CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

MARCH 16, 2020 4:11 P.M.
SUSPENSION OF FACE-TO-FACE INSTRUCTION FOR SPRING QUARTER; RESIDENTIAL HOUSING TO CLOSE

The Rose-Hulman leadership policy group established at the outset of the COVID-19 outbreak continues to meet daily as the situation evolves. Given this constantly changing and challenging environment, we continue to operate and modify as necessary based upon the best information we receive from federal and state agencies and health officials.

Remote Instruction Extended Through Spring Quarter

Based on the newest information gathered over the past 72 hours, and with the health and safety of our entire community our primary concern, we have made the determination that an April 19 date to resume face-to-face instruction on campus no longer appears likely. Therefore, these conditions require us to extend our remote instruction plans through the remainder of the spring academic quarter.

Our Academic Affairs administrators and faculty are working this week to determine what specific courses can be offered remotely. Given the changes in recent days and fluidity of the situation, our current plan is to have this information to students by the end of this week – Friday, March 20. Remote instruction will begin next Monday, March 23, following our adjusted spring break schedule this week. Impacted students will receive notification of required schedule adjustments from the academic leaders in their respective programs.

Residential Housing to Close 

As a result of extending remote learning through the end of the quarter, and given the potential for further travel restrictions, a similar adjustment is required to our previously announced residential life policies. We are now requesting all students living in the residence halls to make plans to move off campus as described below.

We recognize that the difficult decision to close our residence halls impacts each student differently. 

  • For those students who are currently on-campus and are safely able to move to an off-campus location, please collect your belongings and depart campus as soon as you are able.
  • For those students who have left items on campus, we will be including more guidance on how to move out in an upcoming residence life email, planned for Tuesday, March 17.
  • If your situation prohibits you from leaving the residence halls, you will be able to apply for a waiver to remain on-campus.

The residence life team is committed to working individually with residents to ensure that their specific needs during this transition are met. 

We do understand that this unprecedented shift in schedule and residency also raises questions for many students about recouping expenses for on-campus room and board. First and foremost we want to be fair and equitable in addressing those issues and are working through them now, as there are in some cases implications to financial aid awards and other funding.  We hope to have this issue fully resolved by the end of this month (March 31).

Discontinuation of Campus Visits

Upcoming campus visits by prospective students have been suspended until further notice. We will share information with campus and prospective families once we make a determination of when visits can resume. 

Commencement Plans

Another area we continue to discuss is the potential impact on Commencement, which is currently scheduled for May 30. Our current intentions are to hold Commencement as currently scheduled, and we continue to work through arrangements for that event as well. We will keep you posted on this specific event and related issues as details develop. 

Employee Work Schedules 

Human Resources has sent a message to campus today with additional information for employees around work schedules and leave options. 

Staying Informed

We recognize the significant impact these changes may have on so many areas, and while we had hoped to be able to preserve a few weeks at the end of the quarter for on-campus work, as this situation develops we have come to realize that the likelihood of us being able to do that is rapidly diminishing. Thus, we did not want to continue to make intermittent adjustments to our schedule for this quarter which make student, faculty and staff planning near impossible. We are making it a priority to address all questions and move as swiftly as this situation permits, and will continue to share information as quickly as we can through a variety of channels, including email, social media accounts, our web page and a special Covid-19 section for faculty, staff and students in our My Rose-Hulman intranet. 

As challenging as a decision like this is to make, I continue to be extremely pleased with the way our Rose-Hulman community has rallied together in these trying times. While this is new and uncharted territory for all of us and may temporarily look very different, I want to assure you that we will continue to do our very best to deliver the world’s best undergraduate engineering education in an environment of individual attention and support.

If you have additional questions, please contact campushealth@rose-hulman.edu.

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