Important Messages: COVID-19

Cal U is taking action in response to the spreading outbreak of a novel (new) coronavirus that causes COVID-19, a respiratory illness. 
Our campus does not have any reported or confirmed cases of the virus at this time, but Cal U is 
adjusting its response out of concern for the health and safety of our students, our employees, and the communities where we live and work.

July 31, 2020: Cal U Returns to Remote Instruction (Students)

Watch a video message from President Jones.

Dear students,

Your health and safety have always been paramount as we plan for the fall semester.

With the recent rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in western Pennsylvania, across the Commonwealth and throughout the country, it has become apparent that the on-campus experience we all anticipated presents too great a risk to our students, faculty and staff.

COVID-19 can have serious consequences for people of all ages, including young adults. Hundreds of colleges across the country are seeing significant outbreaks of COVID-19 as students return to campus. This is not the experience we want for you, our University or our local community.

Today I am announcing a major change in our plans for the fall semester: Cal U will return to remote instruction, and all on-campus residence halls will remain closed throughout the semester.

I understand that many of you have already made plans for fall. But it is never the wrong time to make the right decision – and your safety is, and must remain, our University’s primary concern. Despite the ongoing public health crisis, your Cal U journey will continue, and we will be here to guide you every step of the way.

How does this affect my classes?
Cal U remains committed to offering a high-quality academic experience. We learned a great deal this spring, when the coronavirus pandemic required a sudden shift to virtual learning. Since then, our faculty have engaged in additional training, including innovative approaches to teaching labs and other hands-on classes in a virtual environment, and the University has made adjustments based on feedback from students.

Although some fully online courses will be offered this fall, the majority of classes will utilize real-time remote learning. You will join these classes on a regular schedule and participate with your professor and classmates just as you would on campus. Many students find this approach provides a more rewarding learning experience. Remote learning courses will be identified on your schedule with the letter “R” as the first character in the course section.

In addition, faculty will be available during virtual office hours to guide, advise and mentor you. The Office of Academic Success will provide resources, including skills-building workshops and tutoring, to help you stay on track toward your degree.

Classes will start on August 24. You can check your schedule in VIP early next week. Watch your campus email for more information from your professors.

How does this change affect campus housing and dining?
All residence halls and dining services will remain closed this fall. If you planned to live on campus, your housing deposit will be credited to your account, along with any fees you’ve already paid for main-campus housing and meal plans.

The Vulcan Village apartment complex will remain open under the auspices of the Student Association Inc. Students whose special circumstances require them to remain in California may contact Vulcan Village at 724-938-8990.

Will tuition or student fees be reduced?
Cal U delivers high-quality coursework whether classes meet in person or via technology. Students can expect to achieve equivalent learning outcomes and earn the same credits as they would in face-to-face courses.

For this reason, tuition at Cal U will not be reduced. The Academic Support Fee and Technology Fee also remain the same.

Other fees will be reduced or waived.

  • The Student Association Fee will be reduced to $140. The reduced rate supports services provided virtually while in-person activities are suspended.
  • The Herron Recreation and Fitness Center fees and Natali Student Center fees will be reduced by 50%. These reduced fees cover costs to maintain the buildings, pay for utilities, etc.
  • The Transportation Fee, which covers costs for the Vulcan Flyer shuttle service, will be waived.

What about student services and events?
Although classes will move online, Cal U staff will be available to support you throughout the semester. The Counseling Center will continue to offer tele-counseling to students in Pennsylvania and other approved locations.

The UTech Helpdesk can assist with technology issues, and the Career & Professional Development Center can help with career counseling and services for job seekers.

No in-person gatherings will take place on campus this fall – but you will have many opportunities to have fun and stay connected through virtual events.

Welcome Weekend, Homecoming and the second annual Vulcan 5K Race are moving online, and our Student Affairs professionals are planning a full schedule of activities.

#CalUTogether

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives – but it cannot stop you from earning your degree. Our Cal U community demonstrated tremendous strength and resilience last spring, and we will continue to persevere. By staying apart this fall semester, we are protecting ourselves and those we care about most, including our friends, classmates and mentors on campus.

I encourage you to read the FAQ for Students, which will be updated regularly as we address the questions raised most often by students and their families. We’ve also posted our Guide to Operations, which outlines the Level 4 plan in effect for Fall 2020.

I have no doubt that our Cal U family will be together again once the virus is defeated. Until then, please take care of yourself and those around you.

With warmest wishes,

Geraldine M. Jones
University President

July 31, 2020: Cal U Returns to Remote Instruction (Faculty/Staff)
 

 

Watch a video message from President Jones

Dear faculty and staff,

Throughout the summer, we listened to your concerns as we planned to return to campus. Our plans were thorough and thoughtful, and they were developed in the sincere belief that we could reopen responsibly this fall.

However, with the recent rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in western Pennsylvania, across the Commonwealth and throughout the country, it has become apparent that an on-campus experience presents too great a risk to our faculty, staff and students.

Nationwide, hundreds of colleges are seeing significant outbreaks of COVID-19 as students return to college towns. This is not the experience we want for you, our students, our University or our local community.

Today I am announcing a major change in our plans for the fall semester: There will be NO in-person instruction this fall, and on-campus residence halls will remain closed throughout the semester.

Classes now will begin August 24. Faculty will deliver their courses via online instruction or real-time remote learning. Student services will be provided virtually as well.

I understand that many of you already have made plans for the fall semester. But it is never the wrong time to make the right decision – and safety is, and must remain, our University’s primary concern.

What does this mean for faculty?
Cal U remains committed to offering a high-quality academic experience. We learned a great deal this spring, when the coronavirus pandemic required a sudden shift to virtual learning. Since then, many faculty members have completed Zoom, Mediasite and D2L/Brightspace workshops. This training is required to be completed by August 31, and additional workshops are available to help you master advanced skills for teaching in a virtual environment. Watch for additional emails from Acting Provost Engstrom.

Although some fully online courses will be offered this fall, most classes will be delivered using real-time remote learning. Students will join these classes on a regular schedule and participate with their instructor and classmates. In a survey taken last spring, many students reported that this approach provides a more rewarding learning experience.

Virtual office hours will present opportunities to advise, guide and mentor our students – and these interactions will be more important than ever as students continue their studies remotely.

Faculty members will receive more information about the fall course schedule and training for online instruction in the days ahead.

What does this mean for staff?
A small cohort of essential employees will continue working on campus to maintain facilities and public safety. Otherwise, all campus operations will be conducted remotely this fall.

