A Successful COVID Response Plan

When COVID-19 put much of the world at risk, a group of experts at Champlain began working nonstop to ensure the safest possible return to school.

A Focus on Health & Safety Leads to a Successful Return to Campus

One of the first tasks Champlain’s new President, Dr. Benjamin Ola. Akande, tackled when he assumed leadership of the institution was to develop a return-to-campus plan that would ensure the health and safety of the Champlain community. He assembled a team of specialists from across the College—including representatives from Champlain's Health & Wellness CenterCampus Public Safety, Residential LifePresident's Office and more—to ensure a holistic view was given to the plan. The team worked closely with individuals from the Governor's office, Mayor's office, and Vermont's Department of Health to come up with an approach that would ensure a successful reopening of the college.

Through comprehensive testing, tracing, and monitoring, Champlain has successfully kept infection rates on campus low. The College went above and beyond by implementing a weekly testing and surveillance plan and requiring students, faculty, and staff to sign a strict behavior/health pledge that mandates mask wearing, social distancing, and self-reporting of health symptoms. Anyone who fails to take part in testing and/or violates the behavior/health pledge will be asked to leave campus. These combined efforts have led Champlain to have one of the lowest campus infection rates in the nation.

Vermont: Lowest Infection Rates in the United States

Vermont has the fewest cases of COVID-19 of any state in the country thanks in no small part to the data-driven and aggressive measures taken by Governor Phil Scott and his team. Vermont’s management of COVID-19 hasn’t gone unnoticed. Read more from the New York Times, Washington Post, and The New Yorker.


A Note From Dr. Benjamin Ola. Akande, President of Champlain College

 Dear Prospective Students and Families:

I joined Champlain as President in July 2020 and have come to truly appreciate being a member of this very special community. One of my first priorities was to assemble a team to create a plan for the safe return of students, faculty, and staff to our Burlington, Vermont campus. I am proud to say that through the incredible efforts of this team, the broader Champlain community, and the State of Vermont, the College has achieved some of the lowest infection rates in the nation. In fact, the infection rate on our campus is well below that of the State overall, which is notable as Vermont has the lowest infection rate in the nation.

On this page we are including links to articles on our news blog, The View, that provide examples of ways we brought our plan to life to achieve this great success. I hope this can support others in their efforts to protect the health and safety of their communities. Most importantly, if you entrust the care of yourself or a loved one to us—whether it be a student, faculty, or staff member—I hope this information provides you comfort that Champlain is a safe place to be.

Be well! Sincerely,


Benjamin Ola. Akande
President, Champlain College

Our Plans In Action