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First Town Hall of 2021

by Athena Mata

On Tuesday February 9, Blackburn’s president, Mark Biermann, held a virtual town hall meeting to explain to students, faculty and staff about some information about the school and how we will conduct things in the future. 

Biermann began the meeting by discussing the current COVID-19 conditions on campus. There are currently 17 students in quarantine or isolation. He also mentioned that many faculty and staff members will be getting their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine soon. 

Then, Biermann discussed the budget. Student enrollment has been down the last few years, especially this year because of the pandemic, so the school is not receiving as much income. Biermann tried to reassure people, but also be up front about the budget concerns. Biermann also discussed that because of the college’s limited budget, it will be difficult to make any large renovations or improvements. 

Biermann discussed Blackburn investing in a marketing service through Up&Up to increase student enrollment and improve the school’s image. Up&Up will help Blackburn improve our websites, branding and marketing in general. Biermann also discussed how Blackburn has been given financial aid from the government for COVID-19 relief. Part of the money is for the school’s functions, and the other portion is for aid for the students. 

Biermann also used this meeting to introduce a few people. One of them being Steven Lambert, who is the new vice president for inclusive enrollment for Blackburn. Al Sturgeon will be the new vice president for diversity and equitable student life. Sturgeon will begin working within a month. 

Biermann hosted this town hall meeting to give some insight to the Blackburn community about many things that will happen in the future and where we are now. A recording of the meeting was sent out through email on the same day as the meeting by Shawna Poe, so people who could not attend the meeting can still get the information covered. The link to the meeting recording is https://blackburn.zoom.us/rec/share/KpFwsat3tRdNUiv_DT0YuqDdSGFOEEdb7SXcfVYuZbzsGhHaqLEntLF79rExQ6Lg.txsmC4K08Fhpio4H and the password is Stsf%3?t.

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