Presented by Indiana University South Bend

The COVID-19 pandemic provides us with an important opportunity for higher education leaders to reflect on nearly every aspect of our missions. As we reflect on this past year, we are proud that we have persevered through the challenges, with minimal setbacks, and are emerging well positioned to strongly into a post-COVID world. As a regional public university, our mission to serve our region, in particular in such dire times, is essential. While our enrollments suffered, they did so minimally, down only around 5% from last year, compared to many institutions across the country who suffered greater losses. COVID-19 infection rates among our members of our campus community were astonishingly low relative to our surrounding communities and COVID-19 spread in on-campus work and learning spaces was virtually non-existent and was minimal in our residence halls. We believe a focus on our regional mission, a collaborative approach, affiliation with a larger university, and strong communication approaches allowed us to manage well through this crisis. In this session, we will describe what we learned about our strengths that allowed us to maintain safety while continuing to meet our regional educational access mission.