Communications to the Puget Sound Community

WEDNESDAY, JULY 29, 4 P.M.
To Students, Faculty, and Staff
From President Crawford and Members of the President's Cabinet

Over the past week, in consultation with Faculty Senate and Staff Senate leadership, public health officials, the governor’s office, and our board of trustees, and with input received from students and parents, we have come to the difficult decision that we cannot resume in-person classes in the fall as planned.

Since we wrote to you last week notifying you of this possibility, our 14-day case rate per 100,000 people in Pierce County has increased from 113.9 to 140.7 against a goal of fewer than 25, while the average cases per day for the past 14 days has increased from 73.4 to 90.6 against a goal of fewer than 16. Given this trend and yesterday’s announcement by Gov. Inslee, it is not possible or prudent for us to bring large numbers of people together on campus in the fall.

This is not what we had hoped for but we believe is the best—and truly only—path forward to ensure the health, safety, and wellbeing of our campus community; contain the spread of COVID-19 in Pierce County; and ensure that students can complete the semester without further disruption to their studies.

We are a residential campus invested in the belief that a 24/7 living and learning environment is most conducive to supporting curious and engaged lifelong learners committed to the discovery and sharing of knowledge that will make our world a better place. Although we cannot be together in person at this time, we will not let this crisis deter us from fulfilling our mission. Over the summer we have been reconfiguring our classes and operations and preparing for the possibility of remote instruction to ensure that students can continue their education and not just survive but thrive during these uncertain times.

On campus or off, all Loggers are part of a strong community committed to our students’ success. This is not a time to put our lives, careers, or ambitions on hold. We look forward to being in community with you—albeit virtually—over the coming months, and believe in our collective ability to make the most of this truly unprecedented experience.

Below we have outlined some key information about how the fall semester will unfold, and we will have additional information to share in the coming days to support our students, faculty, and staff members and promote their success in this challenging environment. Please see the end of this message for a series of Zoom meetings occurring over the next few days to respond to your questions and concerns as we prepare for fall.

Tuition and Fees

We have worked closely with our campus leaders and board of trustees to support our students and families to the best of our ability and continue to deliver a high-quality academic experience, even as our revenues have declined and we have incurred additional expenses during the pandemic.

We will make the following adjustments, which reduce the costs of the fall semester and provide additional opportunities for our students.

  1. Full-time Fall 2020 undergraduate tuition will be reduced to the amount charged in Fall 2019 (a reduction of $1,025) with a comparable reduction for graduate students.
  2. The full value of merit awards will be distributed despite the reduction in the cost of attendance.
  3. In accordance with federal guidelines, need-based awards (grants, work-study awards, and loans) must be recalculated related to the lower cost of attendance. A portion of the Fall 2020 need-based work-study awards will be converted to grants for students who are not able or eligible to fulfill their work-study assignments during the fall.
  4. Students may take up to 5.0 total academic or activity credits in Fall 2020 without incurring a course overload charge (a savings of up to $5,070).
  5. Students may attend part-time in fall and still receive financial aid. Students enrolling in 2.0 units will receive 50% of their merit awards and a portion of their need-based Puget Sound grants. Should students choose to enroll half-time in a ninth semester (if needed to graduate), they may apply the remaining amount of their full-time financial aid from Fall 2020.
  6. The limited number of students who are approved to live on campus in the fall will live in single rooms at the double-occupancy rate (a reduction of $725). Those who do not live on campus will have room and board charges waived (an average total of $3,615 for board and $3,125 for meals).
  7. To accommodate adjustments to room and board fees and financial aid packages, we will extend the fall payment deadline from Aug. 15 to Aug. 20.
  8. An online career preparation conference facilitated by career development experts and industry partners will be offered in January 2021 for students who complete the Fall 2020 semester.
  9. We are exploring the possibility for students enrolled in Fall 2020, regardless of class year, to audit additional courses in the semester following graduation at no charge, which would provide one more semester of an on-campus experience for students who would like to do so (an estimated value exceeding $10,000).

Residence Life

We will provide limited campus housing with priority given to students who experience housing or food insecurity; are unable to effectively participate in remote learning from their homes, even with accommodations; or have a compelling academic or cocurricular reason to be on campus, such as students who need access to specialized facilities or equipment on campus. Meal plans will continue to be an option for students who live off campus.

A Fall 2020 Student Housing and Campus Use survey will be sent via campus email to all students this week to learn where students plan to live during the fall semester, if they wish to apply to live on campus, and if they have special needs to access campus for academic or co-curricular reasons. It is essential that we have this information to accurately calculate each student’s cost of attendance, waive room and board for those not living on campus, and make decisions on requests to live on campus or access campus resources. Please look for the survey in your inbox later today and plan to complete it no later than Aug. 3. Decisions regarding approval to live on campus will be made by Aug. 7.    

Those students who are permitted to return to campus will find a restricted environment and many mitigations in place to protect their health. These include adherence to a community pledge to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, consent to virus testing protocols, a requirement to wear masks in settings outside of one’s residence, a limit of 1-4 people assigned to each bathroom, and strict limits on the guest policy and size of gatherings. Student Affairs and Residence Life staff will promptly provide information to students and their families about the safety protocols that will be in place.

Academic Calendar, Course Schedule, and Support

The academic calendar announced in mid-June will remain in place: Fall break will be canceled and courses will be held during those two days in order to extend Thanksgiving break to a full week. Classes will begin Aug. 31 and final exams will end Dec. 18. 

We will keep the modified daily course schedule released last month that allows 15 minutes between each class. We hope this makes transitions between classes more seamless for students and faculty members, and provides some relief from time in front of computer screens. The course schedule will be finalized and communicated to students by early next week.

Academic support services will be available for students to support their academic success. These services include Collins Memorial Library; the Center for Writing, Learning, and Teaching; the Center for Speech and Effective Advocacy; Academic Advising; the Registrar’s Office; Student Accessibility and Accommodations; the Office of Diversity and Inclusion; Experiential Learning and Civic Scholarship; and International Programs.

Access to Campus

Our goal is to significantly reduce the density of people on campus at any given time. More information about access to campus facilities—for those who live both on and off campus—will be forthcoming in the next few days.

Cocurricular Life

We are fully committed to providing a full and rewarding experience this fall that will provide opportunities for cocurricular engagement and create the strong sense of belonging and community that students at Puget Sound have come to expect. For incoming students, Orientation, Convocation and Matriculation will be delivered remotely. We are developing other programming throughout the semester to help new students form deep connections to their campus community, and engage in the academic life of the university. ASUPS Senate, clubs and organizations will meet virtually as they did in the spring, and support offices such as Intercultural Engagement and the University Chaplaincy will offer remote services for those not on campus and limited in-person services for those who are on campus. There will also be a range of career services and events offered remotely throughout the fall.

Athletics

We know how important the athletic program is to our student athletes, campus community and Logger fans everywhere. In addition to the information shared last week from the Northwest Conference, athletic coaches will be in contact with student-athletes regarding the return to competition status specific to their sport. If state and local conditions permit, competition in the sports of men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s tennis, and men’s and women’s golf may be able to take place in the fall, and we hope at some point during the semester to enable student-athletes in other sports to train on campus within public health guidelines. Additional information will be available shortly.

Health and Wellness

The health and wellbeing of the campus community is our highest priority. A daily COVID-19 online health screening for the campus community will be required throughout the fall semester, and we will have more details to share in the next few days about testing protocols for members of the campus community, including free mass testing on our campus on Aug. 29 and Sept. 1 open to all faculty and staff members, and students living on or near campus. 

On and off-campus students seeking medical attention will continue to receive services from Counseling, Health and Wellness Services (CHWS). The university also is establishing a satellite clinic on campus that will allow students with respiratory or COVID-like symptoms to be seen in a location separate from CHWS’s offices in Wheelock Student Center. 

For students living out-of-state whose state law does not allow them to receive services from out-of-state providers, our clinicians will assist them in identifying care providers in their home states. “The Shrink Space,” a site where students can locate off-campus therapists that specializes in student mental health, was made available to students in the spring and will be available to students in the fall.

In addition, TAO (Therapy Assistance Online) will continue to be available to students. Direct support services such as the Food Pantry, the Lending Library and the Clothing Closet will remain open and accessible.

Technology Support

We learned a great deal from our quick pivot to remote instruction in the spring, and have worked diligently throughout the summer to support the possibility of being fully remote in the fall. Technology Services will offer additional workshops in early August to assist faculty with course delivery, and departments and programs will meet with their appointed educational technologist as a department to further explore options and share pedagogical strategies. 

To ensure that students are ready for an entirely remote semester, technology training workshops also will be offered to new and returning students. Technology Services will also be available to provide loaner laptops and help students, faculty and staff members with troubleshooting technology issues. CARES Act emergency student assistance continues to be available to students who have critical needs related to the transition to remote instruction, including technology support. To be eligible, students must participate in Title IV Federal Aid programs. Information and applications for CARES Act funding can be found here.

Faculty and Staff

The majority of faculty and staff members will continue to work remotely through the fall, and on-site campus services will be offered in a modified and limited manner, including services provided by Dining Services, the Logger Store, and more.  The “Return to Work on Campus” guide will be regularly updated to help our faculty and staff members work effectively on or off campus during this time, and we will adapt our leave and telework policies to reflect the current work environment. 

What to Expect Next

The following meetings have been scheduled to share information and respond to questions. Log-in information will be available for the campus community at pugetsound.edu/covid19internal or provided to you via email.

LEAD Members
Hosted by President Crawford
Thursday, July 30, 1 – 2 p.m.

All Staff Members
Hosted by President Crawford with Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Sherry Mondou
Friday, July 31, 10 – 11 a.m.

All Faculty Members
Hosted by President Crawford and Provost Laura Behling
Friday, July 31, 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.

Continuing Students
Hosted by President Crawford with Provost Behling and Vice President for Student Affairs Uchenna Baker
Monday, Aug. 3, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.

New Students
Hosted by President Crawford with Provost Behling and Vice President for Student Affairs Uchenna Baker
Monday, Aug. 3, 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Puget Sound Parents
Hosted by President Crawford with Members of the President’s Cabinet
Wednesday, Aug. 5, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Faculty will also be invited to participate in small group meetings with the provost and deans; the schedule will be sent to faculty separately.

We realize this is a lot of information to digest, and are committed to continuing to communicate and be in dialog with you as we prepare for a successful fall semester. A new fall website with guidance for the semester has been created to support you at https://www.pugetsound.edu/fall2020.

As we enter uncharted territory together, we are confident that Loggers will meet the challenges of this changed and changing world, and keep rising to the heights. It’s who we are, and it’s what we do.

 

WEDNESDAY, JULY 22, NOON
To Students, Faculty, and Staff
From President Isiaah Crawford

Our Logger athletics program is a high valued and central component of the Puget Sound experience, and we are committed to doing everything we can to ensure a safe return to competitive play.

At noon today, the Northwest Conference Presidents Council released a statement on fall athletics that is intended to guide the activities of each school in the conference. A copy of the statement appears below.

Athletic Director Amy Hackett is working closely with our coaches and student athletes to implement this guidance in accordance with decisions the university will make no later than July 29 about the fall semester. While no decisions have been made about winter or spring sports, we will keep you informed and look forward to resuming competitive play as quickly as possible.

We got this, Loggers.

Northwest Conference Presidents Council Statement on the Fall Season

The Northwest Conference Presidents’ Council (NWC) has made the difficult decision to postpone competition in football, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s rowing, and women’s volleyball for the fall of 2020. The NWC is working to develop a schedule for competition for these sports in the spring.

Men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s golf, and men’s and women’s tennis will be permitted to play this fall in accordance with local, state and federal health directives. The Presidents’ Council continues to support institutional autonomy regarding the decision to participate in intercollegiate athletics.

The NWC, along with its member institutions, have been working diligently over the past several months to plan for the safe reopening of their campuses this fall while prioritizing the health and well-being of students, faculty, staff and campus communities.

Practice and other athletically related activities for all sports at member institutions’ campuses are permitted in accordance with NCAA Division III rules as well as institutional and state and local health directives. 

The NWC will continue to monitor changing federal, state and local health directives and consult with our NWC health advisory group, the NCAA and public health officials as we look to make a decision on the upcoming winter season and beyond. We will provide updates as they become available. 

 

TUESDAY, JULY 21, 4:35 P.M.
To Students, Faculty, and Staff
From President Isiaah Crawford and Members of the President's Cabinet

As the fall semester approaches, we know that there is increasing concern about resuming in-person classes, residential life, and other campus activities given the rate of increase in COVID-19 cases in the nation and our region. While we are working diligently across campus to create a safe environment, we are deeply concerned about the trajectory of the virus in Pierce County over the past several weeks.

The Tacoma-Pierce County Public Health Department reported this afternoon that, as of yesterday, the 14-day case rate per 100,000 people is 113.9 against a goal of less than 25; the average cases per day over the past 14 days is 73.4 against a goal of less than 16. Currently, young people between the ages of 20 and 29 represent the largest percentage of confirmed cases in our county—a marked change from last spring, when this was one of the least affected populations. We are seeing the same trends across much of the country and in the communities where many of our students live.

As you know, we are actively monitoring the situation, assessing our community’s risk level, exploring options, and consulting with leadership of the state of Washington and public health officials on a regular basis. We expect further guidance from the governor’s office next week about the phased reopening of Washington state (we are currently in phase two of a four-phase plan), and an announcement is expected tomorrow from the Northwest Conference concerning fall athletic competition.

All of this information will affect our decision-making for fall, and we will announce no later than Wednesday, July 29, whether we will be able to resume in-person instruction on Aug. 31 as planned.

Regardless of how course experiences are delivered, all courses will continue to be developed and led by our exceptional faculty scholars, with the small class sizes and personal attention for which Puget Sound is known. We will also continue to offer all academic support, cocurricular experiences, and other services to enhance student success. We know that there are challenges associated with remote learning—as a residential college, it is not our first choice, but we have learned a lot from our quick pivot to remote learning in the spring and have had time to plan appropriately for the fall if needed. We are also cognizant of concerns regarding total cost of attendance, and will be attentive to this issue should we need to move to a remote schedule for the fall.

The health and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff members must be our highest priority. As we work our way through the pandemic with the best interests of the campus community at the center of everything we do, we encourage you to continue to take measures to protect your health and the health of others. This includes maintaining physical distance, wearing face masks, limiting social interaction, staying home when sick, completing a daily screening form when scheduled to work, and complying with other health and safety guidance.

Thank you for your good and hard work to navigate this difficult and unprecedented moment. It is your resilience, patience, creativity, and support that allow us to carry forward our educational mission in these challenging times.

 

TUESDAY, JULY 14, 2020, 8:30 A.M.
To Faculty and Staff
From Kelly Brown, director, Counseling, Health, and Wellness Services

To help reduce the spread of the coronavirus, and consistent with the Governor’s proclamation for the reopening of higher education institutions, Puget Sound will require all faculty and staff members (as well as students) to complete a daily on-line self-screening form for each day you are scheduled to work and prior to coming to campus, effective Wednesday, July 15, 2020.  We realize this is a significant departure from our normal operating procedures. It is one of several strategies to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Staying away from campus when you have symptoms of COVID-19, have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or have tested positive for COVID-19 is an important part of maintaining a safe and healthy community.

This email provides introductory information and FAQs to help everyone better understand the purpose, goals, and process associated with the required self-screening.

Purpose of the Required Health Screening

We are implementing this self-screening in order to minimize the risk to Puget Sound community members of contracting COVID-19.  The daily screening assists us in this goal by:

  • quickly detecting students, faculty, or staff who are sick or have been exposed to the disease,
  • preventing those persons from interacting with other community members, and
  • directing those persons to appropriate care and follow up.

This screening will not directly address asymptomatic spread of the disease, but it will help identify those who need quarantine and testing, which will facilitate contact tracing and testing of those exposed, some of whom may be asymptomatic. The goal is to minimize overall risks by using self-screening in combination with other key mitigation strategies, such as face coverings, physical distancing, hand washing, staggered work schedules, and approved telecommuting arrangements. In addition to detecting individuals who may be ill with COVID-19, health screenings are intended to educate community members about COVID-19 symptoms, how to protect yourself and others from infection, and what to do if you or someone in your household becomes ill with COVID-19.

1. What do I have to do?
Faculty, staff, and students are required to complete the health screening before coming to campus or otherwise interacting with campus community members. The screening form can be found by logging into my.pugetsound.edu and clicking the Health Screening link at the top of the home page. The screening form can be accessed via computer or mobile phone. If you need assistance accessing the self-screening form, contact the Technology Service Desk at 253.879.8585 or servicedesk@pugetsound.edu.

2. Why do I need to do this?
As members of the Puget Sound community, we are each called upon to do our part to minimize the incidents and spread of COVID-19 on campus. Furthermore, to reduce the spread of coronavirus, Governor Inslee has ordered higher education institutions to “implement and maintain a self-certification program through which students and personnel are asked to self-certify that they have experienced no COVID-19 symptoms since last visit to campus facility.” 

