President/Superintendent's Blog

CR's September 10, 2021 Times Standard Article

Published on 9/8/2021.

We are three weeks into a fall semester that has been like no other. Throughout all of our planning for this academic year, we had hoped that the announcement by Governor Newsom on June 15 fully reopening of the state would put us on the road to normalcy. We knew that a full CR college experience meant being together face-to-face with instructors and other students and we understood how online instruction had left many of our most vulnerable students without access to our curriculum. Consequently, we had planned a fall course schedule that was heavily weighted toward face-to-face classes.

However, the surge of the COVID-19 delta variant that was on the verge of overwhelming our healthcare system compelled us to change course. We reevaluated our Fall Semester class schedule late into the summer and worked with faculty to convert some face-to-face classes to virtual. Additionally, despite the different ways we encouraged our employees and students to get vaccinated, the vaccinations rates did not increase across our service area despite the science underlying the vaccines. This led us to require all employees to show proof of vaccination by October 15, 2021. Additionally, all students who intend to attend face-to-face classes or access in-person services in the Spring Semester will also be required to prove that they have been fully vaccinated before coming to campus.

I know that the vaccination mandates are not popular in certain segments of our community, given the political and social rhetoric and the disinformation surrounding vaccinations. I am aware that there are some people in our community who view the mandates as an infringement on freedoms, liberties and freedom of choice.  However, as a higher education institution committed to leadership and to providing a safe and healthy learning environment, I sincerely believe that it was our responsibility to implement these mandates. Students who decide not to get vaccinated will still have access to our curriculum via our online offerings. As with any vaccine mandate, we will allow exceptions for medical reasons, disability, or sincerely held religious beliefs. 

Despite these precautions, the vaccine resistant mutations of the COVID-19 virus that are spreading worldwide and in California are very concerning and something we are watching very closely. We know that limiting the spread of the virus through maintaining established COVID-19 safeguards (mask wearing, physical distancing, practicing hand hygiene and getting vaccinated) gives the virus fewer chances to mutate. It also reduces the spread of more infectious variants, if they do occur.

These are extraordinary times for all of us.  If there is one thing we’ve learned over the past several months, it is that we must be flexible and nimble as we navigate the evolving pandemic. I will continue to consult with our state and local health experts. I will also continue to seek advice from the College’s faculty, staff and students on how we should move forward.

We have all made sacrifices over the past months, and I expect we will continue to do so in the near future. However, I am confident in our faculty and staff and their ability to provide the best possible educational experience for our students, and our combined to ability handle whatever challenges await us in the future. After all, as Mr. Spock famously stated in the movie The Wrath of Khan, “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”  Happy belated Star Trek Day.


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CR President


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