Update from the President – COVID-19
The last several weeks have been filled with growing anxiety with the disruptive impact of COVID-19 across the country. Many cities and states are moving to lockdown or shelter-in-place orders. California Governor, Gavin Newsom, has issued such orders for the State of California. Health and financial concerns are now nearly ubiquitous in the world, causing significant distress, fear and suffering, which I am sure has direct impact on many of you. Pacifica is seeking to respond in a careful, reflective, and measured fashion, keeping health and safety foremost. We believe a strong, related community is essential for getting through the crisis intact. We are challenged to learn and grow from our encounters with adversity, while reaffirming our mission of tending soul in and of the world.
Today, I am updating you as to some efforts to keep your education at the highest level, while complying with governmental orders and ensuring optimal conditions for everyone’s safety. We transitioned to a fully online course delivery as of March 16th, as I noted in my last communication. Subsequently, we closed both of our campuses, with most of our staff and faculty now working remotely. This has ensured the appropriate social distancing required for everyone’s well-being, minimizing risk of exposure and spread of the virus. With guidance from local health officials, the administration also canceled this year’s commencement ceremony, as we did not feel it would be safe for those graduating, along with their friends and family, to travel to a gathering in late May. Similarly, in accord with this, campuses will remain closed, at least through the end of May 2020. Online course instruction will continue, until otherwise announced. When the campuses reopen, ADA and medical conditions related to COVID-19 will be considered.
In the meantime, I encourage you to look to our website and social media pages (@PacificaPost), as well as our Alumni Association’s Facebook page, for announcements of activities in response to the crisis. Faculty and administration have been posting reflections on the COVID-19 situation from a depth psychological perspective. We are in the process of adding more YouTube and video offerings, including some webinars. While the Pacifica community necessarily isolates itself physically, we are at the same time intensifying our connectedness through creative, virtual communications. In the process, we are building a soulful online community and enhancing educational experiences. This crisis is driving innovation and evolution of our institution and will likely do so for higher education and society in general. Pacifica will continue its leadership, centered in a depth-oriented approach, transforming and adapting to our environment. We invite you to actively join us in these endeavors.
As we transition from winter to spring quarter in this new environment, faculty, staff, and administration have been working to make the distance learning experience a meaningful and clear one. This an adaptive process for us all but presents an opportunity to not only continue your degree path, but to engage in content that is relevant to what we face and how we serve one another and our communities in times of need. Please continue to look for communications from your faculty and academic programs regarding specific course and dissertation plans, as well as for a coming email from Student Services with key resources and reminders about how to best navigate the upcoming quarter. We remain committed to supporting you academically and personally during this time and continuing to evolve and communicate as needs arise.
For the immediate future, as breaking news modifies the situation in our country, state, and institution, I will endeavor to keep you posted with updates on a regular basis. Let us together seize this moment and find the ways to transform our fears and sorrows into a deeper, more psyche-centered life for all who yearn for this.
Joseph Cambray, Ph.D.
President/CEO, Pacifica Graduate Institute