Bulldog Bites

News and Views from the University of Redlands

60+ ways U of R has responded to the coronavirus

A partnership between the U of R and Loma Linda University provides the homeless with a walk-in clinic on the Redlands campus. Here, clinic director Mark Milliron ’76, assistant professor of physician assistant sciences at Loma Linda University, consults with a patient. “These are challenging times as it is, and for those who are homeless and have chronic medical conditions, this becomes a daily fight for survival,” says Milliron, who initiated the partnership. “I’m amazed at how quickly these two universities came together to address this need.” (Photo by Carlos Puma)

From paying student employees for the entire semester to donating 10,000 pounds of food to the Family Service Association of Redlands and offering a walk-in medical clinic for the homeless, the University expressed its community spirit.

Monitoring developments


Directed the community to reliable sources of information about the coronavirus outbreak, especially the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)


Created a Coronavirus Response Team, later expanded to include members of the Emergency Preparedness Planning group, to manage the University’s comprehensive response to the pandemic

Identified and worked with specific liaisons at San Bernardino and Marin County public health departments to coordinate planning and responses

Posted a regularly updated coronavirus FAQ page, timeline,and COVID-19-related messages to the University community on the University website


Provided guidance to the University community on the most effective ways to prevent the disease, including washing your hands frequently for 20 seconds; not touching your face; cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces; avoiding contact with others who are sick, and staying at home when sick

Implementing precautions

Early to mid-March

The early conclusion of spring sports was announced March 12. (Photo by William Vasta)

Modified Redlands campus operations to minimize risk, including increasing efforts to disinfect surfaces; expanding distribution and placement of hand sanitizers; and limiting self-serve options and increasing prepackaged options for food service

Canceled all gatherings that did not meet CDC guidelines, including visiting speaker seminars, conferences, wedding receptions, and Alumni Reunion Weekend

Prohibited all University-related travel to countries designated by the U.S. Department of State levels 3 (“reconsider travel”) and 4 (“do not travel”), as well as discouraging all non-essential domestic travel

Repatriated students on all study abroad programs, including the U of R Salzburg campus, reimbursing students for airline change fees


Canceled Bulldog Athletics programs, following the suspension of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference

“When this all began, this community came together to provide support for each other,” says University Dean of Student Affairs Donna Eddleman, who chairs the U of R Coronavirus Response Team. “That has been one of the most significant silver linings.” (Photo by Coco McKown ’04, ’10)

Taking action



Closed all eight campuses and moved classes across the University—in the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, School of Business, Graduate School of Theology, and School of Continuing Studies—to virtual platforms


Closed the residential communities on the Redlands campus, with a process in place to assist students with housing insecurity or international
travel restrictions


With support from Associated Students of the University of Redlands, distributed free boxes to students packing up their belongings


Asked all employees to work from home, except for a few individuals needed on campus for essential operations


Invested about $25,000 in technology infrastructure improvements to support the change to virtual classes


Provided technical and academic support to faculty members moving classes online (learning management system Moodle came to average 3,000 users per day)


Thanks to Ben Aronson, Virginia Hunsaker Chair for Distinguished Teaching, remodeled luncheons for faculty to exchange ideas on teaching methods to weekly video meetings in which professors could help each other adapt their classes to virtual formats


Offered technical resources, database access, and human resources guidance for employees working from home, as well as dozens of online training sessions attended by more than 300 people on remote work tools


Guaranteed payment of all employees from the beginning of the work-at-home period in mid-March through April 26, later extended to June 30

Kaitlyn Garrison ’21 reflects on finishing the semester from home: “This spring will be remembered as one of the strangest, scariest, and most creative times for me and my classmates due to the coronavirus outbreak. The biggest challenge with the transition to online-based learning was that I didn’t expect my life to become busier than it was before. However, my classes provided me with ample reading material. Whenever I found myself feeling restless inside, these classes allowed me to get lost in a book and discover wisdom about myself and the world.”


Announced that student employees would be paid the remainder of the spring semester at their average number of hours per week, despite the fact most were unable to perform their campus jobs from home

Providing support

Mid- to late March


Provided virtual tutoring for students who needed supplementary academic support


Launched The Writing Lounge, a virtual weekly writing workshop space for School of Business students. Professor Allison Fraiberg gives a brief presentation on a specific aspect of writing, then opens the discussion to topics related to writing projects and assignments.

