Simpson University Announces Intention to Reopen Campus in Fall ’20

REDDING, Calif.–Simpson University President Norman Hall shared the following announcement May 5 with students, faculty and staff:

Dear SU community:

It gives me great joy to announce that Simpson University is planning to resume all on-campus instruction when it opens for the fall semester on Sept. 7, with measures in place to deliver our century-old academic quality, fortified by our Christ-centered community, while mitigating risks and promoting safety. This includes our traditional undergraduate, degree-completion, seminary, and graduate programs. 

We know that our students thrive in our uniquely community-based, personalized and experiential learning environment, and we are pleased to be ramping up to bring our students back for what we believe will be an amazing fall 2020.

In mid-March our extraordinary faculty quickly moved our whole curriculum delivery to an online and remote format. Simultaneously, I appointed a COVID-19 taskforce made up of faculty, staff, medical personnel and communication specialists to help guide our response and reduce our campus footprint in concert with state and regional guidelines.

The health and safety of our students and employees is our top priority as we navigate this new landscape for safely reopening our campus. For this reason, last week I appointed an expanded “reopening” committee to meet daily, study, and provide a multi-phased framework for reopening this fall. You can be confident that we will continue to work with state and regional government to ensure we meet or exceed all distancing, cleaning and safety protocols related to residential housing, dining, classroom instruction and methodology, athletics, chapel gatherings, campus safety, and more.

If you are a student, faculty or staff member, I want you to know that the Cabinet, reopening committee and I are working hard to reopen with your safety and needs in mind. You can be sure that we will put all necessary precautions in place to ensure our students can join us on campus under conditions safe for learning, living, and participating in co-curricular activities. At the same time, we will remain flexible as needed, with alternative strategies outlined well in advance.

The university offers free telemedicine health and wellness service to students and employees through our partnership with HealthiestYou and maintains close relationships with local public health officials and area healthcare facilities. Faculty and staff at Simpson University’s Betty M. Dean School of Nursing, ranked No. 7 among California nursing schools, are also a guiding resource.

We are thankful and exceedingly fortunate to live in one of the lowest COVID-19-incident regions in California. We are also fortunate to be surrounded by gifted faculty and staff, who have pivoted creatively and with determination during this unprecedented time. I am grateful for their hard work and adaptability and look forward to starting the 2020-21 school year with their energy, prayers and enthusiasm.

Simpson University has outpaced a nationwide trend, growing our undergraduate program two years in a row while launching programs in kinesiology, engineering, digital media, and computer information systems. We also launched new sports including track and field, women’s wrestling, men’s volleyball, swimming and diving, and bass fishing.

The COVID-19 event certainly took us by surprise but did not take the wind out of our sails, as our data tells us to expect growth again this year. Yes, it has been challenging. And yes, we are better and more refined to opening this fall with increased know-how, academic flexibility and renewed missional commitment to be the gateway to world service.

Students, keep an eye open for updates and start making plans to be in Redding, California, this fall. We can’t wait to see you. Go, Red Hawks!


About Simpson University
Simpson University will celebrate its centennial in 2021. Founded in Seattle in 1921, the university relocated in 1989 from San Francisco to Redding, where it has seen expansive growth in all programs and campus facilities. The university offers more than 20 undergraduate majors, as well as an adult degree-completion program, teaching credential program, and master’s degrees in education, business, counseling psychology, and through A.W. Tozer Theological Seminary. Simpson is home to 18 athletic teams — including new teams in swimming and diving, track and field, women’s wrestling, and men’s volleyball — and a 1-year-old bass fishing team ranked No. 1 in California.

Known locally as “Redding’s hometown university,” Simpson University welcomes students from 19 states and 14 countries. The university’s longstanding motto is “Gateway to World Service,” lived out each year through student-led mission trips and service projects. Simpson University alumni serve around the world in ministry and marketplace settings.

Simpson University operates a Veterans Success Center ranked No. 11 among Christian universities and partners with the Army National Guard in a program where students can earn their education while serving in the Guard.

The university’s attention to individualized learning and its caring faculty and staff enable it to serve many first-generation and economically disadvantaged college students. Simpson University is tied for the No. 5 Top Performer on Social Mobility by U.S. News & World Report among western regional universities and is one of most affordable private universities on the West Coast.

As it looks ahead, the university is launching new programs in digital media, computer information systems, and engineering, designed to help meet marketplace needs in Northern California. Simpson University offers aggressive scholarships and is working to better serve community-college transfer students through its commitment to Associate Degree for Transfer agreements.

Interested in “visiting” campus? Take a virtual tour at simpsonu.edu/visit. Set up an online meeting with an admissions counselor and be eligible for a $1,000 Campus Visit Scholarship. 

Learn more at simpsonu.edu. Follow Simpson University on social media; follow SU news at simpsonunews.com; and follow SU athletics at simpsonredhawks.com.

