every step of the way. Stay engaged, stay committed, and let’s take this journey together.
Thank you for being a part of the Butler family! I am so grateful and honored to be on this journey with you.
Kimberly W. Krull, Ph.D.
Butler Community College
901 S Haverhill Road
El Dorado, KS 67042