Student support services will continue to be offered virtually. No on-campus events will be held during the fall semester.

Each Vice President will determine which employees will be approved to be on campus, and Human Resources will be communicating that process to all employees. 

The Human Resources Office will provide more information for staff in the coming days.

#CalUTogether
Our Cal U community demonstrated tremendous strength and resilience last spring, and we will continue to persevere. Although it presents significant financial challenges, the shift to remote operations will mitigate risk to our employees, our students, our families and our communities. Nothing matters more.

I encourage you to read our Guide to Fall Operations, which outlines the Level 4 plans in effect for Fall 2020. And please familiarize yourself with the FAQ for Students, which  will be updated regularly as we address the questions raised most often by students and their families.

Now more than ever, Cal U’s success hinges on your expertise, your resolve and your commitment to the tasks ahead. I have no doubt that our Cal U family will be together again once the virus is defeated. Until then, please take care of yourself and those around you.

With warmest wishes,

Geraldine M. Jones
University President

June 4, 2020: 'Responsible Reopening' Planned for Fall

 

Now that southwestern Pennsylvania has entered the “green” phase of the governor’s reopening plan and the state Department of Education has provided guidance for resuming in-person operations, Cal U’s Reopening Task Force is finalizing plans to welcome students and employees safely to campus this fall.

We intend to resume on-campus classes, reopen our residence halls and offer a vibrant campus experience – with enhanced measures in place to protect the health and safety of our students and employees. Details of those plans will be shared with you later this month.

Be assured that Cal U is preparing for several scenarios, including a return to remote learning should the COVID-19 pandemic rebound. But for now, we are looking forward to reuniting on campus in August, when the fall semester begins.

The coronavirus has changed our world, and it will change the on-campus experience, too. For Cal U to reopen responsibly, every member of the campus community must make health and safety a priority.

Our Shared Commitment

The University’s “Bill of Rights and Responsibilities” describes the commitments we make to one another as members of the Cal U community. These are especially important now, when individual behavior can impact the physical health and overall well-being of everyone at Cal U.

The University is establishing health and safety standards based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Pennsylvania Department of Health and other experts. As part of our shared commitment, every member of the Cal U community will be expected to abide by these standards. 

We have the right to safety and security; we have the responsibility to ensure the safety and security of others.

Wearing masks and practicing social distancing provides a measure of safety and security for ourselves and those around us. Students and employees may be expected to wear a mask or bandana that covers the nose and mouth in all shared spaces; practice physical distancing in public areas and common spaces, classrooms and labs, libraries and performance venues; and avoid large gatherings, including on-campus and off-campus activities. Visitors may not be permitted in residence halls or at Vulcan Village.

We have the right to be treated with respect; we have the responsibility to treat others with respect.

Taking responsibility for our own health demonstrates respect for ourselves and those around us. Community members are expected to wash their hands frequently with soap and water, scrubbing for at least 20 seconds; use hand sanitizer before and after contact with high-touch surfaces; and cough or sneeze into their elbow, not their hands. Students who experience symptoms associated with COVID-19should contact the campus Health Center immediately and follow the medical staff’s instructions. These may include completing a health survey, participating in coronavirus testing, and/or practicing self-isolation if needed. Employees who experience symptoms should stay at home and contact a medical professional. No one should come to campus if they feel ill. 

We have the right to expect the best; we have the responsibility to give our best.

For Cal U, giving our best includes making changes to protect the health and well-being of everyone on campus. This means that daily life, both in and outside of class, will be different than it was before the pandemic. Students should expect that remote or hybrid instruction (alternating in-class and remote sessions), frequent cleaning of campus buildings, social distancing and other practices may be in effect as the University does its best to respond to the public health crisis.

We have the right to be treated fairly; we have the responsibility to treat others fairly.

Applying the rules to everyone keeps our entire community safer, and compliance demonstrates a commitment to fair treatment for all. Students who wish to request reasonable accommodations may contact the Office for Students with Disabilities. Employees should contact the Human Resources Office if they have concerns. 

Our University is at its best when we all work together toward a common goal. I appreciate your cooperation as we look ahead to responsibly reopening our campus.

With best wishes,

President Geraldine Jones

June 1, 2020: 'Green Phase' to Begin; No Change in Operations for Employees

 

To all faculty and staff,

You may have seen news reports about Governor Wolf’s announcement that Washington and the surrounding counties will be moving into the Green Phase on Friday, June 5. 

Most of the University’s current operations are not impacted by this announcement.  

Those employees who are currently performing essential services on campus will continue to do so. University leadership will be evaluating positions that will be required to move from telecommuting to on campus operations.  These positions will be those that now require a physical presence for critical functions.  Each Vice President will be working with their Directors and communicating any changes directly to those employees. In addition, comprehensive social distancing requirements and protective measures will be communicated to all employees returning to campus.  All other employees who are currently telecommuting will continue to work remotely. 

All faculty will continue to operate remotely at this time. 

Thank you for everything you continue to do for our University and your excellent work during this pandemic.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your supervisor. 

If you are experiencing problems that are affecting your well-being, don’t hesitate to contact the State Employee Assistance Program 1-800-692-7459, (1-800-824-4306 TDD) available 24 hours a day, or log on to www.liveandworkwell.com  ​access code: Pennsylvania​.

Regards,

Eric Guiser
Director of Human Resources

May 8, 2020: Important Message About the Fall Semester

 

To our students, faculty and staff,

We have reached the end of the spring semester, an unprecedented time that has tested our ingenuity, our resolve and our patience. On this graduation weekend, I congratulate our seniors and graduate students who rose to the challenge and earned their degrees.

In fact, I am incredibly proud of the way our entire Cal U family has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past two months, you have demonstrated the resilience and caring that personify our University.

That same spirit of caring and commitment guides our plans for the fall semester, when we expect on-campus classes to resume.

As Pennsylvania gradually begins its phased reopening, we look forward to welcoming students and employees safely back to campus. A task force has been appointed, working groups are being identified, and detailed discussions are under way about enhanced health and safety measures to be implemented when we return.

Let me be clear: Nothing is more important than the well-being of our students, faculty and staff. Our University is well prepared to continue remote operations should the pandemic rebound. And our 100% online programs remain an excellent option for students who choose to study at home.

However, we recognize that many students prefer to learn in on-campus classes – and as a community, we value those day-to-day encounters that enhance our learning, our work and our lives. For these reasons, we are making plans to reunite safely with our Cal U classmates and colleagues this fall.

