CofC announces virtual Town Halls, focus groups, planning for fall semester

Charleston County News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – College of Charleston (CofC) president, Andrew T. Hsu sent a letter to the campus community on Friday, explaining how the college is moving forward in hopes of reopening for the fall semester.

In the letter, Hsu said that he would like for in-person classes to be held on campus in the fall, though he understands that the decision is contingent upon many variables.

To achieve that, 10 focus groups are “conducting research, modeling various scenarios, and making contingency plans for a wide range of possibilities in the fall.” The groups have been asked to submit written recommendations to Hsu by June 15.

As listed in the letter, the groups include:

  • Fall 2020 Academic Schedule/Calendar Workgroup (point of contact: Fran Welch) – purpose: to consider alterations needed/required to the semester calendar/schedule as well as any changes that may be needed for the classroom environment.
  • Spring 2020 Residential Move-out Workgroup (point of contact: Amy Orr/Melantha Ardrey) – purpose: to coordinate and facilitate the move-out of the approximately 600 students who still have belongings in the residence halls/historic houses.
  • Employees Returning to Work/Campus Workgroup(point of contact: Ed Pope) – purpose: to prepare campus for the eventual return of employees. Please note that some employees may be able to return to campus before June 15, 2020.
  • Alternative Commencement Workgroup (point of contact: Devon Hanahan and Jonathan Ray) – purpose: plan for an alternative Class of 2020 commencement.
  • Fall 2020 Residential Experience Workgroup (point of contact: Alicia Caudill) – purpose: consider alternatives and adjustments needed to safeguard the residential community.
  • CARES Act Workgroup (point of contact: Robert Kersey) – purpose: to formulate procedures and protocols for the use of the student emergency funds from the CARES Act.
  • Student Engagement/Experience Workgroup (point of contact: Alicia Caudill) – purpose: to consider student life initiatives to keep overall student population engaged in the campus experience.
  • Student Health Services Workgroup (point of contact: Bridget McLernon-Sykes) – purpose: to consider medical/health initiatives necessary to protect the health and safety of our campus population, especially with the possible resumption of classes in fall.
  • Facilities Maintenance/Custodial Workgroup (point of contact: John Morris) – purpose: to consider deep-cleaning protocols, general campus hygiene protocols and other issues involving facilities maintenance and custodial work.
  • IT/Technology Needs Workgroup (point of contact: Mark Staples) – purpose: to consider technology interventions and other IT needs to assist students, faculty and staff returning to campus or working/learning remotely

Additionally, Hsu is assembling an oversight committee, “which will be made up of student leaders, faculty leaders, staff leaders, and senior team members.” Hsu is also asking students to share any thoughts they may have via email to

Faculty, staff, students, and parents with questions or concerns can tune in to virtual Town Halls being held next week. Hsu and his senior leadership team will be answering questions and discussing plans related to preparing for the upcoming academic year.

Faculty and staff can watch at this link on Tuesday from 4:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.

Students and parents can watch at this link on Tuesday from 5:00 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.

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