3. What if I don’t have access to a computer or mobile phone to complete the form?
If you don’t have access to a mobile phone or computer/internet at home, contact Donelle Pearson in Human Resources at drpearson@pugetsound.edu or 253.879.3641 to discuss alternate options.

4. How often do I need to complete the form?
You need to login to my.PugetSound.edu to complete the form each day you are scheduled to work or otherwise plan to be on campus.  You must complete the health screening and receive clearance to be on campus prior to your arrival.

5. If I am working remotely, do I need to complete the form?
Yes.  The form should be completed each day you are scheduled to work, whether on campus or remotely. If you are working remotely, you will confirm on the form that you will not be on campus that day. If you are working remotely all week, there is an option on the form to indicate that you will “be off campus all week” (the system treats this as through Sunday), in which case you need only fill out the form once that week unless your plans change and you need to come to campus.

6. What if I forget to complete the form?
If you should forget to complete the form, please do so as soon as you realize it.  You will receive a daily email reminder to log into my.PugetSound.edu to complete the self-screening form.  In addition, signage will be posted on campus reminding campus members of this responsibility.   

7. How does it work?
The screening consists of a series of questions about symptoms known to be associated with COVID-19, as well as questions about your exposure to someone known to have COVID-19. It should take less than a minute to complete and, depending on your responses, you may not need to answer every question every time. Once completed, the screening program will indicate “You are welcome to come to campus today” or indicate "STOP!” with applicable guidance to self-isolate or self-quarantine and seek health care. 

8. Who will see health-related symptoms selected or not selected in the form?
All medical data will be maintained confidentially by CHWS. No other department will have access to the health details on your self-screening report.  This means that detailed personal medical information will not be shared with supervisors or department heads/chairs.

9. Who will be able to verify if someone has submitted the form or not?
CHWS will have access to all student, faculty, and staff forms that are submitted. Human Resources (and at a later date, supervisors and department heads/chairs) will be able to verify if the form has been submitted; whether the faculty or staff member is planning to be on or off campus; and if the faculty or staff member is cleared to be on campus (they will not be able to see personal health information reported on the form).

10. What about self-screening for students?
The small number of students currently living, working or conducting research on campus this summer are also required to complete the self-screening form as of July 15, 2020. There will be a roll-out of the online self-screening program to all students prior to the beginning of the fall semester, at which point faculty and supervisors of student staff will be able to view which of their students completed the form and were cleared to be on campus prior to attending their classes or arriving at their on-campus jobs. They will not be able to see completion information for other students. 

We know these are extraordinary measures and look forward to your collaboration as we implement this and other vital COVID-19 prevention measures. We appreciate your feedback and support as we implement this new system, and we will adjust practices as needed based on what we learn during implementation of this new procedure and as public health guidelines change.

If you have questions or concerns about new self-screening procedures, please contact me at 253.879. 3778.

 

TUESDAY, JULY 7, 2020, 8 A.M.
To Students, Faculty, and Staff
From John Hickey, executive director of Community Engagement and associate vice president for Business Services

Thank you for supporting ongoing COVID-19 prevention measures.

On behalf of the university’s Emergency Response Group, I write to share information about two important COVID-19 prevention topics: State of Washington face-covering requirements and outdoor behavior on campus. 

Face Covering Requirements
As you likely are aware, the State Secretary of Health recently issued requirements mandating the wearing of face coverings in any indoor public setting or when outdoors and unable to maintain six feet of physical distance from others. More information about this requirement can be found at: https://www.coronavirus.wa.gov/information-for/you-and-your-family/face-masks-or-cloth-face-covering.

Face covering and physical distancing are two of the most vital COVID-19 prevention measures, along with frequent hand-washing. Compliance with these requirements is expected on campus.

Outdoor COVID-19 Prevention Behaviors 
Campus members and their families, as well as neighbors and other visitors, frequently move about campus, often engaging in activities such as walking, dog walking, jogging, and bike riding. The university supports such activities if pursued in ways that do not create health risks or adversely impact university operations.

New outdoor signage will soon be posted to guide safe behavior on campus. This includes:

  • Observing State of Washington physical distancing and face-covering requirements
  • Avoiding gathering in groups greater than five people
  • Avoiding gathering or conducting activities on pedestrian walkways, near building entrances and exits, and other easily congested areas
  • For visitors, not entering university buildings without an appointment

Let’s continue partnering, indoors and outdoors, to support the health and safety of our Logger community.

Please let me know if you have questions.

FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 2020, 9 P.M.
To Students, Faculty, and Staff
From Kelly Brown, director, Counseling, Health, and Wellness Services

On June 26, the University of Puget Sound received notice that three students who have had direct contact with certain campus members tested positive for COVID-19. These reports are new and distinct from reports that were included in yesterday’s campus notification. Two students live in student housing on campus and the other lives off campus. All students have been asked to isolate. Close contacts of any positive cases have all been notified and instructed to take appropriate steps regarding testing and quarantine. Affected areas identified through the contact process are being disinfected per public health guidelines.

We recognize that receiving these notices may cause anxiety and concern among some of our community members; however, we believe it is important that we promptly inform the campus of COVID-19 related cases that could affect our community and additionally assure that we meet our obligations to notify campus members of these developments. We continue to take all necessary steps to minimize transmission on campus and ask that you do as well, including taking the steps noted below. If you have any questions or concerns about these notices, please contact CHWS (253.879.1555 or CHWS@pugetsound.edu).

For additional information about COVID-19 and steps that the university is taking to protect the health and safety of our community, please visit the university’s coronavirus website.

Neither the university nor public health authorities will identify any individuals who have tested positive for the virus, nor will information be provided that may compromise confidentiality in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) for students and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) for employees.

We are well prepared to quarantine and/or isolate individuals on campus as needed in order to help ensure the health and well-being of the campus community. Since March the university has significantly reduced the density of our campus population to slow the spread of the virus and avoid overwhelming health care and community systems. We have moved all course instruction to remote delivery, arranged for employees to work remotely to the fullest extent possible, and over the summer months have further reduced the number of students who are permitted to remain in residence halls. Essential employees are still working on campus to support our students and modified summer operations.

Our campus leadership and the Emergency Response Group is monitoring this ongoing situation daily. We advise that all members of our community continue to take precautions and follow the guidance of the CDC and state and local public health officials, including:

  • Effective June 26, Gov. Inslee has mandated the wearing of face coverings in all public areas in the state of Washington.
  • Avoid contact with persons who are sick and stay home is you are sick.
  • Practice social distancing of at least six feet.
  • Frequently wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Cover your cough and sneezes (into your flexed elbow or tissue) and wash your hands immediately.
  • Routinely disinfect frequently used objects and surfaces.

Students, faculty and staff presenting symptoms of COVID-19 are advised to immediately self-isolate. Students remaining on campus or in the local area who develop symptoms can call CHWS (253.879.1555) or their primary care provider for medical advice. Students who reside outside of the local area should contact their primary care provider or local public health department for guidance. Also, faculty and staff who exhibit symptoms should contact their primary care provider or local public health department for guidance. 

Since Pierce County moved into phase two of Gov. Inslee’s four-phase plan to reopen Washington state, we have seen an increase in persons in our county who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Please continue to take all necessary precautions to protect yourself and others as we work together to create the best possible environment for welcoming students safely back to campus in the fall.

 

THURSDAY, JUNE 25, 2020, 8:30 P.M.
To Students, Faculty, and Staff
From Kelly Brown, director, Counseling, Health, and Wellness
Services

On June 24, the University of Puget Sound received notice that five students who are living off-campus tested positive for COVID-19. All students have been asked to quarantine. Close contacts of any positive cases have all been notified and are taking appropriate steps regarding testing and quarantine. Please be assured that professionals from CHWS and the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department are working to identify any campus community members with whom the affected individuals indicate they may have come in contact and are advising those individuals of steps or precautions they should take.

For additional information about COVID-19 and steps that the university is taking to protect the health and safety of our community, please visit the university’s Coronavirus website.

Neither the university nor public health authorities will identify any individuals who have tested positive for the virus, nor will information be provided that may compromise confidentiality in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) for students and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) for employees.

We are well prepared to quarantine and/or isolate individuals on campus as needed in order to help ensure the health and well-being of the campus community. Since March the university has significantly reduced the density of our campus population to slow the spread of the virus and avoid overwhelming health care and community systems. We have moved all course instruction to remote delivery, arranged for employees to work remotely to the fullest extent possible, and over the summer months have further reduced the number of students who are permitted to remain in residence halls. Essential employees are still working on campus to support our students and modified summer operations.

Our campus leadership and the Emergency Response Group are monitoring this ongoing situation daily. We advise that all members of our community continue to take precautions and follow the guidance of the CDC and state and local public health officials, including:

  • Effective June 26, Gov. Inslee has mandated the wearing of face coverings in all public areas in the state of Washington
  • Avoid contact with persons who are sick and stay home if you are sick
  • Practice social distancing of at least six feet
  • Frequently wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based sanitizer
  • Cover your cough and sneezes (into your flexed elbow or tissue) and wash your hands immediately
  • Routinely disinfect frequently used objects and surfaces

Students, faculty and staff presenting symptoms of COVID-19 are advised to immediately self-isolate. Students remaining on campus or in the local area who develop symptoms can call CHWS (253.879.1555) or their primary care provider for medical advice. Students who reside outside of the local area should contact their primary care provider or local public health department for guidance. Also, faculty and staff who exhibit symptoms should contact their primary care provider or local public health department for guidance. 

Since Pierce County moved into phase two of Gov. Inslee’s four-phase plan to reopen Washington state, we have seen an increase in persons in our county who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Please continue to take all necessary precautions to protect yourself and others as we work together to create the best possible environment for welcoming students safely back to campus in the fall.

 

TUESDAY, JUNE 23, 2020, 4:55 P.M.
To Students, Faculty, and Staff
From President Crawford and Members of the President's Cabinet

As we prepare to welcome students back to campus in the fall, our top priority is to create a safe environment in which all members of the campus community can experience the best of what Puget Sound offers. With true Logger spirit, many across campus are working tirelessly to prepare for a semester that will look quite a bit different from anything we have seen before, while delivering the robust and challenging academic and cocurricular experiences that are the hallmarks of a Puget Sound education.

The Operational Planning Group, chaired by Provost Behling, has completed its charge and submitted a set of recommendations to help inform our return to in-person course instruction in the fall. Over the past week, members of the President’s Cabinet and I have met with faculty and staff leadership and made decisions about recommendations to implement and those that require further exploration.

Below is a summary of actions that we are taking to date, and when you can expect to hear more about efforts that are in progress. Please note that these recommendations apply to the fall semester, and do not replace guidance that was sent to campus earlier today about summer operations.

Academic Calendar

  • Courses will begin in-person as scheduled on Aug. 31 and move to remote learning after the Thanksgiving holiday.
  • To enhance the safety of the campus community, the two-day fall break in October will be canceled to limit travel off campus. These two days will be moved to November to extend the Thanksgiving break to a full week.
  • To help ensure the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff members, courses will resume remotely after Thanksgiving break and continue remotely through the end of the semester on Dec. 18.
  • Periodic shifts to remote learning may be necessary during the semester depending on public health guidance; we will be prepared to do so if the need arises.

Classroom Experience and Schedules

  • Social distancing requirements will reduce the number of students who can be in a classroom at the same time. Meeting rooms and other spaces on campus will likely be converted to classrooms so that desks or tables can be six feet apart.
  • The passing time between classes will be extended so that spaces can be sanitized between use. This will result in an extension of the class day, and some courses may take place in the evenings. We are working with faculty now to make these adjustments, and to reduce to the extent possible the impact on late afternoon and early evening activities. Students can expect to be notified about any changes to their course meeting times no later than August 1.
  • While we expect as many classes to be in-person as possible, some classes may be offered remotely or in a combination of remote and in-person instruction to accommodate those in high-risk categories and the more limited space available for in-person instruction.
  • Students and faculty will wear face coverings during classes, and in some cases faculty will deliver lectures behind plexiglass shields. We are sensitive to the ways in which face coverings can impede the delivery of course content as well as student participation, and will make appropriate adjustments, within public health guidelines, as needed.
  • Faculty office hours will be held remotely, unless physical distancing requirements can be met and both faculty and students are comfortable meeting in person.
  • We are exploring the equipping of classrooms with technology that enables simultaneous and recorded delivery of class sessions for students who cannot be present in person.
  • Faculty will be assisted in developing plans to support students with a range of technological access and resources. Particularly in a time of increased anxiety, faculty are encouraged to take the mental health needs of students into account in the development and delivery of curriculum for the fall.
  • The Academic Standards Committee and other relevant governing bodies will review and revisit policies as needed to ensure flexibility in these unusual times. Policies to be reviewed and revised if needed include those related to course withdrawal, credit/no credit grading, transfer credit, class attendance, and more.

Residential Life

  • Continuing students have been notified of room assignments for next year.
  • We are completing a study of all residential spaces to ensure that all students will be in rooms where appropriate physical distance can be maintained, and will make modifications as needed. This includes single, double, and triple rooms.
  • Policies will be in place regarding use of shared spaces, such as game rooms, exercise rooms, laundry facilities, and lounges. For restrooms that are shared, students will be assigned to the ones they can use within each building. Hand sanitizing stations will be available in each building.
  • Entrances, exits, and travel patterns within residence halls and other buildings may be limited; signage will be in place to provide direction.
  • As part of the residential experience, we expect to offer as many of our traditional student life clubs and other activities as possible, operating within public health guidelines.
  • Although classes will be held remotely, students will be able to stay in residence for the final three weeks of the semester if they do not travel outside of Washington during the Thanksgiving break. This will depend in part on Washington state guidelines in place at that time. Information will be forthcoming for student-athletes who may be involved in competition at that time.
  • Full room and board will be billed for fall, and credits for the last three weeks of the semester will be made to student accounts at the end of the semester for students who are not in residence following the Thanksgiving break.

Dining

  • To reduce the number of people in The Diner, menus will be expanded at The Cellar, Diversions, Oppenheimer Cafe, and Lillis Cafe.
  • Contactless delivery of food and check-out will be in place, in addition to contactless delivery provided to students in isolation or quarantine.
  • “Grab & Go” and other prepared meal options will be increased.
  • Regular sanitizing of dining spaces will continue and other precautions, such as installation of plexiglass barriers, will be in place. Dining staff members will wear face coverings and gloves at all times.

Athletics

  • The Northwest Conference Presidents’ Council is expected to make recommendations about fall competition within the next two weeks. Additional information will be shared with student-athletes and coaches from Athletics Director Amy Hackett as it becomes available.
  • In addition to use by student-athletes, athletic facilities are expected to open for use by the campus community prior to the start of the fall semester. Enhanced cleaning will continue, and instructions will be posted throughout the facilities with guidance about using equipment and accessing various locations within the Athletics and Aquatics Center.

Travel and Study Abroad

  • We will continue to limit non-essential travel in accordance with public health guidelines and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We do not know at this time what guidance will be in place for fall.
  • All study abroad programs for fall have been canceled, and we are working with students to reschedule for the spring semester in the event that travel is possible at that time. Students planning to study abroad in spring will know more about the status of their programs through communication with our International Programs staff members.   
  • Class field trips will be limited, especially if it is not possible to create appropriate physical distancing between students in vehicles.
  • Information about travel for athletics teams will be shared as soon as it is available.

Campus Spaces, Events, and Visitors

  • Some campus buildings may remain card-access only. Signage and more information will be available before the semester begins.
  • Committee meetings, faculty and staff senate meetings, department meetings, and other meetings should be conducted remotely to limit contact and provide additional spaces to be used as classrooms.
  • Admission tours and visits will take place in the fall, conducted within public health guidelines.
  • All visitors to campus buildings must wear face coverings.
  • To the extent possible, campus events will be livestreamed when social distancing requirements cannot be met.
  • Campus spaces cannot be reserved by outside groups during the fall.

Health and Wellness

  • All members of the campus community must complete a daily screening form in myPugetSound before coming to campus. Information will follow about how to access and complete the screening form.
  • Everyone must wear a mask at all times, unless in a private room or work space, or in a situation where mask-wearing prevents an activity (such as the use of musical instruments). Two washable masks are being provided at no charge to all members of the campus community.
  • Medical professionals, some facilities services members, and others will be issued PPE as needed.
  • Areas on campus have been identified for those who need to be isolated or in quarantine for any period of time.
  • The establishment of a satellite respiratory clinic is being explored for students with influenza-like symptoms. If feasible, this resource would allow Counseling, Health, and Wellness Services to more safely treat students accessing services for non-influenza reasons.
  • We are exploring the holding of several mass testing dates on campus in collaboration with local health professionals and will continue to work closely with public health officials on contact tracing.
  • Enhanced cleaning and sanitizing will be conducted for all high-touch surfaces, and physical barriers, such as plastic screens, will be installed between bathroom sinks, work stations, reception desks, and other high-contact areas.
  • Ventilation systems are being inspected and we will increase circulation of outdoor air within buildings as much as possible. We are reviewing the possible installation of an air-cleaning ionization system in certain high traffic buildings to eliminate airborne particulates and pathogens.
  • Staff members who can work remotely should continue to do so to the fullest extent possible, while ensuring that the needs of students and other work expectations are met. This will help reduce the density of people on campus. For those working on campus, departments are advised to stagger work schedules or alternate days on campus.
  • Faculty and staff members are being surveyed confidentially by Human Resources regarding voluntary self-identification of status in high-risk categories and interest in requesting a reasonable accommodation. This includes those age 65 and over and with underlying health conditions as defined by the CDC. We will also review requests for accommodations for other reasons, such as living with a person who is in a high-risk category or caring for children in the event that childcare and schools are not open in the fall.

