Update to the University community
March 16, 2020
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
These are unprecedented times. BGSU continues to make critical decisions to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus in the best interests of you and our community based upon state and federal guidance. This is a rapidly evolving situation, and I am writing to share a change to previous announcements.
While we initially hoped to allow our students to make a decision to move out of the residence halls or continue to stay during the online learning window, we now are strongly encouraging all students to remain, or if appropriate, to return to their permanent residence. To any students living in the residence halls who do not have a place to go, we are still committed to honoring your housing and dining contract; please contact Residence Life at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
Because of the public health concern, students living on campus who have already left their residence halls are strongly encouraged to not return to BGSU to retrieve their personal belongings at this time. However, I want to ensure everyone whose belongings are still on campus that we will safeguard them, and we will arrange for you to retrieve these items at a later date.
If it is essential for you to have access to your room to move out, the Office of Residence Life will send an email tonight with details and a schedule that begins at noon tomorrow, March 17, until Sunday, March 22. You will be assigned a block of time to ensure social distancing. I recognize this is an inconvenience, and we will work with our students and be as flexible as possible if the assigned time block does not work.
We continue to finalize an appropriate housing and dining credit/refund model that is financially fair and equitable for all students regardless of when they retrieve their personal belongings. Please know that I understand this is a pressing concern for our students and families, and we are working diligently on a timely solution.
As previously communicated, we will conduct virtual and online teaching and learning beginning March 23 until the end of spring semester. We are committed to supporting our students to complete their degrees on time. I want to thank our students, faculty and staff for their flexibility and adaptability. I know these changes have affected your BGSU experience in ways we could never imagine.
Faculty and Staff
In an effort to reduce our employee density on our campuses and in accordance with Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s recommendations, beginning immediately and throughout next week, we will be shifting as many employees as possible to work remotely until further notice. Starting Monday, March 23, we will have only necessary faculty and staff physically on campus and only critical research related activities will continue there. In addition, we will begin to close certain facilities such as the Student Recreation Center to limit exposure.
Staff supervisors will be in contact with their teams to manage workflow so we can continue operations of the University while from home, where appropriate. We understand that a faculty or staff member’s remote work may need to be flexible, including reporting half days for leave time or using this remote period for virtual professional development. Employees are able to take any of their accrued paid leave, and once exhausted, they can report hours that may result in a negative leave balance. In addition, we are also looking into modifying our policies for our sick leave bank for those with limited leave balances. Faculty leave guidelines are determined in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. All faculty and staff members will continue to receive compensation for their work.
Students, Faculty and Staff
Our guiding principles throughout this pandemic remain intact. We are committed to:
- prioritizing the health and safety of all our students, faculty and staff
- providing our students the opportunity to continue their education
- assisting our faculty as they transition to online learning
- offering services to our students to support their online academic experience
- maintaining the operations of our physical and technological infrastructure
In the midst of these very challenging times, please know I am grateful for how our community has come together to overcome this difficult situation, and especially thankful for your adaptability and willingness to continue this important work. We will be successful as long as we work together. Falcons are resilient, and we need to continue to support one another. Your health and safety remain the University's top priority. I will communicate with you more as we make decisions in response to the COVID-19 situation.
Rodney K. Rogers, Ph.D.