March 12, 2020
Thank you for your patience, questions, and prayers as Creighton University leadership continues to work diligently and expediently to establish plans and contingencies in the wake of the spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19. The health and well-being of our faculty, staff, and students, as well as any visitors to our campus and local, national, and global communities, is of utmost concern.
Based on information we have reviewed, including the close monitoring of local and national health reports and directives, Creighton’s Executive Leadership Team has decided to suspend in-person courses during the week of March 16 in preparation for the online delivery of the majority of classes. Full-scale distance learning will commence Monday, March 23, with the exception of online classes that were already scheduled to begin the week of March 16. Those classes will still begin March 16.
A target date of Monday, April 13, has been set for resuming in-person courses, and will be confirmed by no later than Monday, April 6.
We strongly encourage students who are home for spring break, and those who have traveled to other locations, to remain or return home and not return to campus until April 13.
During this time, however, Creighton’s campus will remain open, and we will continue to provide most operations and services, including dining services with modified hours of operation. Students who cannot make arrangements to return home will be permitted to stay in the residence halls.
Our Department of Residential Life will be in communication with all residential students with additional information later today.
This decision affects Creighton’s Omaha campus, as well as our satellite campuses, including our campus in Phoenix.
Further information related to individual schools and colleges is available online, and school/college representatives will be contacting their students in the coming days with updates.
As I stated earlier, the University remains open, and faculty and staff are expected to report to campus.
Resources are available through the Teaching and Learning Center and the Division of Information Technology to support faculty as they transition to online instruction, and the Office of the Provost, working in collaboration with the Deans Council, will provide additional guidance next week. Faculty may use their offices and classrooms to deliver online class lectures and hold virtual office hours.
Staff with questions about alternative work arrangements should contact their supervisor. Please reference the University’s COVID-19 website for additional information regarding remote work and leave.
In addition, effective immediately, all University, department, and student organization events are canceled until the University resumes normal operations. Event organizers are responsible for communicating this information to affected individuals.
All University travel, domestic and international, is suspended as of Monday, March 16. All exceptions to this suspension must be approved by the Office of the President, Provost, or Executive Vice President.
University-related travel includes all travel sponsored, organized, or facilitated by Creighton, including, but not limited to, individuals and groups who receive University funding or who travel under the auspices of Creighton funded by personal and/or group finances. Future travel refers to any trip that has not departed by March 15.
Again, additional information regarding specific guidelines will be forthcoming.
I think it is important to reiterate that faculty, staff, and students who are feeling sick should stay home and contact their health care provider. Plans are in place for isolation and quarantine efforts should students become ill while on campus.
As a reminder, we also need to follow the advice of health officials to reduce the spread of coronavirus, including practicing good hand hygiene, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, maintaining social distancing at large gatherings, and other precautions.
I would like to thank Creighton’s Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT)/COVID-19 Task Force, and chair Tanya Winegard, PhD, vice provost for Student Life, for their thoughtful work in putting together these plans under extraordinarily challenging conditions.
Please continue to visit Creighton’s coronavirus website, creighton.edu/covid-19, for the latest information and updates. Email and phone information and response centers also have been established at coronavirusresponse [at] creighton [dot] edu and 402.280.2152.
Let us pray together for all those affected by the coronavirus; may we continue to treat each other with compassion, mercy, and understanding during this difficult time.
Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD