Aurora University

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - 12 March 2020

12 March 2020
COVID-19 Advisory 5.0

This is an update to the message posted earlier today. The following policy is now in effect for all Aurora University campuses, including the Aurora campuses, the Woodstock campus, and George Williams College:

Campus-based classroom instruction will be suspended at 10:00 p.m. on Thursday 12 March. Coursework will resume on Wednesday 18 March using online and remote resources. Students will hear from their faculty about specific arrangements 24 hours before instruction resumes.

AU Online classes will continue uninterrupted.

More information follows below.

A message from President Rebecca Sherrick:

Since early January, we have monitored closely the global coronavirus (COVID-19) challenge that now confronts the United States as well as countries around the world. With each new development, we have been guided by this set of core beliefs:

  • Our first priority to Aurora University students, faculty, and staff is to provide a safe and secure learning environment. By extension, we recognize also an obligation to the welfare of the extended AU family that includes parents, siblings, grandparents, children, and friends.
  • Our second priority is to do everything possible to help our students realize their educational aspirations. This is the mission that brings us together every day to teach and to learn. In this particular instance, we are concerned especially about safeguarding the dreams of those who plan to graduate this spring. Finally, we do not want to forfeit the hard work our students and faculty have invested already in this semester’s coursework.
  • Finally, given the long and rich history of the university, we are committed also to setting the right example, to advancing the values of our democracy, and to evidencing social responsibility in all matters. Experts tell us that social distancing is crucial to slowing the spread of the virus. We want to heed their counsel.

My purpose in writing today is to share with you the following decisions, all informed by our mission and values at AU:

  • Campus-based classroom instruction on all Aurora University campuses, including the Aurora campuses, the Woodstock campus, and George Williams College, will be suspended at 10:00 p.m. on Thursday 12 March. Coursework will resume on Wednesday 18 March using online and remote resources. Students will hear from their faculty about specific arrangements 24 hours before instruction resumes.
  • Current plans call for resuming campus-based classroom instruction prior to the close of the spring semester. It is too early to set a specific date for reconvening; however, at minimum, the university will continue with online and remote classes through Friday 3 April. Please continue to monitor the university website and to pay close attention to email and text messages to remain abreast of plans.
  • At present, we continue to plan for commencement ceremonies on 2 May 2020 at George Williams College and on 3 May 2020 in Aurora. I can’t wait to celebrate the success of our graduates . . . together!
  • Current plans call for campus residence halls to remain open through next week, with stringent cleaning and safety measures in place. It will not be necessary to remove all personal items from residence hall rooms, only those items that will be needed while classroom instruction is suspended. Additional information regarding the status of the residence halls will be communicated soon.
  • The university will continue to provide food service through next week. Additional information regarding food service will be communicated soon.
  • The campus will remain open during the period that campus-based classes are suspended, though some offices may operate with reduced staffing. More information on this subject will be shared as soon as plans are finalized.
  • No large events (250 people or more) will be held on any Aurora campus during the period of remote and online learning. Some university activities will continue, though special precautions will be taken to ensure the safety of all involved.
  • University leaders are working to clarify the status of the 2020 spring intercollegiate athletic competition schedule. More information on this subject will be available soon on the website.
  • The John C. Dunham STEM Partnership School will remain in operation unless a decision is made by the school’s governing board to the contrary. AU leaders will continue to consult with colleagues at the four participating public school districts regarding the continuation of campus-based classroom instruction at the STEM school.

If you have questions about this announcement, please contact the following people:

We will work together throughout the remainder of the 2020 spring semester to fulfill all of our promises to students and to their families and communities. The administration pledges to be thoughtful, generous, transparent, kind and flexible. We can do this . . . together as One AU!

 

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