March 16, 2020
An Update from Ursuline College President Sister Christine De Vinne, OSU, PhD
Always with attention to the needs of our students, everyone has been watching the number of cases of COVID-19 climb, both statewide and nationwide. We have no way of knowing how long this trend will continue, but we do know that testing has only recently begun, the numbers will continue to rise, and our top priority remains the health and safety of Ursuline College students, faculty, and staff.
Our task force has been meeting, either whole or in part, daily. You—our students, faculty, and staff—have been wonderfully responsive and adaptive as we have sent out reminders for good health practices and emerging directives that affect campus operations. As of this afternoon:
- In tracking the spread of the disease, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that the next 8 weeks will be critical. In light of this timeline, we announce today that classes will be delivered online/remotely through the end of the semester. Thank you to our faculty and our IT support staff for their united efforts to make the transition to online learning as smooth as possible for our students.
- After consultation with the Ohio Board of Nursing, our partner hospitals, and several partner organizations that have chosen to bar students from clinical experiences, effective 7 a.m. Tuesday, March 17, 2020 we have suspended clinical experiences for the undergraduate nursing students only. BSON graduate students will continue with clinical experiences until further notice. Please look for communication from your course faculty member with specific details regarding simulation activities that will be be used to develop and demonstrate competency in the clinical courses.
- Online learning will enable course objectives to be met across the curriculum, even as the needs of various disciplines differ. Meeting course objectives means that students will continue to earn credit for their work and proceed toward graduation without interruption.
- As of today, campus remains open. Faculty, academic staff, and support staff have various face-to-face availability, depending on function and department, but remain accessible through phone, email, and remote options. Faculty and staff, please keep in regular contact with your students; students, keep in touch with your faculty, advisors, and classmates. We can get through this together.
You can expect further announcements shortly, including updates on athletic facilities, residence halls, and food services, among others.
For faculty, please continue to work closely with your department chair and dean especially regarding work-from-home procedures; for staff, please continue to do the same with your supervisor and/or area VP. We expect to hear soon from the State of Ohio and to learn results of the proposed federal relief bill for information about any new work guidelines.
Please see the suggestions posted on our intranet today by our Counseling Center as a foundation for your mental and emotional health, even as you observe the social distancing and other hygiene practices that can keep us healthy physically.
We remain a united campus community. Find ways to lend a hand—figuratively!—to each other.
We continue to pray for a healthy world.