Bunker Hill Community College

Bunker Hill Community College

Messages from the Provost

Messages from Dr. James F. Canniff, Provost and Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs

 March 27: Provost Update

Dear Colleagues,

As we continue to make preparations to resume courses next week, I am encouraged by the collective resolve and determination of our faculty and staff to support students upon their return to a remote learning environment.  I know that this sudden transition is very difficult and stressful for faculty, staff and students.  We will continue to support each other as we undergo these changes. A special thank you to Danielle Leek and the AIDE team for the excellent work they are providing to support this transition. Please know that AIDE will continue to assist as you implement remote strategies with your classes. 

Below are updates that capture information about plans and activities that are in place or in development.

Tuesday, April 14 — Student Registration will open for Summer I & II, Fall 2020 and Winter Session 2021

Thursday, May 14 — NEW WITHDRAWAL DATE The withdrawal date has been changed to provide students more time to adjust to their classes before making any decisions.

Live Chat – Critical student services are now available via live chat to students: LifeMap, Admissions, Dean of Students Office, DISH, Single Stop, Student Activities, Veterans Office. Student Central and Academic Support Services are available via live chat.

Remote Tutoring Services — Remote services are in place.  Please refer to information in this link https://www.bhcc.edu/coronavirus-info/importantcontactsandhours/.

Student Communication – Communication is underway and includes emails, texts and robocalls for the ongoing engagement of students to stress the importance of checking their emails daily.  See Dean Elkins’ letter to students https://www.bhcc.edu/coronavirus-info/collegecommunicationsarchive/messagesfromthedeanofstudents/.

Chrome Books – The BHCC Foundation has worked to secure Chrome Books to provide to those students in need of technology during remote instruction.  We expect to receive the Chromebooks on Monday, March 30 and planning is underway for distribution to students based on financial need combined with information provided through the student survey included in yesterday’s email to students. See Dean Elkins’ letter to students https://www.bhcc.edu/coronavirus-info/collegecommunicationsarchive/messagesfromthedeanofstudents/.


Dr. James Canniff
Provost/VP Academic and Student Affairs

 March 26: Provost Update - All BHCC Instruction Moves to Alternative Delivery Methods Effective Monday, March 30, 2020

As I write, I know that most of us and our families are continuing to face these very unsettling times with much anxiety. I sincerely hope this note finds you and your family are healthy.

Given the current conditions surrounding COVID19 and the need to work remotely as explained before, Bunker Hill Community College is joining the ranks of institutions across the country to ensure students’ educations continue using alternate teaching and learning methods. All courses, with the exception of those programs requiring supervised clinical or lab hours, will be taught remotely. Clinical and onsite labs are postponed until we evaluate after April 27. This distance format is designed to ensure you and your students are not required to be physically present on campus.

As previously announced, beginning Monday, March 30, instruction for all courses will move to an alternative teaching format that does not include students and faculty coming to campus. These approaches allow faculty and students to work together from a distance. In adherence with the state’s COVID-19 social distancing requirements, classrooms and labs will not be available for use. All other workspaces will adhere to these social distancing requirements. The campuses will function using only a skeletal team.

  • For those who are teaching online, you should continue to do so.
  • For those who are currently teaching a face-to-face class or using a hybrid format, you need to continue your plans to transition to remote instruction strategies that do not continue a face-to-face teaching component or use of campus facilities. I understand that many of you are making great progress in making this transition to an online/remote format. If you have not done so, please confirm your plans with your division dean.

NOTE: If you have not contacted your students, please reach out to them before next week.

Thank you for the creativity you have employed to shift your teaching to respond to this current environment. I know that many of you have participated in the virtual presentations provided by the excellent A.I.D.E. team. At the end of this email is information from A.I.D.E. to assist you and your students in accessing their services. Ongoing virtual support is available to assist you, your faculty colleagues, and students in transitioning to these remote formats for teaching and learning.

All student support services are continuing by phone, email, and online chats. You will find a resource list using this link: https://www.bhcc.edu/coronavirus-info/importantcontactsandhours/ Also please reference this link to read all communications available to-date: https://www.bhcc.edu/coronavirus-info/ (see the Archives section, too.)

Let’s work together to ensure our collective health and safety. If you have any questions, please consult with your division dean.


Dr. James Canniff
Provost/VP Academic and Student Affairs

 March 20: Provost Update

Thank you for the notes of appreciation some of you shared. I applaud the work of our faculty and staff as you advance the individual endeavors and collective goals of providing the best learning opportunities for our students during this critical time. I know that with each hour, we learn more about the unfolding circumstances facing individuals and communities. I believe that supporting each other and our fellow community members offers the best hope for this uncertain journey. Let me know if I can assist you.