Many questions remain to be answered, and I will keep you informed as our plans progress. For now, let’s take pride in bringing the spring semester to a strong finish. Let’s celebrate the accomplishments of our Class of 2020. And let’s begin to look forward – cautiously but confidently – to being together again.

With warmest wishes,

President Geraldine Jones

May 4, 2020: CARES Act Relief Funds

 

To all Cal U students:

The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which provided an economic “stimulus check” to many American families, also includes funds to assist college students impacted by the abrupt shift to online education because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Colleges and universities received CARES Act funding based on a formula outlined in the legislation, which also details how universities are permitted to use the funding.

Cal U received about $2.1 million to provide emergency financial assistance directly to eligible students who were enrolled in on-campus programs “for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.”

The University has set aside a small portion of the funding to assist students with extraordinary needs as they prepare for the fall semester. Applications for emergency grant funds will be available in late August.

The remainder of the funds will be divided equally and distributed as direct financial assistance to those students who are eligible under the CARES Act guidelines. Those payments will be sent to eligible students starting this week.

Who is eligible for CARES Act funding?

Guidelines from the U.S. Department of Education allow Cal U to distribute CARES Act funds as direct emergency aid to domestic undergraduate and graduate students who were enrolled in on-campus degree programs during the spring semester, and who have a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file. This includes full-time and part-time degree-seeking students with a permanent U.S. address, whether they were living in on-campus residence halls, living at Vulcan Village or another off-campus location, or commuting to Cal U for face-to-face classes this spring.

Under the federal guidelines, students are NOT eligible for CARES Act funding if they were enrolled in a 100% online program as of March 13, 2020, when the pandemic was declared a national emergency, or if they do not have a FAFSA on file. International students and students in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), High School Early Admission (HSEA) and 60+ CAP programs also are not eligible to receive these funds.

How and when will my relief funds arrive?

Cal U expects to disburse this aid beginning May 6, 2020. If you have direct deposit set up with Student Accounts, this money will be deposited to your bank account; it will NOT be used to reduce any balance you may owe to the University. If you do not have direct deposit, you will receive a check by mail at your permanent address. You can sign up for direct deposit on VIP; look under the “Billing” tab for details.

Need more help?

All students, including those enrolled in Global Online programs, should contact the Financial Aid Office (finaid@calu.edu) if medical expenses, job loss or other effects of the pandemic have made a significant change in your family’s income. Financial Aid staff can advise you about updating your FAFSA to ask for an adjustment in your financial aid.

The current public health crisis has changed all of our lives, and I appreciate the sacrifices you are making to keep yourselves, your families and your communities safe. Please remember that Cal U is here to help. For more information about student services, look for the Coronavirus: FAQ for Students on our homepage, calu.edu.

With warmest wishes,

Geraldine M. Jones
University President

April 14, 2020: President's Message - Celebrating Graduating Seniors

 


 

Cal U family!

I hope you and your families are managing well as we adapt to these difficult times.  

Covid-19 has changed our lives, but I am incredibly proud of the resilience you’ve shown over these past several weeks. You all have made sacrifices to keep yourselves, your families and your neighborhoods safe. I know it isn’t easy, but every Cal U student is part of a strong and caring community. Although we are apart, we will get through these challenges together.

If you need help with your classes, or support for your mental or physical health, please let us know. Just like you, our faculty and staff are working in new ways, and from new locations. But one thing hasn’t changed – we remain committed to your well-being, as well as your academic success. 

Speaking of success, I have good news for our graduating seniors. Although we won’t be holding a formal ceremony this spring, we will be celebrating this important turning point in your life.

Please watch the mail for a package arriving in mid-May. In it you’ll find some special gifts to mark your graduation and help you celebrate at home.

A second package will arrive a few weeks later. It will include your personalized diploma, your Commencement booklet and any honor cords you may have earned. You will also find a link to an interactive version of the booklet that you can share with friends and relatives online.

Your celebration package includes a personal invitation to take part in our winter Commencement ceremony in December. Every one of our seniors deserves the opportunity to walk across the stage and be recognized for their achievement.

I look forward to sharing that milestone moment with you and all our 2020 graduates.

Until we are together again, I wish all of you good health and happiness. Stay safe, stay focused and stay connected. I’ll talk to you again soon!

Geraldine M. Jones

April 6, 2020: Use of Leave

 

To all faculty and staff,

As communicated on April 3, Administrative Leave was extended through April 10 for employees that did not have work available. This communication is intended to provide you with additional information regarding what will happen after April 10. 

For those employees performing or who will perform essential services on campus and those that are telecommuting they will continue to do so.

For employees who will not be working on campus or are unable to telecommute due to the nature of their job, the University will follow the Governor’s direction for leave. Beginning April 11 these employees will have the option to use their own leave or go on unpaid leave while maintaining health benefits. This is an alternative to furloughs that allows employees to keep their health benefits and have flexibility from a range of leave options that are best for them. Your supervisors have or will reach out to you to confirm if you are required to report to work or if there is no work available for you. 

We know that this is a difficult and stressful time.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your supervisor.  Thank you for everything you do for our universities and our communities.

If you are experiencing problems that are affecting your well-being, don’t hesitate to contact the State Employee Assistance Program 1-800-692-7459, (1-800-824-4306 TDD) available 24 hours a day, or log on to www.liveandworkwell.com  ​access code: Pennsylvania​.

For those impacted employees, additional information is also below.

Universities are committed to supporting employees who are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, while continuing to support the operational needs of universities. Therefore, those employees, who are not working or who are unable to telecommute, may request to use any of the paid or unpaid leave types listed below for which they are eligible and with supervisory approval, as needed:

  • Accrued and anticipated annual leave
  • Compensatory leave
  • Holiday leave earned from working on a holiday
  • Accrued and anticipated sick leave
  • Accrued and anticipated personal leave
  • Approved leave without pay with benefits

Due to the COVID-19 emergency, State System leave policies prohibiting employees from using paid leave during their first thirty (30) calendar days of employment and prohibiting employees with less than one (1) year of service from using anticipated leave are BOTH SUSPENDED temporarily for those employees who are not working or who are unable to telecommute.

For those employees who have carryover leave that was set to expire on April 10, 2020, that leave would ordinarily either convert to sick leave or be forfeited. The State System will be removing the requirement to use excess carryover leave during this state of emergency. Employees will not lose this excess leave and will not have it converted to sick leave at this time. Once the state of emergency is over, the State System will reinstate the policy with at least 60-days’ notice.

