August 25th, 2020
Garrett College welcomes back faculty
Key components of 'Laker Strong' plan shared in All-College Forum
Garrett College faculty returned to campus Monday to prepare for the 2020-21 academic year, with GC's administration outlining the Laker Strong plan aimed at mitigating COVID-19 challenges.
"This promises to be an academic year like no other," said Dr. Richard Midcap, Garrett College's president, during an All-College Forum held via Zoom. "We're starting what is going to be an arduous year filled with uncertainty – and I'm sure at least a little bit of trepidation.
"Even so, I want to emphasize that our mission is unchanged," continued Dr. Midcap. "We strive to provide a quality, comprehensive educational experience in a supportive environment to a diverse student population.
"Our challenge is to fulfill that mission while addressing this ongoing pandemic – and I'm confident we will be up to that challenge," he concluded.
The "Laker Strong" plan includes adjustments to how classes will be offered, how college workspaces are configured, required COVID trainings for employees and students, and health-and-safety strategies being deployed by GC. It also includes sub-plans dealing with custodial services, residential life, dining, and athletics.
Dr. Midcap also announced an agreement with Garrett Regional Medical Center and Mt. Laurel Medical Center to create both physical and virtual health clinics for GC students.
"We are so fortunate to have organizations like Garrett Regional Medical Center and Mt. Laurel Medical Center that are committed to collaborative partnerships that support the health and welfare of all our residents," said Dr. Midcap. "I especially want to thank GRMC CEO Mark Boucot and Senior Vice President Kendra Thayer, and Mountain Laurel CEO Brian Bailey for their inspirational leadership in this venture."
Dr. Midcap noted that the "Laker Strong" plan includes recommendations provided by the Garrett County Health Department, which reviewed the initial plan draft.
"Bob Stephens and his staff at the Garrett County Health Department have been phenomenal," said Dr. Midcap. "I appreciate their commitment to working with the College to ensure we can do as much as possible to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on our campus and among our employees, students, and visitors."
Dr. Midcap also discussed Garrett College's new FY2021-25 Strategic Plan, which took effect July 1. He said the plan spans five years at the request of the Garrett County Commissioners so that the county's leadership can work College priorities into the county's overall plan.
Notes: Garrett College will host the Community Education and Performing Arts Center groundbreaking this Friday, August 28th at 9 a.m. Due to COVID, the College has had to limit the live groundbreaking to 48 individuals, but a live-steam option will also be available at www.garrettcollege.edu/cepac.
The CEPAC groundbreaking is part of a series of events at GC, Frostburg State University and Allegany College of Maryland that will all take place Friday, including FSU's dedication of its new education building and ACM's update on its on-campus training center.