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April 9, 2020: Statement from Interim President Shahrabi: Coronavirus Updates

Dear RITK family,
 
Kamal again. Just wanted to check in to see how you are holding up during these challenging times. As I’m writing you from home, nothing feels normal to me and very different to the way we are used to running a university. I know you might feel that way, too.
 
I know that together, we continue to manage our lives under the new "normal" that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought us.As we begin our fourth week of alternative mode of operations, I want to thank you for your continued support and the resilience shown to fight this coronavirus crisis. Our commitment remains strong despite the all challenges we face. I will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available on how we are advancing our mission during this crisis.
 
The past few weeks have been difficult for all of you. As a campus community we have made an incredibly challenging adjustment. Our faculty and staff made a truly amazing transition to alternative mode of instruction and remote working in two days’ notice. With all of these changes, the College continues to fulfill its core academic mission at what is perhaps the most difficult period in RITK’s history. In addition, we are always heartened by RIT’s support, guidance and the resources they made available to us at these difficult and challenging times to ensure that the quality of the education we provide remains the same.
 
The RITK management team meets remotely each day to insure the continuity of all of our operations and tackle problems and issues as they arise. At these times, please do not hesitate to contact us for anything you might need support with as we remain reachable via technology at all times.
 
As nobody really knows when the pandemic measures will end, we have to be prepared for all probable possibilities moving forward. In order to mitigate the risks, we are working on many new potential policies and procedures regarding online teaching and remote working, procedures dealing with past due accounts, tuition deadline time extension, meeting the new demand for technology, answering questions, continues communication with campus community, maintaining our enrollment efforts, advising and helping students to register, and much more.
 
Much of our attention has been focused on freshman admission and the impact of the COVID-19 on our operational budget. As we discuss in our last weekly meeting we are working on contingency plan. This plan contains many variables which might cause hardship for our campus community and the university operation. Risk and uncertainty of Kosovo’s economic future, education sector closure and shift to online delivery, further restrictions that might be taken to slow the pandemic, remain unknown factors that must be put under different scenarios for our response plan as an institution.
 
At this stage, we must prepare for all prospective outcomes from these variables. This means planning how to alleviate certain risks, seize new opportunities due to societal behavioral shifts, proactively address challenges, and remain agile to adjust our operations to new realities. We will have more updates for you this Friday, and your assistance and suggestions will help us to make wise decisions in preparing contingency plans to move forward.
 
I am proud of our RITK community, who continue to advance our great mission in the face of this misfortune. I am truly grateful to the commitment, hard work, and sometimes even heroic efforts of some, as they continue to assure the highest quality care to our students and advance our education and missions. Although the sense of community is greatly shrank without our daily interactions, everyone should be proud of what we have accomplished. However, this challenging times will pass and I can’t wait to see everyone back in campus soon. My sincerest wishes to you and your families for continued safety and health. Thank you!
Stay strong, safe and healthy,


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