I want to highlight some updates on the resources and strategies that are in place and in development.

  • Writing Place - Writing support has moved to a virtual environment, and students can schedule an online appointment, information is available at their website https://www.bhcc.edu/writingplace/ and students can make appointments using this link: https://bhcc.mywconline.com/.
  • Tutoring Services - Students can access tutoring support through Smart Thinking. More information will be shared as we continue to develop additional plans.
  • Virtual Student Affairs - Staff are available Monday – Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Live Chats - To provide student service support, student recruitment, plus advising functions, staff are implementing live chats, so students have access to key student facing offices.
  • Library - While the Library facility is physically closed, the Library team has developed remote access strategies for students and faculty for all services except inter-library loans. Each academic division has been assigned a library staff liaison.
  • Bookstore Information - We received from Follett the information found below.
  • Spring Semester - No current plans exist to extend the Spring Semester.


Dr. James Canniff
Provost/VP Academic and Student Affairs

 March 17: Provost Update

As we continue to plan within the context of these uncertain times, I want to share a few updates.

  • Today Danielle Leek and the AIDE Team launched workshops focused on assisting faculty in adjusting their course delivery strategies. The deans sent reminders.
  • The President continues to meet with Alice, Cynthia and me along other campus colleagues each morning and afternoon to review our next steps for monitoring the current conditions and planning for communicating with students, faculty and staff.
  • Today a page of “Frequently Asked Questions and Answers” will be posted on the website.
  • The President meets with the other community college presidents almost daily.
  • The deans are meeting daily to ensure that faculty concerns are being addressed.

I continue to be very grateful for your ongoing leadership for supporting our faculty members, students, and staff. I know everyone is doing their very best given the uncertainties of this time in our local, national, and global communities. Thank you!


Dr. James Canniff
Provost/VP Academic and Student Affairs

 March 16: Provost Update

Thank you for your leadership in supporting your department’s faculty as we face these unprecedented times. The deans have reported that you have shared your expertise and time in preparing for teaching in new ways. I sincerely appreciate your care for our colleagues and students. I also hope that you, your family and friends are well.

  • Cleaning has been completed on the Charlestown and Chelsea campuses.
  • Division Webex meetings are being scheduled by the deans with Danielle Leek and her team to assist you and your faculty members as everyone prepares for distance teaching/learning.
  • Moodle shells for all course sections are being prepared by the AIDE Team for those faculty who wish to use this tool. Danielle is planning to distribute the plan and training information.
  • At this time, Library Services can be accessed remotely via phone and email.


Dr. James Canniff
Provost/VP Academic and Student Affairs

 March 13: Provost Update

Thank you for your insights during yesterday’s meeting. Because of your input, the emails sent to our campus colleagues and students included your suggestion that we start teaching all web-based courses and Mini Session I sections on March 23 and continue the plan to launch all others courses on Monday, March 30th. Here is the link to these messages: https://www.bhcc.edu/coronavirus-info/

This morning at the President’s Response Team meeting it was announced that the cleaning at Chelsea is underway.

Below are items we discussed and some updates:

  • A desire to adopt hybrid approaches as a teaching strategy was identified along with the need for support of Danielle Leek’s team. Danielle shared that A.I.D.E. has a training and module ready for those who are desire this assistance.
  • You shared concern for students’ access to the internet, computers, and Moodle plus the need for adequate data access so we have discussed this issue and are pursuing strategies to meet these needs.
  • Ideas were shared to explore self-directed pedagogies that allow for a different approach and trust in students’ abilities and commitment.
  • The need to share the list of services designed to support our student holistically during this time was highlighted. Strategies to support our students will be advanced by Dean Elkins and her team.
  • You suggested that there should training for all tutors to use Webex plus all department could promote Smart Thinking as academic support resources for students.
  • The need for students’ phone numbers was identified. Web Advisor was mentioned as a source of this information. The question was raised about including this information on the roster. We will explore the feasibility within our system.
  • Cooking and baking labs were mentioned as a concern.
  • How to use such communication tools as GoogleTalk and Skype was mentioned along with associated training needs.
  • How to mask one’s personal cell phone number was highlighted.
  • Also resources for supporting our students, faculty, and staff experiencing stress created by Asian xenophobia were identified as a need.
  • The idea of a Moodle shell for chairs was suggested.

Please forward any items we may have missed from out meeting’s discussion that you think need to be included. Thank you for your informed discussion and recommendations.

Stay Healthy,

Dr. James Canniff
Provost/VP Academic and Student Affairs