Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) - March 19 Update

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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) - March 19 Update

Published: March 19, 2020.

Students, staff and faculty,†

Over the past week, we have announced the temporary suspension of face-to-face instruction on our campus and a subsequent move toward delivering all classes online beginning Monday, March 23, along with significant changes to residence life, public events, and remote work.† Though there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Lewis University community, it is abundantly clear that more significant measures over a longer period are required to ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff, as well as the wider community.† Several of those measures are outlined below.†

Extension of the Period of Online Instruction
The remainder of the 2020 Spring semester and all 2020 Summer term classes will now be delivered through online learning methods. We will continue to explore solutions for learning that requires presence on campus, in community, as well as at schools, private businesses, and healthcare institutions.†

May 2020 Commencement will be Rescheduled
Lewis University will postpone the May 2020 Commencement ceremonies and all other public events on our Romeoville campus through the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester.†

We had hoped to avoid the need to take these steps, as we know Commencement is an integral part of the student experience. After public health officials have deemed it safe to do so, we will gather in-person to celebrate our degree-earning students and your many accomplishments.

Residence Halls†
All our residence halls will remain closed through the conclusion of the summer terms, with the same process for exceptions put in place by Residence Life on March 17.††

University offices transition to a virtual environment
As you know, some university employees will continue to work on campus, but most offices will transition to a virtual environment until the foreseeable future.† Visit www.lewisu.edu/covid-19 for an updated schedule for university administrative office hours.† Most will have the same or similar hours, and most will be virtual.††

Supervisors will continue to communicate with their employees on their specific work arrangements. In all instances, employees and supervisors should discuss the nature and location of their work, along with expectations and frequency of communications. †Please refer to the remote work resources and employee FAQ located in the employee information tab of the Employee Information website.

All full-time, regular part-time, half-time and student employees will continue to be paid without the need to utilize PTO or STDB. Hourly, limited part-time employees will be paid for hours physically worked. Supervisors will assist with managing expectations and assignments even if a specific role does not naturally align with remote working.†

Campus Access
Beginning 5 p.m. Sunday, March 22, the Romeoville campus will be open only to students and employees; please bring your Lewis ID to campus when you come. Our Albuquerque, Oak Brook and Tinley Park locations will be closed through the end of the spring 2020 semester.†

We ask for your patience and flexibility.† Please know that we are working diligently behind the scenes to sort through the operational impacts of these strategic decisions. Undoubtedly, our move to online learning through the summer will present new challenges. We appreciate your patience as we resolve the various details and challenges of this situation.

We encourage you to take advantage of available resources for students, faculty, and staff. In addition to the resources on www.lewisu.edu, there are specific resources for these circumstances on the www.lewisu.edu/covid-19 site.

Itís critical that we act ethically and responsibly at a time when circumstances are evolving so rapidly. Given the updated recommendations of public health officials, we have chosen the path that prioritizes the safety and wellness of the Lewis University community and our many campus visitors. We thank you for your adaptability and resilience during these uncertain times when the questions outnumber the answers.

Dr. Christopher Sindt
Provost



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