Editor’s Note: This article was first published on WallyBoston.com
By Dr. Wallace E. Boston, President and Chief Executive Officer of American Public University System (APUS)
As news continues to emerge about the coronavirus (COVID-19), we want to take this opportunity to let you—our students—know that your health and well-being are of utmost concern to us at American Public University System.
We want to reassure you that American Public University System is making every effort to ensure that your studies will continue with no disruption or downtime. As a fully online university, we are uniquely poised to provide you with continuous operations. Because all of our faculty and many staff members work remotely, we already have in place an environment allowing us to practice the “social distancing” measures being recommended by health authorities.
This is a rapidly evolving and challenging time for both our populace and our economy. Small businesses, the travel industry and retail businesses are now facing special challenges to their business continuity. Through planning and early preventative measures, we are doing our best to provide our assistance and to do the right thing by our fellow citizens by helping to contain and slow the spread of the coronavirus in our communities. This Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) chart shows the benefits of early planning and quick intervention in stemming a communicable disease.
[Image Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]
For those staff members who work in offices, we are taking steps now to ensure continuity of operations via telework, should the need arise.
Please know that we care about all of our students and your safety as we share these thoughts:
Take care of yourself—first and foremost
If you become sick with this or any other illness, please reach out to your faculty member and academic advisor to keep them in the loop about your circumstances. We want to work with you to help you manage your coursework so that your recovery is not hampered.
Strive for balance
We understand that you may have school-age children who may be at home because a school or school district has mandated distance learning. We recognize that this will impact your time and energy when it comes to your own schoolwork. It is most important to keep in communication with your faculty members and advisors.
Set healthy boundaries
Your personal work situation may warrant the need to work remotely, possibly introducing a new dynamic in your professional life. You may be interested in some tips about working remotely, shared by Dr. Cali Morrison, our associate dean of alternative learning.
These are stressful times for all. We want you to be confident that your student experience will not be impacted by this situation. Your academic advising team is ready to answer any questions you may have. Email email@example.com and remember that your University is here for you.
Follow AMUdisasterCREW to see the latest COVID-19 updates from American Military University’s first-responder experts on Twitter.
About the Author: Dr. Wallace E. Boston was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of American Public University System (APUS) and its parent company, American Public Education, Inc. (APEI) in July 2004. He joined APUS as its Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in 2002. In July 2016, he retired as APUS president and continued as CEO of APEI. In September 2017, he was reappointed APUS president after the resignation of Dr. Karan Powell. In September 2019, Angela Selden was named CEO of APEI, succeeding Dr. Boston who will remain APUS president until his planned retirement in June 2020. Dr. Boston guided APUS through its successful initial accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association in 2006 and ten-year reaccreditation in 2011. In November 2007, he led APEI to an initial public offering on the NASDAQ Exchange. During his tenure, APUS grew to over 100,000 students, 200 degree and certificate programs, and approximately 90,000 alumni. In addition to his service as a board member of APUS and APEI, Dr. Boston is a member of the Board of Advisors of the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA), a member of the Board of Overseers of the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, a board member of the Presidents’ Forum, and a board member of Hondros College of Nursing and Fidelis, Inc. He has authored and co-authored papers on the topic of online post-secondary student retention, and is a frequent speaker on the impact of technology on higher education. Dr. Boston is a past Treasurer of the Board of Trustees of the McDonogh School, a private K-12 school in Baltimore. In his career prior to APEI and APUS, Dr. Boston served as either CFO, COO, or CEO of Meridian Healthcare, Manor Healthcare, Neighborcare Pharmacies, and Sun Healthcare Group. Dr. Boston is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, and Chartered Global Management Accountant. He earned an A.B. degree in History from Duke University, an MBA in Marketing and Accounting from Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business Administration, and a Doctorate in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. In 2008, the Board of Trustees of APUS awarded him a Doctorate in Business Administration, honoris causa, and, in April 2017, also bestowed him with the title President Emeritus. Dr. Boston lives in Owings Mills, MD with his wife Sharon and their two daughters.