The Director of Adelphi’s Faculty Center for Professional Excellence, Nathalie Zarisfi, describes how she and her team helped move 1,000-plus courses to a virtual environment.
Meeting the challenge. Staying true to our mission.
Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Adelphi University community remained focused on transforming lives and meeting the goals of our strategic plan, Momentum.
The 2019–2020 academic year presented unprecedented challenges and unknowns. Adelphi University was well prepared to meet the crisis caused by COVID-19, able to provide a safe learning environment while maintaining our dedication to student success.
Our community showed its resilience in its remarkable commitment to the pivots the year demanded. Adelphi’s efficient transition to remote instruction in March 2020 gave us all an opportunity to learn and engage in new and surprising ways. Our planned return to campus in Fall 2020 was safe and successful, with exceptionally low COVID rates.
I am thankful for the outstanding efforts of everyone who made these accomplishments possible, and I am honored to share our story with you.
Transforming Lives in an Unprecedented Year
Adelphi’s 2019–2020 President’s Report is a record of our success in a year that tested every facet of the higher education experience as we know it. We are proud that it is notably filled with accomplishments across every area of our mission and goals—from academics to student success, diversity and inclusion, community engagement, financial and operational excellence, and national reputation.
Goal 1: Create a World-Class Academic Experience
Goal 1 focuses on our uniquely transformational and intellectually rigorous educational experience. It is an experience we continued to provide as we transitioned to remote learning in 2020, running workshops that prepared more than 800 faculty members to teach online and quickly moving more than 1,000 classes to Zoom. We maintained our commitment to small classes taught by world-class scholars, and continued to stress core principles of community engagement and global awareness.
- Professors perfect the art of teaching dance online.
- An innovative multidisciplinary degree program prepares undergraduates for healthcare degrees.
- New joint enrollment programs provide additional pathways to professional school.
Goal 2: Be Relentlessly Dedicated to Student Success
Our personalized approach to higher education supports each Adelphi student’s unique academic goals. Intellectual curiosity, ability and potential are enriched through a mix of campus activities, service learning, and countless experiential and leadership opportunities. By breaking down barriers to success and providing individualized guidance, Adelphi ensures our students are prepared to excel in their careers. We continued that approach even as we moved to remote learning, especially for those students who were most in need of support.
- Free one-to-one telecounseling and four other mental health initiatives are developed in response to COVID-19.
- Prep for Success career-guidance program wins a John L. Blackburn Exemplary Models Award from the American Association of University Administrators (AAUA).
- 2019 baccalaureate graduates report an average annual salary of $75,000, 38 percent higher than the national average salary.
The Prep for Success Program, created by Adelphi's Center for Career and Professional Development, has been recognized with a John L. Blackburn Exemplary Models Award from the American Association of University Administrators (AAUA).
Goal 3: Establish Adelphi as a Model of Diversity and Inclusion
Adelphi’s commitment to diversity and inclusion was expressed in many ways in 2019–2020. As the pandemic arrived, causing financial distress for many diverse and international students, the University responded with emergency financial aid. The University also responded forcefully to the killing of George Floyd, organizing a series of virtual forums to discuss the experiences of our students, faculty and staff, and by launching a comprehensive effort to address racism in our community and academic system. We will continue to recruit and endeavor to retain a diverse community of students, faculty and staff, and to provide an academic environment that allows all to feel welcome, acknowledged and supported.
- U.S. News & World Report rates Adelphi a Top Performer on Social Mobility.
- Adelphi becomes the only college or university in New York to host a Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) Campus Center.
- Prominent diversity awards are bestowed on Adelphi from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District II, the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) and more.
The Association of American Colleges and Universities has announced the selection of Adelphi University as one of 13 institutions to host Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Campus Centers.
Goal 4: Develop a Powerfully Connected University
Adelphi’s fourth strategic goal focuses on our powerful networks and leverages the strength of our region and proximity to New York City. It also, as was amply demonstrated in 2020, includes are commitment to our neighboring communities—a commitment that led faculty members and students to surge to the front lines as the pandemic hit. We will remain a vital institution on Long Island and cultivate strong partnerships with local, regional and national institutions and government agencies.
- At the height of the pandemic in Spring 2020, Adelphi’s College of Nursing and Public Health donates 92 boxes of personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Frontline workers turn to Adelphi for emergency housing.
- Our new Innovation Center opens and partners with 28 corporations and nonprofits.
Goal 5: Advance Our Financial Strength and Operational Excellence
With Goal 5, Adelphi pledges to be a careful steward of our University’s financial resources. We unite our Adelphi family in fundraising efforts that inspire and honor the faith that students, families, donors and partners place in us. Our high-functioning and highly regarded institution is driven by excellent data and transparency, strong risk management, and sustainable practices. These strong business practices served Adelphi well during this most difficult year, providing a foundation that allowed the University to meet the financial challenges posed by the pandemic and successfully reopen campus in the fall.
- A $2 million Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act grant from the Town of Hempstead, New York, helps fund PPE and campus safety upgrades.
- The University retains its rating of A- with a stable outlook from Standard & Poor’s at a time when 40 percent of universities received a rating downgrade.
- Adelphi’s Student Emergency Support Fund raises more than $103,000 to help 268 students with travel costs, food needs, tuition assistance and other expenses.
Goal 6: Become a Well-Known and Widely Recognized University
Adelphi aims to achieve worldwide recognition for our outstanding private university experience—a unique combination of rigorous academics, experiential learning and exceptional student support. We place a high value on collegiality, and the achievements of students, faculty, staff and alumni will be proudly celebrated. The selfless frontline service of faculty members and students and the public health advice offered by experts at Adelphi were widely recognized in the past year. Our community service, academic excellence, emphasis on student success and rising rankings will continue to enhance our reputation in years to come.
- U.S News & World Report ranks Adelphi a Best College, Best College for First-Year Experience, Best College for Veterans, Best Value School and Top Performer on Social Mobility.
- K.C. Rondello, MD, clinical associate professor of public health and disaster epidemiologist, is quoted in more than 100 national news articles on the pandemic.
- Our faculty are mentioned in the media 980 times.
It has been another strong year of national rankings and recognition for Adelphi University, from annual guides including U.S. News & World Report, Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education, Forbes, Money and Niche.
Long a recognized go-to authority on disaster epidemiology and the public health aspects of infectious diseases such as seasonal influenza, K.C. Rondello, MD, has shared his words of wisdom in the media since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.