Message From the Chancellor: August 17, 2021

Dear Faculty and Staff,

Welcome to the Blinn College District’s 139th academic year! I hope each of you enjoyed a healthy and restful summer in preparation for another outstanding year at Blinn College. As we prepare for our return to campus on Monday, August 23 rd, I wanted to express my appreciation for all you do for Blinn and share a few notes regarding the start of the fall term.

Faculty Convocation

Our fall semester will begin Tuesday, August 24th, with Faculty Convocation, which will blend virtual and face-to-face activities. This year’s Convocation agenda includes various speakers and workshops, as well as recognition of our recent Blinn College and National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Teaching Excellence Award winners. The Faculty Convocation Committee will send additional information regarding this event, which includes the following agenda:

8:00 a.m. - Registration and Breakfast
9:00 a.m. - Chancellor and Board Chair Welcome
9:20 a.m. - Faculty Recognition
9:30 a.m. - General Session
10:30 a.m. - Concurrent Session 1
11:25 a.m. - Concurrent Session 2
12:15 p.m. - Lunch and Live Entertainment
Afternoon - Departmental Activities

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Innovation Building Grand Opening

Three days after Convocation, we will celebrate the grand opening of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Innovation (STEI) Building on the Brenham Campus. This 72,000-square-foot facility will feature 17,000 square feet of state-of-the-art laboratory space and a 3,000-square-foot innovation center where students can engage in 3D printing, soldering, robotics, interrelated computer (smart) devices, virtual reality, and fabrication.

I invite each of you to join us in person or via the livestream as we open this cutting-edge facility at 10 a.m. on Friday, August 27th, at 900 Prairie Lea Street in Brenham. For your convenience, a bus will leave the Bryan Campus Student Center at 8:30 that morning to take employees to the grand opening and will leave the Brenham Campus at noon to return to the Bryan Campus. We also will livestream the ceremony from Blinn College’s YouTube page at www.youtube.com/Blinn1883. While all offices should remain open and available for students and campus visitors, supervisors are encouraged to work with the Human Resources Department to coordinate their employees’ schedules in regard to this event.

Fall Semester and the Return to Campus

On Monday, August 30th, we will welcome students for the fall 2021 semester. After the challenges of the past 17 months, we are excited to open our campuses for academic and extracurricular activities. This includes:

Academic Modalities

As previously announced, we are offering fall courses in five different modalities to ensure that students can engage with their professors, peers, and coursework in the format that works best for their individual learning style. These modalities are:

  • traditional face-to-face instruction,
  • live online classes in which classes are held via videoconference,
  • flexible online classes in which material is posted online with no scheduled class sessions,
  • blended classes in which students participate in face-to-face content and more than half of the class content is posted online, and
  • blended Zoom classes in which students participate in live classes held via videoconference and more than half the class content is posted online.

Academic Resources
Blinn College’s academic resources, including the computer labs, learning centers, testing centers, and writing centers, will be open for regular hours.

Athletics
All Blinn College athletic programs are scheduled to proceed on their normal schedule, and our fall sports already are preparing for their season openers.

Campus Dining
Campus dining facilities will be open for regular hours. In addition to the Brenham Campus dining hall, the College recently added a new food truck to provide students a variety of grab-and-go meal options.

Campus Housing
Campus housing will be open for the fall semester and students are scheduled to begin move-in next week.

Student Activities
Student activities will take place on all campuses and welcome week activities are already planned for students. For details regarding upcoming Student Leadership and Activities events, please see our Activities Calendar.

Student Services
Blinn will continue to offer all student services, including academic advising, counseling and disability services, financial aid, and veteran services, both on campus and through our remote tools.

Throughout the pandemic, your health and safety has been our top priority and the Back With Blinn plan has adapted to changing conditions in our communities. As we move forward, we will continue to remain responsive to changing circumstances across our campuses. These include:

Rotational Work Schedules
Rotational work schedules that originally were set to conclude on August 23 rd will be extended through Friday, October 1 st. These schedules will allow the College to remain open while decreasing the number of individuals on campus. Faculty may choose to conduct office hours on campus or remotely. Once developed, supervisors should submit updated schedules to the Human Resources Department for approval.

Campus Clear
As we return to campus, we encourage all members of the Blinn community to protect themselves and others by taking steps to stop the spread of COVID-19. Blinn will continue to require students and employees to complete a daily self-certification using the Campus Clear app prior to arrival on campus. Through the app, students and employees can indicate whether they are symptom-free, experiencing symptoms, have tested positive for COVID-19, or been exposed to anyone who has. Individuals who feel unwell, have been exposed, or tested positive are asked not to come to campus and will be contacted by Blinn staff regarding next steps.

Vaccine Clinics
Additionally, Washington County EMS will administer Moderna COVID-19 vaccines at the Blinn-Brenham Campus Student Center on the following dates:

Friday, August 27 3:00-6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, September 1 3:30-5:00 p.m.
Tuesday, September 7 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Friday, September 24 12:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.
Wednesday, September 29 3:30-5:00 p.m.

No appointment is required. For more information, call 979-209-7400 or email campus.clear@blinn.edu.

Chancellor Chats

I also am pleased to resume our Chancellor Chats this fall. These come-and-go, informal visits are open to all Blinn employees and provide the opportunity for us to reconnect and meet new friends from across the College District. This fall, the Chancellor Chats are scheduled for the following dates and locations:

RELLIS
Tuesday, October 5th, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
Walter Schwartz Building, Room 480

Brenham
Thursday, October 7th, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
Third Floor, Administration Building, Board Room

Sealy
October 12th, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
Room 111

Bryan
Thursday, October 21st, 2:00-4:00 p.m.
Student Center, Room F-120

Schulenburg
October 26th, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
Room 120

As we look forward to the upcoming term, I thank you for your many contributions and extraordinary dedication. Please accept my best wishes for an outstanding fall semester, and if I can be of any assistance, please contact me.

Sincerely,

Mary Hensley, Ed.D.
Chancellor of the Blinn College District