University Park, IL,
13
March
2020
|
02:00 PM
America/Chicago

Governors State President Extends Spring Break Among COVID-19 Pandemic

Governors State University has been monitoring the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for some time and working diligently on contingency plans as the virus spreads across the state of Illinois, our nation, and the world.

We have been working in close communication with the Governor’s Office and have had extensive conversations with our sister state universities. Because of the unique needs of our student body, our planning must address a distinctive set of challenges regarding alternative modes of instructional delivery. At this time there are no known cases of COVID-19 reported on our campus, but with the end of spring break approaching, we believe it is time to enact measures to increase social distancing to limit the spread of COVID-19 on campus and protect students, faculty, staff and the broader community.

The situation is evolving quickly with changes occurring sometimes hourly. We will continue to provide updates on a rolling basis. Please monitor the dedicated website, https://www.govst.edu/COVID-19/ for updated information.

Governors State University will enact the following measures:

Instruction

· Spring Break is extended for all students until Monday, March 23.  

· GSU faculty, staff members, and graduate assistants will resume their normal work schedule beginning March 16. During this additional week, GSU faculty will work toward the goal of continuity of instruction through alternative modes of course delivery. We understand that alternatives to face-to-face delivery could be especially challenging for some programs that require clinical experiences, student-teaching, lab work, artistry, etc. We ask that everyone be patient and flexible as we deal with these extraordinary circumstances.

· Please stay home if you are exhibiting any of the symptoms associated with the coronavirus.See https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/symptoms.html

· The Center for Active Engagement and Scholarship (CAES) has prepared an Instructional Continuity Planning site to assist faculty in their planning. Deans and Chairs will be communicating with faculty members about resources and supports.

· Courses in adapted delivery modes will begin March 23, with information to students no later than March 19. Courses in these formats will run for two weeks through Saturday, April 4. Our goal is to return to face-to-face instruction on Monday, April 6. However, if evolving conditions require, we will extend the adapted delivery modes beyond that date and communicate that decision in a timely manner.

· The Academic Resource Center offers virtual supports to all students.

· Advisors from the Undergraduate Academic Advising Center and Graduate Advisors will reach out to advisees regarding virtual advising sessions.

· Prairie Place remains open under spring break extension through March 22, 2020, and then under regular circumstances for international, out-of-state, and local students who choose to remain in the residence. We will accommodate on a case-by-case basis those students who want the option of studying remotely from home.

· Arena Food Services will continue their campus operations.

· Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, the Family Development Center will be in operation with restrictions on outside visitors. We may need to modify the operations of the Family Development Center for the protection of families, as the situation unfolds.

· For the health and safety of our patrons, the Fitness Center and swimming pool will be closed until further notice.

· Faculty and staff will continue their work on campus, including research. The Office of Human Resources will provide guidance for work conditions that foster safety and for those employees who suspect exposure or infection and must self-quarantine.

Events

Throughout this pandemic, GSU is attempting to contain or limit the spread of the disease by recommending conformity with CDC's social distancing guidelines.

Therefore:

· All externally sponsored events will be cancelled until further notice, effective immediately.

· All campus sponsored events with more than 50 attendees will be cancelled until further notice, effective immediately.

· Some events may be moved to telecommunications. These decisions will be made on a case by

case basis in coordination with organizers.

· No decisions have been made regarding Commencement Week Events. We will continue to monitor the situation.

Travel

· All university-sponsored international travel is prohibited, along with non-essential domestic travel until further notice. Human Resources will work with individual managers to identify essential travel.

· Personal international travel is strongly discouraged, and we urge caution and the exercise of good judgment for personal domestic travel.

GSU will continue to provide information on the implementation of these measures designed to address the educational and safety needs of our campus community.

For more information about COVID-19 and Governor State’s response, please visit https://www.govst.edu/COVID-19/. You may also email questions directly to ert@govst.edu. Our website is updated regularly and contains a Frequently Asked Questions section.

Our measures are grounded in the recommendations of the Campus Emergency Response Team (ERT) and informed by close communication with other state universities, Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE), state and county health departments, and the Governor’s Office.

We are all in this together, and we ask for everyone's support and understanding. In this fast changing environment, we encourage you to visit our website often.