Maggio: We are all in this together.

· · Maggio: We are all in this together.

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students:

Everyone associated with Northwestern should take pride in the efforts and progress that have been so evident in the university’s plans and preparations for the Fall 2020 semester.

We appreciate our new and returning students whose confidence in the school is reflected in their decision to enroll this fall in a time of unprecedented complexity and uncertainty.

Northwestern’s accomplished and highly-respected faculty and staff members have worked tirelessly over the past few months to fortify the trust of current and future students in the university’s commitment to offer extraordinary academic and experiential opportunities.

Alumni and other university partners and stakeholders have provided extensive financial assistance and other support to help meet the unique needs of students and the school during this most challenging moment in its history.

At the risk of considerable repetition and an overload of information, it is still important to emphasize that Northwestern has substantially modified academic programs, facilities, services and resources to enhance the health and safety of students, faculty, staff and the public.

Academic programs have been redesigned and refined to assure the highest quality in-person classes, online delivery of courses and a hybrid combination of person-to-person and virtual studies.  Technology equipment and resources have been updated and expanded to provide increased academic quality and flexibility.

With the guidance of national, state, and local health officials, Northwestern has established procedures for social distancing, mask requirements, disinfection of classrooms and other facilities, frequent hand washing and sanitation protocols.  Extensive signage will help assure safe traffic flow in buildings and elimination of congestion in common areas.  The university has acquired hand washing stations, hand sanitizer dispensers, plexiglass safety shields for offices and classrooms and other supplies and equipment to help provide a safe, healthy environment on our campuses and instructional sites.

It is imperative for students to join us as they arrive on campuses in the next week or so in complying with health and safety guidelines, and we are confident that they will.  The new national mantra seems to be “We are all in this together,” and we must indeed be united in our efforts to keep our university safe for ourselves and others.

All university facilities and services including residence halls, food services, the library, bookstore, counseling center, computer labs and other resources will be open and available to students when they return to campus this month.

The Return to Campus plan,, on the university website includes in-depth information on classes, the fall calendar, health and safety procedures, housing and dining services, frequently asked questions and other aspects of university life.  It is being continually updated and includes contacts to obtain specific information and guidance in enrolling and preparing for the fall semester.

As we begin a new academic year, we should all embrace the concept of making Northwestern a more diverse and welcoming place for students, personnel, and visitors.  As a major step toward that goal, we have appointed Dr. Michael Snowden as the university’s new Vice-President for Diversity and Inclusion.  He has more than 20 years of experience in addressing diversity issues in higher education, and we are honored that he is joining us and will be at the forefront of Northwestern’s efforts to create and maintain a more diverse, inclusive climate.

We are here if you need us to assist you in any way, and we look forward to having students, faculty, and staff back on campus soon.  Working together, we will have the safe, successful, rewarding, and enjoyable experiences this fall that you desire and anticipate.

See you soon.

Dr. Chris Maggio



About the Author:

Leah Jackson is Northwestern State University's Director of Public Information and Media Relations. She is a 1994 and 2011 graduate of NSU and has been on staff since 2004.