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Presidential Announcements

A Message from Dr. Lamont O. Repollet - May 20, 2022

Dear Kean Community,

It’s been an incredible week. I’ve been looking forward to the return of our campuswide commencements for nearly two years, and they exceeded my expectations. It was a joy and an honor to share fist bumps and cheers with our master’s and doctoral graduates at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center on Tuesday as well as our undergraduates yesterday at the Prudential Center. As I told our graduates, the Class of 2022 didn’t have it easy. They worked through the pandemic and all of the upheavals it caused to cross those stages, and we are beyond proud of them.

John Dickerson, our graduate commencement speaker, and undergraduate speaker Lauren Ridloff both delivered outstanding commencement addresses to the Class of 2022 and their guests. Dickerson, a seasoned and respected journalist, told the graduates to find meaning in their day and to be a force for positive change in our challenging world. Ridloff, the University’s first Deaf commencement speaker and well-known for her roles in The Walking Dead and Marvel’s The Eternals, spoke about the power of inclusivity. As she delivered her speech in American Sign Language, I was struck by just how quickly our graduates and their guests turned to sign their applause in a show of appreciation. It is true what they say, diversity is a fact; inclusion is an act. We are one of the most diverse AND inclusive universities in this country, and that was on full display as we celebrated our graduates.

I thank the many people across the University who helped make our celebrations such a success, starting with the 28 people who served on our Commencement Committee. This group worked for several months to bring back these events for our campus community, and we are grateful for their efforts. Specifically, I would like to shout out my Chief of Staff Audrey Kelly, the Conference and Events Services team led by Valerie Winslow, the Theatre Management team led by John Wooten and Steve Cochran, the University Relations team led by Karen Smith and Joey Moran, the Office of Computer and Information Systems, as well as the many people who volunteered to serve as marshals. Great job, team Kean!

As I told the platform members after yesterday’s ceremony, I believe strongly in the importance of mental health. I encourage all of you to make the most of the summer months and take some time for yourself to recharge. We have a lot of work ahead of us to move this University from great to elite. Let’s make sure we are all ready for the coming academic year. I will resume my weekly messages at that point. In the meantime, please enjoy this video, which was produced by our award-winning multimedia team, with highlights of our undergraduate ceremony.

Enjoy the summer. 

Sincerely,

Lamont O. Repollet, Ed.D.
President

A Message from Dr. Lamont O. Repollet - May 13, 2022

Dear Kean Community,

As I conclude my second academic year as president of Kean, I’m once again reminded of just how proud and humbled I am to be the 18th leader of this institution. Our first year together was in many ways defined by our collective resilience in the face of the pandemic. This past year, thankfully, saw many aspects of the Kean University experience – from classes to research, athletics and other activities – return in person and with a renewed sense of purpose. Our beautiful campus is again filled with students, faculty and staff – each climbing higher in their own way and writing their own verse in the 18th chapter of this institution. 

I’m not going to lie; I was a little disappointed to see campus quiet down when finals ended on Wednesday, but I am also very excited to celebrate with graduates at our two commencement ceremonies next week. We certainly made the best of the situation with on-campus ceremonies these past two years. Still, I know I join many others in looking forward to returning to our big celebrations at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and the Prudential Center. These will be my first large-scale commencements as president, and I intend to enjoy every minute of them as we celebrate our graduates and their success. We’re going to stream the ceremonies on our commencement website, so please tune in if you are not attending in person.

As you know, part of my job as president is to share the Kean story with lawmakers, supporters and other friends of Kean. Last night, I talked with our state’s leaders and others about our institution and its path forward at the Governor’s Ball at Liberty Hall Museum. For some guests, it was the first time they had been to Kean and for others, it was a surprise how much had changed since their last visit. Our institution is on the rise, and it’s clear for all to see. My thanks to John Kean Sr. for introducing me and my story to the guests who came to his family’s ancestral home. John spoke with pride about our institution and we are grateful for the support of the Kean family.

Lastly, I want to offer a few congratulations. First, to students in Adjunct Professor Perry Balog’s furniture-making classes. They showed me the desks and tables they designed for their final projects, and I was blown away by their talents. My congratulations also go out to our Spring season athletes. Earlier this week I had the chance to join the president of William Paterson University to watch our respective baseball teams compete in the New Jersey Athletic Conference championship game. This weekend, our softball team is competing in the NCAA regional tournament on campus. In fact, the other three Spring sports teams – men’s and women’s lacrosse and men’s volleyball – also reached their conference tournaments this season too. It’s been great to watch our student-athletes compete and represent Kean. Kudos on a job well done. 

Enjoy the weekend. I’ll see you at commencement.

 

Sincerely,

Lamont O. Repollet, Ed.D.

President

A Message from Dr. Lamont O. Repollet - May 6, 2022

Dear Kean Community,

Today we kicked off our celebrations for the Class of 2022 with the Honors Convocation ceremony at Harwood Arena. It was wonderful to return to Harwood for this event recognizing our summa cum laude, magna cum laude and cum laude graduates. More than 1,100 of our seniors are expected to graduate with honors, which is an incredible accomplishment for them and their families. We were honored to have Dr. RaJade M. Berry-James ’93 MPA, a professor at NC State University whose research and scholarship focuses on social equity, as our keynote speaker. Not only is she an alumna, she also held a variety of administrative roles at Kean more than 20 years ago. We were happy to have her back on campus setting a positive example for our soon-to-be graduates.

As I told the students, graduating with honors shows they have what it takes to make it in a complicated world. I hope they take the strong work ethic they developed here at Kean and do great things with it in the future. My thanks go out to the staff in Provost Dr. David Birdsell’s office who helped organize this event and everyone who volunteered to assist.

Many people across the campus are also involved in planning the commencement ceremonies coming up for our graduate students at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center on May 17 and our undergraduates at the Prudential Center on May 19. We are very excited to return to these in-person events and are grateful to everyone who is working so hard to make them happen. I also appreciate the many people who helped organize and run last weekend’s Commit to Climb Higher Day for 400 admitted students and their families. You all made them feel at home here at Kean. Great job, team.

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to celebrate Cinco de Mayo a day early with Kean alumni at an event organized by our Office of Alumni Engagement. It was great to see alumni of all ages come together for some fun and to share their memories of Kean. Sara Peña ’96, a member of the multicultural sorority Mu Sigma Upsilon, joined many sisters from Lambda Theta Alpha, the first Latina sorority in the nation, which was founded at Kean. Peña told the group that what she learned at Kean serves her well in her role as  director of the state’s Center for Hispanic Policy, Research and Development. It’s always great to see our alumni succeeding at the highest levels.