Resources

  • Director of Environmental Health and Safety Bryan Necessary and Occupational Health and Safety Manager Kerstyn Dolack in the Facilities Services department are serving as COVID-19 Site Supervisors for Puget Sound. They are subject matter experts who are available to provide guidance to departments and respond to any health and safety concerns related to adherence to COVID-19 prevention practices. 
  • We will continue to provide all existing sources of support, including those provided by Counseling, Health and Wellness Services; Student Accessibility and Accommodation; Academic Advising; Puget Sound’s chaplain; and more. Academic support areas should plan to provide remote tutoring and advising options in addition to delivering these services in-person.

We will continue to update you as more information becomes available. Meanwhile, we extend our deepest appreciation to the members of the Operational Planning Group, Emergency Response Group, and others who are working so diligently to prepare for the fall. Campus community members can access a full copy of the Operational Planning Group report, including more than 100 recommendations, on the university’s website. Please note that these are recommendations only. Action items coming out of this report will be communicated with you via email, at pugetsound.edu/coronavirus, or by your department head, supervisor, or Cabinet member overseeing your areas of operation.

Thank you for your continued adaptability and flexibility as we navigate these unusual circumstances. We are grateful for the dedication, creativity and resilience of this truly remarkable community, and look forward to reuniting on our beautiful campus soon.

 

MONDAY, JUNE 8, 2020, 10:45 A.M.
To Students, Faculty, and Staff
From Laura Behling, Provost

The Operational Planning Group continues to meet to plan for Fall semester and our recommendations are informed by a commitment to make our reopening decisions based on two criteria:

  1. ensuring the safety of those who study, work and live on our campus 
  2. ensuring the continued level of excellence that Puget Sound is known for in our academic programs and student services

Our full set of recommendations will be provided to President Crawford and the Cabinet for review on June 15. Meanwhile, we write to provide an update on our work in planning for the Fall semester.

Fall Semester Calendar
The following plan for the Fall semester, recommended by the Operational Planning Group, and supported by a subset of the Curriculum Committee and the Faculty Senate, has been approved by the Cabinet for implementation. 

We will retain a 15-week fall semester with courses scheduled to begin in person as scheduled on Monday, Aug. 31 and end remotely on December 18. A number of adjustments will be made to the schedule to limit exposure to the COVID-19 virus:

  • The two-day Fall Break in October will be cancelled to limit the opportunity for travel away from campus, which often occurs with an extended weekend. Classes will be held on these two days, October 19 and 20.  
  • Holding classes on October 19 and 20 allows us to cancel the two days of instruction on November 23 and 24, resulting in a longer Thanksgiving break to ensure additional time for preparation and provide students with more flexibility in leaving campus for Thanksgiving break.
  • On-campus instruction will conclude Nov. 20, the Friday before the Thanksgiving holiday.
  • The final three weeks of the semester after Thanksgiving break will be conducted remotely beginning Nov. 30, including a remote final exam period.
  • The semester will officially conclude on December 18.

Configuring the Fall semester this way aims to limit opportunities for travel and lessen potential virus spread, and help hedge against a second wave of the virus should that come later in the calendar year. We believe that this is a wise and prudent stewardship of the semester. Students living in university housing will receive specific details about move-in and move-out dates from Residential Life.

Health and Safety Measures
When students return to campus in late August, the way in which they experience Puget Sound will be different than what has been typical. The university will use its best efforts to help ensure that the Puget Sound community is safe and healthy. This will be evident in policies, processes, and systems that are in alignment with public health guidelines. Our goal is to ensure that students can complete their coursework, even if they are unable to attend in-person classes due to illness or higher risk of health complications from the coronavirus; and to protect those who are at higher risk of health complications from the coronavirus.

Everything the university does will be within strict adherence to public health guidelines. A few things the campus community can expect:

  • Health and safety orientation. Prior to the start of the fall semester, all faculty members, staff members, and students will be given a thorough orientation to Puget Sound’s COVID-19 culture of safety and health practices, behaviors, and priorities.
  • Residence halls. Residence halls will have rooms configured to maintain appropriate distances, and community bathrooms will be sanitized frequently. 
  • Common areas. All common and high-touch areas will be routinely disinfected, and hand-sanitizing dispensers will be placed throughout campus.
  • Dining. Dining venues will enhance to-go offerings, set up traffic-flow patterns, and honor public health dining density protocols in all campus dining facilities.
  • Classrooms. Classrooms and other spaces on campus will be reconfigured to meet physical distancing guidelines, and there will be additional spaces on campus that will function as classrooms. In order to support these protocols, we are exploring a number of options, including an extended teaching day and strategies such as hybrid instructional time that also would reduce population density in academic buildings.
  • Events. Physical distancing protocol will be in effect for on-campus events, such as lectures and social gatherings.
  • Athletics. The Northwest Conference (NWC) will continue to monitor the situation while each athletic department continues to operate within its institution’s overall recovery plan. The NWC President’s Council will reconvene in late June with the intention of reaching more specific decisions relating to return to competition based on the latest federal, state, and local health directives by July 1.
  • Shared campus spaces. Shared campus spaces will be reconfigured to meet physical distancing guidelines, and we are exploring several other options to promote health and safety, including the use of PPE, plexiglass guards, and staggered work hours.
  • Health screening/testing. On-campus COVID testing will be provided for symptomatic students in cooperation with public health guidelines. Students who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms will be able to be evaluated and tested by Counseling, Health, and Wellness Services (CHWS).
  • Face coverings. Policies are in effect for the use of cloth face coverings, and an ample supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) will be available for Puget Sound’s medical and other staff whose work requires it. Every student, faculty and staff member will receive two cloth face coverings, and we encourage everyone to have an additional supply so that they can be laundered after each use.
  • Quarantine. Residential students who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms will be moved to on-campus quarantined rooms where they will receive support, including meals, remote coursework, and health services.
  • Contact tracing. Processes and training programs will be set for contact tracing and a response team will be established to make sure we are limiting contagions.
  • Campus access. Access to campus will be monitored 24/7 to ensure safety and health protocols are known and followed.

We also are grateful to those of you who have responded to our survey, and appreciate your questions, ideas, and support for our work. And I realize that this email may not answer all of the questions you have about the Fall semester; the survey remains open should you wish to offer additional input. In the coming weeks, additional information will be shared with the campus community that further details how the Fall semester will be structured so that faculty and staff, and departments and offices can most effectively adapt their practices. We also will update our protocols, as necessary, and in adherence to public health guidelines.

Thank you for your partnership and support as we work together to return to campus in the fall.

Laura Behling and the Operational Planning Group

Uchenna Baker, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Gwynne Brown, Professor, Music History and Music Theory
Kelly Brown, Director, Counseling, Health, and Wellness Services
Nicole Gherima Ramiro Cariño, ASUPS President
Debbie Chee, Associate Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life
Jeremy Cucco, CIO and Associate Vice President for Technology Services
Bob Kief, Associate Vice President for Facilities
Michael Pastore, Registrar
Jennifer Pitonyak, Associate Professor and Adult Clinic Coordinator, Occupational Therapy
Andy Rex, Professor, Physics
Katherine Smith, Professor, History

 

TUESDAY, JUNE 2, 2020, 2:40 P.M.
To Faculty and Staff Members
From John Hickey, Executive Director of Community Engagement and Associate Vice President for Business Services

The university has created a Return to Work on Campus Plan that will go into effect immediately and be updated over time in concert with Gov. Inslee’s four-phase Safe Start Plan.

The Return to Work on Campus Plan provides important information about staying safe at work in compliance with requirements and guidance from local and state public health officials, the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Please note that COVID-19 prevention training, accessible at this link, is now required for all faculty and staff members prior to or immediately upon returning to campus. We strongly encourage all faculty and staff members to take this training required by L&I now even if you have not yet returned to campus. Note that the training presentation includes instructions for confirming that you have completed training.

On behalf of the Emergency Response Group, thank you for attending to these important steps to protect the health, safety and well-being of our campus community.

 

SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2020, 9 A.M.
To Faculty Members and Science Laboratory Support Staff Members
From John Hickey, Executive Director of Community Engagement and Associate Vice President for Business Services

We have received information and guidance from state and public health authorities that allows us to proceed with limited summer faculty research and laboratory support endeavors. In light of this guidance, I am writing to summarize the approved types of work and available support and resources in order to assist you in preparing for and safely undertaking summer research.​ 

During Phase 1, faculty members and essential service lab technicians/storeroom staff may perform the following work in laboratories and storeroom areas: 

  • Faculty are approved to work alone in their labs.
  • If more than one faculty member or lab technician needs to access the same lab or lab support space, they must do so at different times or otherwise ensure social distancing, and wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Faculty members and lab technicians/storeroom staff also are approved to conduct work in research labs and storerooms to ensure lab safety and experiment integrity, and support research in progress. 
  • Faculty and staff preparations for student research projects may begin in the anticipation that student engagement in campus labs and research or field work will be allowed to commence when Pierce County is approved for Phase 2 and additional guidance is received. More information will be forthcoming regarding the approved timing and guidance for in-person student research.  

Bryan Necessary, Puget Sound's Director of Environmental Health & Safety, is prepared to support summer research and work endeavors, including consulting with you about COVID-19 compliance/guidance, cleaning and disinfecting procedures, and providing appropriate PPE and other supplies as needed. Bryan can be reached at bnecessary@pugetsound.edu​ or extension 3933. 

Bryan will follow up with you early next week to provide specific details about resources, requirements, guidance, and compliance with State of Washington safety and health standards and other relevant standards and guidance.  On Monday you will receive virtual meeting invites to discuss that information. 

Thank you for supporting safe and healthy working conditions in this evolving COVID-19 environment.  Please let Sunil Kukreja, Julie Christoph, Renee Houston, or me know if you have immediate questions about next steps, and look for additional information from Bryan early next week.

 

THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2020, 9 A.M.
To Students, Faculty, and Staff
From Kelly Brown, director, Counseling, Health, and Wellness Services

Following up on yesterday’s message from President Crawford and Cabinet, I write with an update on campus health safety protocols in response to Gov. Jay Inslee’s updates to the Stay Home, Stay Healthy recommendation, which has been extended through May 31. Washington State continues to effectively “flatten the curve” by slowing the spread of the coronavirus in our community, and social distancing remains the key to control the spread of the coronavirus.

Business and social activity will slowly reopen in four phases with at least three-week intervals between each phase. The move from one phase to another will be based on science and data that reflect how our state is doing as we work to contain the COVID-19 virus. You can monitor how our state is doing by looking at the governor’s COVID-19 Risk Assessment Dashboard, which is updated weekly.

We are currently in Phase 1, which is anticipated to last at least until June 1 and informs the following recommendations for all members of the campus community:

  • Staff, faculty and students are encouraged to stay home and continue working remotely during Phase 1. Essential staff should continue to report to campus and observe social distancing and other safety protocols noted below.
  • Everyone should continue to maintain social distancing measures, staying at least six feet away from others.
  • Wearing a cloth mask is recommended when social distancing is impossible.
  • Practice regular handwashing (soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds) or use a hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
  • Check your temperature before coming to campus. Stay home or go home if you develop a fever >100.4, are feeling sick, or have come into contact with a person with a confirmed COVID-19 positive case.
    • Seek medical attention if you develop respiratory symptoms. The CDC has updated guidelines related to quarantine when sick with COVID-19 symptoms and now recommends that you self-isolate for at least 10 days from when symptoms first appear and 72 hours after your fever resolves without the use of medication.
    • The CDC has identified new symptoms that can be associated with COVID-19, including chills, muscle pain, sore throat, and new loss of taste and smell. These symptoms are in addition to the earlier noted fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
  • Inform your supervisor and the Director of CHWS if you are diagnosed or live with someone who is diagnosed with COVID-19. You will be expected to quarantine at home as directed by Pierce County or the State Department of Health.

The Operational Planning Group is meeting now to develop recommended guidelines and protocols for our return to campus. You can expect more information periodically as we complete our work, and as we receive additional guidance from public health officials and Washington state. 

Thank you for everything you are doing to keep yourselves and others healthy.

 

WEDNESDAY, MAY 13, 2020, 11 A.M.
To Students, Faculty, and Staff
From President Crawford and Members of the President's Cabinet

As we complete the spring semester and prepare to begin our summer schedule of classes and activities, we write to update you on next steps and express our profound appreciation for all of the ways in which you have successfully navigated a sea of changing circumstances over the past several months.

On May 1, Gov. Inslee released a four-phase plan for “re-opening” Washington state, and President Crawford and Cabinet have been consulting with Independent Colleges of Washington, the governor’s office, and public health officials about how we will begin to re-open our campus. We can expect to receive additional guidance periodically and will revise plans if needed; meanwhile we plan to move forward as follows.

Academics

  • Summer Term 1. The entire session will be conducted remotely beginning May 18.
  • Student Independent Summer Research, Scholarship, Creative Work and Internships. Students whose projects can occur remotely (mostly those in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, and some internships) may begin their summer projects on May 25. Your faculty mentors will be in contact with you about the specific start date, and how they will work with you over the summer. For students whose projects require them to be on campus, we estimate that access to labs and other campus spaces will be available for summer research students beginning sometime between June 1 - 15, but no earlier than the beginning of Washington state’s Phase 2.  Faculty mentors or supervisors will be in contact with students to determine the specific start date based on public health guidelines. Further guidelines will be shared with faculty mentors and students regarding specific on-campus practices and protocols to maintain safety.
  • Summer course work for the MAT, M.Ed., OT, and PT programs. These graduate programs will begin as scheduled, and faculty in these programs are determining the appropriate mix of remote, small group teaching and learning, and face-to-face class or lab meetings, following appropriate public health guidelines. Students in these programs may expect ongoing updates from their respective programs as more details become available.
  • Summer Academic Challenge. The program will occur June 25 - July 23 in a modified format, which may include face-to-face learning, smaller groups with appropriate social distancing, or remote learning. This is subject to change depending on public health guidelines in effect during the course of the program.
  • Summer Term II. To provide access to students who are not able to return to campus for this smaller of the two summer terms, the entire session will be conducted remotely beginning June 29.
  • Fall Semester. We look forward to welcoming all students to campus in late August and resuming in-person instruction while adhering to all applicable public health guidelines and stringent safety protocols. Although we have no way of knowing if we will need to pivot to remote learning partially or fully at any point, we will be well prepared to assist our students in having a successful and rigorous academic experience if we have to move to one of these contingencies. Additional information will be forthcoming after the Operational Planning Group submits its recommendation to President Crawford and Cabinet in mid-June.

Summer Residence Life

  • We will offer summer campus housing and dining for a very limited number of students on campus as part of approved programs. Information will be forthcoming from Residence Life to applicable students about the summer housing room selection process by the end of the week.

Other Summer Events and Activities

  • Campus Tours and Admission Events. We look forward to resuming admission tours in small groups (five or fewer people) in June as public health guidelines allow. Additional information will be forthcoming from our colleagues in Enrollment. Meanwhile, we expect to have all admission staff members moved into the new Welcome Center prior to June 1, even as staff continue to work remotely to the fullest extent possible.
  • Athletics Camps and Use of Facilities. Athletic camps and use of athletics facilities are canceled through the conclusion of Washington state’s Phase 2, currently anticipated to be June 21. We are evaluating a phased reopening with the arrival of Phase 3 within public health guidelines and will share more information as it becomes available. We look forward to welcoming student athletes to campus for the fall semester and will have more to communicate in the weeks ahead.
  • Summer Conferences and Events. Summer conferences that we host for outside groups have been canceled so that we can prioritize the health and safety of the campus community.

Returning to Work

At this time, those identified as essential staff members should continue to report to their work on campus and everyone else should work remotely to the extent possible. In concert with Phase 4 of the governor’s plan, we expect remote work to be in place through early- to mid-July for the majority of faculty and staff members. If you do need to come into your work space for any reason or period of time, it is critical that you observe public health recommendations and guidelines, which are subject to change and currently include:

  • Do not come to campus if you are ill, have been exposed to anyone who is ill, or have a fever
  • Practice social distancing of at least six feet
  • Wear a cloth mask if you are not able to maintain social distancing of at least six feet
  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based sanitizer
  • Cover coughs and sneezes, and avoid touching your mouth, nose or eyes
  • Routinely and frequently disinfect used objects and surfaces, such as door knobs, keys, keyboards, mobile phones, steering wheels, etc. Facilities Services has provided disinfecting wipes to all campus buildings. Please use them!

