Message from President Nair

March 11, 2020

Dear Arcadia Community,

Significant shifts in the past 24 hours have prompted us to advance to our next response level. The COVID-19 situation has progressed in the number of confirmed cases on a global scale, and today the World Health Organization declared the outbreak as a global pandemic.

While academic continuity remains a key priority, we must take steps to care for the wellbeing of our entire community and minimize possible exposure to the virus. Essential campus operations will remain open with limited hours, until further notice. Supervisors will work with their teams over the next two days to make individual work arrangements. Additional guidance will be coming from Human Resources in the next few days. In the meantime, we will assess the viability of keeping such offices open for the duration of the semester. 

Dynamic situations require us to adapt quickly. With your support, we will approach this work in a smart, calm, and effective manner. We also are taking the following steps:

  1. The duration of online course delivery will be extended to April 5. Any possible extension beyond that date will be announced no later than March 31.
  2. The College of Global Studies is suspending programs in Europe, Ireland, and the United Kingdom and will be communicating further details soon. 
  3. Arcadia will keep the community updated on the status of all international programs. 
  4. Residence halls will close by Sunday, March 15 at 5 p.m. until April 5. 
  5. Residential students will be sent a message by close of business on March 12 asking that they notify Residence and Commuter Life of the specific time frame they are planning to leave. 
    1. International students and those with other travel restrictions or unique circumstances will be accommodated in the residence halls beyond Sunday at 5 p.m. Students will be sent a form by close of business on March 12 that needs to be submitted to Residence Life.
    2. We will continue to provide residential accommodations to students in need. 
    3. Students can leave belongings in their room, though we encourage them to take important items with them. 
  6. All events scheduled from Sunday, March 15 through April 5 should be canceled, rescheduled, or shifted to online platforms.  
    1. In-person student meetings or events are canceled as of Sunday, March 15. If possible, future meetings should be shifted online. Please check with the event organizers to learn if a meeting or event will continue via an alternative format. 
    2. Honors Convocation, scheduled for March 28, will be canceled. Award recipients will be contacted individually.
    3. Scarlet and Grey Day for Admitted Students will move to a virtual platform. 
    4. The Career Fair scheduled for March 25 will be moved to an online platform to connect students to potential employers and programs. More information is coming soon.
  7. Planned University-sponsored travel must be reviewed and approved on a case-by-case basis by the appropriate Cabinet member.
  8. The Kuch Center will operate on a reduced schedule. The University Commons will remain open until further notice. The Chat will be open to serve brunch and dinner, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., through Friday, March 13. Continued service through April 5 will be determined based on campus needs. 
  9. Student Health Services will remain open during regular business hours until further notice.
  10. Supervisors will be in contact with student workers regarding possibilities for remote work.
  11. To accommodate last-minute academic needs of students, Landman Library will remain open until Friday, March 13 at 5 p.m. Online resources will continue to be available through the library’s website.
  12. The Learning Resource Center is offering online tutoring sessions. 
  13. Students can access the offices they need remotely through email. Please note that some staff might be working from off-campus locations. Staff should refer to the HR message sent on March 11 regarding alternate work schedules, leaves of absences, and essential personnel.
  14. In light of the many cancellations across athletic conferences, the Athletic Director will work with Arcadia coaches and our athletic conference to determine the next steps, including spring break travel. We hope to have additional updates in the next few days.

Arcadia leadership and emergency personnel will continue to meet daily, monitor the situation in our local area and around the world, and update the University community regularly via email and at arcadia.edu/coronavirus. To the extent possible, we will continue seeking input from our campus stakeholders to recognize the varying impact of these decisions. Ultimately, our primary concern is for the health and safety of the entire Arcadia community.

Ajay Nair, Ph.D. 
President