Exam week officially ends on Wednesday. Study hard and keep going, Cougars, and remember, you’ve got this.

Sincerely,

Lamont O. Repollet, Ed.D.
President

A Message from Dr. Lamont O. Repollet - April 29, 2022

Dear Kean Community,

This week our Kean community welcomed a Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) Self-study Site Visit Team. I thank all of the board members, faculty, staff and students who met with the team as part of this important virtual visit. Frank Wu, president of Queens College and chair of the site team, said in his oral report yesterday that the team was impressed by Kean and that he personally learned quite a bit in this process. We will learn more after Middle States reviews the team’s preliminary findings over the summer. For now I want to express my gratitude to the more than 200 administrators, faculty, staff and students who have supported this process over the past two years. Well done, team. It was truly a group effort that shows the power of collaboration across our great institution.

I am also incredibly grateful for the generosity our Kean community showed on Founders Day. Nearly 400 students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the University supported our Founders Day campaign, nearly twice the number from 2021. In total, the Kean University Foundation raised more than $64,000. That is more than two and a half times what was raised in 2021. 

Now that I’ve shared the totals, I’ll get to the moment you’ve all been waiting for and reveal the winner of our college competition. The College of Business and Public Management AND the College of Education tied with 46 affiliated donors so they will share the victory in this year’s Founders Day challenge. Look for some special recognition coming their way soon. Thank you for helping our students achieve their dreams. We are beyond grateful to each of our supporters.

As you know, Kean is an official education partner of the New York Jets. Earlier this week I had the opportunity to travel up to MetLife Stadium to watch the students in our first Jets course present their final proposals to team executives. These marketing, management, graphic design and communication students spent the semester working on projects to help the team build fandom among a younger demographic. I was blown away by the students’ research, creative ideas and presentation skills. I thank Denise Anderson of Michael Graves College, Dr. Shweta Singh of the College of Business and Public Management and Suzanne Schwab of the College of Liberal Arts for co-teaching this first Jets class and preparing our students so well for this “real-world” educational experience. I can’t wait to see the results of the next Jets course in Spring 2023.

Kean students continue to make me proud. Junior computer science majors Eric Alves-Ponte and Xavier Amparo were accepted to present their research, titled What is this Pill? A Machine-learning Approach for Pill Identification, at the prestigious 2022 Posters on the Hill event this week. Hats off to them, and their faculty advisor Dr. Daehan Kwak, as well as to sophomore computer science major Anthony Diaz who received an honorable mention by the Council on Undergraduate Research.

As we come to the final stretch of the academic semester, I remind our students to take study breaks and carve out time for their mental health. Please watch this guided mindfulness session that I participated in with mindfulness coach Bianca Campbell to see how easy it is to pause and care for yourself. I also want to thank the amazing staff at our Kean Counseling Center - Vidal Annan, John Grady and Kim Quinn - for helping to support our students in this final phase of the academic year. We’re almost there!

Join me in congratulating Head Coach Shelley Sheiner for capturing his 200th career victory when the men’s lacrosse team recently won against Bryn Athyn College, 26-3, on Senior Day. Great job. 

Wishing all Eid Mubarak as the month of Ramadan comes to an end.

Sincerely,

Lamont O. Repollet, Ed.D.
President

A Message from Dr. Lamont O. Repollet - April 22, 2022

Dear Kean Community,

I am excited to welcome the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) Self-study Site Visit Team for their virtual visits next week, on April 25, 26 and 28. Be ready, Cougars, the team could ask to meet with any member of the Kean community during the site visit. This is truly a campuswide initiative, and I encourage you to learn more about Kean’s priorities on the University’s MSCHE self-study webpage and view the site-visit schedule.

It’s been another wonderfully busy week on campus.

Today, I had the pleasure of meeting at Kean House with a few students who registered early for the Spring semester. As part of the University’s Early Registration Incentive program, spearheaded by Vice President Marsha McCarthy and the enrollment services staff, some students also earned a VIP campus parking spot, Kean gear and apparel, and Barnes & Noble gift cards. My prize was getting the chance to sit and talk, one-on-one, with seniors Destiny Davis (theatre), and Shareen Moody (sociology); juniors Jhillianne Rivera (accounting) and Sara Turner (graphic design); and freshman Nyellie Muniz (graphic design). I can’t wait to see how high each of them climb.

Speaking of early registration, I know it’s hard to believe we’re in the final weeks of the Spring semester, but it’s never too early to start thinking about the next one. Registration for Summer and Fall 2022 is now open for all students – so don’t wait, register now so you get the classes you want and need to graduate on time.

Another important initiative kicked off today as the Presidential Task Force on Advising held its first meeting. The task force is charged with finding ways to optimize Kean’s advising system so students are supported as they persist to graduation, successfully, in four years. I was impressed by the level of collaboration and dedication as we launched this effort. A cross section of the Kean community – senior leadership, faculty, executive directors, deans, support-program administrators, staff and, most importantly, students – came together to share their time, experiences and expertise in support of student success. Thanks to co-chairs Dr. Joseph Youngblood, senior vice president for transformational learning and external affairs, and Dr. Mensah Peterson, assistant vice president for advising, persistence and success, for taking the lead on this critical component of the University’s mission of providing access and excellence to all students.

Safety is an integral part of the Kean experience. Cougars, I hear you, and I’m listening to your concerns. On Wednesday evening, I took a campus safety walk with student members of my President’s Advisory Council, along with Vice President of Campus Planning Steve Remotti and his team, and Kean Police Director Anthony Monticello. We identified specific locations where lighting and the blue light safety system will be improved. We also took a brief detour to Burch Hall to see where upgrades would benefit the residential student experience, and we ended the night with dinner at the Upperclassmen Dining Hall. A special shout out to Shanelle from Gourmet Dining for taking care of our orders. Keep an eye out, as I plan to visit the other residence halls in the near future.

Earlier this week, I met with more than 100 faith-based leaders representing a variety of spiritual and religious communities on campus for an exciting, informative and forward-thinking session exploring the potential of ecumenical and academic synergy. Thank you to my governmental affairs team – Kellie LeDet and Craig Coughlin Jr. – for organizing. As New Jersey’s first urban research university, Kean is poised to work alongside these and other spiritual and religious leaders to offer training, development and assistance in accessing the tools they need to strengthen their work for the greater good of their congregations – congregations that many of us call our spiritual homes.

As we celebrate Earth Day today, I remind all members of the campus community to take advantage of the unique opportunities to learn from Mother Earth herself at our Kean Skylands Community Day tomorrow. We all play a vital role in living a more sustainable life to protect the environmental ecosystems that keep us alive.