Additional information will be forthcoming periodically.

These are stressful times, made more challenging by prolonged periods of isolation and separation from our friends, family members and colleagues. We encourage you to take the time you need each day to process how you are feeling, appreciate the ways in which you are coping, and look forward to a time—in the not-too-distant future—when we will be reunited once again on our beautiful campus. Meanwhile, please continue to visit pugetsound.edu/coronavirus for the latest updates.

 

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 29, 2 P.M.
To Students, Faculty, and Staff
From Student Financial Services

Dear Puget Sound Student,

We are happy to announce that the university has received funding under Section 18004(c) of the CARES Act to support emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus pandemic. The online application can be found at www.pugetsound.edu/caresactfunds.

Expenses that are eligible for CARES Act funds include food, housing, course materials, technology, travel and other expenses you may have incurred since March 13, 2020 that are a direct result of the disruption to campus operations. If you incurred unexpected expenses such as these, we encourage you to apply for this funding. Recipients do not have to demonstrate financial need or have completed the FAFSA to receive aid grants from Puget Sound. We will process all applications as quickly as possible, and will follow up with you if we need any additional information to evaluate your request.

Please be clear and concise in describing the nature of your expenses and make sure that the amount you are requesting is accurate. Award amount decisions will be based on the type of expense, the description and reasonableness of the request, and available funding.

To expedite the receipt of funds, complete an E-refund profile in the Bill + Payment system if you have not already done so. Directions are embedded in the online application and also are available here: https://www.pugetsound.edu/files/resources/erefund-setup-website-version-2.pdf.  Students can expect to receive funding within two weeks of application approval via E-refund, and within three weeks via paper check mailed to the permanent address if no E-refund profile has been established.

We are grateful to have access to this funding to support you during this challenging time. If you have questions about your eligibility or the eligibility of an expense, you are welcome to contact Student Financial Services at sfs@pugetsound.edu.

 

TUESDAY, APRIL 21, 2020, 8:45 A.M.
To Students With Belongings Remaining on Campus
From Debbie Chee, Associate Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life

I am writing as you have left campus in March, but have not moved out and have personal property on campus. COVID-19 has impacted all of us in many ways. This includes adapting our typical move-out process. Given ongoing COVID-19 uncertainty, we are offering multiple options to retrieve your property. You can determine what best meets your needs, preferences, and convenience. These options were carefully considered and selected to best minimize risk as well as costs to our students.  

Following are options:

Option 1 – Retrieve Property from Your Room and Common Areas
The first option is to return to campus to retrieve property from your room and common areas between May 20 and June 6, 2020. Current spring residents will move out before May 20, which will enable you to pack and remove property with appropriate COVID-19 social distancing in all housing areas.

Option 2 – Have your Property Packed and Stored
A second option is to have property packed and stored. A moving company, overseen by members of Residence Life and Facilities Services, has been hired to pack items professionally in boxes. The moving company will charge a fee of $200 for this professional packing service. Facilities Services staff will transport boxes to Warner Gymnasium, where it will be stored in a secure and organized manner. You can retrieve property from Warner Gym in several ways:

  • If you are returning for fall semester, pick it up when you arrive to move into your on or off campus housing (any time before August 31).  Facilities staff will help students move property into on-campus housing.
  • You can pick-up property from Warner Gymnasium to take home between June 7 and August 15.  Facilities Services will assist you with loading items.
  • You can have property shipped home from Warner Gymnasium between June 7 and August 15. Mail Services can help you facilitate cost-effective shipping and remote payment via credit card.

Option 3 – Have your Property Packed and Shipped Home
A third option is to have your property professionally packed and shipped directly home during June (without being placed in campus storage). As noted above, Mail Services can help arrange your shipping and payment by credit card.

Financial Support for Picking Up or Shipping Property
The university anticipates the receipt of the first portion of CARES Act funding allocated to it to directly support students who have eligible expenses related to disruption in campus operations as a result of COVID-19. Costs to manage students' personal belongings left in residential spaces are expenses that would qualify for CARES Act support. Student Financial Services staff will be coordinating the provision of up to $200 in CARES Act funding per student to help support property retrieval expenses such as having property packed or costs associated with retrieving your items between May 20 and June 6. Please stay tuned for further information on the disbursement of these funds.

Next Steps
Please consider which option would best meet your needs. On April 24, you will receive move-out registration correspondence, which will ask you to select one of the three options. If you choose to retrieve property between May 20 and June 6, you will need to register for a pick-up date.

Thank you in advance for your collaboration during these unusual times.  Let me know if you have any immediate questions.

 

MONDAY, APRIL 13, 2020, 4 P.M.
To Students, Faculty, and Staff
From President Crawford and Members of the President's Cabinet

Thank you again for your flexibility, creativity and cooperation as we work together to manage our way through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the situation continues to evolve, we are planning as best we can for the remainder of the spring semester, the summer, and beyond. Please note the following updates about upcoming events.

Events and Conferences
All in-person events scheduled through May 17 were previously canceled, postponed or moved to a virtual format, and we must now do the same for in-person events through May 31, including conferences scheduled to begin in May and extend into early June.  Decisions regarding events and conferences later in June and for the balance of summer will be made as more information becomes available.

Summer Term
Registration for all summer terms began today. Summer Term I is scheduled May 18– June 26 and all courses will be taught remotely. Summer Term II is scheduled June 29 – August 7, and graduate programs’ summer courses begin later in June. For these programs we hold out hope that we may be able to hold classes in person; however, we have to await word from public health officials on the status of the outbreak to know if that will be possible. Meanwhile, we will continue to plan for remote delivery of course content if needed.

Student Summer Research, Scholarship, and Creative Work
We hope to be able to support student summer projects with access to campus labs, studios, the library, and other facilities but the university’s ability to do so remains uncertain at this time. Again, we must await word from public health officials, which we understand we may receive in early May.  We will keep affected students and faculty members informed. 

Staff Recognition Event
Unfortunately, as announced by the Staff Senate last week, it is not possible to hold the annual staff recognition as planned.  We look forward to holding a virtual celebration to recognize the invaluable contributions of our outstanding staff members, including our retiring staff colleagues, before the end of the semester. More information is forthcoming soon. 

Summer Reunion Weekend
This annual event that brings together alumni from across the country and around the world in early June has been canceled. Although we don’t yet know what the guidance will be for large gatherings this summer, we recognize that alumni needed a timely decision in order to make appropriate decisions about their travel plans. We look forward to resuming Summer Reunion Weekend in 2021, and to welcoming our alumni back to campus as soon as possible. 

Next Steps
We continue to assess what might be possible regarding remaining summer programs and activities, and will communicate more information as soon as possible.

We also are continuing our dual-track planning for academic year 2020-21 — anticipating that we will welcome students back to campus but planning for the possibility of remote instruction in the event that social distancing is required to support public health. Regardless of how the upcoming academic year unfolds, we are committed to providing a challenging and meaningful educational experience for all students, guided by close personal attention from our remarkable faculty and staff members, and a full complement of academic and student support services.

Additional information will be available later this week about the development of consultative planning processes to address short- and longer-term challenges resulting from COVID-19 public health restrictions, uncertain enrollment patterns, and risk to revenues. As one of the first steps in our financial planning, we reached out to the chairs of the Faculty Senate and the Staff Senate, as well as the members of the LEAD group, to solicit their input by April 17 on principles that will guide our work to bring Puget Sound’s FY20 and FY21 budgets into alignment with projected revenues.

The safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff members remains our top priority.  We are committed to providing our students an excellent Puget Sound experience and doing everything we can to support their success. As we attend to myriad near-term decisions, we are also preparing for the longer term to ensure ongoing strength and stability of the university we are called to steward. Please look for more information in the coming days, and feel free to reach out at any time with your questions or concerns.

We got this, Loggers.

 

THURSDAY, APRIL 9, 2020, 5 P.M.
We are hope you are doing well during this challenging time. It is a pleasure to have you here on campus with us, and we want to be sure you have all the information and support you need as the spring semester continues. Below please find some guidance that we hope you find helpful.

Sincerely,
Staff in Residence Life

What to do when sick:

  • If you have a fever, drink fluids with electrolytes (Gatorade, pedialyte, apple juice, clear sodas) and take Tylenol to reduce your fever. Reach out to CHWS, 253.879.1555, to speak with the triage nurse. You can pick up Tylenol and disposable thermometers at the self-help desk outside of CHWS (WSC 106).
  • If a friend has a fever, do not go to them. Email, text, or speak with them over the phone.
  • The health care staff at CHWS are seeing students in person and remotely. The front door of CHWS will remain closed but we are still open for services. You can reach CHWS during the week from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. at 253.879.1555. They will speak with you over the phone to determine next steps, which may include consultation with the triage nurse before being scheduled for an office appointment.
  • If you are seeking medical assistance after business hours, call the MultiCare Consulting Nurse at 253.792.6411 for health advice.
  • Watch for signs of COVID-19, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Please call CHWS for advice if you experience these symptoms.
  • If you or a friend have been tested off campus for COVID-19, please contact CHWS if your text comes back positive. 

Getting food while you are sick:

  • Dining and Conference Services will deliver meals to you. Please email subgrub@pugetsound.edu to order online and DCS Staff will deliver your order. Diner menus for the current week and the following are listed in My Nutrition.     

Managing stress:

  • Students seeking counseling services may receive individual and group therapy via telehealth if they are currently within the state of Washington. For students who are in state and those who are not currently in the state of Washington, we are still offering recommendation and referral services, and will be offering skills-based workshops via telehealth to support your wellbeing. We are posting updated information on Instagram and you can call the front desk for appointments and information at 253.879.1555.
  • Free Therapy Assistance Online (TAO)
    • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, TAO has made the Mindfulness Library free for everyone. Please feel free to share with family, friends, or anyone else who might benefit from enhancing their mindfulness practice. All exercises are available in both English and French: www.taoconnect.org/mindfulness-exercise
    • In addition, TAO has created free COVID-19 content, available on Vimeo for ease of access. "Coping Through the Coronavirus" provides concrete ways to manage the anxiety and uncertainty that we are all facing. Please watch and feel free to share widely! https://vimeo.com/400448203
    • Pierce County Mental Health Crisis Line: 1.800.576.7764
    • National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800.273.8225

Bathrooms:

We have received guidance from the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department that we should reduce the number of students per bathroom.

  • For those of you living in campus houses, Thomas, Trimble, and Oppenhimer who have single-use bathrooms, please assign yourself a bathroom to use. The goal is to reduce the number of people using any bathroom. Do not share bathrooms unless you need to. Once you have assigned bathrooms in your area, those assigned to a given bathroom are responsible for cleaning it. For those students who were relocated, cleaning supplies will be provided. For those who are out of cleaning supplies, please email reslife@pugetsound.edu and we will deliver them.
  • For those in Anderson/Langdon and Greek houses, Facilities Services will continue to clean your common bathrooms. However, you will need to limit their use as best as you can. Please work together to determine which bathroom to use. For example, Theta has 7 students living in the house. Residents should assign themselves separate bathrooms to reduce the number of people using an individual bathroom. This may mean students will have to walk up or downstairs to access the bathroom.

 

General behavior:

  • Do not gather in groups. If you are not sick or are do not have any symptoms, you can hang out in the common spaces of your residence. However, allow for 6 feet of distance between you and others.
  • CDC recommends, but does not require, that you wear a non-medical cloth mask when you are in a public space and unable to maintain 6 feet of distance with others. Medical-grade masks (such as the N95 mask) should be reserved for healthcare workers on the front lines.
  • If you do not have a mask and would like to make one, the CDC has created DIY instructions.
  • Remember to wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.
  • Student Affairs staff are reaching out to you and checking in. While you are not obligated to reply, we want to support you. This is a resource for you as we are in challenging times.
  • As always, please refer to and follow the Student Integrity Code to support a healthy and welcoming environment for all.

 

THURSDAY, APRIL 9, 2020, 2:45 P.M.
To Students, Faculty, and Staff
From Kelly Brown, director, Counseling, Health, and Wellness Services

The CDC now recommends, but does not require, wearing homemade masks in public. Medical-grade masks (such as the N95 mask) should be reserved for healthcare workers on the front lines.

According to guidance from the CDC and the Washington State Department of Health, using a face covering of any kind is another tool in the toolbox in the fight against COVID-19. Some people are infected with COVID-19 but do not have symptoms; masks or homemade face coverings can help slow the spread of the virus by preventing those carrying the virus from spreading it to others.

It is your choice to wear a mask. We recommend wearing a mask any time when you can’t safely maintain social distance or are in public settings like the grocery store or pharmacy.

Please note that some experts are concerned that mask use by the public might make people feel more protected than they actually are. Continue to stay home when you are sick and avoid all non-essential activities. Wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your face (eyes, nose and mouth), and do not adjust your mask frequently if you choose to wear one.

Face masks or coverings should:

  • Fit snugly against the side of the face
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops
  • Include multiple layers of fabric
  • Allow for breathing without restriction
  • Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage
  • Be changed when moist and washed after each use

If you do not have a mask and would like to make one, the CDC has created DIY instructions.

Please continue to practice social distancing measures. These measures are critical to slow the spread of COVID-19. This not only protects you, but also our most vulnerable populations. Do not gather in groups and maintain a distance of at least 6 feet between you and others.

People can leave their home or place of residence for the following essential activities:

  • Obtaining necessary supplies and services (grocery shopping, pharmacy, etc.)
  • Engaging in activities essential for health and safety (seeking medical or mental health services)
  • Caring for a family member, friend or pet in another household or transporting these people/pets for essential services (taking them for a medical appointment)
  • Engaging in outdoor exercise activities such as walking, hiking, running or biking, but only if appropriate social distancing practices are used

An article in The Washington Post describes the value of social distancing with greater detail.

Thank you for attending to your personal health and safety and that of others as we continue to fight this global health pandemic.

FRIDAY, APRIL 3, 2020, 12:30 P.M.
To Faculty and Staff
From President Crawford

I’d like to thank the faculty for hosting a town hall meeting for faculty and staff members as part of the April 1 faculty meeting. Although we were limited to 250 participants, I want to make sure that everyone has access to the information provided in the town hall portion of the meeting.

In my introduction I shared my profound gratitude for all the ways in which our faculty and staff have leaned into and met the challenges presented by the COVID-19 public health crisis. Your efforts have been nothing short of heroic. Our curriculum is being delivered, our students are supported, and campus operations continue. Please join me in “tipping our caps” to our colleagues called to work on campus during this difficult time, including those in Security Services, Technology Services, Facilities Services, Dining, Mail Services, Residence Life, and more. I’d also like to give a shout out to everyone who is figuring out how to work remotely, and attending so well to your important work from afar. On behalf of our students, their families and the board of trustees—thank you.

As you are all aware, over the past several weeks we have taken numerous actions to support social distancing, mitigate the spread of the virus, and carry forward the mission of the university. These include:

  • transitioning our academic program and student support services to a remote/virtual format as of March 9;
  • extending spring break to allow more time to prepare for remote/virtual learning and business operations;
  • recalling to the U.S. our students who were studying abroad;
  • closing the residence halls to all but about 130 students who have compelling reasons to remain on campus;
  • making arrangements for everyone who is able to work from home to do so;
  • transitioning our dining services to carry-out;
  • providing pro-rated room and board credits to students;
  • donating a portion of our excess supply of N-95 masks to area hospitals,
  • beginning a process to re-envision the way we honor and celebrate our students graduating this spring; and
  • committing to compensate faculty, staff, and student staff, regardless of ability to work, through May 15.

Following my remarks, Cabinet colleagues gave brief presentations in response to the most pressing questions we have received related to the university’s financial situation, plans for fall, and the outlook on the recruitment of the incoming class of students for fall 2020. You can find their presentations at: pugetsound.edu/covid19internal. [Note: you will need your Puget Sound login and password to access these pages.] Topics covered included:

  • university finances, stresses and projections, presented by Executive Vice President and CFO Sherry Mondou;
  • an update on enrollment from Interim Vice President for Enrollment Shannon Carr;
  • responses to key questions about the academic program from Provost Laura Behling; and
  • information about students residing on campus, engaging students remotely, and Counseling, Health and Wellness Services from Vice President for Student Affairs Uchenna Baker.

I know that you have some questions that we will not be able to answer yet, including how long the pandemic will last, when we will resume normal operations, and the exact nature of any budget adjustments that may be necessary. We will know more after the new June 1 deposit date for our first-year class in the fall. Meanwhile, Cabinet will develop, in consultation with faculty and staff leadership, the processes and principles that will guide our decision making in the weeks and months ahead. We will continue to keep you informed, and encourage you to visit pugetsound.edu/coronavirus for more information.

