Dear CU Boulder Students, Faculty and Staff,
Today our chancellor, Phil DiStefano, announced actions we are taking at CU Boulder to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our community and in Colorado. As we have seen in other communities confronting the challenge of this new virus, one of the most effective actions we can take is limiting in-person interactions. I am following up regarding additional guidance for remote teaching and learning, working remotely, travel restrictions and events.
It is important to know that the residence halls and many supporting services remain open. For many students, this is their home. They are supported here, learn here, and for many this is where their access to mental health or support services are. While the campus is taking these proactive steps, the facts currently do not warrant the type of disruption to our students caused by closing the residence halls. Our primary goal in making the decision to move to remote learning and work is to promote social distancing. By moving to remote learning and remote work, we believe these actions will substantially reduce the number of contacts per day by students and employees, and allow us to help flatten the curve of this virus.
Remote Teaching and Learning
At this time, the transition to remote teaching and learning will continue through the end of the semester on May 6, 2020. Provost Russ Moore provided more guidance to faculty via an email sent earlier this afternoon. For students, our campus coronavirus webpage has additional guidance and information about the transition to remote learning, including exams and grading in a remote class setting, possible disruptions to classes, details specific to international students and withdrawal/drop information.
The campus is encouraging employees to work remotely whenever possible as part of our efforts to enact social distancing and mitigate the spread of the virus. Supervisors are analyzing their staffing and will work with employees to identify who can transition to working remotely. Human Resources is following up via the HR liaisons with specific actions and next steps. Please consult with your supervisor and HR liaison if you have questions.
Domestic and International Travel
The campus is suspending all university-funded travel – foreign or domestic. Trips currently underway may be completed. We advise travelers to take health precautions while traveling and to be aware of self-quarantine needs when returning from countries designated as Level 3 by the CDC or where they have had close contact with a person with a lab-confirmed COVID-19 case. Further, we advise those who are returning from travel to carefully monitor their health status, work from home and practice social distancing whenever possible, and to contact their medical provider immediately if they show symptoms. A map that continuously updates the countries and communities where COVID-19 cases have been confirmed is available at https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html.
Persons who have travel that previously has been approved are required to send a request for an exception to their respective Deans or Associate Vice Chancellors. If the exception is recommended at that level, it should be referred to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for final consideration. All new trips being planned will be subject to enhanced review and approval before they can be booked via Concur. The campus will grant permission when the travel serves a significant need, and the risks of travel can be mitigated. Please consult with your manager regarding planned travel to see if an exception is warranted.
Multi-day university-sponsored gatherings or those with more than 150 attendees are suspended until further guidance is issued. Sponsors may consider offering their events in a different format, such as online. Event sponsors may request their events still be held and can request exemptions via the campus events exception form. You can also see a list of event cancellations so far. We know this raises questions, and campus leaders are encouraged to use discretion and make informed decisions to protect the health and safety of event attendees and the campus overall. We are working with our campus partners to address questions and are posting information on events as changes are confirmed.
Virtual Town Hall
Please join me and leaders of human resources, academic planning and student affairs for a virtual town hall to discuss the latest guidance and impacts on our university community. We will address your questions Friday, March 13, from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. MT. The panel will be live streamed. Questions can be submitted in advance.
We recognize that mitigating the spread of COVID-19 will require significant work, flexibility and creativity from our community. We appreciate the patience and cooperation of our students, faculty and staff.
While we don’t have every answer to every question that may come up as we implement these changes, we are committed to supporting our community through this and providing regular, ongoing updates and guidance.
Please continue to reference the latest information and FAQs at www.colorado.edu/coronavirus.
Associate Vice Chancellor