Campus Updates and Plans for Shared Governance Meetings
Dear Bowie State University Campus Community,
Thank you for your continued cooperation and patience during this time of transition and change following our spring break. I can appreciate the many feelings you must be experiencing as our campus, our nation and the world is responding to the ongoing concern and impact of COVID-19 to our communities.
We have had to make some tough decisions in the last few weeks including: the cancelation of our commencement ceremony and all events taking place on the campus, transitioning employees to telework, and the transition to a remote learning model for all classes. I want to express to every member of our campus community my deepest appreciation and support.
Many updates on the rapidly evolving conditions and responses were sent to the campus community by university email, and subsequently posted to the BSU COVID-19 webpage. I encourage you to review the information provided since January to keep you abreast of the latest information on the virus and the latest CDC recommendations to ensure your safety.
I want to ensure the campus community as we transition to a remote and virtual campus community for the remainder of this semester, the administration will continue to provide you with as much information to ensure the successful completion of our spring semester.
In addition to forwarding written information via emails and providing you with access to notices via our website, we encourage members of our community to participate in the monthly meeting of your appropriate shared governance group. Each member of our campus has unique talents and perspectives that are essential to enriching our campus community. The shared governance groups provide the means for students, faculty and staff to share information and provide input toward important decisions as we move ahead with completion of this academic year.
During this week, I will be meeting with each of the shared governance groups to provide an update on the campus response and to address questions that have emerged during the transition to remote learning and operations.
The Student Government Association will be hosting a town hall meeting today at 3:00 p.m. You can access it via the zoom app at this link: https://zoom.us/j/549299376. Access Code: 549 299 376. The session will also be live streamed on the SGA Instagram account at the following handle: @bsu_sga.
There are three primary topics for discussion on the agenda including:
- Commencement Ceremony and the celebration of the May graduating class
- Wi-Fi Access
- Pass/Fail Grading System Option for the Spring Semester
Faculty Senate will convene virtually on Thursday, March 26 at 3:00 p.m. via Microsoft Teams. The Faculty Senate will be sending out additional information to the faculty regarding the registration for that meeting, along with an agenda.
The Staff Council will conduct a virtual meeting on Friday, March 27 at 3:00 p.m. via Microsoft Teams. The Council leadership will send instructions on accessing the meeting. Among the topics:
- COVID-19 Update for staff
- Q&A with President Breaux and Cabinet
The majority of the time we will spend during the virtual shared governance group meetings will be dedicated to COVID-19 related topics. Therefore, I have provided here just some of the general university updates since we adjourned for spring break:
- We’ve started the review of the Master Planning process to align the use of campus facilities with strategic goals. Input from the campus community is important and virtual focus groups will be convened in the near future.
- The Entrepreneurship Living Learning Community is on track for completion for fall 2021, and the work is continuing on site. We thank the development team working on the project, Balfour Beatty and Smoot Construction for their continued work and efforts.
The 2020 legislative session ended on March 18, almost three weeks early, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is a quick overview of legislative actions that impact BSU. A more complete report will be shared by Legal & Government Affairs.
- The Governor proposed, and the General Assembly approved, state support for the USM totaling $1.581 billion. The General Assembly also approved a $5 million cut to the USM.
- $6.1M was approved to complete the design of the Communication Arts and Humanities Building.
- Pedestrian and Vehicular improvements: $150k will be provided for construction related to the MARC line station.
- House Bill 1260 – Senate Bill 1043 - Historically Black Colleges and Universities – Funding has passed. This bill, introduced by Speaker of the House Adrienne Jones, provides additional funding for Maryland’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the amount of $577 million over the next ten years.
- House Bill 917 created in memory of 2LT Richard Collins III has passed and strengthens hate crime law in Maryland.
- $50,000 for the Goodloe House has passed as a bond bill for repairs on this historic property located across from the main campus.
Please continue to follow the BSYou weekly newsletter for more information on university-wide highlights and initiatives.
Additionally, during this time of change please be aware that Counseling Services will provide telephonic services in the following circumstances:
- For current clients of Counseling Services who are experiencing symptoms or diagnosed with COVID-19, quarantined or otherwise unable to attend counseling.
- New requests from students seeking services will be provided brief, solution-focused telephone consultations, case management, or referral until in-person sessions resume and a full assessment can be completed.
To access services in non-urgent situations, students should email: firstname.lastname@example.org through secure mail or leave a message on 301-860-4164 during 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Your call will be returned within 24 hours.
Again, I thank the campus community for what you are doing to support your campus community; and, I will look forward to speaking with each of you at one of the upcoming virtual town halls.
Continue to follow safety precautions and stay up to date with all of the COVID-19 developments by regularly checking our Coronavirus Updates webpage.
With much appreciation,
Aminta H. Breaux