WPU Coronavirus Update (3/12/2020)

March 13, 2020

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, Parents, Guardians, and Families:

The leadership of Warner Pacific University has been closely monitoring the progression of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Our Senior Leadership and Emergency Management Teams have been reviewing information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Oregon Health Authority, Multnomah County, and the Governor’s office related to the challenges that COVID-19 presents to our campus.

We are committed to the health and wellbeing of our students, faculty, and staff. At this time there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Warner Pacific University and only one verified case in Multnomah County. The current CDC recommendation is to help reduce the possibility of transmission on campus by canceling large gatherings.

In alignment with the direction provided today by the Governor’s office, we have decided to begin spring break early on March 16. When classes resume on March 30, we will transition to online coursework through at least April 10. Warner Pacific will continue to provide all services to students during this time, and campus offices will remain open while classes move online.

Further information about services and operations are included below.

 

Academics

Traditional Campus Academic Program

-Spring break for the traditional campus will start Monday, March 16 and will extend to March 27.
– Upon return from break, classes will resume online until April 10. Students will receive information from their instructors about how online classes will be administered.
– Instruction will continue through May 8 to ensure that students receive the full course plan as outlined on their syllabi.

Professional and Graduate Studies Program

– Online instruction will begin on Monday, March 16 and continue through Friday, April 10.
– Students will receive information from their instructors about how online classes will be administered.

All Academic Programs

– We will continue to monitor this evolving situation and prior to April 10 determine whether classes will continue online or resume on campus.
– For experiences that rely upon in-person engagement such as clinicals, internships, student teaching, and science labs, more communication will be provided during spring break.
– The Library will continue to keep regular hours, following the social contact guidelines established by the various official departments.
– If there are any questions or concerns, please contact Dr. Reginald T.W. Nichols, Vice President for Academic Affairs/Dean of Faculty or Dr. Lori Jass, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at (503) 517-1036 or (503) 517-1320. PGS students, please contact your advisor or Kirby Gleason at (503) 517-1322.

 

Campus Computer Labs
Campus computer labs will maintain their current hours of operation, and additional access may be provided if needed.

Chapel and Sessions
For this period of time, Chapel and Sessions options on Mondays and Wednesdays will move online at their regularly scheduled times. More information for how to participate and log attendance will be shared on the Shield. We are monitoring the situation for potential adjustments to faith and service requirements.

Support Services
Campus offices remain open, and support services such as Counseling, Academic Tutoring and Mentoring, Success and Retention, Disabilities Resources, and more will remain available through phone, video conferencing, and potential in-person meetings. Students may contact the relevant departments to schedule appointments in advance.

Campus Activities and Events
All campus events and academic field trips scheduled through April 10 are canceled. Many student events will be either rescheduled or moved to online formats, and additional information for impacted events will be shared through the Shield. The WPU Campus App will continue to provide updated event calendars and notifications of changes.

Athletics
Per the guidance announced by Governor Brown, the Cascade Collegiate Conference, and the NAIA, Warner Pacific Athletics is proactively suspending events that bring groups of students, adults, and community members together.
– Conference Spring competition is currently suspended from March 12-29.
– Non-conference competitions will be suspended for the same time period.
– The gym will be closed to outside events and open gyms beginning March 12 through April 10 in line with general campus event cancelations.
– Additional cleaning and sanitation of gym and workout facilities will happen over the next two weeks.
– Athletics offices, along with other WPU campus offices, remain open.
– Practices are based on each sport and locations and will be determined by the coach of each team in partnership with the Director of Athletics.

The Cascade Collegiate Conference will reassess competition guidelines and make additional announcements in the coming weeks.

Housing and Meal Plans
University housing and dining services will remain open during online instruction, and custodial services have been increased to ensure additional sanitation of shared spaces. Dining services will not be open from March 21 to 29, as they typically close during the regularly scheduled Spring Break.

If You Suspect that You Have an Illness
If you suspect that you have a transmittable illness of any sort, you should seek the care and direction of a medical professional. Students and employees who have symptoms of any potentially contagious illness should avoid contact with others.

If a residential student has symptoms that are potentially contagious, they should notify the Residence Life Coordinator, Dean of Students, or Campus Safety to discuss housing options.

Campus Cleaning Efforts
Hand sanitizing stations have been strategically placed in high traffic areas around campus. Please use these stations when hand washing is not an option. Contact Campus Safety (503-250-1730) when they need to be replenished. Please do not move or remove hand sanitizers as they are limited.
Routine cleaning procedures are appropriate for COVID-19. Campus Safety deployed disinfecting resources throughout campus for use by faculty and staff to supplement additional cleaning standards.

External Partners and Clients
Warner Pacific has canceled all meetings and events for external groups until at least April 10. If you have a concern about a previously scheduled event, please contact the university Events and Conference Services Manager (503-517-1026). All contracts will be honored with postponed dates as possible.

Employees
All employees (including student and federal work study) should report to work as they are able and follow social distancing guidelines. Please stay home if you are ill. Your supervisor or a representative from Campus Safety or Human Resources may ask you to go home or to work from home if you display signs of illness. If you experience the need to work from home, please talk with your direct supervisor to make arrangements.

WPU recommends social distancing for staff while they are at work. Per the CDC’s recommendation, social distancing involves “remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance” whenever possible to limit the ability of the virus to spread. When possible, employees may be asked to use alternative methods of meeting such as teleconferencing, webinars, live streaming, or cancellations.

In Closing
We understand that this change in academic delivery will cause some disruption and inconvenience. However, these are precautionary measures put in place to help protect the health and safety of our community while allowing our students to complete their coursework.

We know that you may have additional questions and that more questions will come. We will do our best to keep the members of our community informed via email, Signpost, Shield, the website, and social media when appropriate. We will do our best to provide direction and information in a timely manner. Please continue to review information from our website at https://www.warnerpacific.edu/student-life/emergency-management/

We all know this is an evolving situation and we will continue to review information from the CDC, the Oregon Health Authority, and Multnomah County on an ongoing basis. Please be alert to updates and information when posted.

Sincerely,
Dr. Molly Smith
Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing
#503-517-1014
mssmith@warnerpacific.edu