September 20, 2021
Welcome back to campus!
Today is the first day of campus operations following our extended closure that began with the passing of Hurricane Ida three weeks ago. I intentionally chose not to reference today’s reopening as resumption of “normal” campus operations because some parts of our campus are not completely restored, and some members of our Southeastern family continue to deal with recovery issues.
Clearly, there is no perfect time to resume operations following a catastrophic event such as a major hurricane, but it is important to resume classes as soon as possible to ensure a successful semester. I know some have been ready to return to normal classes and activities and have patiently waited for us to prepare campus for reopening. I know that others continue to face significant challenges and may be frustrated by our decision to resume operations at this time.
One of the important factors in determining the timeframe for reopening campus was restoration of facilities. With the notable exception of a small number of campus buildings, such as D Vickers Hall, we have successfully restored most campus facilities to the level necessary for safe use.
Make no mistake, there will be recovery issues that we will continue to deal with for the foreseeable future including additional repairs to facilities. More importantly, some of our Southeastern family members continue to face difficulties as they seek to recover normality in their personal lives and the ability to fully resume their roles with the University.
Our collective patience and understanding are paramount as we work through these challenges together. Like other challenges we have faced together as a University community, I know we will succeed this time as well.
I am glad to see so many faculty, staff and students back on campus today.
John L. Crain