For the most up-to-date information, please see Denison’s primary COVID-19 Coronavirus information page.
March 10, 2020
As you know, we have been monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation while planning and preparing for its potential impacts to our campus community. The first confirmed cases in Ohio were announced yesterday and today Governor Mike DeWine has recommended all universities in the state move to remote learning and is urging consistency in response among Ohio’s colleges and universities.
As we consider our next steps, our primary goal is to keep our students, faculty, staff and broader community safe and healthy. We also are committed to ensuring our students can complete their academic requirements for the semester and for graduation.
Below are details related to Denison’s post-spring break plans which include a transition to remote learning from March 23 until at least through April 3. We are providing as much detail as we have right now and will be working diligently to answer all outstanding questions. You can find answers to questions on our COVID-19 webpage which we will be updating regularly. We will also stay in contact with our campus community via email. You can email your specific questions that aren’t currently addressed on the website to COVID19@denison.edu.
Much is still unknown about the virus and how it will continue to evolve in the U.S. and around the world. We do know that it is easily spread by individuals in close personal contact with one another. We are aware that social distancing is a particular challenge in the close living quarters of a college campus. Many institutions, including Amherst, Smith, Grinnell, and Middlebury have announced in the last 24 hours that they are moving to remote learning and telling students not to return to campus after spring break.
While many Denison students are at low risk for contracting a severe form of COVID-19, they are capable of contracting and easily transmitting to those who are immunocompromised and to older members of our campus community – including our neighbors in Granville and Licking County – who are at greater risk. We must make decisions about how to continue campus operations with all of these community members in mind and based on recommendations from local, state and national health and government officials.
We will transition to a remote learning model from March 23 until at least through April 3, with the possibility of extending through the end of the semester. Beginning March 23, we will begin remote learning as faculty provide students with assignments and structures for course engagement. During the week of March 30, classes will continue via a variety of platforms that support remote learning. Faculty will be in contact with students clarifying the changes to course structure throughout this period. It’s important that students monitor email and NoteBowl. Classes will continue through the regularly scheduled final examination period, either remotely or on-campus.
Administrative offices will continue to operate, and the library will remain open.
All students are expected to leave campus by Monday, March 16, through at least April 3. There is a very real possibility that we will extend remote learning through the end of the semester, therefore we strongly encourage students to take all of their belongings if at all possible, and especially all items and materials they need to continue their studies remotely. A subsequent notice to students will provide more information about packing and moving support.
Students with exceptional reasons to stay on campus, including international students, can request to remain via this form. Those who have already requested housing for spring break should still complete this form. We recognize that because we are moving to remote learning some students who had planned to be on campus may change their decision and leave campus. The campus will remain open (including food, healthcare and facilities services) for students who, because of exceptional circumstances, are unable to leave.
For those on campus, we will implement practices to reinforce social distancing. Our goal is to decrease the number of instances where community members gather in large groups or spend extended periods of time in close proximity with each other. We are evaluating athletic events, events hosted on campus by off-campus groups, and other large events. We will inform the community as soon as possible about any changes to these activities.
I know this a disruptive decision, but I believe it is the right one to reduce the spread of the virus and protect those in our community who are most vulnerable. I want to thank our faculty, staff and administrators who are planning for and addressing this complex and fast-changing situation and the complexities of moving to a remote learning model. And, I thank our students and their families for their understanding, patience, and support of this decision.
We will continue to keep you updated both via email and will also update our COVID-19 webpage.