A.T. Still University (ATSU) President Craig M. Phelps, DO, ’84, hosted a virtual “Coffee with the President” session on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020. The event was an opportunity for faculty and staff to come together and spend time with the president through a virtual Zoom call.
Dr. Phelps thanked everyone for their contributions as the University adapted during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I want to take a moment to thank everybody for the great job that’s been done during the past six to eight months as we’ve dealt with COVID-19 and other issues affecting our country,” Dr. Phelps said. “I just want to say thank you to everybody for contributing, cooperating, and being compassionate to each other. Understanding this is the first pandemic of this magnitude for most of us, it has been quite a learning curve. But, I think we can be proud of everything ATSU has accomplished.”
Dr. Phelps provided an enrollment update, with ATSU holding steady at 3,017 full-time and 968 part-time students.
Dr. Phelps said faculty and staff are continuing professional development, noting 75,779 videos have been viewed through LinkedIn Learning and 3,390 courses have been completed. Additionally, 1,827 training opportunities have been completed through UltiPro, ATSU’s human resource management system, and 300 of those training opportunities were related to diversity and inclusion.
“Our faculty and staff continue to learn, develop, and participate in a number of professional development courses and learning opportunities,” Dr. Phelps said.
A variety of questions were answered during the “Coffee with the President” session, including an update that the Santa Maria, California, Physician Assistant program is still on track to have its first cohort start in summer 2021.
While many ATSU faculty and staff members have been adjusting to virtual work life from home or other remote locations, these efforts not only help stop the spread of COVID-19, but also impact the environment.
“Think about the impact the University has had by utilizing some of these opportunities to help our environment. Think of the fewer trips faculty and staff are making to campus, think of the fewer trips students have had to drive to campus,” Dr. Phelps said. “We’ve had less stress and strain on our buildings and parking lots. There is a silver lining, there has been a positive effect on the environment. Hopefully, we’ve learned from this that we may not have to go back full throttle. We might be able to go back in different ways that have less wear and tear on our employees and less wear and tear on our environment and facilities.”