DATE: April 6, 2020 at 4:05 pm
TO: Faculty and Staff

FROM: Dr. Richard Nelson, President


I hope everyone is healthy and happy and adjusting as well as possible to our new work and family routines. Although the Governor’s “Safer at Home” Order is set to expire on April 24, the WI Department of Health Services’ projection model says the statewide peak of COVID-19 infections will occur sometime between April 23 and May 23.[] so we could be at this a while longer.

Thankfully, the number of cases in the Northwoods remains low, and if we all take care to follow the Safer at Home guidelines [] we have a chance to keep it that way.

(Apologies to Monty Python’s Flying Circus fans everywhere) - And now, for something completely different: Good news!

- Our faculty, instructional design, and student success teams have made this transition better and faster than any college I know. Students continue to receive quality instruction and personalized support, and nearly all will have the opportunity to finish this term if their other life obligations permit.

- The IT team, given the responsibility of keeping faculty, staff and students all connected, is finding solutions to every imaginable hardware and connectivity issue. Good planning + great execution = a big win for all of us. Shannon Beth, whose new title should be Chief Air Traffic Controller, deserves high-fives from all of us, were it allowed.

- Knowing that the pandemic would hurt many students financially, The Nicolet College Foundation, led by Heather Schallock and Foundation Board Chair Sally Mode, quickly launched a Student Emergency Assistance Fund. Generous donors have already given $15,163, and along with our great friends in the Juday family, at least a dozen students have already been helped.

- It goes without saying, but our great Facilities crew is exceeding expectations. They’re keeping everything together on campus, making progress on scheduled improvement projects, and doing it all safely (and without a morning break at Bytes!).

- The GRID (Guiding Rural Innovation and Development), a brand new initiative of Nicolet College and several valued regional partners, really put it in Overdrive when the pandemic hit. With Toni Van Doren taking the lead, the GRID now has a Facebook group called Remote Working 101, a Resources for Small Businesses web page, and two promising grants in the works.

I know you take pride in your work, but it has never been so visible to all.

One last thing for the political types among us - Take a break from our own state primary mess and the garbled messages coming out of DC to see how a real pro operates. On Sunday evening, Queen Elizabeth II gave a televised address to Britain and the Commonwealth. Other than her annual Christmas messages, this was only her fifth such address in her 68-year reign as Queen. If you’ll permit me a brief opine, she did more good in just over four minutes than most of today’s hyper-partisan politicians will ever do in their lifetimes, individually or together. See it here:

Be well. If you need something, please ask. We’ll do our best to help out.