IUP Family:

I hope that you and your loved ones continue to be safe and well.

Yesterday, a video message from University Planning Council cochairs Scott Moore and Paula Stossel updated us on the work of the UPC, which will lead to the development of a Strategic Plan designed to guide our path through 2025.

In the midst of responding to critical and immediate needs caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the now cannot be our only focus.

Times are tough and sometimes frightening, and the IUP family has stepped up in every possible way to help. That assistance and support remains incredibly important, but we cannot allow ourselves to become stuck in response mode. We must continue to plan for our future, including looking forward to welcoming the class of 2024 and welcoming back our ongoing students.

Outreach to prospective and continuing students goes on, and the responses have been positive and strong:

  • The first Destination IUP event was held Monday, welcoming 122 admitted students and their families to an online program on student life, orientation, housing, study abroad, and perspectives from current students about what it's like to be a Crimson Hawk. Because of the interest shown by students and families during this event, the Office of Admissions is planning a question and answer session to address these top-of-mind topics.

  • Traditional daytime visits are now offered online, complete with a personal message from admissions counselors.

  • Financial aid staff members are providing counseling and answering questions from students and families via Zoom.

  • A total of 90 prospective students attended the first-ever Graduate Admissions Virtual Open House last week, more than three times the number of a traditional open house event.

  • A number of new stops have been added to the campus virtual tour, to allow interested students and families a chance to get to know IUP from the safety of their home computers.

On Friday, we announced an innovative collaboration with Indiana Regional Medical Center to provide local, same-day testing for COVID-19. While this fulfills a critical immediate need to advance the health of our community, it can also open new doors for future collaboration.

Our Emergency Response Fund, which helps students in financial distress caused by the pandemic, continues to grow: more than $181,000 has been given by 336 donors, and more than 130 students have received assistance through the fund so far. But, there is significant additional need. Without this resource, many of our students will not be able to continue with their studies.

The Student Support and Engagement Team has provided support to more than 860 students since the announcement of distance learning; virtual events to maintain connections continue almost daily. This support can make all the difference in the world to a student who is unsure about completing their studies.

While no one can predict the future, including how instruction for the fall 2020 semester may be delivered or where employees may be doing their work, I ask that you keep the faith. Our work—your work—is critical now and for the future.

Thank you for all that you are doing.

Michael A. Driscoll