March 13 COVID-19 Update from President Fuller

Back entrance of the Werner University Center. Many stair lead up to the glass entrance. Tables with chairs and a red trashcan sit near the entrance.

Dear campus community,

In the past 24 hours, there has been a significant development that affects our planning. Late last night, Gov. Brown announced a statewide closure of Oregon K-12 schools from March 16 through March 31. This decision affects many students, faculty and staff who have children attending Oregon schools.

We continue to take a proactive approach to supporting statewide efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19. If you are exhibiting any symptoms of illness, please stay home and seek appropriate medical treatment.

Additional and continuing steps are below.

 

Child Development Center

Because of Gov. Brown’s K-12 closure announcement, our childcare center is closed as of Monday, March 16 and will tentatively reopen Wednesday, April 1.

 

Winter 2020 final exams

We have canceled all in-person final exams and class meetings next week. We recognize this could be challenging for some courses, but we need to maximize health and safety for everyone.

Faculty have a number of options available, including:

  • Putting the exam online
  • Having work distributed via email
  • Offering incomplete (I) grades
  • Grading based on the work that has been completed up to this point

Faculty will determine the method that works best for each of their classes and send their students an email that communicates the plan for next week. This email will go out no later than noon Saturday, March 14.

Academic Innovation will be providing faculty support to transition to online and remotely delivered final exams and class meetings. Faculty should use the Request for Assistance with Remote Instruction Form to contact Academic Innovation to request support for this transition.

 

Spring 2020 classes

Spring term classes will begin April 1, not Monday, March 30. Almost all spring 2020 courses will begin by being delivered online or remotely. Then, we will re-evaluate our social distancing measures periodically throughout spring quarter. We will provide another update on this no later than April 15. Tuition for spring 2020 courses will be charged based on the original mode of instruction in your schedule.

We ask for your patience as our faculty work to adjust their spring courses and communicate with their students about how courses will be offered. Students are encouraged to contact their faculty with any questions they have about course delivery.

Housing and dining

Campus residence halls will remain open during this time in order to reduce the need for students to travel home if they are unable to travel at this time. University Housing has limited temporary spaces available for roommates who would like to separate and limit their contact with others.

Students who can go home are strongly encouraged to do so. Students who leave should take whatever personal or academic items they want but do not need to check out of their rooms.

During this time, the Valsetz Dining Hall be open with limited hours for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The seating area will be closed, and all food will be takeout only. Please see the University Housing website for more details about housing and dining.

Student and campus services

Many departments on campus will adjust their services to provide them via phone, email, video chat and other methods to limit face-to-face interactions. We appreciate your flexibility and understanding.

Human Resources

If feasible, telecommuting for all employees (including students) is permitted if approved by their supervisor and the appropriate vice president for their area. In approving telecommuting, care should be given to ensuring the university continues to meet its mission. Please review the telecommuting guidelines and application/agreement for information.

Payroll services will be unchanged.

If you have questions about accrued leave or other human resources matters, please contact Judy Vanderburg (vanderj@wou.edu) or Heather Mercer (mercerh@wou.edu).

As additional information is available, we will continue to update wou.edu/coronavirus. Additionally, I want to let you know a deep cleaning will take place during spring break. Our staff will clean in accordance with practices recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. These efforts will enable us to open for spring term on April 1.

Our employees continue to work diligently to make our efforts align with guidance from the governor and public health officials. I know this is stressful time for all of us; I am confident that we will support each other throughout this process.

I appreciate your patience and flexibility as we enter uncharted waters. I encourage you to share this information with your families.

Sincerely,

Rex Fuller

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *