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Letter from the VP of Flagship

August 3, 2020 – 10:00 a.m.

Dear Unity College Students,

I am excited to share with you some important news about the future of Unity College. Over the past months as we have developed and refined our approach to hybrid learning, it has become evident that this model enables us to more fully realize our goal of providing all students with a flexible, accessible, and affordable environmental education. By giving you control over your education through a nonstandard calendar, shorter terms, differentiated tuition, and a multi-modality curriculum that does not rely on any particular location, hybrid frees us to work and learn in ways never before possible at Unity College. I am convinced that our shared future is bright.

As we lean into the promise of the hybrid model, we are also making some critical changes to our institution. We have decided to permanently eliminate the traditional two-semester calendar. We are also reassessing the utility of our physical locations, including the campus at 90 Quaker Hill Road. The truth is that there are simply fewer students able to put their lives on hold for a traditional four-year residential experience. Long-projected enrollment declines were already beginning to emerge for colleges like ours and the pandemic has accelerated that change. As a result, some faculty and staff have been placed on temporary furlough or even laid off.  While these changes are difficult, they allow us to maintain the quality and affordability you expect and deserve in your education. Unity College is financially sound; we are making these changes to ensure we remain strong in the years to come.

In a period of change, it is natural to wonder how each of us is affected by these decisions.  For you, as a Unity College student, the coming year will follow the schedule you discussed with your liaison. Due to the pandemic, all learning will be remote or online. You will continue or complete your Hybrid Learning or Flagship degree as planned and experience no visible change. When we emerge from the pandemic, and can safely resume in-person learning again, we will take full advantage of the new model – offering in-depth experiential courses with faculty you know and trust in relevant locations throughout Maine, while providing online backups to meet your needs. Your faculty, including Hybrid Learning Programs Liaison Doug Fox, are hard at work planning for this exciting future, and Dean of Students Ray Phinney is building a full schedule of student life and student support activities. The potential is limitless, and I can hardly wait.

As you prepare for Fall 1 term classes to begin on August 24, please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns. Don’t forget that you have a Hybrid Learning Coach (either Meg Nadeau or Den Suehiro) standing by to assist you with any student success or academic support need that arises. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Sincerely,

Zach Falcon,
Vice President of Flagship, Unity College