Faculty and Staff Update Regarding COVID-19 (March 13, 2020)
For the most up-to-date information, please see Denison’s primary COVID-19 Coronavirus information page.
March 13, 2020
Faculty and Staff,
The last few days have been incredibly challenging for our community. COVID-19 presents a series of unique and complicated public health challenges. Colleges and universities are being asked by public health officials to do our part to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 spread. In particular, we are being asked to adopt a strategy of social distancing. Over the course of this week, Governor DeWine has made a series of decisions and orders that reflect his administration’s view on how to do social distancing in Ohio. This includes banning many large gatherings and moving to a prolonged spring break for K-12 schools.
The situation remains very fluid. As you know, we have made the decision to move to remote learning through at least April 3. We believe that we will have much better information over the next 10-14 days. As we gain more clarity, we will make determinations about the best way to complete the semester. To make these determinations, we will be guided by: the facts as we understand them; the guidance we are receiving from federal, state and local public health and governmental authorities; and issues specific to our campus.
This has been a hard week. I want to thank all of our faculty and staff who helped students and the college navigate disruption and challenges. You have managed these last few days with agility, creativity, tenacity and a focus on doing the right thing for our students and one another. Over and over again, I have heard from parents who expressed gratitude at the way our faculty and staff have supported students this week. That is a testament to you. Thank you for caring about our students and the college. And thank you for caring about each other.
As we watch how the COVID-19 situation is playing out internationally, nationally, and especially in our own community, I suspect many of us are thinking about what this means for ourselves, our family and friends, our communities, the college and beyond. Obviously, I don’t have those answers, but I do have information to share about the college that I hope will bring a little bit of comfort.
- First, the administrative team has been working on plans to support our faculty and staff as the COVID-19 situation evolves. There are many moving pieces. I know many of you have been questioning what all of this will mean for you and your employment. Please know the college is committed to standing beside our faculty and staff.
- Second, we are fortunate to be part of a college that is financially and organizationally healthy and strong. We will get through this crisis. Denison has the resources we need to help our community as we manage COVID-19.
Below are answers to questions that we know are on your mind. We don’t yet have everything figured out, and certainly there are more issues and challenges ahead, but our starting place is to be flexible with our policies and practices going forward as we deal with COVID-19-related impacts in ways that support your health, well-being, and continued employment.
As a closing point, I remind all of you to take care of yourselves and one another. Practice the good health guidelines that we have been consistently reinforcing and that are on our COVID-19 webpage. Take advantage of resources through the university and our benefits program. Do what you can to support one another as we continue to practice agility in these uncertain times. And, continue to share appreciation, empathy and good-will with one another in ways that are consistent with Denison values.