JCCC has a new president. Dr Andrew Bowne’s first day on the job was July 1st, 2020. Starting a new job during a pandemic isn’t easy, but Dr. Bowne has taken it in stride so far.
(Bowne) “t’s just different than we expected. Right, I mean, when you when you come to a new community, you typically expect that you’re going to meet lots of people. You’re going to be in large groups, you’re going to be in small groups. You’re going to listen in different settings. They’ll be that the human touch. I think that’s probably when you meet people, right? Western custom is you’re going to shake hands. You don’t do that anymore. So, you have some of that. But we’re just we’re just having to maneuver through it differently.”
Dr Bowne and his team have one major goal for the semester.
(Bowne) “It’s about having a successful semester for students, faculty and staff and providing that best possible learning environment where students excel. That you gain the knowledge and skills that you’re expecting to gain during the semester, knowing that, you know, we’re going to be predominantly online. But then when you’re here that it’s as safe a possible environment for you, that is a reasonably safe place for you to come and learn. And for those of us who are here on campus, you’re teaching or serving in whatever capacity, that we can do that in a way that is as safe as all possible for all of us.”
Something of interest to all of us is how the reopening process is going so far.
(Bowne) “So far, so good. Our focus this summer has been on teach out. Of those classes that were hands on, lab based courses that required that face to face interaction. Our first priority has to be on getting through that. And we’re almost there. We’re like this close. We should be able to get there. But that’s been our priority all summer long.”
How long will it be until the campus is fully reopened and we can all go back to class in person like before?
(Bowne)“ mean, right. That’s the big question. And I wish I had an answer for that. But we’re actually now in conversations that our academic leadership and faculty are in conversations about what the spring look like. Right. So because the amount of time it takes to build everything behind the scenes in order for you to start registering for classes, for spring classes in the fall, we’ve got to be making decisions in August about what that looks like. At this point we’re going to continue to follow the guidance of the CDC and the governor of the Johnson County commissioners. We’ll come back to campus when it makes sense to do that. Just unfortunately, we’re not there yet. And, boy, I tell you, I wish I had that crystal ball because I know everybody wants to come back to campus when it’s safe to come back to campus. “
For The Campus Ledger, I’m Landen Fields’.