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COVID-19 Operations Task Force


The COVID-19 Operations Task Force [the C19 Ops Task Force] will be appointed by and report to Cabinet as the University’s lead team to develop and implement operating plans for the 2020-21 academic year in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Julia Sutherlin, in a newly appointed position to steward the Task Force, will chair the C19 Ops Task Force. The work of the C19 Ops Task Force will be grounded in the health and safety of DePauw’s students and employees and will be informed by guidance from national, state and local health officials, sound medical information and best practices in higher education learned through professional resources given the best interests of the students and employees of DePauw. The C19 Ops Task Force will work in a highly collaborative nature, across divisions within the institution, engaging student leaders and connecting with the leaders of the fraternity and sorority housing corporations. DePauw's Faculty Governance system will have input into the faculty committees that will contribute to this work, especially with regard to academic planning.

The C19 Ops Task Force will function with three main tenets: 

  • Transparency

    • Our work must include multiple voices and perspectives, including students where it is feasible and appropriate.

    • We will provide regular updates to Cabinet and to the campus community on our planning efforts.

    • As much as possible, information related to fall planning will be placed on a DePauw webpage to ensure access to updates. 

  • Efficiency

    • Division of labor will be central to completing all tasks necessary to prepare for students’ return. Pods will be used to assign tasks and completion timelines.

    • Coordination across divisional lines is essential.

  • Timeliness

    • There are multiple processes that must take place throughout the summer to ensure students have accurate information about their courses and housing options.

    • Students will need ample time to make their decisions about where they will learn in the fall and subsequently adequate advance notice of when they are to return for those who will be learning on campus. 

Work Process

  • Core members will meet regularly as a group with Julia and may also have regular individual meetings with Julia Sutherlin, as the chair. 

  • Pod leaders and subpod leaders will be responsible for the oversight of specific tasks and functions, most of which relate to their primary areas of work. 

  • As much as possible work should occur via pods or subpods, including relevant staff, faculty and students in their work.

  • There will be expectations to develop action items, follow deadlines and document project work. 

  • The C19 Ops Task Force will utilize a shared platform for documentation and project management so that all pod and subpod leaders can keep themselves apprised of the work of other pods particularly to ensure collaboration and reduce duplication of work.

  • All summer or fall related communications are presumed to be influenced by COVID19 operations. As such, pod leaders and other senior campus leaders will be expected to coordinate with the Communications Pod leader in advance to identify possible conflicts with other information and timing.

Chair Responsibilities

  • Maintain open lines of communication with all pod leaders.

  • Provide weekly updates to Cabinet on the work of each pod.

  • Serve as the conduit to bring pod recommendations to Cabinet for review and decision making.

  • Convene a weekly meeting with student leaders from DSG, PHA, IFC, MGC, NPHC, SAAC, AAAS and ISA to provide updates on C19 Task Force efforts and foster collaboration among student leaders.

  • Coordinate all COVID19 related communications with the Executive Director of Communications & Marketing, including internal and external emails and web page updates.

  • Participate in collaboration of Indiana colleges. 

  • Serve as the University liaison to community stakeholders including city and PCH officials in the context of COVID19 planning efforts.

Core Members

  • Chair: Julia Sutherlin 
  • Health and Safety Pod Leader: Stevie Baker-Watson
  • Academics Pod Leader: Dave Berque
  • Housing Pod Leader: Dorian Shager 
  • COVID Education Pod Leader: Sharon Crary
  • Student Support Pod Leaders: Trevor Yuhas & Jeannette Johnson Licon
  • Employee Support Pod Leader: Jana Grimes
  • FY Student Transition Pod Leader: JC Lopez
  • Events Pod Leader: Steven Linville
  • Visitors Process Pod Leaders: Amanda Ryan & Wendy Wippich
  • Facilities Management Pod Leader: Warren Whitesell
  • Finance Pod Leader: Travis Linneweber 
  • Communications Pod Leader: Mariel Wilderson