The University of Northern Colorado has been actively monitoring the rapidly evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and providing regular updates to the UNC community as the situation changes. The health and safety of our community is our primary concern in this fluid situation, and we are making decisions as warranted following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), state government, and state and county health departments. These decisions are being made to help mitigate and slow the spread of COVID-19 and to help protect the UNC community.
This afternoon, I convened the President’s Cabinet, President’s Leadership Council, Dean’s Council, and Faculty Senate to discuss the University’s response to the spread of COVID-19 and its impact on the continuous delivery of the University’s mission. I want to thank these campus leaders for coming together and providing their input on our next steps. Following the meeting and working from the feedback provided, we have decided to take the following actions to continue to protect the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff. I wanted to share this information with you as quickly as possible after this afternoon’s meetings, so I am sending my Friday message to you early this week.
Alongside our extensive prevention efforts that are already being carried out, it is now necessary to take further proactive steps to help keep our community safe. These measures will undoubtedly cause inconvenience and disruption, but the risks of not acting now far outweigh the foreseeable inconvenience and challenges of these actions. The steps that we are taking are necessary to help ensure the continuing good health of our community. I am grateful to all of you in advance for your patience, support, and dedication as we work together to address the problems associated with COVID-19.
Given that one of the best ways to prevent the spread of viral illness is to limit contact, the following policies are effective immediately.
Classes Move Online After Spring Break
Following our scheduled Spring Break (March 15 to 22), students on all UNC campuses will be taught remotely (not in person) for two weeks (March 23 to April 5). We are planning to resume face-to-face teaching on Monday, April 6. However, that could change with the evolving situation.
We are investigating how to accommodate classroom activities that typically include laboratories, performances, or other in-person interactions, and specific guidance will follow. UNC campuses will not close, and residence halls and dining will remain open.
In-Person Classes Canceled March 23 & March 24
To allow time for faculty to prepare to teach classes remotely after Spring Break, all in-person classes at all of UNC’s campuses have been canceled on March 23 and March 24. Classes that were already scheduled to occur online will continue to be held, as scheduled.
University-sponsored or affiliated international travel is suspended through June 30, 2020. Personal international travel is strongly discouraged given the associated risks of possibly being unable to return for some period if the situation changes. Travelers returning from countries designated Level 2 or 3 by the CDC are subject to 14-day self-quarantine off campus upon return.
Effective today, University-affiliated domestic travel outside of Colorado is suspended unless deemed to be essential. We encourage all members of the UNC community to consider using video conferencing, phones, or other alternatives to meeting in person when possible.
Other than for students returning home, personal travel outside Colorado is also discouraged.
Events and Meetings
All University events scheduled on campus from March 23 through April 5 are canceled. Athletic events will follow the guidance of their conference governance and public health officials. Meetings that are necessary to the continued operation of the University or to comply with specific academic requirements may still be held, although alternatives to face-to-face meetings should be utilized when reasonable and appropriate. Please confer with your division vice president regarding whether a particular meeting falls within these limited exceptions. During this time, visitors to campus are discouraged.
Campus business operations and services including residence halls, dining operations, Campus Recreation Center, Student Heath Center, University Libraries, Campus Commons, and University Center will remain open.
While UNC campuses will not be officially closed as part of this time period, we do ask for your patience as some services may be limited due to adjusted staffing levels.
Telecommuting Options for Faculty and Staff
Decisions about work from home will be made on a case-by-case basis taking into consideration the ongoing operational needs of the University and also considering public health advice. Supervisors should consult with their Dean or AVP, but have discretion to designate employees as critical to maintaining University operations. It is recognized that not all work will be able to be performed at home and may require physical presence all or some of the time.
This is a situation where the information and guidance is evolving daily, often unpredictably. We will continue to adapt UNC’s policies as the situation warrants to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. If you have questions, please direct them to your division vice president.
Finally, I want to affirm UNC's commitment to the values of an inclusive community of students and scholars from all over the world. We thrive when we respect one another and stay committed to each other’s well-being, including our students whose home countries or states are already facing challenges with COVID-19. UNC will not tolerate discrimination. Your continuing compassion and adherence to these values of inclusivity are essential as we face the challenges ahead.
Thank you again for your support of our University’s mission and ongoing commitment to the well-being of the UNC community. At this time of serious public health concerns, we truly are all in this together as we navigate our way forward.
Rowing, Not Drifting,