Friday, April 17, 2020
Video message to NKU campus community
Good afternoon, Norse Nation and happy Friday. This is my fifth weekly video address and I hope all of you are doing well.
Let me say once again how grateful I am for all the work that you're doing in support of the university and our students. This past week I had a chance to meet several of the group's faculty and staff groups on campus. I didn't quite "zoom bomb" them, but I was part of their zoom meetings. And, while it's not the same as in person, it was good to connect with with our folks just to see how they're doing and to express my direct appreciation to them. I met with
the chairs council, facilities folks, IT, housing and other groups as well. I look forward to continuing that throughout this time so that we can stay connected and you can share your thoughts with me as well.
I have a few updates I'd like to share with you. Let me start off with some really good news. We did receive or about to receive the federal cares stimulus money for NKU. It's about eight
million dollars, half of which is meant to help our students in direct support. This is really good news for us and we're already hard at work trying to make sure we can find ways in which we get the money directly to our students who are most in need.
These monies, these funds can be used for things like course materials, technology, housing, food, healthcare and childcare costs. And again, as I said we're going to try and make sure we get this this money out to students as soon as possible.
Our student emergency fund is doing very well as well. We now have over sixty-two thousand dollars as of this week and I continue to urge all of you to support our students through this way. Remember there is still the ten thousand dollar match for matched dollar amount available through April 30th.
The Benevolent Association Fund also raised close to ten thousand dollars and there is a match there as well, thanks to president's cabinet. Again, I'm so gratified and proud of the way our campus community has come together to support our students and each other as well as the community itself. Every little helps and we're so grateful for everything that you're doing. I know that many of you are sharing your stories of NKU Healthy At Home hashtag and NKU Zoom with us on social media. Please keep sending those stories. They really are uplifting and they are sogood for our spirit.
This past week I, was it last week, I shared about Coco and Eevee my granddog and I could see so many of you sharing your pets as well. They bring a modicum of normalcy and it's so good to have them around with us as well. I want to share a story of one of our student heroes,
Maggie Ward. Maggie is a senior Biology student at NKU and she works for Gravity Diagnostics that is now conducting work on COVID-19 testing. Her job was to run panels for infectious diseases but as you can imagine, her workload has increased tremendously these past few weeks. She's really doing some important work of testing samples to detect the COVID-19 virus.
You can read more about Maggie's work. Go to https://inside.nku.edu/nkumagazine/2020/April/maggieward.html Again, thank you, Maggie for what you're doing.
And, we're so proud of our students who are making such important contributions. This coming Tuesday, April 21st at 9 a.m., I will be having my virtual spring forum. Again, we won't be assembling in the ballroom as we've customarily done, but I hope you'll join me so that I can share some of the insights and updates as well as start reflecting on our future and what we have to do in order to prepare for it. Once again, the virtual spring forum will be this Tuesday, April 21st at 9 a.m. More information about the zoom link will be sent out on Monday.
Speaking of virtual events, I was really pleased to announce this past week that we will have a May 2020 virtual commencement for our graduates. Again, while it's not quite the same thing as getting everybody together and celebrating in-person, it is one other way we are making sure that we celebrate the hard work of our May 2020 graduates. This is certainly not what they had envisioned in terms of completing their college journey, but we wanted to show at least some way in which we could demonstrate our appreciation for them. So, please join me on Saturday May 9th for that commencement. It will begin at 11 a.m. and will last approximately 1 hour. Again, more information will be available pretty soon.
This is just another reminder that please keep safe and healthy throughout your time in the coming weeks. This is such an important time for us, but I have been so proud of the resilience in connection we have demonstrated. I would urge you to please take care of yourselves in your health both physical and mental during this time. We're having some important conversations very soon about the kinds of scenarios we should be looking at to open the campus in the fall and we're looking to some good guidance from not only within the campus but also the community and I'll keep you posted on those as well. We're looking forward to seeing everybody back, but we want to do it in a responsible safe way. Keeping the health and safety of our students faculty and staff and the community in mind.
And on that note, let me wish you a good safe healthy weekend and I look forward to seeing you again.