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Proud Past, Strong Future | Message from President Enyedi

hawkins sign

Dear Campus Community,

In writing to you this week, I want to share a vision for our future. 

Not a certain portrait, but a sketch of where we are going, how we will get there, and what we will do together.

This is a critical time for the viability and sustainability of the college, indeed for so many sectors of our economy. The actions we collectively take now and in the coming months will guide us for years ahead.

Where We Are Going
As a college, as well as a society, these ambiguous times are unsettling. I feel this myself and see it in others. You do as well.

Questions surround us: When will we be back to normal? What will it look like? How well will we be on the other side?

I can't give certain answers to these questions. No one can.

But, what we can do now is plan for the fall and beyond grounded in the reality of what is possible. This work needs to be based on data and facts, resist magical thinking, and be honest, transparent, and inclusive of all stakeholders.

I am initiating a process that will include cabinet, faculty leaders, deans and others to begin mapping our recovery planning. It will be formed into critical categories: academic continuity, student life and support, health and wellness, enrollment management, etc. We need to gather facts and details useful in developing scenarios and implications. This will build in the coming days and weeks. Stay tuned.

How We Will Get There
A historical marker stands outside Hawkins Hall. It simply states that after a 1929 fire, the hall was replaced by the present building. In between the lines is the true story of Plattsburgh's resilience. The late Dr. Doug Skopp in "Bright with Promise" gives the texture. Skopp describes the ruins of Plattsburgh Normal School and how the campus harnessed energy, spirit, and support to move forward.

That was a long time ago, but that spirit and energy is what we will harness now. Here is what we know:

— We will not be the same.
The nature of COVID-19, the need for social distancing, and the shift in how we interact are with us. So are federal, state and local budget realities that have affected us and will deepen ahead. Continuing as we have will not be possible.

— We will control our future.
The SUNY system and state government will dictate pieces for us. Federal assistance, some passed and other funding we are working toward, will assist. Even so, much remains up to us. We have the talent and ability to shape our destiny.

— We are indispensable.
The need for higher education to develop minds and prepare for careers is as important as ever. As an affordable, public institution with a history of serving first-generation students, we have and still can change the world. We matter.

What We Will Do Together
COVID-19 is an opportunity for us to reaffirm our commitment to shared governance, leverage the skill and innovation of all our employees, and to remain “student first” and steadfast toward student success. We will do this.

We can't invent the future, but we can shape it.

We can't eliminate obstacles, but we can build around them.

We can't do this alone, but we can do this together.

We are #CardinalStrong.

Dr. Alexander Enyedi

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