A Message From the President
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Caldwell University President Matthew Whelan and the Campus Community!
Update on Spring 2021
To the Caldwell University Community,
I write to you today to provide you with an update on our plans for the Spring 2021 semester. First, I would like to express my deep and personal thanks to each of you for your efforts in dealing with the many challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic through the last 13 weeks. We are in the final three weeks of in-person instruction for the fall semester, followed by another few weeks of remote classes and exams. Your diligence and commitment in following our established COVID-19 protocols has helped propel us through the fall semester with very minimal disruptions to date. Due to your efforts, we have been able to avoid the pitfalls faced by some of our colleagues at other institutions such as the temporary or permanent closure of the residence halls, temporary suspension of in-person classes, or a return to remote-only teaching. You are to be commended for your commitment to Caldwell University, your colleagues, fellow students, and the public health efforts we all need to undertake to successfully navigate through this pandemic. Please keep it up; let’s show the world what our small but committed community is capable of when we are all pulling together.
As of today, we are planning to begin the Spring semester in January 2021 as originally scheduled and offer our classes using in-person, on-line, and Hy-Flex learning environments. As required by New Jersey’s OSHE Restart Standards, all courses must have a remote option for students who cannot or choose not to be on campus. While we intend to begin and end the Spring 2021 semester as originally planned, there are modifications to the Spring Break schedule, as approved by the faculty. The revised schedule will split Spring Break into a series of Wellness Days, spread throughout the semester, to give faculty, staff, and students a break from the new learning environment and workplace challenges to engage in physical, spiritual and mental well-being exercises.
Additionally, in January, we are planning to move students into the residence halls according to the existing schedule, and in compliance with OSHE mandated protocols. We remain prepared to implement any changes to public health mandates promulgated by the authorities and will keep you apprised should we receive any updates to the existing regulations. We have asked that all students take their belongings with them when they vacate the residence halls in a few weeks so that we may immediately begin deep and thorough cleaning of those spaces to ensure maximum cleanliness when we return in January.
As always, we remain under mandates to follow the emergency orders and directives from the New Jersey Governor’s Office and the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE), as well as guidance from the CDC and local, state, and national public health officials. If changes to the Spring 2021 term plans are ordered by any of these authorities, we will take appropriate action and notify you at that time. In the meantime, let’s finish the semester strongly and remain committed to existing COVID-19 protocols as we wrap up this semester and prepare for the new semester in January.
Whether you are on campus or on-line, and while you are at home or away from campus, take some time to relax as you prepare for the Thanksgiving, Advent, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas seasons. Remember to remain committed to our core values of Respect, Integrity, Community, and Excellence – and that your efforts protect not only you, but your loved ones and your friends wherever they are. Good luck, God Bless, and I’ll look forward to seeing you on campus soon!
Matthew Whelan, Ed.D.
Caldwell University President Matthew Whelan welcomes the campus community back for the 2021-22 academic year!
Caldwell University President Matthew Whelan Welcomes the Class of 2025
End of Academic Year 2021
It is hard to believe that it is the end of the academic year, my first year at Caldwell University!
I’m thinking of the quote from our recent Research and Creative Arts Day which featured over 130 innovative student projects. St. Francis of Assisi said: “Start by doing what’s necessary, then do what’s possible; and suddenly you’re doing the impossible.”
That quote pretty much sums up this year. Faced with the challenges of the pandemic, our campus community showed up–online or in-person–and beautifully did what was necessary, and then what became possible, and then they did the impossible.
In this newsletter, I’m excited to share some of these stories with you—stories like that of chemistry student Yaman Thapa who is heading to a highly competitive summer research program at MIT; and Natural Sciences Associate Professor Agnes Berki who is sharing with Caldwell students what she learned about COVID-19 research during her sabbatical at the Brooklyn-based health tech company Biota Inc.; and Executive Director of our Health Services Cindy Striano who worked all year with our Pandemic Response Team to implement a strong plan for the health and safety of the campus community; and our veteran Assistant Vice President/Director of Athletics Mark A. Corino who was voted by his peers as the 2020-21 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) AD of the Year. These are just a few of those who helped keep Caldwell safe and open for students.
We have great plans for the fall, too! We are adding a program to help students with learning disabilities flourish. SOAR (Student Outreach and Academic Resources) will provide students with diagnosed learning disabilities with the tools they need to succeed in a post-secondary setting. In Athletics, we are starting a men’s rugby club program and New Jersey’s first NCAA Division II Women’s Acrobatics and Tumbling program, an emerging NCAA sport.
The renovation of the new lounge in Mother Joseph Residence Hall is taking shape. It will provide our students with a modern living and learning space encouraging interaction and collaboration, an important part of the out-of-classroom learning process at a university. It will mean so much more to our students this fall as, once again, they can be together with friends and peers following a lengthy separation.
