TERRE HAUTE, Ind – Indiana State University has canceled Homecoming activities for this fall. The football game is still scheduled for October 24, according to President Deborah J. Curtis.
The 19 members of ISU’s Homecoming Committee had recommended canceling activities such as Tent City and the Blue and White Parade because of the COVID-19 pandemic and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on large events and gatherings.
The committee believed that a large-scale celebration in late October would be inconsistent with ISU’s decision to finish the fall semester with mostly online instruction after Thanksgiving.
Curtis said at the meeting that campus governance units, the alumni board, and Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett were supportive of the decision.
“It’s never a statement a president ever wants to make,” Curtis said of canceling Homecoming. “But I assure you we will be very diligent in planning for an even better Homecoming in 2021 and we will engage in that work beginning now.”
The October 24 football game against Missouri State is still scheduled, although the Missouri Valley Football Conference Presidents Council has said “patience is warranted regarding any decision to modify the 2020 Fall season … as long as there remains a possibility to provide a safe competitive opportunity for MVFC student-athletes.”
The Board also approved modifications of university policy to align with federally mandated changes pertaining to investigation and adjudication of Title IX complaints on sexual harassment. The policy modifications are based on new regulations from the federal Department of Education. The regulations were announced in May and start August 14. Like other universities, ISU had to adapt quickly to complicated changes.
The board adopted one policy for the investigation and adjudication of all forms of discrimination, including sexual harassment. The policy applies to the conduct of employees, visitors, and students.
ISU adopted the regulatory definition of sexual harassment. Also, conduct hearings must be live and recorded, with both sides having advisors. Universities must provide an advisor when the complainant or respondent don’t have one. Cross-examination is allowed in the hearings.
In addition to the changes for Homecoming, the Board of Trustees also:
Canceled a planned $500 pay raise for full-time employees after the administration consulted with the University Budget Committee.
Merged the three departments in the School of Nursing into one academic unit. Previously, Baccalaureate Nursing, Baccalaureate Nursing Completion, and Advanced Practice Nursing were separate departments. The move helps align ISU with other higher education institutions.
Recognized a $60,000 gift from Jack and Joyce Rentschler by naming a conference room after them in the Athletic Offices in the Health and Human Services building.
Created a Graduate Certificate in Psychoeducational Assessment, pending approval by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, likely in Fall 2021. The certificate is designed to serve the needs of K-12 schools.
Created an Information Technology minor starting in Fall 2020. The purpose is to build additional paths for ISU students into information technology careers.