In Person and With Gratitude
Dear Kent State University Staff,
As the pandemic hit and the number of COVID-19 cases and our concern began to skyrocket, many of us stayed home. We were worried and anxious and mostly followed the requests to stay in place to help flatten the curve. Most of my work was done remotely, and I left the house only to exercise and to buy groceries.
When I did work from my campus office, it hit me: There has never been a moment since March 2020 when dedicated employees weren’t working in person at Kent State. In those dark days of uncertainty, when it was nearly impossible to obtain a test for COVID-19 and no one was talking about vaccines, frontline Kent State workers reported to work, in person and on campuses, day after day and week after week.
In August, when students moved into our residence halls, COVID-19 tests were still hard to obtain, and yet there they were: Kent State frontline employees cleaning buildings, addressing student needs of all kinds and doing the work of the university in person.
Please join me in recognizing our Golden Flash employees who were always working in person during the pandemic. That we made it to this point is a testament to your dedication, your commitment to serving others and your role in building and maintaining our wonderful community. We salute you.
As previously announced, in July we will begin welcoming back many employees to in-person work, and on Monday, Aug. 2, we will welcome all remaining Kent State staff back to in-person work. Our faculty will be back on contract as of Aug. 22. We will all get to see our colleagues in person again. During our Week of Welcome – or better put, our Week of Welcome Back – we look forward to celebrating you with a series of events to show our appreciation for your work and to facilitate our reintroduction to in-person work during this first week of August.
Impressive things happened at Kent State during the pandemic, just as great accomplishments and national recognition were happening before the pandemic hit. We are building an even stronger community and we look forward to the return of in-person work as our chance to not just survive but to thrive.
Kent State is special. We are a residential, in-person community built over the course of more than 100 years. Interacting in person – with colleagues, students and community members – is what we do. It is who we are.
I look forward to interacting with all of you as we return to our campuses, culminating in our Week of Welcome Back. We’ll celebrate you, we’ll celebrate Kent State and we’ll celebrate our wonderful community, in person, with much joy and with our gaze fixed firmly on the future – a Golden Flash future.