We are looking forward to Commencement on Sunday, May 23 when we will hold three separate ceremonies outside on our athletic fields. Wherever you are in our country or world, I hope you tune in via our livestream to watch this special moment for our students. Our students certainly have done the “impossible” to get to the finish line, and they are taking with them a Caldwell University education infused with the core values of Respect, Integrity, Community, and Excellence to make a difference in labs, classrooms, hospitals, boardrooms, and their communities–wherever God takes them! We’ll be rooting for them all the way!
Matthew Whelan, Ed.D.
Caldwell’s Dr. Whelan Introduces “Spring Forward” Initiative
Caldwell University President Matthew Whelan and the CU marching band encourage robust learning, team spirit, safety, and giving. Go Cougars!
CU President Whelan Welcomes Students Back for the Spring Semester
Dr. Whelan reminds us all to stay vigilant about mask wearing, distancing, and hand washing on and off campus.
Virtual Homecoming Week 2020
Caldwell University will celebrate Homecoming and Family Week with a series of weeklong virtual events throughout the week of September 21, 2020 – September 25, 2020.
This decision comes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the University’s continued efforts to adhere to state and local regulations related to gatherings, social distancing, and other public health orders. While Homecoming and Family Weekend is an event that the entire campus looks forward to every year, the health and safety of the Caldwell University community remains the top priority.
In the video below, Dr. Matthew Whelan, ninth President of Caldwell University, provides an update on the University to kick off Homecoming and Family Week.
Virtual Open House Welcome
In this video, Dr. Matthew Whelan, ninth President of Caldwell University, shares the mission of Caldwell University and heartily welcomes everyone to the virtual open house taking place on Saturday, November 21, 2020 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM EST.
We’ll beat this thing
In a video message to the Caldwell University community, President Matthew Whelan and Sister Kathleen Tuite, vice president for student life, thank the members of the university community for their efforts to remain compliant to stem the tide of COVID-19. They remind everyone to “keep it up” and focus on their academics, their physical well-being and staying safe from COVID-19 by washing their hands, wearing their masks and staying socially distant. “And we’ll beat this thing,” said Dr. Whelan. “CU Strong!” said Sister Kathleen.
Dr. Matthew Whelan became the ninth president of Caldwell University on July 1, 2020.
In his first video message to the Caldwell University community, President Whelan introduces himself and speaks about the importance of Caldwell’s excellence in education for these times and about the university’s plans for the fall semester.
Amid the realities of the pandemic and economic inequities, President Whelan says he is not dissuaded. “I fully believe in the importance of who we are and the critical and lasting impact of what we do. The times in which we live are exactly why the world needs us now. Students, it needs you right now. It needs your creativity, your understanding, your passion and your engagement. You are our future and I could not be prouder of you.”
To faculty and staff he said, “I am privileged to join the team and will work with you as we journey with our students as they pursue their education and degrees.”
He expressed the university’s enormous gratitude to alumni, donors, friends and community partners. “Thank you for your longtime and generous support and commitment to Caldwell. Your time, treasure and talent are critical to all we do to support the students and the communities in which we live, work, learn and serve. Caldwell needs you now more than ever.”
Stressing his commitment to the university’s mission, President Whelan said, “I am privileged to have been chosen to live out the Catholic Dominican legacy put in place by our founders, the Sisters of St. Dominic, and carried forward by my eight predecessors.”
Caldwell is dedicated to living out its core values of respect, integrity, community and excellence. “These values inform who we are and everything we do. In fact, the Catholic Dominican mission informs us that every person is made in the image and likeness of God and that everyone must be treated with dignity and respect. Now, more than ever, we need to live out this calling,” said Dr. Whelan.
“The times in which we live are exactly why the world needs us now. Students, it needs you right now. It needs your creativity, your understanding, your passion and your engagement.” President Matthew Whelan
In planning for the fall semester, President Whelan says the university is focused on serving students, faculty and staff in a safe environment. “Know that our faculty and staff have been stellar supporters in our efforts and we are committed to providing them with a safe environment in which to teach and support the transformative learning which occurs here every day.”
A campus-wide team has been and continues to meet regularly to develop the restart plan recently mandated by the state of New Jersey which addresses numerous areas including instruction, residence halls, dining and more. “And while we are ultimately subject to the decisions of New Jersey government officials and public health officials, our goal is to bring you back in the fall, subject to many of the sanitizing practices and social distancing regulations still in effect, while continuing to offer the option of distance learning for those persons or those classes which require that option,” said President Whelan. “We are hoping to see many of you here in the fall, and while the circumstances will no doubt be different, the focus on each of you as individuals will not.”
Quoting Nelson Mandela, Dr. Whelan said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
This what we will do, said President Whelan, “and we will do this together, as individuals and as a community. Thank you and I look forward to meeting you in person. And remember, ‘Go Cougars!’”