Online learning extended until the end of spring semester
March 13, 2020
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
As we continue to proactively respond to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, we are committed to the health and vitality of our learning community, as well as the continuity of University and academic operations. We are working vigorously to ensure our students finish the semester with no loss of time toward degree completion and maintain the high quality of the academic experience at Bowling Green State University, even in these unusual times.
In light of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine's update to Ohioans this afternoon, we believe it is in the best interests of our community to extend the previous announced online learning window beyond April 6 to the end of spring semester, May 15. Beginning after Spring Break on March 23, all classes will be delivered in an online format.
As Ohio and our nation are in declared states of emergencies, we arrived at this decision in consultation with local, state and national agencies.
We recognize the pressure this puts on our students and their families. While we hoped academic instruction could have returned to a face-to-face format, we continue to gain a better understanding of the impact COVID-19 is having across the globe. We understand this is short notice, but given the rapidly evolving situation, we believe this is in the best interests of our community.
I want to be clear that we are working on solutions for our students' housing and dining plans.
- We are strongly encouraging our residential students to return to their permanent homes. However, for some of our students, the best place for them is at BGSU. Thus, we are committed to honoring each student's contract if they wish to stay in our residence halls. For those students who choose to forego their housing and meal plans prior to the conclusion of the spring semester, we are developing an appropriate model that is financially fair and equitable.
- If students wish to stay in their residence halls, the Office of Residence Life will announce a housing process on Monday to arrange for those accommodations.
- That same day, they will also share plans and a schedule for check-out and to remove student belongings. Recognizing this is an inconvenience, we will work with our students and be as flexible as possible.
We urge each member of our community to remember that we have a personal responsibility for our own health and the health of our family and friends.
The University remains open and operational. Today, the President's Cabinet and our academic deans received the preliminary process to accommodate remote working, and more information was sent to our faculty and staff moments ago. We are actively reviewing BGSU's remote work guidelines. We have asked that supervisors and managers offer flexible accommodations where appropriate. If employees are sick, it is strongly encouraged that they do not come to either campus.
BGSU-supported, non-essential domestic and international travel remains restricted until May 15. Given the amended online learning window, we are also extending the restriction of BGSU events involving more than 100 participants to May 15. We have not yet made a decision if Spring Commencement will continue.
This is a rapidly evolving situation. We developed an FAQ website to answer the questions we have been receiving from various members of our learning community. This FAQ list may not answer all of your questions, but we will add to it as we make decisions.
These are unprecedented times, and I am grateful for how our community has come together to overcome this difficult situation. There is more work to be done, but we are in this together. Your health and safety remain the University's top priority.
Rodney K. Rogers, Ph.D.