I wish all who celebrate a blessed Orthodox Easter this weekend.

Sincerely,

Lamont O. Repollet, Ed.D.
President

A Message from Dr. Lamont O. Repollet - April 9, 2022

Dear Kean Community,

Earlier this week Bill Miller, CEO of the Kean University Foundation, and I were able to spend time with a number of our alumni and friends in the areas around Miami, Jupiter and Sarasota, Florida. It was great to be on the road meeting in person with such wonderful thought partners and supporters. Words cannot express my appreciation to each and every person we met with for their time and their tremendous philanthropic support, which has enabled Kean University to invest in our students, our faculty, our programmatic and research initiatives as well as our campus facilities.

Specifically, I wish to acknowledge Reggie and Jeffrey Goldstein, Sandra '69 '78 M.A. and Art Williams, Doris and Bill '70 H'15 Loehning, Christine '73 and Tony '71 Sa, Cynthia and Ronnie '72 Goldfaden, Diane '61 H'18 and Bob Miron, Gregory Parris, Kim Parris, Charles W. Brown, T. Ann Brown, the Honorable Larry Lawson, Dr. Don Johnson, Doris Johnson, Markus Summers, Ingrid Summers, Jean-Robert Michaud, Shirley Michaud, Brenda Belsito, Dr. Alfonso Belsito, Jackie Woods-Williams, the Honorable Charles Williams, Dr. Chiji Ohayia, and Dr. Joy Ohayia. Their visible leadership and dedication to Kean University are truly invaluable to our success. I commend this outstanding group of individuals for their generous contributions of time, talent and treasure.

In the spirit of philanthropy, I would also like to acknowledge Paul Cortese and the Board of Directors for the Harold B. and Dorothy A. Snyder Foundation who were on campus today to interview our students for their scholarship. We are deeply grateful for their longstanding partnership and impactful support to help Kean students achieve their academic success.

I am also excited to celebrate Founders Day with all of you next week on Thursday, April 14. Our annual day of giving, Founders Day marks the day in 1855 when the Superintendent of Newark Public Schools created the Newark Normal School to develop a pipeline of teachers to fill a critical need in the district. Over the years, Newark Normal School evolved to become Kean University, the comprehensive global institution we love today. Like last year, I am donating to the Kean Foundation on Founders Day and I ask you to join me. I’ve challenged our alumni and friends to give $18.55, and I encourage you to do the same (or more!). Please visit the Foundation website on April 14 to make your donation. Every gift makes a difference. I also invite all of you to join us for breakfast and a celebration beginning at 9 a.m. in the Miron Student Center lobby on the Union Campus and the Gateway Building lobby at Kean Ocean to mark the day.

I want to send two important reminders: If you haven’t already done so, please take the Campus Climate Survey to share your opinions and ideas about our campus community. We’ve extended the deadline to April 15. We are especially looking to hear from more students, so please take the time to speak up. Also, students, you have an amazing opportunity to participate in our Career and Internship Fair from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday along Cougar Walk. There are 150 employers – yes, that’s 150 – who are going to be there looking to hire our students for jobs and internships, so please register to attend and take an important step for your future.

Before I sign off, I want to share with all of you that today I was invited to participate in a historic moment in our nation’s history. I am still processing the importance of this transformative event so I want to spend some time thinking it through before I share my thoughts with all of you. Please stay tuned for much more about this great day.

Ramadan Mubarak to all who celebrate this holiest month of the year for the Muslim community. We will be closed next Friday to mark Good Friday so I also send my good wishes to those who celebrate Passover and Easter. 

Sincerely,

Lamont O. Repollet, Ed.D.
President

An Important Message from Dr. Lamont O. Repollet

Please watch this important announcement from President Repollet for Friday, April 1, 2022. 

March 31, 2022 - Kean University Becomes Mask Optional 

Kean will become mask optional in most circumstances, effective tomorrow, Friday, April 1.

Anyone who feels more comfortable wearing a mask is welcome to do so, and all members of the University community are encouraged to respect others’ choices as we transition toward a mask-friendly, post-pandemic environment.

Here are some important details about masking and vaccinations:

  • The mask optional policy applies to everyone regardless of vaccination status. Students and employees who have medical or religious exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccination policy will continue to be subject to weekly testing.
     
  • Masks will still be required in Student Health Services and a limited number of other clinical spaces, which will be clearly marked. Please comply with signage. Masks will be optional in residence halls.
     
  • Following federal guidelines, masks will also still be required on Kean buses and shuttles through April 18. This includes any charter buses used for Athletics or other Kean-sponsored travel.
     
  • Individuals on campus may request that the people around them wear masks, and consideration of those requests is appreciated. However, it is not required. The University will continue to make N95 respirator masks and portable plastic barriers available upon request.
     
  • Everyone is encouraged to bring a mask to campus in case they need it. In this mask-friendly environment, the University will continue to provide N95s and other masks at the front desks of Kean Hall and the Miron Student Center as well as in vending machines. Information from the CDC about choosing an effective mask is available here
     
  • Anyone who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should immediately wear a mask and consult a healthcare provider. Masks will be required for anyone who has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or instructed to wear a mask by a healthcare provider.
     
  • As a reminder, students who test positive for COVID-19 must report their test results to the University. Click here for a submission form. Employees who test positive for COVID-19 should report the result to hrvax@kean.edu or (908) 737-3300.

The University’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy will extend to the 2022-2023 school year. Students and employees who have not received their COVID-19 vaccinations and booster shots are strongly encouraged to do so as soon as possible as vaccinations continue to be critical to protecting public health. Make an appointment here.

All members of the Kean community are strongly encouraged to continue practicing healthy habits, most importantly staying home when feeling ill and washing hands throughout the day. The University has made enhancements in air filtration and building protocols and will continue to use additional cleaning protocols to maintain a safe environment.

The University is grateful to each member of the campus community for following safety protocols and showing patience and kindness toward others during this transition period. Together, Kean Cougars will emerge from this pandemic stronger and ready to climb higher.

A Message from Dr. Lamont O. Repollet - March 25, 2022

Dear Kean Community,

This week I had a chance to talk with three distinguished alumni whom I affectionately call the three wisemen of Sigma Beta Tau: Bill Loehning, chair of our Foundation Board, Ed Esposito, chair of the Alumni Association and Associate Professor Pat Ippolito. Their enduring love and commitment to Kean are truly an inspiration. They are engaging in important conversations about how to increase student engagement with faculty and alumni to enrich the student experience, support our learners, and connect them with the world beyond the University. I believe it’s important for our current students to connect with alumni who are doing great things, like Eric Cruz who founded Muvez Footwear and is currently competing in the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest against more than 18,000 other companies. Please help me support Eric and vote for Muvez up to once a day until March 31.

