Bennett College is launching alternative systems to deliver classes and programs for the Fall semester. After careful research, analysis and consideration, we have made a decision to operate remotely for the Fall semester. This was a data-driven decision, but one that was guided by principles that place the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff above everything else.
We did not come to this decision lightly. The Senior Leadership Team and Board of Directors reviewed the growing body of research showing that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionately negative impact on Black women. As a Black women’s college, we could not afford to put our students at risk. We were equally concerned about faculty and staff--many who are in demographic groups that are more likely to be at risk of negative outcomes from COVID-19.
We looked at dozens of scenarios and determined that there was no way for us to bring students back to campus and keep them safe from the pandemic. When we weighed the benefits versus the costs, there was nothing that outweighed the value of the lives of members of our Bennett family.
While we were considering the ramifications of the pandemic, we never took our eyes off the long-term goals for the college and our students. We have planned a semester that promised to deliver high-quality academics, wrap-around support services, and a full array of community engagement experiences. We will miss seeing each other in person, but students won’t miss out on a high-value education.
We are choosing to look at this decision—born of necessity—as an opportunity for growth.