Employees who are not working or who are unable to telecommute are not eligible for the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) leave mentioned below.

If you choose not to use, or are not eligible for, any paid leave benefits, you may be eligible for unemployment compensation benefits. Please contact uchelp@pa.gov. For additional information, please refer to: https://www.uc.pa.gov/COVID-19/Pages/UC-COVID19-FAQs.aspx.

Employees Who Are Working or Telecommuting

For employees who are currently working or telecommuting, the FFCRA provides up to 10 days of paid sick leave and up to 10 work weeks of paid and 2 work weeks of unpaid expanded family and medical leave for eligible employees based on the type of qualifying event. This additional leave may be at a reduced rate of pay. These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.

More information about the FFCRA is available at the following link: http://www.passhe.edu/inside/HR/syshr/Documents/FFCRA_Poster.pdf

Employee FAQs with respect to the FFCRA are available here: http://www.passhe.edu/inside/HR/syshr/Pages/COVID_FAQ.aspx

If you have questions, or wish to request paid leave under the FFCRA, please submit your request via email to COVID19LeaveRequest@passhe.edu

Regards,

Eric

FAQs for Employees Who Are Not Working or Not Telecommuting 

1. Can I use my accrued and/or anticipated annual leave or my accrued and/or anticipated personal leave if there is no work available for me due to COVID-19?

  • Yes. Beginning April 11, 2020, employees who are not required to be on campus and who cannot telecommute must use their own leave for their absence. Employees who are reporting to work or who are telecommuting should continue to do so and are not required to use leave.
  • Employees may use their accrued or anticipated annual or personal leave to which they may become entitled in the 2020 leave calendar year.
  • For new employees, the rules that normally prohibit employees with less than one (1) year of service from anticipating annual leave during their first year of employment are temporarily suspended for absences due to COVID-19. Therefore, employees with less than one (1) year of employment may anticipate annual or personal leave to which they would become entitled in the 2020 leave calendar year.  

2. Can my supervisor deny the use of accrued or anticipated annual or personal leave related to lack of work during COVID-19?

  • No

3. Can I use accrued compensatory leave (aka “Comp Leave”) if there is no work available for me due to COVID-19?

  • Yes. Beginning April 11, 2020, employees who are not required to be on campus and who cannot telecommute must use their own leave for their absence. Employees who are reporting to work or telecommuting should continue to do so and are not required to use leave. 
  • Employees may use their accrued compensatory leave; however, compensatory leave cannot be anticipated.

4. Can my supervisor deny the use of compensatory leave related to lack of work during COVID-19?

  • No 

5. Can I use my accrued and/or anticipated sick leave if there is no work available for me due to COVID-19?

  • Yes. Beginning April 11, 2020, employees who are not required to be on campus and who cannot telecommute must use their own leave for their absence. Employees who are reporting to work or telecommuting should continue to do so and are not required to use leave.  
  • Normally, the use of sick leave is only appropriate when you are sick or injured. However, the rules associated with sick leave use have been temporarily suspended for absences due to COVID-19.  This temporary suspension is only in effect during the COVID-19 emergency. 
  • Employees may use accrued and anticipated sick leave to which they would become entitled in the 2020 leave calendar year. 
  • For new employees, the rules that normally prohibit employees with less than one (1) year of service from anticipating sick leave during their first year of employment are temporarily suspended for absences due to COVID-19.  Therefore, employees with less than one (1) year of employment may anticipate sick leave to which they would become entitled in the 2020 leave calendar year.   

6. If I use sick leave because I am sick or injured for any reason including sickness due to COVID-19, do I still need a note from my doctor?

  • No. The rules associated with sick leave use, including the rule requiring employees to provide a doctor’s note for any sick absence of three (3) or more consecutive workdays, have been temporarily suspended for absences due to COVID-19. This temporary suspension is only in effect during the COVID-19 emergency.

 

6. Can my supervisor deny the use of sick leave related to lack of work during COVID-19?

  • No

7. Can I use approved leave without pay (LWOP) instead of using all my paid leave during this time?

  • Yes.  Approved LWOP may be used with supervisory approval. However, LWOP must be used in increments equal to at least one full pay period.  You may begin LWOP in the middle of a pay period provided the LWOP extends through the end of the next pay period.

8. Can I use a combination of LWOP and paid leave during this time?

  • Yes. However, LWOP must be used in increments equal to at least one full pay period.

9. Am I still responsible to pay the employee health care contribution if I use LWOP?

  • Yes. If you are on LWOP for more than one (1) full pay period, you will receive a bill from the Pennsylvania Employee Benefits Trust Fund (PEBTF) or the State System for the required employee contribution/payment.

10. Will I earn leave or seniority while on unpaid leave?

  • No, you do not earn leave or seniority credit while on unpaid leave.

11. If I am currently on administrative leave due to work not being available can I apply for FFCRA leave?

April 3, 2020: Important Information About Summer Session

 

To all Cal U students,

On March 30, Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education announced the suspension of all in-person instruction through the end of the Summer 2020 terms. The Chancellor’s guidance was issued to protect the health of our students, faculty, staff and communities, including you and your family.

What does this change in summer plans mean for Cal U students?

  1. All summer classes will be delivered online or through another type of distance learning, so you can continue to earn credits while studying at home. Cal U’s Summer College offers a wide array of online graduate and undergraduate courses, including courses that meet General Education requirements. It’s easy to apply now through VIP, the Vulcan information Portal.

    Cal U has offered summer courses online for many years, and students from all universities are welcome! Check out our Summer College courses or learn more at www.calu.edu/summer-college.
  1. No in-person experiential learning can take place this summer. That includes “clinical rotations, student teaching, internships, field experiences, and other types of academically related placements,” according to the Chancellor’s directive. Please contact your faculty adviser if your academic program requires an internship, practicum or other experiential learning course. Our professors are working with students to explore alternatives so you can continue on the path to graduation.
  2. No camps, including sports camps, will be held on campus until mid-August, at the soonest. Cal U Athletics will abide by NCAA and PSAC regulations about when practices and athletic competitions may resume. Student-athletes, please stay in touch with your coaches!