All leaders have advisors. I am also fortunate to benefit from the sage advice of the student advisors on my President’s Advisory Council. The PAC established Town Hall meetings to ensure that we elevate all student voices, and our latest one was held Tuesday. I heard directly from students about their concerns over food offerings, maintenance issues in the residence halls and parking, and how these impact their academic experience. In true Cougar style, we didn’t just leave it at that. We also discussed potential solutions and next steps. PAC members have the best interests of Kean at heart, and I’m proud that they take action to improve our culture and climate.

At today’s Human Rights Institute Conference, I welcomed hundreds of middle and high school students, educators and others to “Stop the Stigma” around one of this country's biggest public health crises — mental health. Our speakers shared personal stories of struggle, advocacy and triumph. They encouraged us to put aside our learned shame and, instead, normalize talking about our mental health struggles. When we stop the stigma, we begin to put equity in action and create access to mental-health services. We owe it to ourselves, our families and our communities.

Elevating student voices is part of an important cultural shift underway here at Kean from a business-centered mindset to a learner-centered environment in which we all — faculty, staff and students — challenge ourselves and each other to rise to new heights. To do this, we must first believe in our collective potential and set high expectations. As the great educational speaker Harry Wong reminds us, “your expectations of your students will greatly influence their achievement in your class and in their lives.” Notice that he did not say “in the classroom.” Students internalize expectations well beyond the classroom walls — in labs, during internships, with student groups, and in residence halls. Every experience is an opportunity to learn and grow. Change is rarely comfortable, but I assure you that as we move forward together as a Kean family, we will soar to new heights and lift our entire community up. I am honored and excited to be on this journey with all of you who believe that our students’ potential is endless. 

This week, the University entered into a new partnership with the New York Red Bulls that is sure to elevate the Kean student experience. Shout out to the multimedia team in University Relations for capturing the big announcement in this video. Students and alumni will be given exclusive access to incredible learning opportunities and real-world experiences through an employee mentorship program, community service projects and employment.

Teamwork makes the dream work, folks. So as we head into the weekend, I want to thank the stellar team of people from across our campus preparing to introduce hundreds of prospective students and their families to our Cougar success mindset at the Open House on Saturday. 

Have a blessed weekend.

Sincerely,

Lamont O. Repollet, Ed.D.
President

New Jersey Presidents' Council Statement in Support of Ukraine

We, the members of the New Jersey Presidents’ Council, are outraged and deeply saddened about the horrific unprovoked attack on Ukraine and stand in solidarity with Ukrainians as they defend the sovereignty of their nation.

Despite a strong international outcry and major sanctions being levied against Russia, Ukraine continues to suffer mass casualties, and over 2.5 million Ukrainians have already fled the country with more to follow. As leaders of higher education, we commit to offering our support and assistance to Ukrainian students, faculty and community members here in New Jersey. We are pleased to see that the Department of Homeland Security announced the designation of Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status for 18 months. We know our support must extend beyond that designation.

Our campuses must continue to be true safe havens for students from Ukraine who are studying in the United States as well as scholars who are working and researching here. We also stand ready to welcome Ukrainian refugee students who are fleeing their homeland. It is critical for us to make space for students, faculty and staff of Ukrainian descent whose hearts are heavy with loss and who are hurting for those who share their heritage. In doing so, we must also understand that Russian Americans on our campuses are not tied to the decisions of their nation’s leaders and deserve to be treated respectfully.

As presidents of New Jersey’s colleges and universities, we understand that this conflict goes beyond politics. This war speaks to and is a threat to humanity worldwide. As such, we will continue to encourage civic engagement and service to others. We will continue to honor our responsibility to lift and amplify the dialogue of equity for all people and justice in all its forms. We will continue to address this and other conflicts through the lenses of history, culture, science and other disciplines to ensure our students have a fundamental understanding of the interdependence of geopolitical relations.

The New Jersey Presidents’ Council and its 55 institutional members call on our fellow New Jerseyans and members of our campus communities to  welcome all people displaced by the conflict to ensure their safety, well-being and education. Together, we commit to kindness, compassion and equity in our words, policies and actions, and we implore everyone to join us in these efforts.

A Message from Dr. Lamont O. Repollet - March 18, 2022

Dear Kean Community,

I’m in New Orleans at the American Association of Colleges and Universities Conference on Diversity, Equity, and Student Success. There’s a resounding message from the presenters and attendees: Administration and employees must work together to develop transformative strategies that prioritize diversity, equity and the student experience. That is what we at Kean call equity in action.

Katherine Gallagher, my deputy chief of staff, and Dr. Frank Argote-Freyre, associate professor and local negotiations chair for the Kean Federation of Teachers, are also here jointly presenting on our Equity in Action Postdoctoral Fellowship program, which serves as a model for other institutions seeking to diversify their faculty. Their partnership on this important initiative is a great example of the power of collaboration between administration and labor. I’m grateful to them for sharing their wisdom with 1,300 conference participants and showing Kean’s leadership on this issue at a national level. Find more information via #DESS22.

Earlier this week, we put equity in action in another way – by launching Kean’s new 2,600-square-foot eSports Arena in the Green Lane Academic Building. Esports is not your traditional athletic program, but it is just as competitive. Kean’s new esports athletes train hard and play harder. The new facility will help them take their play to the next level and be open to other students throughout the week as well. This exciting new venture would not be possible without the combined effort of Athletic Director Kelly Williams and Matthew Czopik, eSports head coach, as well as the enthusiastic students on the eSports team. You can follow the team on Twitch.

Another student-athlete who is already making a name for herself is senior basketball player Shannon McCoy. She is the first Cougar in program history to be selected as one of just 22 finalists nationally in Division III for the coveted Jostens Trophy Award. Named NJAC Player of the Year, Shannon is already a winner on the court, in the classroom and out in the community. Well done, Shannon.

As you know, last week I joined students and colleagues on the Civil Rights Journey, a travelearn experience hosted by the Human Rights Institute. I am eternally grateful for the organizers and for each activist we met along the way. I am appreciative of my fellow travelers who opened their hearts and minds to the travelearn and who, I have no doubt, will be putting what they have learned into practice. A special shout out to Lawrence Cortes and Erico Rovayo from the multimedia team in University Relations who joined us to document the experience through photos and videos. Stay tuned to see their work.