FRIDAY, APRIL 3, 2020, 10:10 A.M.
To Students, Faculty, and Staff
From President Crawford

Following the announcement that our May 17 Commencement Ceremony would not be able to go forward as planned, our Commencement Planning Committee has been working to identify ways to honor our students planning to graduate this spring. I reached out to graduating students and their families with the following update, and invite the entire campus community to join us in preparing to recognize our graduating classes of 2020.

On-Campus Commencement Ceremony: May 16, 2021
As we all know, there is no clear sense of when the COVID-19 pandemic will end. Holding a formal Commencement in May 2021 provides the best chance for not having to reschedule a second time, and it allows us to maintain the element of Commencement that cannot be replicated—graduates seated on Peyton Field under a (hopefully) sunny, beautiful Pacific Northwest sky, with all the pomp and circumstance that accompanies this traditional academic ceremony.

Other key elements include:

  • Full Commencement Ceremony with equal focus on the graduating classes of 2020 and 2021
  • Private on-campus celebration for members of the Classes of 2020 and their families
  • Special receptions held by undergraduate and graduate academic departments and other small groups, including the annual Graduates of Color, Lavender Graduation, Posse Graduation, and more

Presentations During Homecoming and Family Weekend: October 9–10, 2020
One of the greatest joys of the spring semester is the opportunity to attend the many performances and presentations that represent the culminating achievements of our undergraduate and graduate students. With the move to a virtual environment, we are not able to fully enjoy this rich Puget Sound tradition. Homecoming and Family Weekend may present an opportunity to incorporate these presentations into the schedule of activities; additional information will be forthcoming.

Virtual Celebration: May 17, 2020
Although we will not be able to gather as a community on campus this spring, we do want to mark the occasion with a virtual celebration of our graduates on the originally scheduled Commencement date.  This event is not meant to replicate the Commencement Ceremony (which will take place next May), but will be a festive celebration of the collective accomplishments of our graduates immediately following the conclusion of the spring semester. Graduating students are being surveyed for their thoughts about what might make this virtual celebration meaningful for them.

We will continue to update the Commencement webpage with important information about these upcoming celebrations. Commencement is an important milestone, and we want to do everything we can to celebrate our graduates as they begin the next chapter in their lives.

THURSDAY, MARCH 26, 8 P.M.
To Students, Faculty, and Staff
From Kelly Brown, director of Counseling, Health, and Wellness Services

On March 26, the University of Puget Sound received two self-reports from campus community members of confirmed cases of COVID-19. One individual was abroad and has not been on campus this semester. The second individual has been away from campus since March 6 and has been quarantined since March 9. In compliance with requirements of the Clery Act, the university is providing this Emergency Notification to the campus community. For additional information about COVID-19 and steps that the university is taking to protect the health and safety of our community, please visit the university’s Coronavirus website.

Neither the university nor public health authorities will identify any individuals who have tested positive for the virus, nor will information be provided that may compromise confidentiality in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) for students and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) for employees. Please be assured that professionals from CHWS and the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department are working to identify any campus community members with whom the affected individuals indicate they may have come in contact and will advise those individuals of steps or precautions they should take.

We understand that this situation is concerning and want to assure you that a great deal is being done to ensure the health and well-being of the campus community. The university has significantly reduced the density of our campus population to slow the spread of the virus and avoid overwhelming health care and community systems. We have moved all course instruction to remote delivery, arranged for employees to work remotely to the fullest extent possible, and reduced the number of students who are permitted to remain in residence halls. A small number of employees are still working on campus to support our students and essential operations.

Our campus leadership is monitoring the changing situation daily and advises that we continue to take precautions and follow the guidance of the CDC, including:

  • Avoid contact with persons who are sick;
  • Practice social distancing of at least six feet;
  • Frequently clean hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based sanitizer;
  • Cover your cough and sneezes (into your flexed elbow or tissue) and wash your hands immediately; and
  • Routinely disinfecting frequently used objects and surfaces.

Students, faculty and staff presenting symptoms of COVID-19 are advised to immediately self-isolate. Students remaining on campus or in the local area who develop symptoms can call CHWS (253.879.1555) or their primary care provider for medical advice. Students who reside outside of the local area should contact their primary care provider or local public health department for guidance. Also, faculty and staff who exhibit symptoms should contact their primary care provider or local public health department for guidance. 

We understand that the two individuals who tested positive are recovering well. This is a rapidly changing situation, so continue to check the university’s Coronavirus website for the latest updates.

TUESDAY, MARCH 24, 5:20 P.M.
To Campus Community
From President Crawford

Tomorrow we resume spring semester in our new virtual learning environment. It’s not how any of us wanted to wrap up this academic year, but I continue to be impressed by the creative, entrepreneurial Logger spirit that is carrying us through this challenging time.

Over the past several weeks we’ve thrown a lot of information your way as we seek to navigate these circumstances with student success and the health and well-being of our entire community foremost in our minds. With a new order last night from Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee to “stay home and stay healthy,” I want to take a moment to recap some of the information, services, and support available to you.

  1. Town Hall. I hope you can join me tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. at pugetsound.edu/townhall [please note that the link will be live shortly before 12:30 p.m.]. I’ll update you on where we are and where we’re going, and respond to the most frequently asked questions submitted in advance at pugetsound.edu/askme.
  2. Counseling, Health, and Wellness Services. At this time there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on campus. Any student, faculty member, or staff member—even if they are not currently on campus—is asked to notify CHWS at 253.879.3778 if they test positive for COVID-19. This will enable us to support affected campus members while taking appropriate precautions to safeguard the health of others. CHWS can offer telemedicine appointments for medical and counseling services for students who live in Washington state, and provide limited in-person medical care for students on campus. Please see CHWS for more information and additional offerings for students no matter where they live.
  3. Academic Support Services. Information will be shared today by the provost’s office about the availability of important academic support services during this time, including Academic Advising; the Center for Writing, Learning, and Teaching; Student Accessibility and Accommodation; and more.
  4. Collins Memorial Library. Although the library building is closed, library staff members are providing important services remotely at research.pugetsound.edu/remote.
  5. Telecommuting. All staff members with positions conducive to telecommuting are doing so until further notice. Staff members who are have been approved in advance by their department head, in consultation with the provost/area vice president, as essential to modified operations that must be delivered in person are expected to observe all recommended public health hygiene and social distancing measures at all times. Faculty members are encouraged to work remotely to the fullest extent possible, as well; any faculty member who chooses to come to campus on rare occasions to deliver their courses remotely also must adhere to public health guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  6. Compensation. All ongoing/regular staff members will be paid for their regularly scheduled hours, whether or not they are able to work, through May 15. Student staff members will be paid for hours they would have been scheduled to work between March 25 and May 15, up to their award earnings limit. Faculty will continue to be paid per the terms of their contracts. We know everyone is anxious about what will happen after May 15; we will continue to do everything we can to support our dedicated and hardworking faculty and staff during these uncertain times.
  7. Student Residences. Campus residences will close today at 11:59 p.m. to everyone other than students and residence hall assistants who have been approved to remain on campus through the end of the spring semester. Students who are not remaining in residence have been provided information about prorated room and board. We are still working with study abroad providers and look forward to providing information soon regarding room and board fee adjustments for students who were studying abroad this semester.
  8. Campus Services and Buildings. Those working on campus in essential roles and those students who are remaining on campus are advised to carry their keycards for building access. Please note that not all buildings are open.
    • Recreational Facilities. All indoor and outdoor recreational and athletic facilities are closed.
    • Dining Services. The Diner is providing pickup/carryout service in Wheelock Student Center for members of the campus community Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. 
    • Mail Services. Mail Services window service will operate Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.–2 p.m., and mail boxes are accessible when Wheelock is open, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Mail will be forwarded to students who are no longer living in campus housing.
    • Logger Store. The Logger Store will provide pickup service at the lower-level entrance on Monday and Thursday, 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Store staff members will respond to inquiries Monday through Friday at books@pugetsound.edu or 253.879.3271.
    • Residence Life. The residence life office will respond to messages at 253.879.3317 or reslife@pugetsound.edu. For campus residence emergencies, call Security Services at 253.879.3311.
    • Security Services. Security Services will operate 24/7 for routine and emergency services, and may be contacted at 253.879.3311.
    • Technology Services. The TS service desk and media services teams will provide support via servicedesk@pugetsound.edu and 253.879.8585, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Please take advantage of the support provided by TS as we continue remote learning and working.
  9. Emotional Support. These are uncertain times. In addition to counseling services provided to students through CHWS, there are many resources to support faculty and staff members. Please take advantage of these when needed.
  10. Commencement. We are working on a way to celebrate our graduates on May 17, but made the difficult decision yesterday that the in-person ceremony and activities will be postponed.

Additional information and important details are available at pugetsound.edu/coronavirus, including an FAQ and resources for students, faculty, and staff members.

Thank you for staying informed, for doing everything you can to keep yourselves and others healthy, and for coming together to support each other during these challenging times.

We got this, Loggers!

MONDAY, MARCH 23, 5 P.M.
To Graduating Students and Families
From President Crawford

You have been in my thoughts often these past few weeks as we have adjusted to circumstances that have affected the spring semester in previously unimaginable ways. The Class of 2020 means a lot to me; this the fourth year of my presidency at Puget Sound, so I have had the privilege of watching you grow and cheering you on from your very first days on campus. You are a remarkable class in every way, and along with our outstanding graduate students, I have long looked forward to watching you cross the stage and receive your diplomas in May.

We remain fully committed to celebrating your achievements, even as it has become increasingly clear that we will need to do so in a manner different than we had planned. I write to share with you that we have made the difficult decision that we cannot proceed with the Commencement Ceremony and related events in person on campus this May. 

In the coming weeks I will reach out to you with details about how we will celebrate on May 17, and I hope very much that you all will take part in those activities, virtual though they may be. We are also working to identify an alternate date to welcome you back to campus for a more formal ceremony and set of activities. Thank you to those who have already reached out to us with suggestions; please know that we are considering them all and will be in touch with more information just as soon as we can.

Although this is not the outcome for which we hoped, it does not lessen in any way our pride in your accomplishments and confidence in your future. You have worked so hard to reach this important milestone; we are fully committed to honoring you and recognizing your impressive achievements. 

FRIDAY, MARCH 20, 4:45 P.M. 
To Campus Community
From Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Career & Employment Services

Dear Members of the Campus Community:

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and associated public health and governmental advisories and guidance, the university has suspended its usual approval process for telecommuting arrangements. While the university remains open during this time, and essential employees may still be working on campus, we have been directed that until further notice those university faculty, staff, and certain authorized student staff who can telecommute should do so as much as possible and those who must be on campus should observe appropriate social and physical distancing.

All telecommuters must adhere to the expectations set forth in the relevant policy and in the telecommuting terms and conditions document, including the following key requirements.

  • TECHNOLOGY AND SECURITY
    Faculty, staff, and student staff who are telecommuting must have the appropriate technology and security measures in place. Any questions about technology and security should be addressed to the Technology Services Help Desk at servicedesk@pugetsound.edu or 253.879.8585. If you do not have the requisite hardware or software in place to work effectively from home, please talk with your supervisor about arrangements to borrow equipment from Technology Services or about making alternate work arrangements.
  • WORK SPACE
    Faculty, staff, and student staff who are injured while telecommuting may be eligible for workers’ compensation coverage. In order to minimize the chance of a work-related injury or accident in these circumstances, those who are telecommuting are responsible for establishing and maintaining a safe and ergonomically appropriate work space. If you cannot do so, please talk with your supervisor about alternate work arrangements.
  • COMMUNICATION AND CHECK IN
    While we are all exercising flexibility during these unique times, it is important that telecommuting faculty, staff, and student staff work proactively with their supervisors to set up appropriate check-in mechanisms as needed to assure that work is progressing and that we maintain regular contact with one another given the continuing changes and challenges we are facing. Check-ins can occur via email; telephone; video meetings via Google Hangouts, Zoom, or other videoconference options; and/or any other agreed-upon reliable communications methods.
  • CONFIDENTIALITY
    Faculty, staff, and student staff whose work involves access to confidential information must assure that they are maintaining confidentiality while telecommuting.

If you have any questions about the work at home expectations, please contact your supervisor. Faculty and staff may also contact Human Resources at hr@pugetsound.edu. We appreciate everyone’s flexibility, adaptability, and commitment to helping the university and our students succeed during these challenging and unprecedented times.

FRIDAY, MARCH 20, 10 A.M.
To Students, Faculty, and Staff
From President Crawford

We continue to work through the many details associated with the move to remote learning and remote work, consulting with state and federal agencies, accrediting bodies, legal counsel and other resources as appropriate. Thank you for your patience and flexibility during this most unusual time.

We are now able to provide updated information and guidance related to adjustments to room and board, student employment, and staff compensation.

Room and Board Adjustments

Prorated credit for housing and dining will be provided to students who are not returning to campus housing for the remainder of the spring semester.

  • Credit for housing will be provided to students who are not remaining in campus housing following spring break. The prorated credit will be for the period March 25 to May 15.
  • Credit for meal plans will be provided to students who are not remaining in campus housing following spring break.  The credit will be based on a March 25 to May 15 proration of the fixed cost component of meal plan charges, plus unused “dining dollars.”
  • Credit for meal plans will also be provided to students who live off campus and purchased a meal plan if they are no longer in the area and wish to cancel their plan.  Off campus students with meal plans will receive a separate message with additional information.
  • Credits will be applied to each student’s account with Student Financial Services and will first be applied to any outstanding account balance. Remaining credit balances will be handled as follows:
    • For students not graduating this spring, a credit will be applied to charges for the next term of enrollment.
    • For students graduating this spring, a refund will be issued.
  • Student Financial Services will share more details with students via their pugetsound.edu email addresses by the end of March. We anticipate that credits will be posted by March 31 and that refunds to seniors will be issued by April 15.

Student Employment

All student staff members will be paid for hours they would have been scheduled to work between March 25 and May 15, 2020, up to their award earnings limit. 

  • A limited number of student staff positions have been identified and approved as essential to student success and modified campus operations during this unprecedented situation. Nearly all of these essential roles can be performed remotely.
  • While students will be paid regardless of whether or not they work, the positions identified as essential provide a necessary service while the campus has transitioned to remote operations. These students will have the opportunity to build new skills, showcase their adaptability, and contribute to the broader institutional mission—all of which would be of interest to future employers.
  • Career and Employment Services will follow up directly with affected supervisors to provide specific guidance and instructions for contacting students in essential positions.  Students who work in these approved essential positions will then be contacted by their supervisors and offered the opportunity to continue their work experience.

Staff Compensation

Modified operations continue until further notice. All regular/ongoing staff members, whether working remotely, in approved on-campus roles, or unable to work, will receive their regular compensation through May 15.

  • This is a temporary measure to alleviate the unexpected financial pressures on our staff and ensure that we are able to retain our talented staff during a very challenging period when campus operations are modified due to the global health pandemic.
  • All staff who are able to do so are expected to work remotely to the fullest extent possible until further notice. A limited number of essential staff have been authorized to work on campus during this time, with appropriate hygiene practices and social distancing required.
  • For essential on-campus positions, we will seek volunteers from among all staff members in those positions to meet the short-term staffing needs. We strongly encourage staff members in identified high-risk categories (currently those with an underlying health condition, who are 60 or older, or who are pregnant) to take all necessary steps to best protect themselves and their families during this time. These staff members are not required to volunteer and they may notify their supervisors that they are unable to volunteer because they are in a high-risk position without any further explanation. There will be no repercussions for this decision and all regular/ongoing staff will continue to receive pay through May 15.  However, an essential staff member who is in a high-risk category is not required to disclose any health-related information to their supervisor and so may voluntarily choose to work on campus at their own discretion during this period if they are comfortable doing so.  As mentioned above, all essential employees will be required to practice appropriate hygiene and social distancing at work, and they can work on campus so long as they show no symptoms of illness or are not otherwise subject to quarantine.  Any staff member in an essential position who may need a temporary accommodation during this time should promptly notify Human Resources.
  • More information will be forthcoming shortly from Human Resources, including updated guidance on use of paid leave and timekeeping, as we continue to meet the challenges of temporary remote learning and remote work, and as we prepare to resume “normal” operations when we are able to do so.

Thank you to all members of the Puget Sound community for coming together to support our students in new ways, figure out how best to modify university operations, and care for one another under these challenging circumstances. We appreciate your patience and will continue to do our very best to provide ongoing guidance and support, and will keep you informed as new information becomes available.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18, 4 P.M.
Dear Colleagues, 

Again, thank you for your impressive work to adapt your classes-in-progress to meet the needs of this very challenging moment. Attached is a document that includes an update from our regional accrediting agency about what is required of all faculty and students for credit-bearing Puget Sound classes in Spring 2020, along with some resources for adapting to teaching online. We hope that you and your students will find this guidance helpful. We are a campus that cares about our students and that has great teachers, and our best online classroom work will build on those strengths.

This email is also a reminder of the @4 series, which will be meeting at 4 today and tomorrow and returning on Monday. Updates and recordings will be posted on the CWLT web page under Teaching and Faculty Resources.

Later this week, you will be receiving an update on academic support services after spring break. Keep in touch with your questions and concerns. We are going to get through this together!

Again, thank you for your patience and creativity,

Laura Behling
Julie Christoph
Renee Houston
Sunil Kukreja

 

TUESDAY, MARCH 17, 1:40 P.M.
To Students and Faculty
From Provost Laura Behling

In follow up to the March 14th message that announced classes will continue remotely for the remainder of the spring semester, we are writing with important information about some complementary temporary changes to our academic policies to address this unique situation. 

For the Spring 2020 semester only, the Faculty Senate has approved temporary changes to our academic policies as recommended by the Academic Standards Committee in order to provide flexibility to our now remote learning environment so that faculty may better support our students, and to allow both students and faculty to successfully complete the Spring 2020 semester. The Senate recognizes that some programs who must meet standards set by outside accreditation bodies may have different needs, so the Senate endorsed the ASC’s recommendations as general policy for this semester, with room for such programs to adjust as needed to maintain their accreditation.

These are the changes:

  1. Credit/No Credit Option: Students may select to complete any* course they are currently enrolled in by receiving a letter grade or opt for the Credit/No Credit option. Students may make this revision to their grading option between April 6 and 17.[1]

    Additionally, Credit/No Credit courses taken during the Spring 2020 term will not count toward the maximum limit of 4 Credit/No Credit units that can be applied toward graduation requirements.

    Further details on the Credit/No Credit option are available in the Bulletin (p. 44) or by contacting the Registrar’s Office.
  2. Course Withdrawal Deadline: The Spring term course withdrawal deadline (currently April 3) has been extended to April 17.  Additional information on course withdrawals can be found in the Bulletin (p. 45).

In addition, the existing Incomplete grade option is available to students and faculty as specified in the Bulletin (p. 46).

*The ASC affirms that intends that this policy means that for this semester, classes taken credit/no credit can still fulfill major, minor and core requirements, though that is not usually within the provision of the credit/no credit option.

[1] Per the Bulletin (p. 44) “…courses taken with the Credit/No Credit option are not calculated into the student’s grade point average. If the professor submits a letter grade of C- or higher the student will receive credit for the course; if the professor submits a letter grade of D+ or lower the student will not receive credit for the course.”

We recognize that the shifting nature of this situation can be a source of anxiety and create a sense of loss. During this time of transition, we remain committed to addressing the challenges before us in a way that balances our academic standards and our current unusual circumstances and to providing ongoing support for continued learning. We appreciate your flexibility and adaptability, and hope these changes alleviate some stress for everyone.

MONDAY, MARCH 16, 3:56 p.m.
To Students, Faculty, Faculty Emeriti, Staff
From President Isiaah Crawford, Provost Laura Behling, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Sherry B. Mondou, and Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Uchenna Baker

Dear Members of the Campus Community,

Following additional guidance from the federal government and Washington state, and acting on the recommendations and directives of public health authorities, University of Puget Sound will begin operating virtually to the fullest extent possible effective at midnight, March 16.

Please note that there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the University Puget Sound campus at this time. We are endeavoring to practice social distancing to reduce the possibility of community transmission of the virus.

We realize this effort raises many questions and concerns about the completion of your education, university operations, employment status, and more. Within this challenging environment, our faculty and staff members have been working diligently to develop plans so that we can continue to fulfill our educational mission. Below is an overview of important information for students, faculty and staff members, and key areas of operation. Additional information will be shared in the coming days as more details become available.

Remote learning

  • Remote learning will be extended through the conclusion of the spring semester, including the final exam period.
  • There will be no in-person instruction, including music lessons, independent research, studio work, lab work, and in-person office hours and advising.
  • Graduate clinical lab work may be deferred, including all occupational and physical therapy clinics. Decisions about deferral will be made at a later date, in consultation with accreditors and the provost.
  • We will make accommodations as needed to ensure that students on track to graduate this spring will be able to do so. A decision about Commencement ceremonies will be made in the coming weeks. 

Remote work

  • All staff members who can work remotely must do so. Essential staff members who need to be on campus, as determined by their department heads, will do so with appropriate social distancing in place so that essential operations can continue. Some staff will be 100% virtual, some will be partially virtual, and some will be on-site. Department heads will work with their teams to develop and communicate the plan for their departments, and will consult with the provost or area vice presidents as needed. If you have questions about your work schedule or arrangements, please contact your supervisor.
  • Operations will be modified to a virtual format and essential operations will remain in place to support a small number of students who are continuing to live on campus during and following spring break.
  • During this period of modified operations, some staff members may be asked to fulfill roles that support essential operations in other areas of campus.
  • For our regular/ongoing staff members who are unable to work remotely or on site during this period of modified virtual operations, we are committed to compensating you based on your normal work schedule through April 15. [Editor's Note: This was extended to May 15 in a message to campus on March 20.] Details will be communicated by Human Resources as soon as available. We will further assess this as we receive information about the availability of pandemic-related aid from state and federal agencies and as we know more about staffing needs and financial plans going forward.
  • All interviews for open positions will be conducted virtually or delayed.

Student employment

  • As the campus moves to virtual operations, student-staff members will no longer work on campus, with minimal exceptions based on the essential nature of their work as determined and approved by provost/vice presidents and with appropriate social distancing in place.
  • We anticipate having guidance soon regarding the ability of student-staff to work remotely, following receipt of guidance and clarification from legal counsel and state and federal sources. Career and Employment Services will update students, their supervisors and department heads as soon as this information is available.

Building operations

  • We are limiting access to buildings, which will be card-access only beginning at midnight
  • All indoor and outdoor athletic and recreational facilities are closed until further notice.
  • Kittredge Gallery is closed until further notice.
  • Collins Memorial Library is closed, but staff members will continue to provide full electronic resources and virtual support. Additional information may be forthcoming as the library staff prepare to best serve the campus community within our current limitations.
  • Technology Services staff members working in the library will continue to provide virtual support and will deliver loaner equipment on campus as requested.
  • The Office of Admission will delay its planned move to the new Welcome Center. Daily admission visits and special events are cancelled. Our enrollment staff will continue to serve our admitted and prospective students and recruitment efforts in virtual ways.

Campus dining

  • The Diner will be open daily 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. to serve the small numbers of students, faculty and staff members who will be on campus during this period of virtual operation. Dining staff will provide to-go service only, using disposable dishware, and will limit the number of people who can be in the servery at any given time.
  • All dining seating areas will be closed.
  • Diversions Café, Lillis Café, Oppenheimer Café and the Cellar are closed until further notice.
  • Dining and Conference Services staff members will receive additional information about work schedules and operations from Director of Dining and Conference Services Terry Halvorson.

Athletics

  • This afternoon the Northwest Conference (NWC) President’s Council made the decision to cancel all NWC and non-conference sport competitions and NWC championships.
  • This decision follows both the NWC's earlier decision to suspend all sports until further notice, and the decision by the NCAA to cancel all NCAA Division III men’s and women’s winter and spring championships.

Travel guidance

  • All non-essential university travel by common carrier is prohibited until further notice.
  • All non-essential personal travel by common carrier is strongly discouraged at this time.
  • See more information at pugetsound.edu/coronavirus.

Events

  • All internal institutional and external events hosted on campus are canceled, postponed or will be conducted virtually until further notice. 

Please access the virtual health and wellness resources available through Counseling, Health, and Wellness Services and Human Resources as needed. We will continue to communicate key decisions and information via university email, and encourage you to check pugetsound.edu/coronavirus for additional information as it becomes available.

These are extraordinary times that call for extraordinary measures. Our highest priority is the health and wellbeing of all members of the campus community, as well as your families and loved ones. Thank you for your flexibility and resiliency as we work as quickly as we can to respond to this global health pandemic, care for all members of our community, and continue to deliver on our educational mission in service to our students.

FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 6:30 P.M.
To Students
From Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Uchenna Baker

This message follows up on the March 12, 2020 COVID-19 email you received from President Crawford and provides important information about campus operations for the coming weeks. This includes information for those who live on campus and off campus. We know this is a challenging time, and thank you for your patience as we work as quickly as we can to provide you with the information you need. Please continue to check your email and monitor the Puget Sound website for important updates. 

For students who live on campus, please note that some of the items below may require a response from you. Please read this email in its entirety to ensure that you have all the information you need to understand the options available to you regarding housing and residential services. 

Guidance for On-Campus Students During and After Spring Break 
On-campus housing includes all residence halls, Greek housing, and on-campus houses. All students are expected to leave their campus residence by the conclusion of spring break on Tuesday, March 24 until 1) in-person classes resume on campus or 2) the end of the spring semester. This does not apply to those students who are approved to remain in their campus residence.

How to appeal to remain on campus:
Some students may need to remain on campus, and services such as dining, security, and more will continue to be provided. Students may appeal to remain living on campus if they are:

  • international students or students whose homes are abroad, and/or
  • without adequate internet access to engage in remote learning, and/or
  • experiencing safety concerns, housing insecurity, and/or food insecurity

If you need to appeal to remain on campus, please complete this form and note that:

  • The deadline to appeal to remain on campus is Wednesday, March 18 at 3 p.m. (PST). In order to respond to students in a timely way, we will not be able to provide extensions or exceptions. 
  • Notification of appeal decision will be sent to your university email no later than 5 p.m. (PST) on Friday, March 20.  

How to retrieve items from your campus residence if you have already left campus: 

  • We recommend that you retrieve essential items such as textbooks, medications, and/or travel documents that you may need over the next several weeks or through the end of the semester, if necessary.
  • You can access to your campus residence with your key card until 11:59 p.m. (PST) on Tuesday, March 24. In order to observe the social distancing recommendations from the state of Washington as best we can, after that time you will not be able to access your campus residence for the duration of the remote learning period or until your scheduled move out time at the end of the academic year.
  • We realize that the vast majority of students have already left for spring break and may need assistance retrieving needed items from their campus residences. Information about shipping items to your home or other address is available on the Residence Life Storage website.
  • Students are welcome to leave belongings in their residence until the conclusion of the spring semester.

Guidance for Students Who Live Locally Off Campus
The campus remains open. Please note that hours of operation for the library and other services may change based on availability of staffing.

Student Employment
We understand that students have questions about on-campus student employment. We are seeking clarification regarding the treatment of state and federal work study awards and students will be notified as guidance and additional information becomes available. 

Room and Board Adjustments
We appreciate that students have questions about adjustments to room and board charges, and are working as quickly as we can to address this concern. We are considering guidance from multiple sources and information will be forthcoming as soon as it is available.

Registering Your Vehicle
Security Services staff will remain operational and available 24/7. It is recommended that students not leave a vehicle on campus, but realize it is difficult to make this decision when we don’t yet know when we will resume in-person instruction. If you are leaving a vehicle on campus it is very important that it is registered with the university parking program. If you need assistance with this, please email security@pugetsound.edu.  

Receiving Your Campus Mail
We will follow up with information on plans to forward your campus mail to your current address.

The impact of COVID-19 and the disruption caused by this pandemic are hitting us all close to home - in our families, our society, and now on the campus that we love. We will continue to look to the guidance and direction of public health officials and local/regional governmental leaders to inform our ongoing decisions. 

Please know that Student Affairs is developing a plan to offer community, connection, and support for our students even in this time of remote learning. More information about this will be forthcoming in the near future. Please also continue monitoring the Counseling, Health, & Wellness Services website for more information about resources for students during the remote learning period.  

Please continue to monitor your university email and university communications to stay current on the latest updates. I invite all students to join in supporting each other and the work of our college as we come together through this most unusual time. We hope you have safe and restful spring breaks, and look forward to resuming your coursework with your faculty on Wednesday, March 25.

THURSDAY, MARCH 12, 5:55 P.M.
To Students
From Student Affairs

We know you have many questions and concerns about your residence, belongings, and other matters. Please know that we are working through comprehensive guidance and will have more information for you tomorrow and in the coming days. CHWS, the library, dining, Security Services and other resources continue to remain open.

THURSDAY, MARCH 12, 4 P.M.
To Campus Community and Puget Sound Parents
From President Crawford

At this time, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on campus, but are aware that could change at any time. I write today to update you on our plans for the remainder of the spring semester in response to this public health crisis as we work to ensure the ability of our students to continue their education.

This afternoon Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee issued an executive order to close through April 24 all K-12 public and private schools in three counties, including Pierce County, and the city of Tacoma declared a state of emergency.

In consultation with the campus emergency policy council and risk management teams and representatives of our Faculty Senate and Staff Senate; guidance from local, state and federal health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; awareness of a range of decisions being made by other institutions; experience gained over the past week in remote delivery of coursework; and new protocols and procedures in place to support remote learning, the following will go into effect immediately.

  1. Remote learning will resume following spring break and will be extended until further notice. Students will continue to hear from their professors regarding their classes and should not plan to return to campus following spring break unless notified otherwise. More information will follow from Student Affairs regarding students with extenuating circumstances that might require them to stay on campus, retrieval of belongings, and other residential considerations. 
  2. Spring break for students will be extended through Tuesday, March 24. Classes on Monday, March 23 and Tuesday, March 24 will not be held in order to allow both faculty and students additional time to prepare for remote learning. Technology Services will host a number of additional training sessions for faculty during the break. Provost Behling will communicate to faculty later today with more information.
  3. Athletic events are suspended. The remainder of the Loggers Northwest Conference play is suspended until further notice, as is all non-conference play. Student-athletes will receive further guidance from Athletic Director Amy Hackett.
  4. Campus remains open. All faculty and staff members should continue to report to work, either in person or through approved telecommuting arrangements. Staff should discuss specific work arrangements with their supervisors. On-campus social distancing protocols will be expanded with more guidance coming soon, including cancellation of events hosted on our campus by outside groups.
  5. Decisions have not yet been made regarding Commencement. We will do that all that we can to ensure that eligible students are able to graduate this spring. Although it is premature to make decisions about the Commencement ceremony, we hope that it can take place and will keep you informed. 

These are not easy decisions to make, and I realize this is a disappointing outcome for many in our community. We understand that you will have many questions and concerns and we are working as quickly and thoughtfully as we can in this rapidly changing situation. We will continue to communicate and provide guidance as more information becomes available.

We understand that COVID-19 is expected to be present in the U.S. and other communities around the world for an extended period of time, and we are doing what we are advised is necessary to mitigate the spread of the virus. Although the risk to healthy individuals and young people is believed to be low, we encourage everyone to continue taking appropriate precautions and be mindful of impacts on at-risk populations (currently identified as those with underlying health conditions, over 60 years of age, or pregnant).

Loggers are creative, resilient and adaptable in the face of change. I am confident that we will weather these challenging circumstances with grace and fortitude, and I cannot begin to express my appreciation and admiration for all that this community has done – and continues to do – during this public health crisis. Our highest priority is to continue to deliver on our mission as an educational institution while doing everything we can to safeguard the health and wellbeing of all members of the campus community.

Please continue to check your email and pugetsound.edu/coronavirus for further information as it becomes available.

TUESDAY, MARCH 10, 2 P.M.
To Faculty and Students
From Technology Services

Print & Copy Services will be offering a print and delivery service for students working off campus or unable to access the computer labs.  If students have an assignment that needs to be printed and turned in, they can send it to Print & Copy Services by filling out this form and attaching their file.  Print & Copy Services will deliver completed prints directly to the departmental offices.

  • There is no additional cost to student for this service beyond the prints coming out of PrintGreen credits.
  • Prints are offered only in B/W. Orders for color printing or alternate printing services may be placed online by going to pugetsound.edu/pcs and selecting the Submit an Order link; these will be charged.
  • PDF files are recommended for the most accurate printing, but not required.
  • Print & Copy Services is open to run these prints Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. only.  We cannot run or deliver prints on the weekend.

We anticipate less than 24-hour turnaround on printing and delivery; however, if you have a firm deadline, please indicate that on the order.

Please contact us anytime at print@pugetsound.edu or 253.879.3737 with any questions.

MONDAY, MARCH 9, 5 P.M.
To Faculty
From Student Accessibility and Accommodations

We’ve been talking with many faculty students and parents over the past few days and thought these points might be helpful to share. As you modify your attendance and participation policies class policies, please consider:

  • Many SAA students with medical disabilities are in the high-risk group and are understandably very anxious. Some are driving home rather than flying.
  • SAA has a very large number of students with anxiety disorders. They may be very distracted by the media coverage of COVID-19. Coursework, especially low-stakes assignments and keeping in touch with others in relation to non-COVID-19 content will likely be helpful to them, but they may not be able to do their best academic work at this time.
  • Many parents have been calling SAA for guidance. Students may be feeling family pressure to leave before Friday.
  • As you design assignments, please continue to consider students’ varying levels of experience with computer technologies. Our students with learning disabilities are typically very familiar with adaptive technologies. However, as with all Puget Sound students, there is wide variation in student computer skills that is related to how and where they received their K-12 education. Feel free to reach out to us at SAA for advice with particular questions.
  • SAA staff does not have access to Canvas, but we are working with Technology Services to learn more about the instructor view, so we can see what challenges you may be having with adjusting exam time. In the meantime, the Educational Technologists Kevin or Margot can help you adjust exam times in Canvas. [See also Canvas instructions.]

