A Message from the Chair of Albright’s Board of Trustees – Albright College

A Message from the Chair of Albright’s Board of Trustees

Dear Albright College Community,

I hope that you are all doing well and staying healthy during this challenging time. I have felt much pride for my alma mater in seeing how the Albright community has responded to the current pandemic situation. Albright College was, is and always will be a strong community.

Sometimes, however, we are faced with unforeseen circumstances, and today I write to you with one of those circumstances. Beginning Thursday, April 16, President Jacque Fetrow, Ph.D., will begin a medical leave of absence, which we anticipate will be for approximately eight weeks. President Fetrow has learned of a medical condition that requires immediate surgery and from which it will take some time to heal.  While she has been transparent in her leadership style and approach, I ask that you kindly respect her privacy during this time, as her healing and health are our primary concerns.

am confident that with a full complement of qualified, capable Cabinet leaders – a team that President Fetrow has led and developed during her tenure aAlbright College – the day-to-day operations of the college will be in good hands. Last evening, the Board of Trustees met and named Karen Campbell, Ph.D., provost and senior vice president of academic affairs, aacting president during this eight-week period.

In keeping with the announcement made earlier this year about the organizational leadership and structure changes, which resulted in the promotions of Dr. Campbell and Dr. Samantha Wesner, chief health officer, to senior vice presidents, this duo of leaders will continue to serve as facilitators for the Cabinet, manage profit and loss, lead institutional process efficiency and effectiveness, and be responsible for the implementation and execution of the college’s strategic plan.

The focus of the college for the next several weeks continues to be navigating the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Albright’s Cabinet, working in partnership with the college’s Pandemic Planning Task Force, formed more than a decade ago to combat avian and swine flu, continues to meet regularly to develop short- and long-term contingency plans based on regularly updated recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and PA Department of Health. The response from the entire campus has been swift and has demonstrated the spirit and resiliency for which our faculty, staff, and students are well known. And I am deeply grateful to the essential personnel who have continued to work on campus in support of our students.

Additionally, in late March, a group of board members formed a short-term task force to assist the Cabinet in addressing issues related to the pandemic. This task force, which meets weekly with the Cabinet, provides expertise, generative thinking and advice regarding challenges brought upon the college by the COVID-19 outbreak. As this situation continues to evolve, many items remain fluid and demand that we consider multiple elements in Albright’s response. This work is being exercised in the context of unprecedented uncertainty and the lack of any reliable guidance from analogies or patterns from our past. I thank the board members who have stepped up to help the college navigate this challenge.

I believe with the combination of Dr. Campbell’s appointment, reliance on the leadership of our talented Cabinet, support from the board pandemic task force, and the resiliency of all Albright Lions, that we will get through these difficult times together. And I am confident that when President Fetrow resumes her role and responsibilities and the world begins to return to some semblance of normalcy, we will be an even stronger community of Albrightians.

I remain open to your questions and in listening to your concerns. Please feel free to reach me arscheese@albright.edu.

Please join me in keeping President Jacque Fetrow and her husband, Brian Kell, in your thoughts and prayers, and in wishing her good health and a quick return to her role as president of Albright College.

Warmest regards,

Ron Scheese ’83

Chair, Board of Trustees