Dear members of the Drew community,
I’m writing today to inform you of several new policies and processes developed in response to the rapidly changing situation around COVID-19 (known as coronavirus). Beginning Monday, March 16, and continuing for a period of three weeks, through Friday, April 3, Drew will move to virtual instruction and primarily remote business practices. Drew, like many institutions following the guidance of public health officials, is adopting a practice of social distancing. Please read to the end of this message.
From the onset of COVID-19, we have been and are continually monitoring global and local factors, balanced with guidance and best practice within higher education. University leaders have developed structures that allow us to agilely take the best actions to safeguard our community while fulfilling our mission of academic excellence.
Though we have no reported cases of COVID-19 on the Drew campus and, at the time of this writing, the public health risk in New Jersey is low, we acknowledge that spread is occurring in various parts of the country and our state. Our decision is consistent with Governor Murphy’s declaration just yesterday of a State of Emergency and a Public Health Emergency in the state of New Jersey, as well as the updated guidance from the CDC.
All face to face classes are cancelled on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, March 11–13, as we finalize ongoing preparations to move to online—and in some cases remote—instruction and business operations beginning Monday, March 16 (see “Academic Continuity” below). Courses previously scheduled in online delivery methods will be held this week as usual. A Zoom meeting of the University faculty will take place today, Tuesday, March 10, at 4:15 p.m. to address faculty-specific planning and questions.
For the remainder of this week, and throughout the time of virtual instruction, University residence halls and other community services (see below) will remain open for those who choose to remain on campus. All resident and commuter students should inform us of where they are residing during this period by submitting the Drew University Residency Plans during COVID-19 form by Friday, March 13. Please complete this form even if you will be staying on campus in your currently assigned room.
On Thursday and Friday, nonessential staff are asked to work remotely as you would in the case of a snow emergency; for staff members whose positions prevent them from working remotely, alternate arrangements will be provided. Beginning Monday, March 16, we will resume normal business practices in a modified, remote way (see “Business Continuity” below). Staff members who are not experiencing any symptoms of illness are expected to work on campus on Wednesday, March 11 as usual. The day will conclude with an information session at 4 p.m. in Crawford Hall at the Ehinger Center (or via Zoom meeting) where staff-specific concerns will be addressed.
From now through April 3, all events and gatherings on campus are postponed. This includes all Drew Forum, Admissions, student/club, and rental events. Work-related events and meetings should be conducted remotely. We will continue to evaluate the situation and stay in touch with you about the postponement and resumption of events on campus.
We recognize this situation may cause inconvenience, anxiety, and disappointment within our community, but the potential consequences of not acting at this time outweigh the disruption in the short term. We strongly believe our actions today will give us the best chance to decrease risk in our community.
We also understand that you will have many questions about the next few weeks and beyond. For now, please read this information carefully, and know we will stay in touch.
For Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, March 11-13, in-person classes are cancelled as we continue preparations to move to the online learning format. Courses previously scheduled in online delivery methods will be held this week as usual.
Students, if you haven’t already, you will receive instructions from your professor about how to access your classes online before 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 15. Online instruction begins on Monday, March 16.
We recognize that some classes cannot easily move to a typical online format. Your professor will let you know about alternate arrangements for these classes.
Please attend the University Faculty meeting today at 4:15 pm. See the Provost’s previous email for details.
Staff, unless instructed by your supervisor, please plan to work remotely on Thursday and Friday.
If you are unable to work remotely, alternate arrangements will be provided. Please be in touch with your supervisor.
Beginning on Monday, March 16, we will resume normal business practices in a modified, mainly remote way. Further communications are forthcoming prior to Monday, March 16.
In some cases, staff will be determined to be essential to business continuity; those staff members will receive specific communication regarding their on-campus work arrangements.
All needed meetings should move to a Zoom format.
Find a work-from-home technology FAQ here.
If you are not experiencing any symptoms of illness, please report to campus on Wednesday, March 11, for work as usual and to take part in an information session at 4 p.m. in Crawford Hall at the Ehinger Center (or via Zoom meeting) where staff-specific concerns will be addressed.
Questions should be directed to your respective divisional Cabinet member.
Events and Meetings
Through April 3, all internal, institutional, and external events are postponed.
All work-related events will be conducted remotely unless otherwise specified by a supervisor.
See below for information regarding NCAA/Landmark Conference athletics events.
Health Services will remain open with scheduling updates on their website.
If you are feeling ill, please call the office at 973-408-3414 to speak with a clinician prior to scheduling an appointment or visiting Health Services.
Counseling Services will remain open with scheduling updates on their website.
Students who are currently seeing a counselor will be notified of available options for remote meetings.
Group sessions will be suspended at this time.
University residence halls will remain open for those who chose to remain in their rooms. Residents who chose to reside elsewhere during this three-week period will be unable to return to the residence hall until on-campus classes resume.
The Guest Policy is suspended; no guest will be authorized to be in the residence halls.
Residents who choose to host other Drew residents in their room should use best hygiene practices, including social distancing to avoid close contact.
Our professional residence life team will remain on campus for student support. An updated duty roster will be shared with the community as needed.
All resident and commuter students should inform us of where they are residing during this period by submitting the Drew University Residency Plans during COVID-19 form by Friday, March 13.
Commuter students should inform us of where they are residing during this period by submitting the Drew University Residency Plans during COVID-19 form.
Peet’s Coffee House and the Ehinger Center Food Court will be closed beginning on Wednesday, March 11, 2020.
The Commons, Starbucks and the C-Store will be open for regular hours through this week. Additional information on the dining schedule will be announced at the end of the week.
All dining facilities are transitioning to pre-packaged or served/plated items.
On-campus and remote library and instructional technology services are outlined in this guide.
The Forum will remain open through this week and schedule updates will be sent as appropriate.
Only Drew students, faculty, and staff are permitted to use Forum facilities.
For Conference sport teams in their active season, all practices and contests will continue.
The university will continue to follow guidance from the NCAA and Landmark Conference for further steps.
Club sports practices and contests are suspended at this time.
All university-sponsored academic travel is suspended. Please check any applicable conference or meeting refund cancellation policies and note that, since, many similar events are being cancelled, you may be eligible for a refund.
For staff related travel questions, contact Chief of Staff Barb Bresnahan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit University’s COVID-19 website for up-to-date information on all University prevention practices, policies, information, and resources.
For concerns about bias or harassment, students can submit an incident report using this form, and employees should contact Human Resources at 973-408-3223. In this unusual time, our community values of respect and consideration for each other are especially important. Additionally, the CDC offers guidance on stigma and resilience, available here.
I want to offer my thanks to our staff and faculty, as well as our partners in our hometown of Madison, who have been tirelessly working on these issues around the clock. We continue to work with our local, state, and federal partners to determine next steps. We will communicate with you as far in advance as possible regarding a return to on-campus learning and business after April 3. Thank you for your continued cooperation as we work together to maintain the health and well-being of our campus community.
President, Drew University