Fiat Navigating Fast-Moving and Significantly Uncharted Waters

With Alfred University’s suspension of in-person classes, and our move to online instruction as of yesterday in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, I would like to express my profound gratitude and relay my pride in the patience, understanding, creativity, and resilience that has been exhibited—by faculty and staff, students and parents, and members of the local community—as we have begun navigating these fast-moving and significantly uncharted waters.

These are trying times, and there is no single right answer to the problems associated with COVID-19. Effectively solving the problems, and developing plans that best promote the health and well-being of everyone in the Alfred University community, is contingent upon your continued involvement, support, flexibility, and innovativeness moving forward.

With that said, I wish to reiterate some actions we are taking to facilitate the safe and efficient departure of students from our campus, the effective implementation of online instruction, and a maintained flow of information on our response to the COVID-19 outbreak:

  • As of 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 22, students will not be permitted to remain in on-campus housing. Students must make plans to retrieve their personal items and return to their permanent address. In order to facilitate the orderly retrieval of belongings and exit from campus, we ask students to schedule their departure in advance. Exceptions to remain in our residence halls will be made for truly unique circumstances where students cannot return to their permanent residence. To schedule your departure from your residence hall, to submit a petition to remain on campus after March 22, and for more information on Office of Residence Life policies and recommendations as they relate to the COVID-19 response, please visit the COVID-19 page of our website.
  • We are discussing with our food service provider, AU Fresh, what meal options will be offered on campus next week and beyond. Currently, grab-and-go box-style meals are available in the Powell Campus Center. These meals will continue to be provided at least through this Sunday.
  • Professors began online instruction for most students this week. All courses are scheduled to be conducted fully online by Monday, March 23. Students’ instructors are the best source of information about administration of their course work.
  • Barnes & Noble and VitalSource are offering free eTextbooks to Alfred University students for the remainder of the semester. Please visit our website for more information.
  • Earlier today, we conducted a live question-and-answer webinar with faculty, staff, students, and family members on our University’s response to COVID-19. Video of the webinar can be viewed here, and a list of frequently-asked questions (FAQs), as well as the associated answers, is available on our website. A second live webinar is scheduled for this Thursday.

Our University’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak has been and will continue to be made with recommendations and information provided by world, national, state, and local health officials. Each decision we make will have our Alfred University community members’ safety and well-being first and foremost on our minds. We also will be mindful of fostering the ongoing educational success of our students.

On this, the feast day of the patron saint of engineers and more broadly our University, here is hoping that:

The road rises up to meet us,
The wind is always at our backs,
The sun shines warmly upon our faces,
The rain falls softly on our fields,
And until we meet again,
That we stay in the palm of God’s hands.

Stay safe, Happy St. Patrick’s Day, and Fiat Lux!