The political science club of Pi Sigma Alpha, seen here at its annual induction event in February, switches gears and hosts a Western regional research conference on March 20 virtually. “We had to press ahead,” says Professor Renée Van Vechten. “Students worked so hard to prepare . … The ability to be agile and flexible and accommodate unexpected circumstances is a valuable skill—we can meet challenges and overcome them.”


Continued to provide virtual library service while the Armacost Library building was closed, including research assistance, help to identify reading material for virtual courses, and electronic interlibrary loan


Provided students with remote counseling, medical consultations, and wellness resources, including live circuit training via @livewell_bulldogs 


Began virtual career support for students and alumni, including virtual Career Studio hours and practice interviews


Started virtual online chapel services from the Marin campus hosted by Interim Chaplain Rev. Annanda Barclay on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays at 12:05 p.m.; other virtual activities for San Francisco Theological Seminary students included a book club and trivia nights


Streamed recitals by music students


Thanks to Professor Renée Van Vechten, the Pi Sigma Alpha honors club and Information Technology Services moved a scheduled undergraduate political science research conference online to accommodate virtual presentations


Allowed College students scheduled to study abroad in the fall to register for classes on the Redlands campus to limit course-selection challenges in
case international travel programs are canceled


Launched new newsletters from the Provost’s Office, Hunkered Down, and from the School of Business, Bulldog Business Briefs, while leveraging existing newsletters and communications outlets in the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, Graduate School of Theology, Division of Student Affairs, University Communications, and Alumni and Community Relations to keep students, faculty, and alumni informed


Began sending video messages to the University community, including a joint message from the president and provost; a “Take Heart” video from the Graduate School of Theology faculty to students, alumni, and friends; a series of reflections by Omer E. Robbins Chaplain John Walsh; messages from academic deans; and communications to admitted students by President Ralph W. Kuncl

U of R mascot Addie and photographer Coco McKown ’04, ’10 partner to offer free senior portraits with the popular canine. Here, Kestra Thompson ’20 and Addie mark the occasion. (Photo by Coco McKown '04, '10)


Kept financial and administrative services, such as mail, delivery, check disbursements, cashier deposits, charitable gift processing, and other processes going, with limited hours and social distancing procedures


Provided toilet paper at cost to employees facing a shortage due to panic buying


Thanks to U of R Computer Lab Supervisor Iyan Barrera-Sandri ‘08, ‘15, ‘22, responded to a request from City of Redlands Mayor Pro Tem Denise Davis ‘06 to print pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) at
U of R’s Makerspace, with support from a Redlands Community Foundation GoFundMe, and delivered the PPEs to Redlands Community Hospital, Loma Linda Medical Center, Loma Linda Veterans Hospital, and Arrowhead Regional Medical Center


Began the creation of a host of virtual Admissions events for prospective College of Arts and Sciences students—which include a virtual Admitted Students’ Day, Financial Aid Information session, Student Affairs webinars, Parent Perspective, transfer session, event in Spanish, and interdisciplinary panel on COVID-19, as well as sessions highlighting the Johnston Center, music, business, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), and psychology programs 


Sent out a letter to all local high school seniors who had inquired but not applied, acknowledging the epidemic may have changed their plans, which resulted in 47 additional applications

Responding to additional needs

Early to mid-April


Partnered with Loma Linda University and Physician Assistant Mark Milliron ’76 to provide a walk-in clinic for the homeless on the Redlands campus during the California “stay-at-home” period when many homeless shelters were closed


Thanks to Bulldog Athletic Training staff, delivered personal protective equipment to Redlands Community Hospital

The bells on the U of R Marin campus ring every evening at 8 p.m., adding to the community’s daily expression of gratitude and support during the pandemic. (Photo by Steve Caroll)


Began ringing the chapel bells on the Marin campus every evening at 8 p.m. in a gesture of community support and appreciation for first responders and other essential workers to correspond with a unique Marin County community activity called “The Howl,” in which everyone goes out on their porch and howls at the evening


Distributed prorated room and meal plan credits and refunds for all uncommitted funds to students who had to move when the Redlands campus closed


