President announces University Housing to close

Students must gather their personal items and check out by April 1

March 18, 2020

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Billy Keeney

Transmission electron microscopic images of an isolate from the first U.S. case of COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

On Wednesday, President Ashish Vaidya announced that University Housing will be closed, all Study Abroad programs will be canceled until the end of the summer and gave an update on the commencement and other campus operations.

“As your President, I assure you that our decisions are being made with the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff in mind,” Vaidya said in an email.

Housing closure

“Campus housing will close for the remainder of the semester, with the exception of special circumstances. Students must gather their personal items and check out of housing by April 1, 2020,” Vaidya said in an email.

To ensure proper social distancing during this process, a move-out schedule will be sent out shortly.

Students with special circumstances are deemed as students that are unable to leave by April 1.

International students are allowed to remain in University Housing and must notify NKU should they decide to return to their home country.

Students who leave University Housing will receive a “pro-rated refund or a credit for the remainder of the Spring semester.”

This decision came after the March Board of Regents meeting held earlier today.

Study Abroad, Internet Access, Work Study

All education abroad programs planned for the spring and summer are canceled. Students and faculty that are currently living and studying abroad are being recalled and will be required to undergo a 14-day self-quarantine upon returning to the United States.

Vaidya said students without access to a laptop or internet at their permanent homes can request assistance from IT by contacting them at helpdesk@nku.edu.

Independent work study or federal work study students are not required to work, but may continue working. Those choosing to not work will be paid based on the previously established work schedule.

An announcement on the state of Finals Week and Commencement will come next week.

Faculty Concerns

Vaidya announced that Alternative Work Arrangements are an option for staff.

Supervisors are being encouraged to provide flexibility for staff to work from home if possible, and to be flexible with staff that need to be on campus to perform their jobs by creating altered schedules and “a safe onsite work environment.”

There is a temporary pay process that will keep staff fully paid through April. Any changes that occur for May and beyond will happen closer to that month.

Vaidya announced all domestic University sponsored travel with the exception of our Tri-State region is suspended until further notice.

Campus Operations

Vaidya said that NKU will remain open for the remainder of the year. However, they are reviewing where the University can limit access to buildings and services consistent with reduced staffing levels.

Campus dining will be limited. Remaining options will be open for take-out only. Dining Services will be communicating more details as they develop.

In order to inform and protect the campus, the University is following the CDC’s communication protocol “to balance the need to update our campus with the privacy of individual employees” and will be timely and transparent.

Provost Sue Ott Rowlands is leading the Academic Affairs team to ensure a smooth transition to the online instruction. Assistant Vice President for Student Engagement and Dean of Students Arnie Slaughter is leading his group to outline how our student support services will operate.

Vaidya said there are other teams working through all aspects of our academic business operations.

“Our new normal would be almost unthinkable just a few weeks ago, but we have learned proactive measures, like social distancing, can help protect our community,” Vaidya said. “When we are challenged in these types on instances, [sic] it is our opportunity to rise to the occasion. NKU prides itself on being agile, this is our chance to innovate new ways to ensure student success.”

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