Office of the President

April 2, 2020 – Grateful

To: Staff and Faculty
From: President Gayle Hutchinson

I want to take a moment as our emergency efforts slow just a tad and we begin to pace ourselves for the long haul of this pandemic to let you know how GRATEFUL I am to each and every one of you for the work you are doing during these stressful times. Through it all, you are remaining positive and professional with a “can do” attitude that is needed—and very much the Wildcat way—as we identify challenges and build sustainable solutions moving forward.

Even before Governor Newsom declared a state of emergency for California on March 4, we were working hard as one University to plan for the impact of COVID-19 on our educational mission and campus operations. All of us were laser-focused on transitioning Chico State from a residential face-to-face academic institution to a virtual University in less than three weeks. It has been a monumental task and a collective effort as we raced to do our part to thwart the spread of an unprecedented global pandemic, while continuing to deliver excellent academic programs and services to our students.

And, we did it! That is, we completed Phase I of a multi-phased approach to community health and slowing the spread of COVID-19; we completed the online and virtual launch of our courses and services on March 25. Now, we are entering Phase II, sustaining online and virtual classes and services in ways that continue our students’ academic success and progress toward degree. I am confident with your commitment, dedication, and perseverance, we will successfully navigate to the other side of these tough and turbulent times. After all, Chico State has been tested before and we know how to rise above adversity!

I know the transition from working on campus to working from home has been difficult and stressful. Believe it or not, it has been for me as well. There isn’t the traditional boundary of leaving the office and entering the front door at home when the workday is done. The “office” is always present in our stay-at-home worlds. I find it important to set boundaries for myself to ensure I step away from the computer and take time for myself.

And, what about the distractions? My pets are cute coworkers, but balancing their desire for attention, their diligence in communicating (dogs barking and parrot squawking), and their need for outside activity has been frustrating at times.

Then there is the issue of Internet connectivity that remains strong for only limited hours of the day. Oh, and did I mention having to learn how to use Zoom and Microsoft Teams, and commit to using Box more? I know you can relate. What I am trying to say here is: We are all in this together. It is not perfect or smooth by any means, yet I know we will get through it. I am appreciative and thankful to each of you for taking on this challenge and maintaining Chico State and the Chico Experience from afar.

Together, we will define a brighter future for Chico State.

Be well and be there for each other.