President’s Corner: Celebrating the Salve advantage
Being new to Salve Regina has given me a perspective on our University that some others may not have because I’m fresh out of other environments. This is my eighth institution, and I’ve worked at large public campuses and mid-size private institutions, in urban settings and remote rural towns. In a crisis like we’ve been facing, our Salve advantage feels more pronounced than ever.
We are best suited to navigate the perfect storm that we are facing because of our size, our location and, most importantly, because of our mission. Throughout this crisis, I have never been so grateful to be at a small institution that prides itself on personal attention for every student. Translating coursework to remote learning mid-stream is no easy feat for any faculty, but because all of our classes are small, our faculty were able to connect with each student personally. Our student affairs and mission integration teams also quickly developed online programs so that our students could stay engaged daily with the Salve Regina community. Size made a big difference here.
Our location in Newport, Rhode Island, also has served us well. Governor Raimondo has done a great job protecting Rhode Islanders, and although we look on the losses in Rhode Island due to COVID-19 with deep sadness, we know that cases in Newport County remain relatively low. Like all of us, I watch those numbers carefully every day, and feel blessed to be located on a literal island.
But our top advantage at Salve Regina has been our mission. I am in close touch with many other colleagues at different kinds of institutions, where there is great unrest and, in some cases, deep mistrust within their communities during this crisis. Because of the bonds we have built with one another and because we are wired to serve others, Salve Regina has kept front and center what is most important. We have responded to this crisis by generously supporting each other’s needs and spirits.
In the Salve Cares effort, the exchanges between our faculty/staff callers and our students were deeply moving, providing comfort for both groups. At no other institution have I seen the plethora of videos from students – sending love back to their faculty, coaches, fellow students and mentors. It is truly amazing. And through it all, Salve Regina keeps serving our community in every way possible – our local partners in Newport, and in the hometowns of our students and alumni, never losing sight of those most in need.
There is something deeply special about Salve Regina, and this uniqueness has been brought to the forefront in this crisis. As Catherine McAuley has said, “We should be shining lamps, giving light to all around us.”
You are shining bright, Salve!!
I’m so very proud and grateful to be a member of this community. #Salvesgotthis
Check out stories every Tuesday that showcase the world of academics at Salve Regina and how faculty, programs and students are innovating with remote living and learning during Virtual Salve. #academictuesdays #salvesgotthis