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Chestnut Hill College students will be returning to campus this Fall. Click here for more information on the re-opening plan for Fall 2020.

COVID-19 Task Force Structure

COVID-19 Task Force Structure

In late Spring 2020 it became clear that Chestnut Hill College needed a dedicated task force in order to create plans, procedures, and policies for a safe re-opening.  The COVID-19 Task Force was appointed by the President and co-chaired by Krista Bailey Murphy, Ph.D., Dean of Student Life, and Michael Reig, JD, Registrar.  The task force was intentionally inclusive of different cross sections of campus and designed to capitalize upon expertise from the appropriate faculty and staff.  The full Task Force met twice a week and utilized Microsoft Teams for sharing of documents, best practices, and data needed to make decisions. The Task Force reported to the President and the College’s Vice Presidents and was further organized into four sub-committees as depicted below: 


The sub-committees were chaired by faculty and staff from across campus.  Specifically, the chairs were: 

  • Academic Programs & Planning: BJ Cunningham, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Graduate Studies 

  • Health & Safety: Kenneth Soprano, Ph.D., Professor of Biology 

  • Student Engagement & Success: Nancy Dachille, M.Ed., Director of Career Development and April Fowlkes, M.S., Director of Admissions Accelerated Adult Degree Program 

  • Technology: Lisa Olivieri, SSJ, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Computer Science and Technology  

The four sub-committees were assigned very specific tasks in order to accomplish their work.  These tasks are listed below: 

Academic Programs and Planning Sub-Committee 

  • Investigate solutions for alternate instructional delivery including but not limited to alternating on-site and online program delivery, fully online program delivery, and hybrid program delivery. 

  • In light of the unpredictability of the COVID-19 virus, propose various scenarios for the Fall semester; for example, traditional 15 weeks; 13 weeks ending at Thanksgiving; 10 weeks; 8 weeks and any variations in between. We are open to the best thinking of the committee. With the various scenarios, propose the optimal approach to teaching and learning, for example, fully on-site, combination of on-site and online, etc. With a mandate to distance socially, classroom space will be severely reduced. What creative recommendations can you offer for teaching and learning under these circumstances? Without reducing class size, is it possible to offer every student a face-to-face classroom experience? For example, might half the students be in the classroom on Monday, while the others attend the class from their residence hall/home; while, at the next class meeting, the two groups exchange places? 

  • Investigate various scenarios for program delivery in Spring 2021 in the event that we experience risks reacted to COVID-19 at that time, this includes being creative with the length of the semester and the delivery of courses. 

  • Consider classes of varying sizes to reinforce social distancing and the procedures governing on-campus program delivery coordinated to accommodate the needs of all students. 

  • Review the fall semester schedules for maximum efficiency in program delivery that both reduces the amount of overall contact time for students and offers potential budgetary savings, if we observe declines in enrollment. Make recommendations pertaining to capstone and internship experiences if we are not on campus as well as if we are taking social distancing into consideration. 

  • Take into consideration options for faculty who are at risk and may not be able to teach on campus. What innovative means might we devise to make the necessary accommodations. 

  • Anticipate and identify changes, revisions, and opportunities for licensure in professionally accredited programs in areas like behavioral health and education. 

  • Make written recommendations on behalf of the sub-committee to Task Force. 

  • Take minutes of all meetings and publish them to the President, the Vice Presidents, and the Task Force.  

Health and Safety Sub-Committee  

  • Become familiar with CDC, NCAA, state, and federal guidelines for return to work and safety on College Campuses and use them to shape College protocols.  

  • Advise on-campus health and sanitation, including classrooms, employee workspaces, residence halls, and common-use facilities (e.g., restrooms and eateries). 

  • Facilitate cooperation in developing and carrying out measures to improve the safety of workers. 

  • Help develop health and safety standards in accordance with CDC guidelines, rules and procedures as well as newly introduced best practices. 

  • Review employee concerns regarding safety and health hazards relating to COVID-19. 

  • Make written recommendations on behalf of sub-committee to Task Force. 

  • Take minutes of all meetings and publish them to President, Vice Presidents, and Task Force.   

Student Engagement and Success Sub-Committee  

  •  Create a student-focused environment that enables faculty, staff, and students to provide opportunities for successful completion of academic and professional career goals. 

  • Educate college community on student engagement best-practices (virtual and face-to-face). 

  • Develop and offer initiatives that support student engagement and success, both on-site and online. 

  • Provide a plan to offer resources and support for academic success to students, faculty, and staff. 

  • Coordinate with the three admissions offices to support current and future activities to keep prospective students engaged with the College and its community. 

  • Develop an activities program for virtual participation; consider activities on campus in an environment of social distancing. 

  • Develop a safe environment for Daily Mass, Prayer Services, Retreats, etc. 

  • Make written recommendations on behalf of sub-committee to Task Force. 

  • Take minutes of all meetings and publish them to the President, the Vice Presidents, and the Task Force. 

 Technology Sub-Committee   

  • Provide awareness of academic and non-academic technology resources and services available to members of the campus community. 

  • Make recommendations regarding academic and non-academic technology policies, procedures, solutions, and decisions to include best practices for an online learning environment. 

  • Host professional development webinars for staff and faculty to improve ability to telework and deliver high-quality online, ADA-compliant, coursework. 

  • Serve as a communications channel to invite participation from all academic and non-academic technology webinars, product demos, and activities. 

  • Facilitate communications about requests and needs for campus-wide or cross-departmental contracts or purchases of technology for academic and nonacademic purposes. 

  • Share information about how technology can assist specific groups to meet academic goals. 

  • Make written recommendations on behalf of sub-committee to Task Force. 

  • Take minutes of all meetings and publish them to the President, the Vice Presidents, and the Task Force. 

Upon initial creation of an initial academic re-opening for Fall 2020, the Task Force, its respective sub-committees and additional members of the College community were reorganized into twenty-one (21) working groups organized under the appropriate Vice President.  Presented alphabetically, these working groups include: 

Alternate Funding Sources 


Classroom Technology Needs 

Course Scheduling 

COVID-19 Honor Code/Student Conduct Policies 

Daily Housekeeping/Sanitizing 

Dining Services 

Employee Return to Work 

Experiential Education 

Fall Programming 

Health & Safety Purchasing 

New Student Orientation 

Pedagogical Training 

Protocol for Suspected/Confirmed Case 

Resident Hall Opening and Safety 


Student Tech/Training/Access Needs 

Technology Training 


Video Conferencing Platform 


The working groups, full Task Force, Task Force co-chairs, Vice Presidents, and President continue to (and will continue to) meet in order to complete planning and implementation of our plans for Fall 2020 and beyond. 

Health and Safety

At the heart of all planning for a re-opening of Chestnut Hill College, the health and safety of the Chestnut Hill College community is paramount. The Health & Safety sub-committee was chaired by Dr. Kenneth Soprano, Ph.D., Professor of Biology. Dr. Soprano’s expertise includes epidemiology and virology and this knowledge was critical to the work of the sub-committee. Dr. Sallyann Bowman, Chestnut Hill College Class of 1972, retired Director of the Student Health Services at the University of Pennsylvania, and a member of the College’s Board of Directors, also shared her expertise and vast experience on this sub-committee (and the full task force). In addition to other staff members, Deirdre Horan, CRNP, Chestnut Hill College Director of Student Health Services, served on this sub-committee.

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