For the past several weeks, we at Alfred University have been closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak. The decisions we have made have been guided by recommendations from world, national, state, and local health organizations, with the well-being of our students, staff, and faculty foremost in our minds while also taking into account our students’ academic and ultimate professional success.
Heeding recommendations from health professionals from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), and acknowledging that the outbreak will worsen in the coming weeks, Alfred University will provide all instruction online for the remainder of the Spring semester. Faculty will be contacting students to provide information on how online instruction will be provided and how curricula has changed.
Originally, we had planned for students to return to campus on Sunday, March 22, and resume in-person instruction on Monday, March 23. While we have chosen instead to offer virtual instruction, we do expect that some students will be arriving on campus this week. Undergraduate students will be allowed to gather their belongings, after which they will be asked to return home. Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis where students are unable to depart. Please look for a follow up email in this regard with more details. Graduate students generally will be permitted to remain on campus given the help that they provide with our instructional and research activities.
Other items of note regarding the University’s response to COVID-19:
· The University has suspended all visits to campus. These include accepted student visits, career fairs, concerts, and lectures. Interviews of candidates for the provost’s position are being suspended for two months. This will ensure unnecessary exposures and continued focus on our response to the current public health situation.
· The status of events scheduled for later in the spring and over the summer—May honors convocation and commencement; June alumni reunion; the MostArts Festival in July; summer camps—remains undecided. The University will make decisions about those events as the status of the COVID-19 situation warrants.
· The deadline for course withdrawal has been pushed back to April 9.
· Students will be given the opportunity to return to campus to retrieve their belongings. Students who do not wish to take their belongings home may opt to contact one of the local storage facilities.
· The Alfred Ceramic Art Museum, Cohen Gallery, and Fosdick-Nelson Gallery will be closed for the remainder of the semester.
· Our libraries will be closed for the remainder of the semester beginning Wednesday, March 18, so that our libraries staff can assist with the delivery of our online course offerings. Online libraries support, services, and resources will remain available to our students, faculty, and staff. Please direct your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
· Work out facilities, such as the Lebohner swimming pool, fitness center, and the Joyce & Walton Center, will be closed for the remainder of the semester.
· Alfred University remains open, and day-to-day administrative operations will continue through the remainder of the semester.
· There are bound to be rumors relative to the COVID-19 outbreak and incidental exposures to the virus. Please be assured that Alfred University is following New York State Department of Health guidelines and will continue to monitor as appropriate.
These have been, and continue to be, trying times—for our University, and for the world we live in. It is important to note that, as the COVID-19 crisis has evolved, we have erred on the side of caution, eschewing rash action for deliberation. We firmly believe the decisions we make today, and will make in the days and weeks ahead, will best protect our students and their families, our faculty and staff and their loved ones, and the citizens of the communities surrounding our campus.
Please visit our website regularly for updates and additional information about COVID-19.