Pelton plans for college to be open in the fall


Andrew Brinker

A view of Emerson’s campus buildings from the Boylston St. sidewalk.

By Belen Dumont, News Editor

The college currently plans to resume classes on campus this upcoming semester, President M. Lee Pelton wrote in a community-wide email Friday evening. 

“The college is evaluating a multitude of possibilities across the academic and student life experience, including options for course offerings, scheduling, and delivery, as well as housing options for the Fall 2020 term and beyond,” Pelton wrote. “We know that our students and families want and need answers soon, and, as such, resolving this issue is among our highest priorities.”

This announcement comes as the total of COVID-19 cases in the state has reached 34,402 with 1404 deaths and a total of 148,744 conducted tests. Suffolk County currently has 7,272 confirmed cases.  

The college will reconstruct the President’s Council as the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Leadership Working Group, which will include Shari Stier, senior associate vice president and chief Human Resources officer, according to the email.

The new working group will first decide on the teaching and learning structure for the upcoming fall semester and assess the impacts on the following spring and summer terms, including the Global Pathways programs, Pelton wrote in the email. The group then plans to evaluate the current and future financial impact the coronavirus has on Emerson. 

“Our work will be humane, data-driven, and inclusive of student, faculty, and staff input,” Pelton wrote. 

A smaller group of the Leadership Team will be dedicated to the operating budgets that relate to student and residential life, teaching and learning, and staff. According to the email, the group will consist of Pelton, Office of the President Director Anne Shaughnessy, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Michaele Whelan, Vice President for Administration and Finance Paul Dworkis, Vice President of Enrollment Ruthanne Madsen, Vice President and Dean of Campus Life James Hoppe, and Stier. A Trustee COVID-19 ad hoc committee, established by the Board of Trustees, will oversee the Leadership Team, which will provide regular updates to the Emerson community.