As you progress with your spring courses, please think ahead:

  • Fall registration opens Monday, April 6, for seniors. Juniors, sophomores and first-year students also can register through VIP starting next week. Remember that early registration gives you the best chance of securing a seat in the courses you need.
  • Summer College registration is open now. The summer term can be an opportunity to focus on one or two challenging subjects, boost your GPA or add courses that count toward a minor or second major. A summer course also can help you stay connected with classmates and keep your study skills sharp. Cal U students can register through VIP or learn more at www.calu.edu/summer-college.

If you need any assistance with scheduling, email schedulingcenter@calu.edu, text your question to 724-780-0174, or call and leave a message at 724-938-1608.

Bruce D. Barnhart, EdD
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

 

March 30, 2020: Guidance Regarding Summer Sessions


Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education Office of the Chancellor Guidance

Suspension of In-Person Instruction from March 29, 2020 through all scheduled 2020 summer sessions.

In keeping with the strategy being pursued by the Governor to protect the health and safety of all Pennsylvanians, and in the interest of securing the safety of our faculty, staff and students, as well as our communities, the Chancellor is directing:

  • continuation of no in-person instruction occurring at our 14 universities during all scheduled 2020 summer sessions
  • that university presidents cancel, postpone or move to a remote delivery modality all face-to-face events (both academic and non-academic) that have been or would have been scheduled during the summer 2020 months. Presidents will closely monitor the situation on the ground and upon consultation with the Chancellor may grant exceptions for face-to-face on-campus programs where such programs can be managed in a way that ensures the health and safety of participants and the broader community
  • that no in-person experiential learning occur, including but not limited to clinical rotations, student teaching, internships, field experiences, and other types of academically-related placements. Classroom faculty and experiential learning supervisors shall continue to provide remote-learning opportunities for students to achieve appropriate learning outcomes. Presidents may grant exceptions to students in extraordinary circumstances, for example where they are satisfied that safety considerations are met by their experiential learning opportunities, e.g. with respect of virtual internships, internships cited in locations determined to be “safe” from the risk of infection, etc.
March 30, 2020: Classes Resume Today

 

To our students,

In these extraordinary times, you and your classmates are about to make history. Starting today, for the first time ever, all Cal U students are learning from somewhere other than our campus.

Together, you are about to begin a new chapter in our University’s story.

As the full class schedule resumes, I encourage you to “keep your eye on the prize” – a Cal U degree. This semester is unlike any other, but with hard work and commitment, it will bring you one step closer to graduation.

Please take your online classes seriously. Set aside time to study every day, just as you did on campus. A schedule can help you stay motivated, so you don’t fall behind.

Reach out for help if you need it. Your professors want you to succeed. We are all adapting to new circumstances, so don’t hesitate to ask for guidance.

Connect with your classmates, and look for ways to support one another. Our Cal U community is strong, and there are many ways to keep in touch, even when circumstances keep us apart.

Like all of our alumni, I will always be a proud Cal U alumna – and I want each of you to feel the pride that comes from earning a college degree. These challenging times may test your resolve, but keep moving toward that goal!

Until we are together again, please do all you can to stay positive, purposeful and connected.

I wish for you the best.

Geraldine M. Jones
University President 

March 27, 2020: Further Guidance for Employees

 

To all faculty and staff:

Cal U leadership appreciates all the effort and hard work our faculty and staff have been doing under such difficult circumstances. As we continue to monitor events and address the COVID-19 pandemic, the health and safety of our University community is top of mind.  

As communicated on March 15, most employees, except those required to maintain on campus functions, moved to telecommuting or were placed on paid administrative leave until March 27. This communication is intended to provide further guidance. 

Effective immediately:

  • Essential staff (as defined by the University administration for the COVID-19 Pandemic Plan) whose duties require a physical presence at the University will continue to or start to report to work for their regular shifts until further notice. Your supervisors have or will reach out to you to confirm if you are required to report. The University will continue to implement social distancing measures in order to protect your health and safety.
  • Essential and non-essential employees who have been identified as being able to complete their work remotely will continue the critical work of the University from their homes until further notice.   
  • Employees deemed non-essential in accordance with their position and not assigned to work remotely by their chain-of-command will continue on paid administrative leave until April 3.   

To provide clarification: All faculty are considered essential employees and are permitted to work remotely, effectively immediately. 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your supervisor.

Please know that your work is valued and appreciated, especially during this very challenging time. If you are experiencing problems that are affecting your well-being, don’t hesitate to contact the State Employee Assistance Program 1-800-692-7459.

Regards,

Eric Guiser
Director, Office of Human Resources

March 24, 2020: Pass/No Credit Grade Option

 

To our students,

On Monday, March 30, all Cal U classes will be back in session. And for the first time in the University’s history, all graduate and undergraduate students will be learning entirely online or via some other form of distance learning.

This situation is unprecedented – but it shouldn’t be worrisome. To ease concerns about grades in this new environment, Cal U is making a Pass/No Credit option available for your courses.

Here’s how it will work:

  1. Faculty will grade your coursework as outlined in the course syllabus. In other words, your professor will give you a final letter grade (A, B, C, D or F) for your course.
  2. You can apply for Pass/NoCredit grading before you see your final letter grade, or up to one week after your final letter grade is posted.
  3. You must complete a P/NC Grade Request Form for each course to request the change to Pass/No Credit grading for that course. The form to use is here and also available on the Cal U website on the Current Students Resource page. (Look under Academic Resources for the “Request Pass/NC Grade Form.”)
  4. Your faculty adviser or department chair and the College dean must approve your P/NC request. (Note: Some courses cannot be graded Pass/No Credit because of accreditation requirements or other reasons.)
  5. Once final grades are received in the Registrar’s Office, those with Pass/No Credit requests that are approved by your faculty adviser/department chair and dean will be converted to P/NC grades. Grades of A, B, C and D will be converted to Pass; grades of F will be converted to No Credit.
  6. A grade of NC (No Credit) will not adversely affect your GPA.

Some of you have taken online courses before. For others, this will be a new experience. We understand that changing to a new style of learning may present some challenges, but your professors are ready to lend a hand. If you are having difficulties, please let them know right away so they can advise you.

Cal U is committed to working side by side with you to make this semester as productive as possible. We want to give you every opportunity to continue making progress toward an important goal – earning your Cal U degree.

Sincerely yours,

Dr. Bruce Barnhart,
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

March 20, 2020: Refund of Student Fees

To: All students

As of March 30, all Cal U students will be completing their coursework online or through other distance learning platforms for the remainder of the spring semester. Since announcing this change, the University has been reviewing guidance from the U.S. Department of Education and consulting with Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education to create a fair and equitable plan for returning certain fees to students whose on-campus experience was interrupted because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

System guidance calls for pro-rated returns to students “for services they will no longer receive, including housing, dining, and unused portions of other fees as determined by the university.” 