Have you noticed things are a little green on campus? I’m not talking about the spring bloom; I’m referring to the green lights shining in the Miron Student Center atrium and clock tower in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. Thanks to the ingenuity of Vice President of Campus Planning Steve Remotti and his team, we now have our own Empire State Building-type lighting campaign to recognize special occasions. Look for blue lighting there and in other locations around campus as we lead up to Autism Awareness Month and World Autism Awareness Day on Saturday, April 2.

One final note for students pursuing a career in education: I encourage you to register for the Teacher and Education Career Fair on Thursday, March 24, to meet with representatives from school districts and companies looking to diversify their talent pool with world-class students like you. Don’t miss this chance to network. 

Enjoy the first day of Spring on Sunday.

Sincerely,

Lamont O. Repollet, Ed.D.
President

A Message from Dr. Lamont O. Repollet - March 11, 2022

Dear Kean Community,

I am sending this message as I travel across the South with 18 Kean students and others who are part of the Human Rights Institute’s Civil Rights Journey. The power of this Travelearn cannot be conveyed in words or pictures alone. Our tour – from Atlanta to Birmingham, Montgomery and Selma, Alabama – is taking us to some of the most important sites in the civil rights movement. We are walking through history with guides who experienced the fight for equality themselves, and their stories are a testament to the principles of equity, equal justice and inclusivity that are core values for our University.

These are not experiences you can get from a textbook. Yesterday we went to Rodney Cook Sr. Peace Park in Atlanta and celebrated the 90th birthday of longtime civil rights leader and former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young Jr. at the unveiling of a statue in his honor. We also met with Dr. Bernice King, the youngest child of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Today we met with Bishop Calvin Woods Sr., former president of the Southern Poverty Law Center and a close confidant of Dr. King. He gave us a tour through Freedom Park in Birmingham and highlighted the monument to the Children’s Crusade, a freedom march involving more than 1,000 students in 1963. Across the street, we visited the 16th Street Baptist Church, which was the site of a horrific bombing where four young girls were killed on September 15, 1963. One of those girls was Denise McNair. Her cousin, Jamillah Smith-Zeigler, a Kean graduate student studying social work, is on this journey with us and shared the impact of her cousin’s death on her family. She said church, traditionally a safe haven for Black families, suddenly was no longer a safe place. I thank Jamillah for her courage in sharing her family’s story. Her perspective touched each of us deeply. That bombing was not just a moment in history; it was a moment that changed the course of history, and we learned more about it this morning than we ever had before.

I thank HRI Director Dr. Lauretta Farrell for organizing this Travelearn and the many donors who helped support it. I encourage all of you to follow #keancivilrights and #keantravelearn on social media as we continue across the South this weekend. Tomorrow we will travel to Selma and cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge with Joanne Bland, who was the youngest person to walk across the bridge on Bloody Sunday in 1965. We have more stops to go and much to learn that will help shape the way we act in today’s divisive world. As Dr. Farrell said, “Thousands of everyday activists were part of the civil rights movement, and their example shows us we can, and must, stand up and speak out against injustices in our communities and around the world.”

In keeping with our focus on research, the students on this Travelearn are also conducting research on the civil rights movement. I will continue to support Travelearn programs because they are invaluable for our students. Next year, the HRI group will travel to Northern Ireland over Spring Break to see how the American civil rights movement influenced the fight for civil rights in that part of the world. I encourage our students to join a Travelearn. Trust me, you will never forget it.

I hope you are all enjoying your Spring Break. When you come back to campus next week, I encourage you to visit the James Howe Gallery in Vaughn Eames Hall to see the show Build Wide Then Up, which is on display through Friday, March 18. Students Brandon Bravo and Nazira Goldware from the Artist-in-Residence internship program curated this art showcase from eight student artists. A reaction to Artist-in-Residence Knowledge Bennett’s work, the exhibition demonstrates our students' ability to come together and create collaborative installations as well as their own unique works. The closing reception on March 18, 5-9 p.m. is open to all.

Safe travels for all who are returning to campus. See you next week. 

Sincerely,

Lamont O. Repollet, Ed.D.
President

A Message from Dr. Lamont O. Repollet - March 4, 2022

Dear Kean Community,

Our University has reached a milestone in this pandemic. In the past two consecutive weeks, none of our residential students tested positive for COVID-19, and cases have continued to plummet across our campus, our state and the country. As a result, and in accordance with federal health guidelines, effective Friday, April 1, Kean will become mask optional in most circumstances. Those of you who are more comfortable continuing to wear a mask are welcome to do so.

We are waiting until April 1 to implement this change because we know many members of our community will be traveling during Spring Break, and we want to minimize exposure immediately thereafter. COVID-19 is by no means gone, but we are learning to function with an endemic virus. To keep moving in a positive direction, I remind all of you who are not yet vaccinated or boosted to get your vaccinations during Spring Break. We’ll send out more details on the new mask protocols after we return to campus.

This week, I met with New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education Brian Bridges, Ph.D., and the leaders of the other four state-designated research universities. As the newest research university in New Jersey, Kean now has an important seat at this table. I also toured our chemistry lab facilities in Bruce Hall and the Science Building. Members of my Cabinet will be joining me in visiting other spaces across our campus in the coming weeks to ensure we are meeting our facility needs as we move toward a Carnegie R2 Research Classification.

My senior team is also gathering and assessing data to measure our progress on a number of fronts, including enrollment. Kudos to Michael Salvatore, Ph.D., senior vice president of administration, and the team in Institutional Research for compiling this universitywide data. Look for this interactive data on our website in the coming weeks.

I was delighted to welcome CNN journalist and diversity advocate Abby Phillip to our campus this week as part of my Distinguished Lecture Series. It was a powerful conclusion to our Black History Month celebration and a fitting way to usher in Women’s History Month. My sincere thanks to my wife and fellow equity advocate, Darlene, for expertly moderating the conversation with Phillip.

We got a reminder this week of the many benefits of interdepartmental collaborations. Last night, students from a variety of majors connected with alumni at our first alumni speed-networking event sponsored by our new Office of Alumni Engagement. Director Carol Ann Koert teamed up with staff from Career Services, the Alumni Association and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to put this event together for our students.

Kean also helped our students network at the law enforcement recruitment event hosted jointly with the Union County Prosecutor’s Office this week. Hundreds of job seekers, including students and community members, turned out to meet face-to-face with recruiters from 44 law enforcement agencies. This was an especially great opportunity for students enrolled in one of our most popular majors, criminal justice.

I ask you to join me in giving a huge Cougar shoutout to our baseball team. They are currently 10-0. It is their best season start in program history. They are down in Myrtle Beach today and just picked up their latest win moments ago. Go Cougars! Another shoutout to our Galleries team, led by Lynette Zimmerman, who recently received some great coverage about our exhibitions on News 12.

