March 12, 2020 at 8:30 a.m.
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
The health, wellbeing, and safety of our Loyola community and the broader communities in which we live are our highest priorities. Although currently there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) at Loyola, we are hereby taking steps to reduce the spread of this virus. We do so while ensuring academic continuity for our students.
In consultation with experts and with guidance from public health officials listed on our coronavirus website, our Core Emergency Response Team is focused on two primary objectives: 1) to de-densify our on-campus population by transitioning from face-to-face education to online/distance learning; 2) to ensure that there is no disruption in the academic progress of our students. We remain committed to sharing information and addressing questions on a regular basis following this critically important message.
The steps that we are taking to achieve these two objectives are as follows:
- Effective Friday, March 13, and continuing through the end of semester, all in-person, face-to-face classes will be suspended.
- Current online classes will continue. We will move the classes to online/virtual instruction as soon as possible but no later than Monday, March 23. Additional communication will come from the faculty directly to their students.
- Final exams will be handled remotely according to the regularly scheduled exam period.
- All residential students are expected to leave campus as soon as possible and go home for the semester. Residence halls will close by the end of the day on Thursday, March 19, in order to give students and families time to make necessary travel arrangements.
- Exceptions and hardships will be considered on an individual basis by Residence Life Department. Additional communication will come directly from Residence Life to all students in University housing about move out procedures and the exceptions and hardship process.
- The University will repatriate all remaining study-abroad students to their homes.
- All international summer programs are suspended.
Ongoing University Operations
- The University remains open to ensure academic and research continuity in support of our students’ progress towards the completion of the term.
- Faculty and Staff are to practice the appropriate social-distancing measures and the updated health and safety guidelines from public health officials, including telecommuting, if feasible and approved by their managers and consistent with Human Resource guidelines.
Events and Commencement
- In line with the effort to practice social distancing, all non-essential face-to-face meetings or events are discouraged. All University-sponsored events with participation greater than 70 people are prohibited on our campuses.
- No decision has been made on currently scheduled Commencement activities, but it will be made no later than April 3.
- Non-essential University sponsored travel, both international and domestic, is prohibited through May 1.
- Exceptions to this updated travel policy will only be made by the Provost or the Sr. Vice President for Administrative Services.
We understand that this message will not answer all of the questions that our community may have about these decisions. Please pay attention to your email inbox and LUC.edu/coronavirus for further details. In addition, please forward your questions to COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org so that we may route to the appropriate resources and reply as quickly as possible.
We understand that these are stressful times in our world. The Loyola Wellness Center has a number of resources available for students, including a list of tips for managing anxiety caused by the spread of COVID-19.
We are proud of the work ethic, dedication, and resiliency of the Loyola community. We firmly believe that together we will get through this and come out stronger. We would especially like to thank the faculty and staff for the generosity of heart and deep care for our students. The faculty has shown how much they care by both adjusting their teaching to accommodate our students’ needs and ensuring academic continuity during these challenging and changing circumstances.
Together in Loyola,
Jo Ann Rooney, JD, LLM, EdD, President
Norberto Grzywacz, PhD, Provost and Chief Academic Officer
Wayne Magdziarz, Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Business Officer
Thomas M. Kelly, Office of the President and Senior Vice President of Administrative Services