The following guidelines are applicable to those students who remain enrolled for the remainder of the semester and who moved out of Cal U’s on-campus residence halls:

  • Students with on-campus residence hall contracts and all resident and commuter students with meal plans will receive a pro-rated refund of about 47% of housing and meal plan costs for the spring semester. (The housing refund does not apply to students living in the off-campus apartments at Vulcan Village.)
  • All face-to-face students also will receive a pro-rated refund of about 40% of the Student Center Operations and Maintenance Fee, Herron Recreation and Fitness Center Operations and Maintenance Fee, Student Association Fee, Transportation Fee, and Parking Fee.

How will I receive my refund?

The refund first will be applied to your student account, reducing any total amount you still owe to the University. Once you have paid all balances owed to the University, any remaining funds will be returned to you through direct deposit to your bank account. Students without direct deposit will receive a physical check sent by mail to your permanent address. 

When can I expect my refund?

The University expects to issue refunds to eligible students between April 6-10. Please visit VIP to check your student account. Please understand that current events may cause unanticipated delays.

What about tuition?

In keeping with State System guidance, tuition and other academic/student service fees will NOT be refunded given that the University is providing full educational services via online/distance learning instruction for the remainder of the spring semester.

Geraldine M. Jones
University President

March 19, 2020: Gov. Wolf's order re: non-essential businesses
 

To all Students, Faculty and Staff: 

This evening Gov. Tom Wolf ordered that all “non-life sustaining” businesses in Pennsylvania – including colleges and universities – must close by 8 p.m. Thursday, March 19. Businesses that do not close down will face enforcement actions beginning at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, March 21. 

Cal U intends to comply with this unanticipated order, but the health and safety of our students remains our foremost concern. With that in mind:

  • As a reminder, students must vacate the on-campus residence halls no later than 4 p.m. Sunday. We encourage students to check out from the halls earlier if possible. Residence halls will be secured at 4 pm. Sunday; after that time, students will not be permitted to retrieve their belongings until the order is lifted.
  • Because Vulcan Village is a residential facility, it will remain open. No visitors are permitted, and all common areas, including the Clubhouse, will be closed. No dining services will be provided.
  • Online instruction continues as scheduled, with on-campus classes transitioning to online/distance learning on March 30.
  • Remote operations will continue. Employees who are able to work remotely will continue to work as scheduled.
  • All employees must remain off campus, with the exception of those required to perform life-sustaining functions. These include University Police, boiler plant operators and other essential employees who will be notified. The Office of Human Resources will provide more information for employees as it becomes available.

This notice is based on the latest information available. Details are subject to change. Cal U will issue updates as new information is received. 

Geraldine M. Jones
University President

March 19, 2020: Rising to the Challenge

 

To our Cal U community,

We all are experiencing events that are unprecedented in our University’s history. To keep our community as safe and healthy as possible, we have called on every student and every employee to make significant – and often disruptive – changes in their lives.

I am inspired by the way members of our University family are collaborating, innovating, and giving each other comfort and strength. Cal U is rising to the challenge.

Students, my heart goes out to you as you say good-bye to friends and classmates for now. Texting and social media are wonderful tools, and I know you will keep in touch – but we all look forward to the day when you return and our campus is buzzing with activity again.

We are exploring ways to celebrate our graduating seniors, even though our formal Commencement ceremony will not be held as planned. Whether you are studying in person or online, earning your degree is a major milestone, and we will find a way to applaud your achievement. Stay tuned for details!

I want to thank every one of you for your patience and cooperation as we navigate the changes ahead. This is not the semester anyone envisioned when we returned from winter break. But our Cal U community is resourceful and resilient. We have the tools to succeed and the will to thrive, even in difficult times.

Together, we will learn a lot this semester – about our character, our capabilities and our connections. We will weather this storm together, and we will emerge smarter and stronger than ever.

Stay well, and stay in touch.

Geraldine M. Jones
University President

March 16, 2020: Cal U Moves to Remote Operations

 

To our Cal U community,

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to spread, the University is adjusting its response out of concern for the health and safety of our students, our employees, and the communities where we live and work.

University leadership is closely following developments on the federal, state and local levels as conditions change. Nothing matters more than the health and safety of our students and employees, and to date, we have no cases of COVID-19 presumed or confirmed on campus. However, we believe it is in the best interest of our entire Cal U community to be proactive in our response.

Consequently, Cal U will move to remote operations beginning Wednesday, March 18. All classes will be delivered online or via distance learning. After preparing their courses for online/distance learning, faculty will be teaching remotely. With the exception of those essential employees required to maintain campus safety and vital operations, employees will be working remotely as well.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR STUDENTS?

  • If you are enrolled in a 100% online program, it’s “business as usual.” Continue your courses as planned. If you are taking one or more classes online, your classes resumed as scheduled after the regular spring break.
  • If you are enrolled in an on-campus (face-to-face) program, you are currently on an extended break until March 27. Beginning March 30, all of your on-campus courses will be taught via online/distance education until further notice.
  • Our residence halls will be closing. All students with rooms in the residence halls are asked to remove their belongings and check out no later than 4 pm. Sunday, March 22. Dining services will end and access to the halls will be restricted after that time. If you have questions, please contact the Housing Office at 724-938-4444. Additional details regarding refunds for housing and dining services will be provided at a later date.
  • The off-campus apartments at Vulcan Village will remain open. All activities are canceled until further notice. No visitors are allowed and no gatherings or parties are permitted.
  • Student teachers, interns and students engaged in other experiential learning should NOT report to their internship/learning sites. As outlined in the March 15 email to students (see “Important Messages” at calu.edu/coronaplan), please notify the appropriate person at your internship/fieldwork site and contact your professor to explore the possibility of alternate learning activities.
  • Student workers and graduate assistants will continue to be paid, but they should NOT report to work until further notice.
  • Manderino Library will be closed, but students can access library services online through the library’s website. Librarians will be on call. Cal U is aware that some students may lack the technology needed to complete coursework online. Watch your campus email for further information on this topic.

Cal U intends to complete the semester as scheduled, but our formal Commencement ceremony will not be held this spring. (Seniors, stay tuned for further information regarding your graduation!) Please contact your professors if you have questions about specific courses.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR FACULTY?

