Non-essential Carlow staff set to work remotely, residence students asked to move off-campus

Posted: 03/16/2020

University Communication to faculty, staff, students, Campus School
From Suzanne K. Mellon

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students,

In light of the information that was released yesterday by the Governor and the Allegheny County Executive, we are rapidly implementing operational changes essential to mitigating COVID-19 on our campus.

I recognize and applaud the resiliency and cooperation of our entire Carlow community in responding to this pandemic and the commitment to ensuring that our students complete their Spring term.

We are making the very best decisions possible and recognize the utmost importance of exercising social distancing practices. We are in constant consultation with the Allegheny County Health Department, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Governor’s Office, the Allegheny County Executive, Pittsburgh university presidents, and numerous other agencies. We will continue to take all necessary actions to protect our students, staff, and faculty.

We will all be making sacrifices, as well as adjusting to new ways of working and living. This will take patience, compassion for one another, and time.

Below are important updates:

Response to Allegheny County Directive Regarding Non-essential Businesses

Effectively immediately, all non-essential faculty and staff are required to transition to a remote work environment until March 30. At that time, the situation will be re-evaluated and communicated via email to all faculty and staff. Managers and supervisors are responsible for identifying essential and non-essential employees and determining the ways in which business continuity will be achieved in all areas throughout the university. The “Remote & Flexible Work Policy” application process has been waived during this time.

All questions about the “Remote & Flexible Work Policy” should be directed to Bridgette Cofield JD, Assistant Vice President-Human Resources, Diversity & Inclusion.

IT and the CDLI are currently preparing support resources and documents to enable the movement to online classes and facilitation to remote work during this period. Later today, they will email links to technology resources and accompanying tutorials to all faculty, staff, and students, which will support the continuation of Carlow’s operations via alternative modes.

Response to Governor Wolf’s (minimum) 10-day Closing of PA Schools (K-12)

The health and safety of our children and their families and teachers is of the utmost importance.

The Carlow University Early Learning Center is closed from March 16-27, and Facilities will be conducting deep-cleaning protocol in this area. The ELC will communicate to parents as additional information becomes available on this very fluid situation.

The Campus Laboratory School is on Spring Break from March 16-20. Immediately thereafter, under guidance from the Governor’s office, the school will offer remote learning opportunities for students from March 23-27. Details about the learning plans will be shared with parents via email from their students’ respective teachers. Over the next two weeks, the Trinity and Tiernan buildings will be part of the campus-wide deep cleaning protocol in an effort to combat exposure to COVID-19. 

Spring Term

The Spring 2020 semester is not being extended. Online classes began today, as originally scheduled, and faculty are currently working on modifying all face-to-face classes into an online or alternative format that will begin Monday, March 23.

Deans continue to communicate directly with their chairs, directors, faculty, and students in regard to the continuation of their courses, field placements, clinicals, practicums, internships, and lab-related coursework. Students should address questions directly to faculty. 

Residence Life

Responding to Governor Wolf’s recommendations over the past weekend, beginning immediately, we ask that all resident students move home or to an off-campus living arrangement, if they have such an option, immediately and through March 31. Residents are asked to link here to declare their housing intentions. Please understand that during this time, services will be minimized to assist the reduction of potential spread of COVID-19. From now until March 31, you are asked not to return to campus or the residence halls. More information will be forthcoming.

Financial Concerns

Carlow University has not made any formal decisions concerning how it will address financial issues of room, board, and student parking. Information on reimbursements, student credits, or other options will be forthcoming at a later date.

Official Communications

All official Carlow University decisions and communications will continue to be centrally disseminated via emails and the university’s website. Please continue to read emails and regularly visit www.carlow.edu and the “Alert Tab” at the top of the homepage.

Events

All events comprised of more than 25 people are being cancelled or rescheduled. Everyone is reminded to email their cancellation/rescheduling information to marketing@carlow.edu. This enables the information to be compiled on the university’s website. It remains essential to keep the entire Carlow Community informed of this information.

Moving Forward

The Internal Response Team will continue to meet daily and remotely, keeping abreast of all of the rapidly unfolding COVID-19 developments and their impact on our region. We will continue to regularly and expediently keep the entire Carlow University Community informed on all university-level decisions.

In Closing

As always, everyone is encouraged to continue practicing healthy habits, take preventative measures, and, if sick, contact one’s primary care provider.

The health, well-being and support of the Carlow Community remain our highest priority. We recognize that these are difficult and unprecedented times for Carlow University with challenging implications to our response. Thank you for your patience, flexibility, and willingness to support one another as we strive to navigate the days ahead.

Sincerely,

Suzanne K. Mellon PhD
President