University Announces Further Steps In Response To Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

March 12, 2020

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

We have continued to monitor reports related to the COVID-19, including its rapid spread across Illinois and the United States. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared this disease epidemic as a pandemic. Today, I am announcing a series of actions that are designed with the health and welfare of our students, staff, faculty, and campus in mind. These decisions have not been made lightly, but only after careful consideration of all available information released by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and the Illinois and Chicago Departments of Public Health, and with considerable input from our campus leaders. These are unprecedented times and your careful understanding is essential. 

With each action outlined below, due consideration has been accorded to a number of factors and circumstances. The Chicago State University Emergency Preparedness Taskforce has also been working diligently over the past two weeks to develop plans that preserve our mission, values, and goals, while providing the least disruption to the education of our students. These meetings have led to the preparation of a plan and process to continue academic coursework, while also prioritizing the health and well-being of the entire campus community. The actions are as follows:

  • Campus will remain open and all staff will continue their regular work schedules. Faculty will continue their regular work schedule on Monday, March 23 during the Extended Spring Break (discussed below). Providing continuity of services for our students, faculty, staff, community, and partners is important.
  • Extending Spring Break for CSU students until Sunday, March 29. Spring Break is scheduled to begin on Monday, March 16 and will now extend through to Sunday, March 29. During the extended Spring Break period, CSU faculty are expected to return on Monday, March 23 in order to allow additional time to develop alternate modes for course delivery, as appropriate, to replace face-to-face instruction. We understand that this may vary for different programs, including those at the graduate level and/or those that require specific instructional methods such as clinicals, lab work, etc. We are prepared to accommodate all students if possible in order to provide effective and appropriate alternatives.

Through the extended Spring Break period, the CSU Center for Teaching and Research Excellence will continue to provide online instructional training and alternative learning tutorials for faculty to ensure all courses are fully loaded and accessible online. There will be required training for faculty during the week of March 23-27. Please monitor your CSU email for information regarding the training schedule.

  • E-Learning begins March 30 – April 11; in-person class instruction will be suspended during this period. After the conclusion of the extended Spring Break period, courses will resume Monday, March 30 through Moodle in a modified format, and run for a period in the modified format for two weeks through Saturday, April 11. Students will not report to campus during the e-learning period. Students are required to attend classes through the modified format during their scheduled class times during the e-learning period. Again, classes will continue to be held at the scheduled times, but with alternative delivery methods. Students are asked to be mindful to maintain their commitment to academic excellence through their coursework and class expectations.

Our goal is to resume in-person class instruction Monday, April 13. However, CSU will continue to review and evaluate all available information at that time in order to make a decision on whether an extension of e-learning will be necessary; the campus community would then be notified in a timely manner.

  • Although the situation remains fluid and is subject to change, there are no plans at this time to extend the Spring 2020 semester. Therefore, at this time, the Spring 2020 semester is scheduled to conclude Friday, May 15, 2020.
  • Effective March 12, all nonessential university-sponsored domestic travel will be cancelled. Last week, the decision was made to restrict all travel for university-sponsored student and faculty study abroad, as well as university-sponsored international travel. At this time, all nonessential university-sponsored domestic travel will also be cancelled. This is subject to change based on recommendations set forth by the CDC, IDPH, and CDPH.
    • Residence and dining halls will remain open to accommodate students who want to stay on campus or are not in a position to return to their permanent home. We understand that many of our students were not planning to travel during Spring Break. Library and dining services will continue to be available to students with the following modified hours:

Dining Hours: Monday – Sunday, 10am-2pm and 4-6pm

  • Federal Work-Study Students. Work-study students are not required to report to work from March 16 – April 11. All students should be mindful that e-learning begins March 30. We understand that many students rely on financial assistance to fund their college education. Therefore, Spring 2020 work-study students will continue to receive the prior approved funding. More information regarding federal work-study will be sent directly to affected students in the days to come. All non-work-study student employees should be contacted by their supervisor.
  • Effective March 12, all campus events with 50 or more anticipated attendees will be postponed through April 11. All other gatherings need to be reported to the appropriate supervisor or college dean, and should practice CDC social distancing guidelines. Additional information will be provided regarding the status of scheduled events.

While this situation is rare, we remain grounded in our mission to educate and focused on our values of academic excellence and responsibility. Campus leaders are in constant communication with state agencies, public health authorities and accreditors. In addition to providing the campus community with regular updates via direct communication, we will continue to update the CSU COVID-19 website (accessible from the link at https://www.csu.edu) with frequently asked questions and key University contact information.

In the coming days, students, faculty, and staff will be contacted by their professors, department chairs, and supervisors, respectively, to respond to specific issues. CSU has also set-up an email address at coronavirus@csu.edu where you may address your additional questions; we ask for your patience as we attempt to address individual concerns in a timely manner.

Thank you for your patience as we work to address this evolving situation. You have my greatest gratitude as we continue to overcome this challenge together.

Sincerely,

president_signature

Zaldwaynaka Scott, Esq.

President