November 18, 2020
Dear Members of the Iliff Community:
While the nation’s leading infectious disease experts are cautiously optimistic that an effective vaccine for the COVID-19 virus will likely be identified in the next few months, we need to remain vigilant in preventing its spread.
In Colorado, data from the Department of Public Health and Environment has indicated a worrying trend that our COVID-19 positivity rate continues to increase. The department also reported that the state hit a record high last week as hospitalizations for the novel coronavirus also continued to climb. With the Thanksgiving holidays approaching, Governor Jared Polis and Mayor Michael Hancock have also announced tougher restrictions on businesses and residents. Similar trends are being reported in most states across the nation.
Our goal is to give priority to the health and well-being of our community. Recognizing the current increase in risk, the Pandemic Planning Committee in consultation with the Senior Leadership team have decided that all classes for the spring quarter be conducted 100% online and that commencement be held virtually.
We are pleased to report that our decision has the support of the United Methodist Church and its University Senate has authorized online learning for United Methodist students through spring 2021.
We are grateful that a vaccine is likely to be available to the general public sometime this spring. But the timing of its accessibility and the public’s acceptance of it remains unclear. These variables do not provide a sufficient window of time for us to implement a safe return to campus by Spring Term.
We continue to monitor the latest developments and follow guidance from WHO, CDC, OSHA, Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, Colorado Department of Higher Education, State of Colorado, and the City and County of Denver.
Thank you for your generous and agile spirits as we continue to be Iliff during these challenging times.
Thomas V. Wolfe
President and CEO
Iliff School of Theology