Please keep in touch about challenges you are experiencing with respect to student accommodations. Like you, we’re learning to navigate a new environment and may not have immediate answers, but we will do our best to support you. If you need to check on a particular student’s amount of extended time, or any other accommodation, please email saa@pugetsound.edu. We are monitoring these email accounts both day and evening.

MONDAY, MARCH 9, 11:55 A.M.
To Faculty and Staff
From Human Resources 

As we continue to focus on the well-being of our campus community, we write to make you aware of resources available to you through our medical plan administrator and our Employee Assistance Program. Please visit our coronavirus resources page.

SATURDAY, MARCH 7, 5:30 P.M.
To Faculty
From the Provost

In response to the recent announcement that classes will be held virtually Monday, March 9 – Friday, March 13, in advance of spring break the week of March 16, I write to provide some specific information regarding how we can focus on the continuation of student learning and prioritize what is best for the health of our community.  

Some students are feeling anxious, so please let them know their continued learning and well-being is a priority. Communicating clear directions, deadlines, expectations, and virtual class practices will be important—teaching remotely is a new experience for most of us, faculty and students, and so clarity, consistency, and regular communication is key.  This might include:

  • Reviewing your communication plans with your classes (e.g., “Please check your email regularly each day since this is how I will communicate with you.”)
  • Reviewing your communication expectations from students (e.g., “If you don’t feel well, please send me a quick email to let me know so we can consider ways to continue your learning.”)
  • Reconsidering your attendance/participation expectations. Just as faculty and staff are encouraged to err on the side of caution when it comes to the potential for exposing others to illness, so too should we hold that expectation for students. This means you may need to create alternate learning experiences for your students (e.g., something they can complete outside of class), and it may mean modifying your attendance and participation policies.  Outline how you will handle late assignments or missed exams.  You might want to consider how to fairly assess late work from students and keep them informed so they know what to expect.
  • Providing clear direction for exams, projects, papers, or other assignments in terms of deadlines, mode to submit their work to you, time limits (if applicable), and other expectations for success.
  • Assuring them that the university is closely following the Centers for Disease Control, and guidance from state and county departments of health.

I would ask that you communicate directly with your students this weekend, letting them know that given the university’s decision regarding virtual instruction, that you will be back in touch with them with a plan for how course sessions, exams or papers will be accommodated this week with a new format.  

The university is committed to providing the support to you. Technology Services will continue to host training sessions on tools that can assist you in online instruction.  These have been scheduled for:

  • Tuesday, March 10, noon, Weyerhaeuser Hall, room 319 
  • Wednesday, March 11, noon, Thompson Hall, room 153 

Email or phone conferences are also helpful means of sustaining active remote learning as you select tools to best align with your pedagogy.

Additionally, there are resources available at the following links that may provide further insight into the technology tools and services that we currently offer.  As always, if you have any questions or would like individualized advice, please reach out to your respective Educational Technologist and they will be happy to assist.

General Info

Educational Technology

G-Suite (Google Suite of tools)

Media Services (for a partial list of checkout equipment available)

  • Virtual classes should “meet” during the regularly scheduled days and times of the class—this will avoid conflicts for students.  Students will be expected to virtually attend classes during their regularly scheduled time, although we continue to encourage instructors to be flexible with attendance and exam policies for any students who are ill.
  • Exams that are scheduled to be administered in person should be administered remotely.  All classrooms will remain open this week if students are seeking a quiet, distraction-free place. Google Meet allows for the possibility of monitoring all students taking the exam remotely.  SAA will continue to offer guidance for students needing accommodations.
  • To the extent feasible, instructors should make their course content, including materials used in class, available via Canvas or other online options.
  • Since the campus will remain open, Collins Library will be open regularly posted hours this week.  
  • The CWLT is offering students remote consulting—please remind students of this resource.
  • Lab work, independent research, and performances for classes present challenges due to the nature of the work.  Faculty should be aware that students may choose to complete this week’s course work on campus, at home, or at another location, and as a result, you may need to explore tools to allow for virtual or recorded performances, or amend deadlines and expectations.  

And thinking ahead:

  • please take your own health seriously.  Be thinking of potential back-up instructor(s) to cover your classes in the event that you will miss 3 or more class periods due to your own illness
  • update your gradebook, and ensure it’s in a system (e.g., Excel, Canvas) that could be easily shared with your chair should you face an extended absence due to your own illness or care for a family member.
  • and ensure that your current syllabi have been shared with your departmental administrative assistants.  If your department has not already done so, please create an online repository of Spring 2020 course syllabi for your department/program that can be easily accessed by faculty and administrative support staff.  If you don’t already have an online repository, Google Docs might be the simplest platform for sharing.  

I realize that this email cannot address all questions you may have regarding teaching your classes virtually this week.  Please let me know if you have specific questions or concerns; I am happy to think through with you particular challenges.  Please use your best judgment since you know the expectations you have for students in your classes.  We’re in new territory here, and I appreciate your flexibility and commitment to our students’ now-virtual learning.

SATURDAY, MARCH 7, 4:45 P.M.
To Puget Sound Parents
From President Crawford

A new message has been posted on pugetsound.edu/coronavirus concerning a revision to our course schedule for next week. Your students will receive additional guidance from their faculty members as we begin to offer course content virtually in advance of spring break. At this time we expect classes to resume as normal following spring break, and will keep you informed as decisions are made.

While we continue to receive advice from the local health authorities that the coronavirus is believed to be of low risk to healthy populations, we appreciate that there is much that we do not know and are proceeding with an abundance of caution in protecting students.

SATURDAY, MARCH 7, 4:30 P.M.
To Campus Community
From President Crawford

Following yesterday’s announcement of the first known case of COVID-19 in Pierce County, I have continued to consult with campus leadership, our planning team, and leadership at other institutions in our area.

At this time there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the Puget Sound campus. We continue to receive guidance from local, state, and national health organizations that the risks of contracting the virus for healthy individuals remains low. That said, we are also aware that there is a high level of uncertainty around the COVID-19 virus, and we need to be vigilant in supporting all members of our campus community during a very challenging time.

To this end, over the coming week campus leadership, faculty, and staff will work together to consider and develop alternate plans for course delivery to finish the spring semester should that become necessary. To support this work, we are making the following changes to our course schedules this week:

  • Classes will be held virtually Monday, March 9–Friday, March 13, in advance of spring break the week of March 16.
  • Students may choose to remain on campus this week or complete coursework from home or another location. All regular campus services will be available to any students remaining on campus this week and/or throughout the spring break.
  • Students, faculty, and staff will be advised during spring break if there will be any ongoing changes to the spring course schedule.
  • Additional information for faculty members will follow from Provost Behling.

Campus will continue to remain open and all activities other than in-person classes will go forward unless notified otherwise. This includes athletic events, music performances, and admission tours. Campus meetings also will go forward; some may be conducted via video or audio teleconferencing if needed. If any events are canceled, the sponsors of those events will notify affected parties.

Please continue to check the campus website at pugetsound.edu/coronavirus for information. Thank you for your continued flexibility as we balance competing demands to ensure the health and safety of our campus community.

FRIDAY, MARCH 6, 7:30 P.M.
To Puget Sound Parents
From President Crawford

Following up on my message to you on Sunday, I write to let you know that additional information for students has been distributed via email throughout the week and is posted at pugetsound.edu/coronavirus, including guidance about spring break travel.

Within the past hour, local news channels have reported the first presumptively positive case of COVID-19 in Pierce County. We have not received any further guidance from the Tacoma-Pierce County Department of Health or Washington State Department of Health at this time. We will provide the campus community with information and guidance as soon as it becomes available. Please encourage your student to regularly check email and the website for important announcements, including support from Counseling, Health, and Wellness Services.

We will keep you informed if there are any changes to campus operations as we work to protect the health and well-being of our campus community.

FRIDAY, MARCH 6, 7 P.M.
To Campus Community
From President Crawford

Local news channels are reporting the first presumptively positive case of COVID-19 in Pierce County. We have not received any further guidance from the Tacoma-Pierce County Department of Health or Washington State Department of Health at this time. We will provide you with information and guidance as soon as it becomes available. Meanwhile, please continue to practice good self-care and check your email and pugetsound.edu/coronavirus for updates as they become available.

FRIDAY, MARCH 6, 5:30 P.M.
To Campus Community
From President Crawford

As spring break approaches and concerns about the spread of the coronavirus grow, I write to affirm the proactive work taking place on campus across many divisions to do everything we can to protect the health of our campus community. At this time, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on campus.

I have been meeting regularly with our campus risk team to identify ways to reduce risk and mitigate the effects of exposure during this public health concern. Our decisions are informed by guidance from the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, Washington State Department of Health, U.S. Department of State, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We are aware that the guidance for surrounding counties may differ, and ask that all who live or work outside of Pierce County pay attention to the advice of the local health department when making decisions about activities in those counties.

As shared with you earlier, updates about university response and planning efforts are available on this website, including a regularly updated set of frequently asked questions. We will continue to provide periodic campus updates via campus email, and ask that you check the site regularly for new information.

Over the past week we have taken a number of actions, including enhanced cleaning across campus, with special attention to high-traffic areas; increased distribution of disinfectant and hand sanitizers; identification of appropriate spaces in the event students need to be isolated or quarantined; training for faculty in the event courses need to be delivered electronically; and assistance for students studying abroad in high risk (Level 3 or higher) countries in returning home. Please see the website for details on these activities.

The campus risk team met earlier today and is issuing the following guidance to go into effect immediately:

Event Cancellations
Although campus is currently in full operation, we will cancel or reschedule events that might compromise resources needed to serve the health and safety of the campus community and our visitors. This includes events that are anticipated to draw more than 500 attendees, involve certain activities or locations, and/or include attendees beyond the campus community. If cancellations occur, the sponsors of these events will communicate to affected parties. Unless announced otherwise, university events, including athletics, music, campus tours, and campus visit days are continuing as planned.

Travel Guidance
The spread of the virus is a dynamic situation. Please refer to the appropriate agencies for guidance concerning domestic and international travel. In addition:

Registering Spring Break Travel. All students, faculty and staff members traveling outside Washington state during spring break should register travel plans with the university. This will assist the university in monitoring conditions in those areas and supporting your return.

Staying on Campus During Spring Break. We will follow our normal protocol of allowing students to stay on campus for spring break for any reason, including cancellation of travel plans. Students who plan to do so should inform their residence hall staff. Dining and other services will be provided during break.

Domestic Travel. The spread of the virus is a dynamic situation. Those traveling within the U.S. should be aware there is a chance that you could be detained and/or quarantined and unable to return to campus. At this time there are no restrictions on domestic travel, but we encourage you to reconsider domestic travel and recommend exploring alternate plans or arrangements for university-sponsored domestic travel. Please consider the use of technology or other means to conduct university business. University staff for whom travel is an essential part of your job should consult with their supervisors.

International Travel. We are not supporting university travel abroad to any country with a Level 3 or higher risk designation. Should you have plans to travel abroad, be aware that there is a chance that you could be detained abroad and/or quarantined upon your return to the U.S. Those who choose to travel outside the U.S. during spring break are advised to follow CDC guidelines and do so at their own risk.

Suspension of Campus Operations Not in Affect at this Time
As a residential campus, the university never truly closes. We may need to modify or suspend normal operations, which could include delivering class content electronically, increasing telecommuting, or reducing the presence of non-essential personnel on campus. At this time our classrooms, laboratories, clinics, residence halls, dining services, library services, and recreation and athletic facilities are all open. Please continue to check the website and your university email account for updates, including during spring break.

Please continue to practice good self-care as recommended by Counseling, Health and Wellness Services, paying particular attention to regularly washing your hands; avoiding touching your face (especially nose, mouth and eyes); and staying home if you are ill.

On behalf of all involved in our risk assessment and prevention work, thank you for your flexibility as we work together to support the health and well-being of our campus community during this challenging time.

FRIDAY, MARCH 6, 1:30 P.M.
To Staff Members and Staff Supervisors
From Human Resources

As we continue to monitor the evolving situation with COVID-19 and follow recommendations from the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, we are engaged in proactive planning and preparations for the possibility of the virus appearing in our community. As of now there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Pierce County and the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department is not recommending cancelation of activities or school closures.  Puget Sound’s campus is fully operational and the vast majority of staff are performing their work on campus.  In our planning we created the following temporary framework for working remotely if needed.

Temporary Framework for Working Remotely as of March 6, 2020
Underlying Health Condition
If you have a concern about reporting to work due to an underlying health condition, contact Kenni Simons at 253.879.3296 to discuss appropriate temporary accommodations either on campus or working remotely. Please do not provide personal health information via email. Your personal health information will remain confidential. Kenni will discuss options with you and reach out to your supervisor as needed. If the solution is to work remotely, you will be asked to complete a brief form and process (see below) to document the arrangement and your supervisor’s approval.

Other Concern Related to COVID-19
As we balance the need to provide in-person support to our campus community and be sensitive to the needs of individual staff members, there might be other situations that warrant a remote work arrangement. If you have a unique situation and serious concern about reporting to work that is not related to an underlying health condition, and your position and work is conducive to working remotely, you may request to temporarily work remotely by completing a brief form and process (see below) to obtain the approval of your supervisor who will consult with your department head to ensure that departmental responsibilities can be met. 

Previously Arranged Telecommuting Arrangements
If you are a staff member who is currently telecommuting, whether occasionally or under a previously approved arrangement, please complete the new form and process. It is important that all telecommuters affirm the requirements for working remotely and it is important for the university to know in the aggregate how many and which staff are working remotely and how they can be reached.

Should Conditions Change and Working Remotely is Expanded
In the event that Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department guidance changes, campus operations are modified, and/or greater social distancing is implemented, the university is prepared to expand the number of staff working remotely while still meeting university needs. If this occurs, we will notify staff at that time and will ask staff members, as applicable, to complete the new form and process (see below) required to document the remote work arrangement and secure supervisor approval. Please keep in mind that not all positions can be performed remotely and it may be that not all requests can be approved.

The Process We Will Use

  • Staff members will discuss their request with their supervisor and then complete a request form at this link. In doing so, staff will affirm their understanding of the requirements of the telecommuting arrangement, including technology requirements. 
  • Upon completion and submission of the request form, the staff member will receive an automated email that documents the request, which they will then forward to their supervisor for approval. 
  • Upon receipt of the forwarded email and consultation with the department head, the supervisor will act on the request and respond in as timely a manner as is practical. If the supervisor approves the request, they will forward the email indicating approval to hr@pugetsound.edu, with a copy to the staff member and the department head. Department heads will ensure that specific remote work schedules (days/time/frequency) are monitored and documented within the department.
  • Human Resources will maintain a record of those staff with approved arrangements for working remotely during this temporary period and will report this information to Cabinet members for purposes of coordinating overall operations. 
  • All temporary arrangements are subject to revision and will come to an end at the appropriate time as determined by the university.

Resources for Working Remotely
Technology Services has summarized several resources available to staff when working remotely. These resources includes virtual private networking (to access shared drives in a secure manner) and video and audio teleconferencing capabilities (to participate in meetings). If you have questions about these resources, please contact the Service Desk at 253.879.8585 or servicedesk@pugetsound.edu.

For additional information on campus prevention measures, including frequently asked questions, visit pugetsound.edu/coronavirus and check back frequently for updated information. We anticipate a campuswide message will be sent later today regarding additional guidance about events, spring break and other considerations.

Thank you for your flexibility as we work our way through this evolving situation together.

FRIDAY, MARCH 6, 9 A.M.
To Faculty
From Technology Services

Educational technologists have scheduled additional drop-in training sessions for faculty to support any alternative needs for class preparation and delivery. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2–3:30 p.m. and 3:30–5 p.m.
Friday, March 6, 1–2:30 p.m., Wyatt Hall, Second Floor Atrium
Tuesday, March 10, noon–1:30 p.m., Weyerhaeuser Hall, Room 319
Wednesday, March 11, noon–1:30 p.m., Thompson Hall, Room 153

Please see these additional resources:

THURSDAY, MARCH 5, 8 A.M.
To Students, Faculty and Staff
From Interim Chief Diversity Officer and Director of Intercultural Engagement

As we manage this trying time connected to the coronavirus outbreak, we hope you consider how insensitive and ill-informed comments regarding the disease impact members of our campus community. There is a growing number of reports on and off campus of xenophobic and racially discriminatory comments directed to people of Asian descent. Remarks or jokes that target vulnerable groups that may be more susceptible to the virus (such as the elderly or those with compromised immune systems) are uncaring to those who are suffering. 

These othering and hurtful messages fall short of our aspirations of being a place of belonging for all members of our community. Viruses do not discriminate based on background, and nor should we. We urge you to support and care for each other in these difficult days, and to be especially mindful of those who may be directly affected.  

Mental Health and Medical Support
If you are a student and are feeling significantly stressed or overwhelmed by the situation, CHWS is available with Same Day/Next Day appointments that students can schedule every weekday. University updates on coronavirus and additional resources for support for students, faculty and staff members are available in an FAQ at pugetsound.edu/coronavirus. 