For faculty who are teaching a 100% online program or any online course(s), it’s “business as usual.” Faculty who teach on-campus courses should continue working to convert their face-to-face courses for online delivery or distance learning beginning March 30. The provost/VP will outline the duties of non-instructional faculty as needed.

For the safety of our students and our communities, students have been advised that all student teaching, internships, fieldwork and other experiential education have been suspended for the rest of the semester. Please work with those students to explore alternate routes to course completion where possible.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR STAFF?

With the exception of those essential employees required to maintain campus safety and critical University operations, all union members, non-represented staff and administrators will be working remotely until further notice. Please review the March 15 message from the Office of Human Resources on employees working remotely (see “Important Messages” at www.calu.edu/coronaplan). If you have questions, contact the HR Office at 724-938-4427.

These are extraordinary times, and I understand that these measures are unprecedented. I appreciate your patience and cooperation as Cal U adjusts to a situation that is changing day by day. Please know that decisions are being made with the best information available – and always with the best interest of our students, faculty and staff foremost in our minds. Nothing is more important than your health and safety.

Keep well.

Geraldine M. Jones
University President

March 15, 2020: Internships Suspended

 

To our students:

Chancellor Dan Greenstein has issued guidance regarding experiential learning at all universities in the State System of Higher Education. In light of this notice, Cal U is updating its instructions to undergraduate and graduate students engaged in student teaching, internships, fieldwork, practicums and other experiential learning.

With the health and safety of our students in mind, Cal U students should NOT report to student teaching, internship, fieldwork or other experiential learning sites, even if they remain open and you are feeling well, beginning Monday, March 16, 2020.

If you are engaged in off-campus learning activities, please act promptly to:

  1. Use email or a phone call to notify the appropriate person at your experiential learning site to explain that you will not return at least through March 29. You may refer your internship/fieldwork contact(s) to the Cal U website for more information about the University’s actions in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
  2. Contact your supervising faculty member to explore the possibility of alternate learning opportunities. The Provost has instructed all faculty to work closely with students, particularly those required to gain hands-on experience prior to graduation, to identify alternative routes to completing course requirements, if possible.

Cal U is taking all reasonable measures to protect the well-being of our students, and our communities, during this unprecedented public health emergency. Thank you for your cooperation as we move through these challenging times together.

Sincerely,

Dr. Barnhart

March 15, 2020: For Employees: Working Remotely

 

To all faculty and staff,

As we continue to monitor events and plan to address the COVID-19 pandemic, Cal U leadership is working to protect the health and safety of our University community. Our Cal U faculty and staff are our greatest resource, and the actions outlined below are being implemented with our employees’ well-being in mind.  

Effective immediately:

  • Essential staff (as defined by the University administration for the COVID-19 Pandemic Plan) whose duties require a physical presence at the University will continue to report to work for their regular shifts until further notice.

    Supervisors will work with those essential employees who will continue to report to the University to implement social distancing measures in order to protect their health and safety. More details about specific measures will be shared with supervisors and employees.  
  • Essential and non-essential employees, who have been identified as being able to complete their work remotely will continue the critical work of the University from their homes beginning Wednesday, March 18, through March 27.  These employees should report to work as scheduled on Monday, March 16, and Tuesday, March 17. 
  • Employees deemed non-essential in accordance with their position and not assigned to work remotely by their chain-of-command will be placed on paid administrative leave effective Wednesday, March 18, until March 27.

Supervisors will be reaching out to employees on Monday, March 16, to confirm your status and work requirements. 

To provide clarification: All faculty are considered essential employees and are permitted to work remotely, effectively immediately. 

Please understand that events are changing rapidly and any plans could change quickly. Employees who will be working remotely should find time on Monday and Tuesday to prepare all necessary technical requirements and documents needed to perform their work off-site. This may include saving files related to projects, reports or other assignments that you can take home to work on.

Attached are two documents that will assist you in working remotely. The Availability of Technology Support Systems and Continuity Plan Checklist documents also are available when you log in to https://cwis.calu.edu using your Cal U login and password. Please email any technical support questions to utechrequests@calu.edu

Attached to this email are Instructions for Emergency Remote Work and Telecommuting.  Please review this information and work with your supervisor to follow the appropriate policies. 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your supervisor.

Please know that your work is valued and appreciated, especially during this very challenging time. If you are experiencing problems that are affecting your well-being, don’t hesitate to contact the State Employee Assistance Program 1-800-692-7459.

Regards,

Eric Guiser
Director of Human Resources

March 14, 2020: Returning to Residence Halls

As the state Health Department, Governor’s Office and other officials provide updates on the COVID-19 outbreak’s spread to western Pennsylvania, Cal U is concerned that decisions regarding student housing may need to change in the coming days. For this reason, we ask that students DO NOT return to campus residence halls except to pick up necessities before returning home. We are monitoring the situation as changes occur and will keep in touch through the Housing Office and this website. For now, students should NOT plan to return to residence halls during the extended break (March 15-29) except to collect items they need to continue their studies at home. Use this form to request access to your residence hall to pick up necessities.

Off-campus housing at Vulcan Village will remain open during the break. Cal U students may phone the Student Health Center (724-938-4232) or the Counseling Center (724-938-4056) for information or to schedule a tele-counseling appointment.

March 11, 2020: Spring Break Extended, Instruction Online

 

To all members of our Cal U community:

The University has been carefully monitoring the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, a potentially serious respiratory illness.

University leadership and a Pandemic Illness Assessment Team have been making plans to respond based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Pennsylvania Department of Public Health and other agencies.

Nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our students and employees. With that in mind, Cal U is taking steps to protect our campus community while continuing to educate our students and keep essential University functions on track. We understand that these temporary measures will cause significant disruption, but we believe it is important to be proactive when the health of our University family is at stake.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR STUDENTS?

  • If you are enrolled in a 100% online program, it’s “business as usual.” Continue your courses as planned.
  • If you are taking one or more classes online, those classes will resume as scheduled.
  • If you are enrolled in an on-campus (face-to-face) program, your spring break will be extended by two weeks, through March 27. Beginning March 30, all on-campus courses will be taught via online/distance education for a minimum of two weeks. Whether online/distance education will continue past April 10 is subject to further review. Students will be kept informed.

Check your campus email and the Cal U homepage for updates. Our intent is to complete the spring semester on time. Your professors will be in touch via your Cal U email to share details about your courses.

