Message from the President - March 12 Update

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Message from the President - March 12 Update

Published: March 12, 2020.

Students, Faculty, and Staff,

I am writing to inform you of our university’s efforts to minimize the impact of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) global pandemic on our community while at the same time fulfilling our academic mission on behalf of our students.

At this time, the Will County Health Department has not notified Lewis University of any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our students, faculty or staff. Since January, our Campus Emergency Preparedness Team (CEPT) has been collaborating with the Will County Health Department (WCHD) and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to assess the impact of COVID-19 on our university and to protect the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff.

Consistent with the guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), IDPH and WCHD, and the recommendations from the Lewis University CEPT and leadership team, several changes will go into effect immediately. These decisions will be disruptive and therefore may be upsetting to some; however, they have been made with great care and consideration for the health and safety of our community.

Instruction and Classes
The best way for our university to protect our community is to temporarily transition from regular classroom meetings in Romeoville, Oak Brook, Tinley Park and Albuquerque to online instruction.

  • All courses originally scheduled to be online will proceed as planned on March 16.
  • All courses originally scheduled to be face-to-face will be delayed by one week, resuming in a fully online format on Monday, March 23.
  • The delay of one week for all face-to-face courses will provide opportunities for faculty training and course redevelopment.
  • Learning outcomes for all courses will remain the same.
  • Even though students will not be attending classes on campus, faculty and staff will continue to be present and daily university operations will continue.
  • Registration for Summer and Fall terms will continue as planned.
  • We will provide an update by Monday, April 6 on the status of resuming face-to-face classes.

A set of resources to assist faculty in delivering their courses online has been prepared. Faculty will receive a separate message from Dr. Christopher Sindt, Provost, with additional details.

Campus Status
All campuses will remain open. Administrative offices will remain operational. Academic Support Services, such as library, CASE, and computer labs, will remain open. Dining services will remain open with adjusted hours and locations. Staff will continue reporting to work as usual; please contact your supervisor with any questions or concerns.

Following social distancing recommendations, non-essential interactions between staff and students should be avoided. Students who are employed by Lewis University need to discuss their work schedules with their supervisor.

For the remainder of the semester, our Health Services will have nurse and doctor visits available by appointment only. Walk-In service will not be available for visits or immunization record submission. Visit the Health Services website for scheduling instructions.

Romeoville Campus Resident Students
Resident students have the option to remain in their permanent home or live on campus. Regardless of where you live, you will be required to complete your coursework online. Services such as dining, library and recreation will be available to our students with modified hours. The Office of Residence Life will communicate detailed information for resident students.

Study Abroad Programs
Following CDC, State Department, and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines and advisories, we have facilitated the return home of our students and faculty in our study abroad programs. We are suspending all Study Abroad programs for the rest of the semester. Christopher Swanson, director of study abroad programs, will be in communication with affected students.

Travel
For the time being, we are suspending all non-essential student, faculty, and staff domestic university-sponsored travel and canceling all international travel. Any planned faculty or staff travel should be discussed with your dean or vice president.

We ask that you follow the CDC guidance on personal travel.

Athletics
We are modifying our National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II athletic events, following the guidance of the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC), MIVA and the NCAA. Updates on changes to athletic events will be posted at https://lewisflyers.com/.

Events
All scheduled university-sponsored events will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. On-campus event changes will be posted at www.lewisu.edu/COVID-19 as we make adjustments.

Commencement
At this time, we anticipate that the May 2020 Commencement ceremonies will continue as scheduled. Any changes or modifications will be communicated.

While some anxiety about the uncertainty of this developing situation can be expected, please know that we are monitoring it very carefully. We will continue to be thoughtful and collaborative in our institutional response, keeping the well-being of students, faculty and staff at the center of all decisions. Visit www.lewisu.edu/covid-19 for updates on our university’s response efforts for this rapidly evolving situation.

This evolving global pandemic has impacted individuals from diverse cultures and faiths, and at all levels of education and economic circumstance. Guided by our Catholic and Lasallian heritage, Lewis University is firmly committed to fostering an atmosphere that is permeated by its Mission-based values of fidelity, wisdom, knowledge, justice and association.

In closing, please remember to treat all members of our community, no matter their age, race, gender, with civility and respect. Infectious diseases are neither confined to nor the responsibility of any one group. We recognize how difficult these changes will be for many members of our community and thank you in advance for your adaptability and resilience. In stressful times like these, we find our strengths in our common commitment to our mission and to each other.

Dr. David J. Livingston
President

Lewis University is an innovative and forward-thinking Catholic university offering market-relevant undergraduate and graduate programs to 6,300 students. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis University is nationally recognized for preparing intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected and socially responsible graduates. Visit www.lewisu.edu for further information.



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