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Follow Simpson University COVID-19 updates at simpsonu.edu/coronavirus.

Simpson University Announces Start of Engineering, Technology, Digital Media

REDDING, Calif.—Simpson University is pleased to announce the awarding of $1 million in grants toward the launch of new programs in engineering, digital media, and technology.

The Hugh & Hazel Darling Foundation and The Fletcher Jones Foundation, both of which have supported Simpson University programs in the past, have agreed to provide up to $500,000 each over the next three years toward facilities, lab equipment, faculty and marketing of the new programs, which includes engineering, computer information systems (CIS), and digital media.

“We have identified a tremendous demand for these educational programs, and are responding to both a local and global need for a technically qualified and morally centered workforce,” Simpson University President Norman Hall said. “We are immensely grateful to the forward-thinking Hugh & Hazel Darling and Fletcher Jones foundations for their support and commitment to our higher education goals.”

The grant funds will help establish the first private university technology and engineering program in upstate California, as well as increase access to high-demand technology and engineering majors for students in the region, especially those who are first-generation or economically disadvantaged.

A 2017 study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the country’s largest job growth to be in the computer and engineering fields by 2024. Yet the North State lacks a skilled workforce in these fields, which has impeded the growth of local businesses and impacted the overall economy, notes Scott Putnam, founder and CEO of Apex Technology Management, Redding’s largest technology service provider.

“Our region is full of smart and creative people, and numerous technology-related businesses have been launched locally, but the lack of a developed workforce has caused many to leave the area or limit their growth,” he said. “I firmly believe that adding additional programs, particularly the development of an engineering program, at Simpson University would be a game-changer for our region.”

Last fall the university retained Dr. Hyung Choi, an internationally known quantum physicist who helped launch a technology and engineering program at Greenville University in Illinois, to help lay the groundwork for an engineering program. This spring, the university is consulting with Dr. Larry Wear in continued development of the program.

Dr. Wear has served at Chico State University as the chair of the electrical and computer engineering program. He is a graduate of the University of Washington, with degrees in electrical engineering, and Santa Clara University, where he earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering. He helped launch a computer engineering and systems program at the University of Washington at Tacoma, and has considerable corporate and consulting experience, including Hewlett-Packard, Cisco Systems, Tandem Computers (including Compaq Computers), and Lockheed Missiles & Space Operations.

“For the first time we are offering the opportunity to come to Simpson University and learn engineering in a Christian environment,” said Dr. Brian Hooker, chair of the Sciences and Mathematics Department. “We are very excited about this program.”

shutterstock_514412104The program, which is undergoing accreditation review, will offer curriculum rich in electrical, computer, systems, mechanical, mechatronic, civil, and general engineering components.

“Simpson University’s engineering program will be undergirded with emphases in chemistry, mathematics, mechanics and physics,” Dr. Hooker said. “Students will have internships with regional businesses to get real-world, hands-on engineering experience while also being able to live on campus in a Christian community.”

photo-of-a-man-holding-video-camera-2608519Simpson University’s new digital media program, offered this fall as an emphasis in the communication major, will offer students the chance to gain skills in graphic design, photography, videography, animation, and more. Students also will have opportunities to participate in a wide variety of internship programs to further develop those skills in a real-world environment.

The new computer information systems program, administered by the Business Department, will provide professional competencies in managing information, computers, databases, systems analysis, and business principles related to computer information systems. Training in CIS can lead to careers as a database administrator, IT project manager, network administrator, information systems manager, and systems analyst, among others.

A technology and engineering working and advisory group, composed of regional industry leaders, has also been formed to provide guidance on curriculum design that will meet workforce demand, recruitment, and job placement.

Simpson University is one of the most affordable private universities on the West Coast, offering excellent academics, experiential learning, and world-class co-curricular opportunities in a Christ-infused community in beautiful Northern California. The university offers vigorous scholarships for students in a wide variety of areas.

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Simpson University, a Christian university founded in 1921, moved to Redding 30 years ago and will celebrate its centennial in 2021. In addition to offering 25 majors in its traditional undergraduate program, the university has graduated more than 4,000 North State adults from its ASPIRE degree-completion program, and nearly 3,000 from its School of Education. It has a No. 7-ranked School of Nursing, a seminary, and master’s programs in counseling psychology and organizational leadership. Simpson University is listed in U.S. News and World Report’s Top 100 Regional Universities West and recognized nationally by Colleges of Distinction. The university is launching new programs in digital media, computer information systems, and engineering, and recently added athletics programs in track and field, swimming and diving, women’s wrestling, and men’s volleyball, as well as a bass fishing team. The university is also working to better serve transfer students from community colleges through its commitment to Associate Degree for Transfer agreements. Learn more about Simpson University at simpsonu.edu. Follow university news at simpsonunews.com.