As we head into Spring Break next week, my daughter and I are looking forward to joining students on the Human Rights Institute’s civil rights tour through the South. I’m sure we will all learn valuable lessons from those who fought for equal rights in our nation’s history. Let us not forget that a brutal fight for basic rights and freedoms continues in Ukraine. As the war rages on, Ukrainians need our continued thoughts, prayers and support.

I wish you all a blessed and rejuvenating spring break. Enjoy your week. 

Sincerely,

Lamont O. Repollet, Ed.D.
President

A Message from Dr. Lamont O. Repollet - February 25, 2022

Dear Kean Community,

As the conflict in Ukraine continues to escalate, I join many of you in being deeply concerned about the devastating loss of life and destruction. The weight of this crisis is felt around the world, which has already been challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some people may ask why they should care about a war raging so far away from home. History has shown us that conflicts easily spread across borders. Beyond that we all share a humanitarian obligation to condemn and challenge oppression in any form, no matter where it takes place. I urge you all to keep the Ukrainian people and world leaders in your thoughts and prayers as many work toward a peaceful path for resolving this crisis. I also remind students the Kean Counseling Center is available via phone (908) 316-8217 or email at counseling@kean.edu.

CNN Senior Political Correspondent Abby Philip will help us better answer the timely question, “Why should I care?” in her Distinguished Lecture on Monday. She will share her perspective as a pre-eminent Black journalist and offer her insight into the critical role that diversity, inclusion and Black voices play in politics. I encourage you to reserve a spot on the waitlist for the live event in NAAB or reserve a seat for the livestream at Kean Ocean or Kean Skylands.

Earlier this week, TIME released a wonderful story and photos about Kean’s Death in Perspective class taught by Assistant Professor Norma Bowe, Ph.D., a nurse, educator and humanitarian. Her popular class has become so important for many students who have experienced loss during the pandemic. Thank you, Dr. Bowe, for all you do for others and for creating a safe space for our students to address their grief.

Also working hard to address student concerns are the members of the Student Government Association and the Graduate Student Government. They have done an incredible job of bringing student voices to the table through their participation in University working groups, committees and events. Our student-leaders have also organized amazing programs to improve the student experience at Kean. If you have the urge to speak up and create change, I encourage you to apply online to be on the Executive Board or Senate before the Friday, March 4 deadline.

This week, I give a shout out to Women's Basketball Coach Mandy King, named NJAC Coach of the Year, and senior Shannon McCoy, the NJAC Player of the Year. Also from Kean Athletics — the swim team set 13 school records just last weekend. There are too many individual stats to list, but they placed sixth in the Metropolitan Conference Championship. Congratulations!

On a final note, this morning I participated in the third roundtable in our COVID-19 and New Jersey's Path Forward series devoted to the future of work in New Jersey. I was joined by State Senator Joseph Cryan and Tom Bracken, president and CEO of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, as well as moderator Tai Cooper of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. We’ve come a long way in addressing COVID-19 in our state and on our campus since our first roundtable series last year, and the work continues. Just today, the CDC issued new mask guidelines. We are closely reviewing the guidelines to see how they apply in a higher education setting and will update all of you when we have more information to share. 

Enjoy the weekend, take a moment to relax, and please remember the people of Ukraine.

Sincerely,

Lamont O. Repollet, Ed.D.
President

A Message from Dr. Lamont O. Repollet - February 18, 2022

Dear Kean Community,

This week I was honored to serve as the keynote speaker at the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey Circle of Achievement Awards Gala. It is so important to connect with state leaders and the broader community to share all of the great things happening here at New Jersey’s first urban research university. I thank everyone in the Kean community who attended the gala. I was humbled to see all of you in the audience and watch you interact with the influential and diverse guests. It reminds me how important it is for each of us to share the exciting story of Kean climbing higher in our communities.

Congratulations to Chief of Staff and Executive Director for Board Operations Audrey M. Kelly, who has been recognized as a Union County Women of Excellence for 2021. She is being honored by the Union County Commission on the Status of Women for her expertise and hard work and for having a “positive impact on our community.” I couldn’t agree more. Audrey is a dynamo in the President’s Office and an indispensable resource and positive presence to all in the Kean community. She will be honored at a virtual event on Friday, March 25.

Today 30 of our communication students learned directly from top executives at Disney. They have been chosen, along with students from Tuskegee University, to take part in the Disney/ABC Television seven-part virtual series, Behind the Screens with Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution Technology. The final event will be a networking panel with the company’s recruitment team. I have no doubt our excellent students will impress Disney/ABC Television in every way. This is the latest example of Kean going the extra mile to connect our students with leaders in their field of study to help them learn, network and launch successful careers.

The good news keeps flowing from Kean Athletics. With their 16-2 conference record this season, the Women’s Basketball team has earned the top seed in the NJAC Tournament. The women’s and men’s teams both play their first games in the tournament in quarterfinal matches on Tuesday, February 22. I encourage all Kean Cougars to cheer on the teams. I also give a shout out to the women’s and men’s basketball teams’ seniors who were honored this week at Senior Night — Shannon McCoy, Kayla Anderson, Sarah Olivero, Aniyah Moore, Nate Lyles and Jailen Hudgins.

Finally, I send special congratulations to Kean’s scholar athletes. Basketball player Shannon McCoy made the CoSIDA Academic All-District first-team with a 3.78 GPA while majoring in Interior Design. Also, 20 members of the Field Hockey 2021 team were named to the NFHCA Division III National Academic Squad for achieving a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher. These students are clearly committed to both their studies and their teams, and we couldn’t be more proud of their achievements.

Enjoy the long weekend.

Sincerely,

Lamont O. Repollet, Ed.D.
President

A Message from Dr. Lamont O. Repollet - February 11, 2022

Dear Kean Community,

I hope you are enjoying today’s warmer weather and looking forward to a beautiful Saturday. There is something about almost-spring weather that gets me thinking about Commencement season and a new group of Kean graduates soon heading out to climb higher. Baseball is always another harbinger of spring, and if the Cougar baseball team’s two victories this week are a sign of what’s to come, we’re off to a terrific start. As we all prepare to enter a new season, we can take a page from the athlete’s playbook — work hard during the pre-season, see each new game as an opportunity to do better and celebrate the outcome.

