I hope my message this week finds you and your loved ones staying healthy and safe during these challenging times.
As you have probably heard or read in the newspaper the Center of Southwest Studies was not spared from the budget cuts made at Fort Lewis College. The Center staff has been furloughed two days per week for the next year. Given our limited hours and the ongoing impacts of the pandemic we will not be able to reopen with the regular hours as we had in the past. When we do reopen and you come to see the beautiful PIVOT: Skateboard Deck Art exhibit or to do research in the archives and library we want to ensure that the health and safety of you, the students and the staff are our top priority. To do this we will be following the procedures and protocols set in place by the College as well as the additional protocols we are putting in place for cleaning and sanitizing areas and items after each use at the Center. Soon we will be adding information to our website as to when and how you can arrange for a tour of the exhibit and when staff will be available to assist you with your research.
We have also been informed that over the next year the College wants the Center to come up with a plan to become more financially sustainable in the future. With change comes opportunity and we will take this coming year to explore different options and to possibly re-envision what the Center of Southwest Studies will be in the future and how we can best serve our FLC students and faculty, as well as the Four Corners community. To do this we want to hear from you—Our Community! As we start planning for the future of the Center, we will be conducting listening tours both on and off campus. We will keep you posted when we start to schedule these. As much as we prefer to meet in person, given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we may end up doing these listening tours via Zoom.
This is our “new normal” at the Center of Southwest Studies. Please be patient with us as we work through these changes and adjustments. We will do our very best to serve you and your family and friends as we navigate through this together. We want everyone to continue to enjoy what the Center has to offer while remaining healthy. Most of all we look forward to welcoming you back. We have missed you!
Stay safe and strong!
Shelby J. Tisdale, Ph.D.