Launched School of Business COVID-19 scholarship for incoming students whose financial situation has been impacted by the epidemic, as well as crowdfunding for this effort at rfund.redlands.edu/SupportBusiness


Through Student Financial Services, continued to provide additional financial aid to students whose household circumstances changed due to the pandemic


Revised the University’s budget for this fiscal year to take into account unexpected expenses due to the pandemic


Held a special virtual meeting to bring trustees up to date on the University’s responses to COVID-19


Applied for about $1 million in additional grants to support students and their education via technologically enhanced learning


Postponed the annual Giving Day event originally scheduled for April 2 and instead launched a dedicated crowdfunding campaign for special student needs during the epidemic


Started offering alumni and friends virtual activities, such as meditation, yoga, career workshops, and the COVID Cuisine online recipe exchange


Thanks to U of R Bulldog mascot Addie (@urmascot), joined an Instagram discussion with Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center about fostering
or getting a new pet during the stay-at-home period

Leaning into ingenuity and community

Mid-April to mid-May


Launched a series of virtual interviews called Bulldog Bites, featuring more than two dozen alumni and friends

The Family Service Association of Redlands receives 10,000 pounds of food from U of R’s emergency supplies on April 23. The University also donated food to Inland Harvest and ExtraFood.org. (Photo by Coco McKown '04, '10)


Donated 10,000 pounds of food, such as canned fruits, oatmeal, and pasta, to the Family Service Association of Redlands; 3,000 pounds of food, including 14,400 food bars and 480 cans of Spam, to Inland Harvest; and a supply of canned proteins and other hard-to-get items to Marin County’s ExtraFood.org to replenish stocks that had been depleted due to the growing need to combat hunger. Much of the donated food came from the University’s disaster preparedness food storage.


Launched the hashtag #weRtogether to keep students connected and informed; launched the hashtag #SOEstayHome for the School of Education (@soebulldog) community to share tips for online learning, self-care topics, and images of study spaces, loved ones, pets, and selfies


Hosted an online version of the Senior Art Show


With a partnership between U of R mascot Addie and photographer Coco McKown ’04, ’10, offered graduating students free senior portraits with the sought-after bulldog


Held virtual graduation ceremonies for Johnston Center for Integrative Studies, while rescheduling a celebration of graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, and School of Business graduates for Homecoming weekend in October


Celebrated graduating students in innovative ways by live streaming department ceremonies, creating videos for Honors Convocation recipients, filming student speakers, and presenting social media well-wishes with #CongratsURclassof2020


Shared via social media Phoenix Chamber Choir’s musical rendition of “The Longest Time—Quarantine Edition,” which included U of R Professor Nicholle Andrews and U of R student guest singers; the performance surpassed 1.9 million views on YouTube and elicited a complimentary email
from singer/songwriter/performer Billy Joel


Held a virtual orientation for School of Education students, who started classes in May

Six U of R student guest singers join Phoenix Chamber Choir and U of R Professor Nicholle Andrews in a humorous rendition of “The Longest Time—Quarantine Edition.” The performance surpassed 1.9 million views on YouTube and elicited a complimentary email from singer/songwriter/performer Billy Joel. In an interview with the Redlands Daily Facts, Andrews said of the participants, “Everyone just wants to make the world a better place—especially right now.”


Moved May Term classes to virtual formats


Held a virtual graduation for San Francisco Theological Seminary (SFTS), while planning for a double in-person commencement ceremony for the SFTS Classes of 2020 and 2021


Among the first universities (top 10 percent) to distribute Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to students


Initiated by President Ralph W. Kuncl, launched an Employee Emergency Fund to provide financial support for employees whose households face urgent, unanticipated needs; the fund was seeded with a donation of $25,000 from Kuncl, 100 percent participation from the President’s Cabinet, and support from trustees


Continued to accept decisions to attend the U of R from prospective College of Arts and Sciences students for an extra month, until June 1, if they needed extra time given the uncertain environment


Began contingency planning for academic and residential scenarios for the fall

Editor’s Note: The University continues to adapt to the changing coronavirus situation. While the list ends here, the responses do not. 

Read more stories from the Summer 2020 issue of Och Tamale Magazine.