Letter from the Interim President: Phased Re-opening

Article by: Lori Artis,

Letter from the Interim President, 5/14/20

Dear Campus Community,

By now you have most likely heard that the Madison County Board of Health voted to allow businesses to reopen this week. There are also efforts by area legislators to advance our region to Stage 3 of the governor’s Restore Illinois plan as early as tomorrow. Additionally, the Illinois Community College Board also continues to lobby the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Governor to allow community colleges to resume some limited face to face instruction in groups of 10 or fewer with proper safety measures in our Career and Technical Education areas.

All of these movements have brought about a number of questions related to when will Lewis and Clark reopen. At this time, we do not intend to change our current operations. We continue to monitor and assess the situation daily, and are in the process of working with a committee to develop our own phased approach to re-opening. Our priorities at this time remain getting our CTE students’ spring semester requirements completed. As soon as we have permission from the Governor, ICCB, and our accrediting agencies, we will make it a priority to safely return these students and faculty to campus to complete their spring 2020 course requirements.

If you are familiar with the Restore Illinois Plan, you will note that schools cannot reopen until our healthcare region reaches Phase 4. We are currently in Phase 2, and at this time the earliest we will enter Phase 3 is May 30. Please be assured that Lewis and Clark will continue its current operations we have had in place since the stay-at-home order went into effect until a time when the stay-at-home order has been lifted, buildings have been completely cleaned, and all safety testing is completed providing an all-clear. Our phased approach to reopening will not find everyone back on campus immediately. Rather, we will most likely begin rotating essential personnel back to campus when it is safe to do so, and will be looking at a rotational schedule of people on campus that will allow us to minimize the number of people on campus at any given time. As you know, the college announced it plans to remain online with all summer classes. We are still uncertain what the Fall semester might bring, but we continue planning for all possible scenarios. We encourage everyone to please continue following CDC guidelines during this time – practice social distancing, wash hands, wear a face mask, and stay home. We know there are more questions than answers right now, and we will do our best to keep everyone informed of the planning for a re-opening once it is finalized. Thank you all for your patience during this time.


Dr. Lori Artis
Interim President

Brett Reinert
Assistant Interim President