Update to Faculty - March 6, 2020

Update to Faculty re: Monitoring Coronavirus (COVID-19)

From the Office of the Provost

We are continuing to monitor the global spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). There is a large group which includes academic affairs, student affairs, health and wellness, and facilities that is meeting to make decisions for individual exposure of faculty, staff, or students, campus preparation for closure in case of a pandemic, etc. You may have seen the announcement in the Chronicle today, for example, that the University of Washington is no longer going to hold classes on campus and are moving to fully online through the virus.


1. Individual Exposure

  • Faculty- In conjunction with recommendations from the CDC, we strongly encourage faculty who are not feeling well to stay home until you are free from fever or other symptoms of acute respiratory illness. Health officials have recommended that if you suspect you might be infected with the COVID-19 virus, you should call your healthcare provider’s office or the emergency room before going to seek treatment to ensure that appropriate procedures can be followed to minimize any risk of the spread of potential infection. Faculty should contact CHADs and deans to discuss any specific issues related to sick leave or family leave.
  • Students- We must excuse students who may be experiencing symptoms of the COVID-19 from class, and allow make up of assignments. We are strongly encouraging students who feel they are experiencing symptoms to stay at home, and we are working with the Minnesota Department of Health to help us with quarantine procedures.


2. Campus Closure

If we need to close the campus for a pandemic, we will need to move to an online format to allow students to complete the semester. Preparations need to begin now. If you are uncertain about how to maximize the features in Brightspace D2L, please work with your deans and CHADs for support. Professional development and training with instructional designers in Academic Technology is also available.