Bias and Discrimination
Information and education about eliminating stigma associated with the disease is available on the Washington State Department of Health website.  In the event you experience, witness, or become aware of something you believe to be a bias incident, discriminatory behavior, or harassment, we encourage you to report the situation using the Discrimination and Harassment Report form. The Bias-Hate Education Response Team (BHERT) aims to foster greater awareness of bias and hate on campus, and educate on how these harmful incidents impact our campus.  You can learn more about BHERT through the Bias and Hate Education Response Team webpage.

We trust and thank you for your continued commitment to one another.  

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4, 4 P.M.
To Staff Members and Staff Supervisors
From Human Resources

As we focus on the well-being of our campus community, we continue to plan and prepare for the possibility of COVID-19 appearing in our community consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local health departments.

Please visit www.pugetsound.edu/coronavirus for the most current information and guidance on what to do to prevent infection or if you are ill. Below is important information regarding use of your leave benefits, remote work, and traveling for university business.

Leave Benefits
Encourage staff members to stay home if they have symptoms of an illness. If you appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath), your supervisor may need to send you home. Staff should not come to work until free of fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicines.

Familiarize yourself with the university’s sick leave benefits, which support absences to care for your health or that of family members. If you need to stay home to care for a child whose school has been temporarily closed for safety measures related to a health concern, you may use your accrued paid sick leave (or if that is exhausted, your accrued floating holidays or vacation). 

Staff who are ill will not be asked to provide a healthcare provider’s note to validate their illness or to return to work, as healthcare provider offices and medical facilities may be busy and not able to provide timely documentation.

If you find yourself ill or otherwise have restrictions placed on you related to possible exposure to COVID-19, and you have exhausted all forms of accrued paid leave, contact payroll staff at extension 3368 or payroll@pugetsound.edu regarding the advancement of up to ten days of sick leave. This additional leave will be offset by your future accruals. Payroll staff will explain the process to you. 

As always, notify your supervisor if you cannot report to work.

Working Remotely
At this time there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the university or in Pierce County. Should the situation change there may be a need for additional steps, such as event cancellations and other “social distancing” measures. It may be appropriate for some staff members to work from home temporarily. Human Resources, in partnership with Technology Services, is working on a temporary policy and process for working remotely, which will be communicated to staff by the end of this week.

If you have a concern about reporting to work due to an underlying health condition, contact Kenni Simons at extension 3296 or benefits@pugetsound.edu to discuss appropriate temporary accommodations either on campus or working remotely. Your personal health information will remain confidential. 

Departmental Planning
Department heads should plan for the possibility of increased absences and how departmental responsibilities will be met. Think now about cross-training and how staff can fill in for others who might become ill. Working remotely may be an option for some positions, but it is not possible for others.

Prevention Measures
Educational posters have been placed throughout campus.

Routine cleaning continues and is being supplemented in high volume areas and other spaces based on need.

Wipes, sanitizer gel and tissues have been placed in classrooms, labs and other high volume areas, with more supplies on order. Disposable wipes will be further distributed upon arrival for staff to use in wiping down keyboards, desks and other frequently touched objects.

It is critical that we all wash hands and appropriately cover coughs and sneezes in accordance with CDC guidelines.

University Business Travel
Specific policies exist for international travel consistent with CDC travel alerts. The university does not support travel to areas with Level 3 advisories set by the CDC. Advisory levels can change at any time. If you have international travel plans, promptly consult with your supervisor.

If you have concerns about domestic travel, please consult with your supervisor.

If you cancel a university trip, reach out to the applicable airlines and other travel vendors to seek refunds or credit if available.

Other questions? Please see information posted at www.pugetsound.edu/coronavirus. Check back frequently for additional information.

We understand that many staff members are concerned and might feel anxious. Please take advantage of your wellness benefits through the Employee Assistance Program

Thank you for your part in keeping our campus healthy.

MONDAY, MARCH 2, 2 P.M.
To Faculty
From Technology Services

Technology Services is standing by to support any alternative needs for class preparation and delivery. We have a number of resources available that will allow for the utmost in flexibility in delivering classes should alternative arrangements need to be made. In support of that, Kevin Kirner and Margot Casson, two of our educational technologists, will be hosting a few drop-in sessions this week to get people familiarized with some of the tools that we have available. They will hold these sessions in Li-017 in the lower level of the library throughout this week at the following times:

Tuesday, March 3, 2–3:30 p.m. and 3:30–5 p.m.
Wednesday, March 4, noon–1:30 p.m. and 1:30–3 p.m.
Thursday, March 5, 10–11:30 a.m.

Each session will last one hour with the final 30 minutes being reserved for individual question and answer sessions. Please also note that, if these sessions aren’t convenient, they are ready, able, and willing to come to already established meetings or ad hoc meetings with departments and share the same information. If you are able to make it, please come by, bring your laptop if feasible, and have questions ready.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or to your Educational Technologist.

SUNDAY, MARCH 1, 3:30 P.M.
To Students, Faculty, and Staff
From Provost Laura Behling

The university takes the well-being and safety of our community members very seriously, and I write to update you on the evolving circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 virus. Here is the latest of what we know, and the best guidance we have right now to assist you.

Following up on Thursday’s message from Counseling, Health and Wellness Services, the campus risk planning team met again over the weekend, and provides the following additional information and guidance.

At this time there are no confirmed cases of the virus at the university or in Pierce County. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we understand that most people who contract the virus will experience mild symptoms and the risk remains low for people in our community at this time.

State of emergency. At 1 p.m. Saturday, February 29, Washington state Governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency due to emerging details of the coronavirus, including a death that was reported in Kirkland, about 45 miles from our campus. This declaration will allow available resources to be deployed to assist those taken ill by the virus and in limiting exposure. Our Counseling, Health and Wellness Services staff are in regular contact with the Pierce County Health Department and monitoring the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Class/work attendance. Students and faculty should continue to attend class provided they feel well; staff and student-staff should continue to work on campus provided they feel well. Staff and faculty who need an accommodation related to the evolving circumstances should contact Human Resources. Faculty are strongly encouraged to begin considering ways students can continue to complete classwork electronically, if students do not feel well enough to attend class. Additional details will follow regarding options Technology Services can offer.

What to do if you or a family member are ill. Students should contact Counseling, Health and Wellness Services first via phone to seek additional guidance at 253.879.1555. Human Resources emphasizes that staff, student-staff and faculty members should not report to work if they have symptoms of an illness. Staff should notify a supervisor if they cannot report to work. Staff who need to stay home to care for a child whose school has been temporarily closed for safety measures related to a health concern may use their accrued paid sick leave. If warranted as conditions evolve, supervisors will consider if and when working from home (telecommuting) might be appropriate on a temporary basis for some positions. Additionally, Human Resources is developing a temporary framework to support those staff with minimal leave accruals.

Domestic travel. We are following health department guidelines that currently do not prohibit travel to other areas of the United States or recommend a quarantine for domestic travelers. Some employees do travel as part of their responsibilities, and so please consult your supervisor for guidance. Classes or student groups may have field trips planned prior to spring break. Faculty or staff leading these trips should check with the host site to determine if the host site has enacted any special precautions. I also ask that faculty be sensitive to student concern about participating in a field trip that would take them off campus, and as appropriate, excuse their absence or offer an alternative assignment. At this time, the university is not cancelling or prohibiting any domestic travel off campus. 

International travel. Students studying abroad are receiving regular communication from the university, as are their families, and we are in regular communication with the third-party providers who are hosting the programs. We continue to follow the guidance of the U.S. State Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

As you make plans to enjoy the upcoming spring break, we highly recommend that you do not travel to the countries identified as having widespread or sustained community transmission. If you are traveling, especially overseas, it’s good practice to check any CDC travel alerts and travel bans before you leave. It also is important to note that these notices may change several times between now and the end of break. Flight restrictions in and out of some countries are also changing rapidly so there is the possibility of being unable to leave once you arrive. If you do travel to one of these locations, we will ask you to self-isolate upon return as per CDC guidelines.

Campus events. If conditions warrant, campus events may be cancelled over the coming weeks. If cancellations occur, the sponsors of the event will provide this communication to affected parties.  

Future updates. The university’s emergency risk team has been meeting regularly to ensure that we are responsive to the needs of the campus as the situation evolves. We will continue to provide guidance and support and will be in regular contact with the campus community. Information will be updated regularly at pugetsound.edu/coronavirus.

I realize this an uncertain time for many, if not all, of us and our families. I am appreciative of the good work that is occurring on campus to ensure the health and well-being of our students, staff, and faculty.

SUNDAY, MARCH 1, 3:30 P.M.
To Puget Sound Parents
From President Crawford

The health and well-being of our students is always our top concern. We began reaching out to the campus community with information about the coronavirus in January, and write to update you on our actions to date.

As you may be aware, over the weekend Washington state Governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency to allow resources to be deployed to assist those taken ill by the virus and in limiting exposure.

At this time there are no confirmed cases of the virus at the university or in Pierce County. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we understand that the impact for most people who contract the virus is expected to be mild and that the risk remains low for people in our community at this time. We will continue to monitor the evolving situation and will continue to monitor travel warnings and health advisories.                            

Updates about the university’s response to the virus and information for the campus community about disease prevention, medical care, travel advisories, and more are available at pugetsound.edu/coronavirus. We encourage you to check the site frequently and talk with your students about the steps they can take to reduce their risk of contracting the virus.

If you have questions, please reach out to the Alumni and Parent Relations office at parents@pugetsound.edu or 253.879.3245 and they will connect you with the appropriate individuals on campus during business hours. As always, in an emergency you are advised to contact Security Services at 253.879.3311.

I realize this is an uncertain time; please know that we will continue to do everything we can to support our students. 

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 29, 2020, 4 P.M.
Updated by the Office of Communications

At this time there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the University of Puget Sound or in Pierce County. A coronavirus-related death was reported today in Kirkland, Washington, about 45 miles northeast of the Puget Sound campus. There are no travel warnings or advisories affecting Washington state at this time. Campus officials are in touch with students studying abroad in countries with a designated risk assessment by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Campus operations are continuing as normal.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2020, 3:30 PM
To Faculty and Staff
From Counseling, Health and Wellness Services

Many of you have expressed concerns about recent news regarding the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). As of Feb 27, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the University of Puget Sound or in Pierce County. There has only been 1 confirmed case of COVID-19 in Snohomish County, Washington. The University of Puget Sound continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation and will provide updates and guidance as needed.

At this point we are in the midst of the annual flu season. We have also seen multiple cases of mononucleosis on campus, which can also cause a high fever. All students, faculty and staff who have illness accompanied by fever are asked to refrain from going to classes, labs, the dining hall, offices, and other places where they could spread illness among others. To limit spread we ask that a person have a normal temperature for 24 hours (without the use of fever reducing medications) before resuming a regular schedule.

We ask faculty and staff to be flexible in allowing students to make these decisions without necessarily visiting a medical practitioner for documentation of their illness. Practicing good hand washing and staying home when you are sick are the best ways to protect yourself and our community. Please encourage your students to stay home and out of work or class when they are ill. This is a challenge for our very devoted students. Your support will go a long way towards keeping our community healthy.

Other advice to avoid the spread of viruses includes:

  • Get a seasonal flu vaccination.
  • Clean your hands frequently with soap and water (washing for a full minute) or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Hand washing is crucial, particularly before eating or any activity that involves touching your face.
  • Cough into your sleeve (the crook of your elbow) or a tissue, not into your hands.
  • Stay home if you have a fever until you are fever-free for 24 hours without any medication

These recommendations may change if COVID-19 becomes more prevalent in Washington state. Planning has begun for alternative responses if the outbreak becomes more widespread in our area. One thing to begin thinking about are ways that you can support students who cannot attend class for extended periods of time. We recommend creating a continuity of operations plan for each of your courses should they be interrupted by pandemic or other natural disaster. This may include online lecture forums and other electronic forms of communication which can be supported by Technology Services.

We are closely connected with the Pierce County Health Department and have been working to stay abreast of the situation. We recognize that the situation with COVID-19 may be stressful for members of the Puget Sound community, especially for those with family or friends affected in other areas of the world. We will continue to provide updates as the situation evolves.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2020, 3 P.M.
To Students
From Counseling, Health and Wellness Services

We wanted to offer university updates about recent news regarding the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). As of Feb 27, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the University of Puget Sound or in Pierce County. There has only been 1 confirmed case of COVID-19 in Snohomish County, Washington. The University of Puget Sound continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation and will provide updates and guidance as needed.

At this point we are in the midst of the annual flu season. We have also seen multiple cases of mononucleosis on campus, which can also cause a high fever. Students who have illness accompanied by fever are asked to refrain from going to classes, labs, the dining hall, offices, and other places where they could spread illness among others. To limit spread we ask that a person have a normal temperature for 24 hours (without the use of fever reducing medications) before resuming a regular schedule.

We have asked faculty and staff to be flexible in allowing students to make these decisions without necessarily visiting a medical practitioner for documentation of their illness. Practicing good hand washing and staying home when you are sick are the best ways to protect yourself and our community. Please be in communication with your faculty or supervisor if you are ill. We ask that you call CHWS with questions or concerns related to fever or flu-like symptoms. You may not need an appointment, but can receive advice by phone. Dining and conference services offers sick trays through their website. Send a friend to pick it up for you.

Follow the steps below to continue to protect yourself from illness:

  • Get a seasonal flu vaccination.
  • Clean your hands frequently with soap and water (washing for a full minute) or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Hand washing is crucial, particularly before eating or any activity that involves touching your face.
  • Cough into your sleeve (the crook of your elbow) or a tissue, not into your hands.
  • Stay home if you have a fever until you are fever-free for 24 hours without any medication.

These recommendations may change if COVID-19 becomes more prevalent in Washington state. Planning has begun for alternative responses if the outbreak becomes more widespread in our area. Faculty have begun to consider ways to support students if they cannot attend class for extended periods of time.

Anyone with international travel plans should remain apprised of current travel guidelines. Be mindful of the possibility that guidance may change once you have left the United States and/or arrived in your destination country. Questions about impacts and decisions around specific programs should be directed to department leadership for consultation.

We are closely connected with the Pierce County Health Department and have been working to stay abreast of the situation. We recognize that the situation with COVID-19 may be stressful for members of the Puget Sound community, especially for those with family or friends affected in other areas of the world. We will continue to provide updates as the situation evolves.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2020, 11:15 A.M.
To Students, Faculty and Staff
From Counseling, Health and Wellness Services

Many of you are aware of the recent virus coming out of China. The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019 nCoV) which began in Wuhan, China continues to evolve. We are writing to highlight information especially pertinent to our students and those of you who interact with students. There have been no cases of 2019-nCoV at the University of Puget Sound. More cases worldwide are likely to be identified over the coming days, which may include additional cases in the United States.

At this point, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, risk of exposure to 2019—nCoV is very low.

Coronavirus is a common virus and causes the common cold and many influenza illnesses. This new or novel version can cause significant respiratory symptoms including difficulty breathing and pneumonia. If you have been in the province of Wuhan, China in the last 14 days and have symptoms of illness, such as a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, we recommend screening at a local emergency room. You should limit contact with others until you are evaluated and get you the care you need.

If you have traveled abroad over break and are experiencing a fever and or cough, we will provide phone consultation with a provider in CHWS prior to scheduling you for an appointment. Please call CHWS at 253.879.1555 to be connected to our triage nurse. If you are a student with a cough and/or fever, you will be instructed to wear a face mask in the waiting room in CHWS. This will help to protect other students and staff. If you are a faculty or staff member, please contact your health provider for instructions.

Because this is already the season for flu and other viruses, we ask all students, faculty, and staff who have illness accompanied by fever - regardless of their travels - to refrain from going to classes, labs, the dining hall, offices, and other places where they could spread illness among others. Practice good handwashing to stay healthy and prevent the spread of illness. We recommend the flu vaccine if you haven’t already been vaccinated this year.

Below you will see links to the CDC and the Public Health department.

Flu: What To Do If You Get Sick

Public Health Department Human Coronaviruses

As needed, we will provide updates to this communication and share advice from Tacoma Pierce County Public Health Department regarding ongoing response.

ABOUT THE VIRUS
2019 nCoV began in Wuhan, China in December 2019 and the first U.S. case was detected in Washington State on January 21, 2020. Experts are still learning details about how this virus spreads, but other corona viruses spread through:

  • the air by coughing or sneezing
  • close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes
  • in rare cases, contact through feces

Reported cases of the novel virus have ranged from mild illness (like the common cold) to severe symptoms that require hospitalization. So far, deaths have been reported mainly in older adults who had other health conditions.

If you have traveled abroad and are experiencing cough and fever, please call CHWS to consult with our triage nurse. You can reach our reception team at 253.879.1555. Please limit contact with others to prevent the spread of illness.

More details on the coronavirus are available at Public Health Department Human Coronaviruses.