All students are strongly encouraged to return to their permanent residence and continue their coursework from home until on-campus classes resume. However, residence halls will re-open March 15. Students who choose to return to campus will be expected to follow hygiene and social distancing measures to protect their own health and that of others. No visitors will be permitted in the residence halls.

Please make the choice that is best for your personal circumstances. Be aware that on-campus dining services will be limited and some locations, such as the Herron Recreation and Fitness Center and the Vulcan Theater, will be closed.

Also:

  • Manderino Library will be open, and social distancing measures will be in place, for students who need to use University computers to complete online/distance learning assignments. Librarians will be on call; online resources and hours of operation will be posted on the library’s website.
  • Student teachers, interns and students engaged in fieldwork should report to their student teaching/internship/fieldwork sites as scheduled, providing the site is open and they are feeling well.
  • Student workers and graduate assistants will continue to be paid, but they should NOT report to work until on-campus classes resume.

If you feel ill, do NOT return to campus. Stay home until you have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication. If you recently traveled to an area experiencing widespread COVID-19 outbreaks – places such as China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, Japan or hotspots in the United States – please contact the Student Health Center at 724-938-4232 before you return to Cal U.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR FACULTY?

For faculty who are teaching a 100% online program or any online course(s), it’s “business as usual.” Continue your courses as planned.

Faculty who teach on-campus courses are expected to be working from March 16-27 to convert their face-to-face courses for online delivery or distance learning. The course schedule will resume March 30 with all courses being delivered via online/distance learning modalities, with the intent of completing all course objectives by the scheduled end of the semester.

Faculty should continue to supervise student teachers, interns and students engaged in fieldwork, providing their student teaching/internship/fieldwork sites remain open and the faculty member is well.

While we are encouraging students to continue their coursework at home, Manderino Library will remain open, with appropriate hygiene and social distancing measures in place, for students who need University computers to keep up with their assignments. The provost/VP will outline the duties of other non-instructional faculty as needed.

If you feel ill, do NOT come to campus. Use ESS to request sick leave and contact your dean if you are unable to work. If you recently traveled to a country affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, please inform your dean. Even if you feel well, please avoid coming to campus until 14 days have elapsed since your return from high-risk countries as designated by the CDC.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR STAFF?

Union members, non-represented staff and administrators will continue to report for work as usual for now.

The University is exploring tele-work options and social distancing measures that may be deployed should conditions change. In the coming days, the Human Resources Office will contact unit directors and other managers regarding essential functions and telecommuting options.

If you are not feeling well, do NOT come to work. Use ESS to request sick leave and contact your immediate supervisor to report your absence.

HOW IS UNIVERSITY TRAVEL AFFECTED?

For the health and safety of our Cal U community:

  • All University-sponsored international travel is canceled until further notice. This includes new trips and international travel previously approved.
  • All University-sponsored domestic travel, both in-state and out-of-state, is suspended until further notice, with the exception of travel deemed essential by the University President. Requests to approve essential travel, including previously approved trips, will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Travel guidelines will be re-evaluated when conditions warrant, and updates will be shared.

To minimize the risk of transmitting a viral illness, all travelers are asked to self-quarantine if they recently have visited a high-risk area or if they are not feeling well after they return.

WHAT ABOUT CAMPUS EVENTS?

  • To reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, all events in the Convocation Center and across campus have been canceled through April 10. Future events will be evaluated in the days ahead. 
  • Intercollegiate student athletics will follow guidelines issued by the PSAC and NCAA.
    (UPDATE: Following PSAC and NCAA guidelines, all spring sports have been canceled; no practices are scheduled.)
  • Other campus events will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

These are extraordinary circumstances, and many people are working hard to put appropriate plans in place. I appreciate your cooperation as we implement these important measures. All guidelines are subject to change as the situation warrants. Please watch your campus email and the Cal U homepage for additional information.

Family members who have questions may phone the Cal U Information Hotline between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. at 724-938-5600. Please leave a short message with your name and telephone number so we can call you back.

Sincerely,

Geraldine M. Jones
University President

March 3, 2020: Preparing for Spring Break

 

To our Cal U community,

As we prepare for spring break, I want to share some important information about a very timely topic – the spread of a novel (new) coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19.

Health officials across the country are monitoring the spread of this new disease around the world and within the United States. Here at Cal U, administrators and our Wellness Center staff are keeping abreast of the latest information from the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Pennsylvania Department of Health and other agencies.

To date there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania, but disease outbreaks have occurred in other parts of the country, and the situation is evolving rapidly worldwide.

If you are planning to travel during spring break, you may want to monitor the CDC’s “situation updates” at www.cdc.gov. The U.S. State Department also posts country-by-country advisories for international travelers at travel.state.gov.

If you experience flu-like symptoms during or after spring break, please do NOT return to Cal U until you have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication. Staying at home when you are ill helps to limit the spread of illness.

  • If you are a student, please contact the Office of Student Affairs at 724-938-4439 if you will be missing classes due to illness. Student Affairs will contact your professors regarding your verified absence. Students are responsible for contacting their professors to make up any missed coursework when they return.
  • Faculty members should contact their dean if they are not well enough to teach their assigned classes. Staff members should contact their immediate supervisor if they will be absent. The Human Resources Office requires a medical excuse if you miss work due to an illness lasting more than three days.

There currently is no vaccine for COVID-19. The CDC advises that the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Please consider this important information from the CDC before, during, and after spring break to help stop the spread of influenza and other diseases:

  • If you develop flu-like symptoms with fever, self-isolate to your room for at least 24 hours after your fever has subsided without the use of a fever-reducing medication, except to get medical care or other necessities. (Cal U students may call the Wellness Center to arrange for meal delivery or seek advice.)
  • Practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Wash thoroughly for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect surfaces that you touch frequently, such as doorknobs, faucets, keyboards, etc.

Finally, please prepare yourself with reliable, up-to-date information. To learn about the new coronavirus, influenza and your health, visit the CDC website atwww.cdc.gov, call the University Wellness Center at 724-938-4232, or email our nurse practitioner Tina Pierce, CRNP, at pierce_t@calu.edu.

As a campus community, it is our responsibility to look after our health and the well-being of those around us. Following these commonsense guidelines can help.

I wish you all an enjoyable, healthful spring break.

Geraldine M. Jones

University President

P.S. The University Wellness Center is located on the ground floor of Carter Hall, Room G-53. It is open around the clock Monday through Friday, and from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Students are not charged for the visit; if services are required outside the health center, your insurance will be billed.