This week, we kicked off our eight-part virtual roundtable series, COVID-19 and New Jersey's Path Forward, with a discussion around Strategically Planning our Path Forward. Moderator Kellie LeDet, special assistant for governmental affairs, welcomed a powerhouse of panelists that included New Jersey Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli, AFTNJ President Donna Chiera, Jess Cohen, senior advisor to Senate President Nicholas Scutari, Elizabeth NAACP President Shawn McClain and our own SVP for Planning Felice Vazquez. They offered their expertise on how New Jersey can thrive as we move from a COVID pandemic to an endemic phase of the virus. I encourage you to watch the livestreams and invite you to share your reactions and questions using #KeanCOVIDTalks.

Earlier today I was happy to speak to the faculty and staff who are part of our Strategic Enrollment Planning initiative. I told them that at Kean, enrollment is a responsibility we all share. I thank the steering committee and working group members who are collaboratively developing a deep understanding of how Kean can SOAR — by looking at our strengths, opportunities and aspirations — to generate results that ultimately prioritize our students’ needs.

As we continue to celebrate Black History Month, I am excited to host CNN Senior Political Correspondent Abby Phillip for the first Distinguished Lecture of the semester on Monday, February 28. Her experiences and expertise as a leading Black female journalist serve as a great example to our students, and her insights on diversity and inclusion complement the University’s efforts related to equity and academic excellence. My wife, Darlene, a former corporate human resources executive, will moderate a Q&A with Phillip. Since we made this announcement yesterday, more than 200 people have registered for the free event. So, if you want to hear what Phillip has to say, I encourage you to reserve your seat.

Congratulations this week go to Elizabeth Locke, Ph.D., executive director and associate professor of physical therapy, who is one of the top 100 U.S. health profession leaders invited to the NEDIC Summit 2022. She was recognized for her commitment to building, creating and sustaining racial and ethnic diversity within the health professions by the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy's National Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Commission. Kudos to Dr. Locke.

Lastly, I want to thank Trustee Linda Lewis, a member of the Vauxhall Historical Society, and the Vauxhall Committee for naming me a Vauxhall Pioneer during their recent Black History Month celebration. As Kean’s first Black president, I am humbled and grateful to be included among the outstanding leaders in our community and, as such, will continue to honor my responsibility to help lead the way for others to be “first” and to ensure I am not the last. 

Have a wonderful weekend. 

Sincerely,

Lamont O. Repollet, Ed.D.
President

A Message from Dr. Lamont O. Repollet - February 4, 2022

Dear Kean Community,

This week marks the start of Black History Month. Carter G. Woodson is credited with founding Black History Month, which he viewed as an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of African Americans throughout history that are often overlooked. Woodson said, “We should emphasize not Negro History, but the Negro in history. What we need is not a history of selected races or nations, but the history of the world, void of national bias, race, hate and religious prejudice.”

Only through a diversity of voices and viewpoints, such as we have at Kean, can we aspire to achieve a history free from bias.

The recent public uproar over Critical Race Theory and the banning of certain books and even terms across several states points us to the question of how we understand and teach our shared history. Kimberlé Crenshaw, one of the legal scholars who created the framework for Critical Race Theory, explains that it “is based on the premise that race is socially constructed, yet it is real through social constructions.” Crenshaw and other scholars examine our society and history through a lens that acknowledges how race becomes realized through the systems we construct as the foundation for our society.

One example is when, beginning in the 1930s, government officials drew lines around specific geographic areas based on racial composition and deemed those areas “poor financial risks.” This action, commonly referred to as redlining, created a cascade effect of negative consequences for African Americans and other people of color who were denied mortgages, insurance, credit cards, and even student loans. 

Many of you have heard me emphasize the importance of systems thinking, and here is a prime example of a key tenet of systems thinking, which is that every system functions exactly as it was constructed. It is sometimes easier to say that a system is broken than to acknowledge that we, as a society, constructed a system designed to exclude some of our fellow citizens, including my elders, from opportunities to accrue wealth and achieve financial security.

As Commissioner of Education, I was responsible for setting standards to ensure that local school districts teach the history of the LGBTQIA community, disability rights, the Holocaust, and African American and LatinX communities, to ensure that students learn our shared history from a diversity of viewpoints. Students deserve the opportunity to examine their individual and our collective past. When we are polarized and politicized, students are robbed of that critical learning because some among us feel that history is creating a negative perception of this country. While some may see our shared history as an offensive affront to Americans, I believe we can acknowledge our flaws while still celebrating our rich culture. Our diversity is our greatest strength and, in my view, an honest examination of our shared history strengthens our nation rather than depletes us. We must deconstruct the myths that have developed around Critical Race Theory to ensure students have access to the texts that capture our histories.

One way that I am paying respect to my ancestors is by reading, and sometimes re-reading, works by great thinkers like Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois and Frederick Douglass. I am building a library of great African-American authors to help me understand their perspectives and deepen my understanding of the past to inform our collective future. Returning to these works helps remind me of my “why.” Now, more than ever, we must make sure our stories, even the more painful parts like slavery and Jim Crow, are not erased under the guise of banning Critical Race Theory.

As the first African American Commissioner of Education in New Jersey, and now the first African-American president of Kean, I can tell you that great responsibility comes with being the first. To paraphrase Shakespeare, “heavy is the head that wears the crown.” Making history comes with a price. Though all new leaders usher in change, those who are first are closely scrutinized and harshly judged for doing things differently.

I see the world through the lens of my lived experiences, which naturally impacts my leadership. Learning about history helps us understand the lived experiences of others, even and especially those who are nothing like us. The more we study history, the more we come to understand that everything is connected. Black history is American history. Through a close examination of our different perspectives, we can begin to shape a narrative free from bias as Woodson described.

You may recall that in my first Opening Day remarks back in August 2020, I noted that we were beginning Kean University’s 18th chapter, and I asked, “What will be your verse?” As we examine our history, we are also writing history — the good, the bad, and everything in between. And as we grow together, we will look back and reflect on whether and how we rose to this moment. Did we challenge the status quo? Were we upstanders as our University priorities call on us to be? While it may be easy to think of history, by definition, as looking at the past, we are living  history each and every day. I ask you to join me this month in delving into our shared history. Think critically about how our history, as a University and a society, led us to this moment. Then, pinpoint one action you can take to help us contribute to the world in ways that will make you proud to be part of the history that future generations will examine.

Enjoy your weekend.

Sincerely,

Lamont O. Repollet, Ed.D.
President

A Message from Dr. Lamont O. Repollet - January 28, 2022

Dear Kean Community,

I am so looking forward to having you all back to campus next week. We took the prudent course with remote work and learning and are emerging from the recent surge of COVID-19 cases. We will continue to monitor the pandemic and do what’s best for our campus community. You may have noticed on social media that in your absence, I’ve been busy dealing with the mischievous Kean Cougar. I remind you all, the Cougar still needs a name. Please submit your ideas.

This week, I had the honor of sitting on a virtual panel with U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker to discuss potential solutions to the student loan debt crisis in this country. We were joined by Kean senior Jason Pleitez, president of the Student Government Association, junior Delia Latini, and other advocates and national leaders in a robust conversation examining ways to help people thrive academically and professionally. My thanks to Jason and Delia for representing Kean so well.

Kean already graduates students with less debt than the national average, but there is more work to be done. Programs like the state’s new Garden State Guarantee can make a real difference. It will pay for the third and fourth years of study for eligible students. For now, Cougars, make sure you fill out your FAFSA form before the April 15 deadline.

Students, you told us that you needed somewhere to study, connect and rejuvenate, and we heard you. On Monday, a new and improved Commuter Resource Center will open at the Nancy Thompson Learning Commons. Students will be able to use their Kean IDs — 24 hours a day, seven days a week — to access a place to study or relax. You also asked for more food options, so we recently added four more off-campus restaurants to the growing list of places that accept Cougar Flex Dollars. Make sure to check out some of these local favs: Heads & Stixx, KB’s BBQ Smokehouse, Mark Twain Diner and Mike’s Pizza.

My family and I will be participating in the Civil Rights Journey, an enriching Human Rights Institute TraveLearn experience coming up during Spring Break. The Kean group will visit Georgia and Alabama to speak with longtime activists, connect with organizations, and visit landmarks along the path of the Civil Rights Movement. Our goal is to learn from our past to improve our present by challenging racial and economic injustice and continuing to advocate for indisputable voting rights. I invite students to join us.

In closing, I want to shout out Camille Sherrod, one of Kean’s Equity In Action Presidential Postdoctoral Fellows, who earned a 2022 Architectural Education Award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. She helped lead the establishment of the Center for Design Equity at Kean with a focus on advancing research, community-based collaborative design and social justice, especially for under-resourced groups in architecture and design. Thank you, Camille, for inspiring and challenging our students and putting equity in action.

Enjoy this weekend’s snow, and be safe. 

See you next week!

Sincerely,

Lamont O. Repollet, Ed.D.
President

A Message from Dr. Lamont O. Repollet - January 21, 2022

Dear Kean Community,

I’m excited to be writing to you from the NCAA Convention in Indianapolis where I’m witnessing history in the making alongside Athletics Director Kelly Williams and other Kean athletic leaders. Representatives from Kean and institutions across the country voted to ratify a new NCAA Constitution, marking the first major revision for the Association in 25 years. The changes focus, among other things, on physical and mental health of our athletes as well as gender equity, diversity and inclusion — priorities that are at the core of my leadership. It is an incredible honor for Kean to have a voice in what’s happening in college athletics across the country. As a new member of the NCAA Division III Management Council, I look forward to ensuring these new priorities and principles positively impact the experience of student-athletes at Kean and across the nation.

Yesterday, I took a brief break from the NCAA Convention to participate in the virtual Year One in Review meeting with Vice President Kamala Harris and Latino stakeholders from across the country. I was proud to be invited to the call as a representative of a Hispanic-Serving Institution. Kean has been fortunate to benefit from federal funding for our SUPERA and Passport programs as well as our COVID relief efforts. Seeing equity in education on President Biden’s agenda gives me greater hope that more students of diverse backgrounds will find a path to higher education across our country.

This coming week the University will mark another milestone in our ongoing Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) Self-Study. We will welcome our liaison Frank Wu, J.D., president of Queens College, The City University of New York (CUNY) for a preliminary virtual visit. As we continue to make strides toward our formal site visit later in the Spring, my immense gratitude goes to Kean’s MSCHE Self-Study steering committee and working groups that are driving the process of showcasing where we are as a University and where we are heading.

I thank all of you for a smooth virtual start to our semester. With classes underway, I want to remind students that there’s still time — until Tuesday, January 25 — to add classes to your schedule, so consider the possibilities and get one step closer to graduation. I appreciate your continued cooperation in creating a safe and healthy campus community, and look forward to welcoming you all back to campus on Monday, January 31.

Enjoy the weekend and stay warm! 

Sincerely, 

Lamont O. Repollet, Ed.D.
President

Important Reminders for the Spring 2022 Semester

Dear Kean Community,
 
I am excited to welcome you back for the Spring 2022 semester.
 
As you know, the first two weeks of the semester will be virtual for most of us. This decision, made in December, has proven to be a prudent, proactive response to the rise in COVID-19 cases fueled by the Omicron variant. I thank the many campus constituents who shared their thoughts and suggestions with me then and continue to do so now. I made it clear from my first day in office, the safety of our campus community is a top priority.
 
The University plans to resume in-person classes and work on Monday, January 31. We met this week with a New Jersey Department of Health official for input and guidance on our strategy, and are reassured that our current course of action is a prudent one. We will continue to monitor health data and respond as necessary, but rest assured the University is prepared to welcome all of you back safely at the end of month.
 
Residence halls will open as scheduled tomorrow, Saturday, January 15, and classes will begin virtually on Tuesday, January 18.
 
I remind everyone that the campus is not closed, and I encourage all students to visit our Student Services Guide to access student services both remotely and in person.
 
Residential students can participate in virtual classes from their rooms or other locations on campus, such as the Miron Student Center, Nancy Thompson Learning Commons or campus computer labs. Commuters are also welcome in those campus spaces.
 
Everyone on campus must follow the University’s health and safety protocols, including wearing a mask while indoors with other people, except while eating or drinking. Although Omicron may produce less severe symptoms than other variants, it can still be deadly for vulnerable individuals. We owe it to them, to ourselves and to all of those around us to do our part to contain the virus.
 
I hope that many of you have used this time over the break to get a COVID-19 booster shot as it’s clear that vaccinations and a booster are our best defense against Omicron. Research already shows that most individuals who receive a booster experience only mild, if any, cold symptoms if they contract the coronavirus. There is still time for anyone who is not yet “boosted” to get that all-important shot before you return or when you arrive on campus.
 
We have made it as easy as possible for you to get a booster shot or start your vaccination series if you have not yet done so. Students, faculty and staff can make an appointment at Union County's vaccination site in Downs Hall on the main campus as well as at locations across the state. Additional appointments are added regularly.
 
If you need a COVID-19 test, you can sign up here for an appointment at the County of Union’s testing site on campus.
 
As always, I am grateful for your partnership, patience and resiliency in these extraordinary times. We have worked together to protect the health of the Kean community, and together, we will continue to climb higher. 
 
 
Sincerely,

Lamont O. Repollet, Ed.D.
President