Archived Messages


Archived Messages

Sent to all employee emails March 31, 2020

Dear Campus Community:

Sheltering in place continues even as spring classes are around the corner. A few early flowers are beginning to add color to the campus, but only a handful of people are here to welcome them.

Working from home is challenging. Zoom calls have lost any charm they once had. Texts, emails, and websites don’t replace informal conversations and lunch meetings, to say nothing of face-to-face classes, advising, and mentoring.

But, even as we work in these strangely dislocated ways, we need to remember that we remain a community. We need to reaffirm the importance of our mission.

I’m very proud of all the effort this campus has made to stay focused during these troubling weeks. It’s a heavy lift. Faculty have taken on the challenge of online classes with energy and creativity. Staff in advising, dining, mail service, financial aid, admissions, IT, student support—everyone is working hard to serve students, to help our university function in this different reality, this oddly disjointed and disrupted time.

Moreover, the heavy lift will stay with us for the immediate future. We will continue to face challenges as the health crisis impacts our university in unprecedented ways.

Although this was not the spring that any of us imagined or planned for, it’s important that we remain a community, united in our mission and our commitments to students and each other.

Thank you all. Stay safe and healthy.

Mary Cullinan
President

Sent to all student emails March 30, 2020

Dear EWU Students, 

The past few weeks have been difficult: The rapid spread of COVID-19, moving all classes online for spring term, and a “Stay Home – Stay Healthy” directive from Governor Inslee are but a few examples of the unprecedented and stressful times we are living through.

In response to these difficulties and to best support you as you continue your studies at EWU during the Spring, the Student Affairs team has been working to ensure that students are well-supported in these unsettling times.

To help you as you prepare to begin classes next week, I want to share a few of the support services we have available during Spring term. Some of these are new, while others are modifications or adaptations of our existing services.

For more information on each area, please click on the links below.

  • Financial Aid: Financial aid has moved many processes online and has authorized flexible aid packages for students, while adhering to federal financial aid requirements. With the evolving state and federal response to COVID-19, Financial Aid will provide updates about new opportunities and options for students on their website.
  • Housing: This quarter the on-campus experience will look a little different; however, the Housing team will be ready to assist you virtually throughout the spring. You can expect staff to be reaching out to you via email, text, phone, or Zoom, to regularly check-in with you throughout the quarter. You can always email us at housing@ewu.edu if you have any questions or concerns.
  • EWU Food Pantries: Even in the midst of COVID-19, we remain committed to supporting students in need. The Central Food Pantry in Tawanka Hall will be open on Tuesday afternoons between 1-4 p.m. We ask that you please meet one of our staff members by the door on the side facing Patterson Hall during that time. Please email ceamericorps@ewu.edu with questions or if you need accommodations.
  • Disability Support Services: DSS has worked closely with Instructional Technology and faculty to help meet student accommodation needs in the online class environment. Students needing accommodations for online learning should reach out to both DSS and their instructors since the online environment will be new for many students, staff and faculty.
  • CAPS: Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) remains committed to supporting student wellbeing and resilience, and is responding to COVID-19 by moving services online. In accordance with social distancing protocols, most individual counseling during spring quarter will be provided via telephone or videoconference (Zoom) sessions.CAPS will continue to have clinicians available for walk-in or, currently, phone-in sessions. These brief sessions remain available on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 1-4 p.m. For students who have not been clients of CAPS, online forms will need to be completed prior to speaking with a counselor. Please visit the CAPS website for how to reach out and access services. Additional services remain available at CAPS including biofeedback resources and TAO self-help online modules.
  • Student Care Team: Our Student Care Team is dedicated to helping support all students and has moved operations online. If you would like to connect with a member of the Student Care Team via Zoom/email/phone please complete our Student Intake Form and we will reach out directly to you. If you are concerned about a fellow student and would like us to reach out to them, please complete our ICARE form and we will reach out.
  • Student Emergency Fund: We have modified the Student Emergency Fund to assist students in crisis and help provide laptops to students unable to complete their courses due to a lack of equipment. If you need assistance with a computer, please go to the I Need a Laptop form on the coronavirus FAQ site. Applications closed as of April 6
  • Career Center: The Career Center has updated their materials for online delivery and has migrated all of their services online. All career advising appointments, resume and job search assistance as well as employer interviews are being facilitated virtually. Advisors are assisting students through a variety of online, email and telephone services.
  • SAIL: Student Activities, Involvement and Leadership (SAIL), and Eagle Entertainment are here to help students stay connected through virtual programming. Check our calendar of events to see what opportunities are available and remember to log in to EagleSync to find other virtual events student organizations will be hosting.

In addition, the Academic Affairs team has also developed online support services for students. Specifically, I would like to make sure you are aware of the following:

If you have any questions regarding how to access these support services, I encourage you to email vpsa@ewu.edu and a member of the Student Affairs team will be in touch with you to help.

Lastly, there will be an online town hall meeting for students and parents on Thursday, April 2 from noon-1 p.m. Student Affairs staff will be available to answer questions from you about support services for the Spring term and we look forward to hearing from you then. An invitation to attend the Zoom webinar will be sent via email shortly. In the meantime, you may submit questions for the online town hall meeting here.

Sincerely,

Robert R. Sauders, PhD
Interim Vice President, Student Affairs

Sent to all resident student emails March 26, 2020

We hope this email finds you safe and healthy! Following the Governor’s recent “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” directive, we have developed an FAQ to provide updates and clarification.

Can/should I live on campus Spring quarter?

As the pandemic has continued to evolve we have also evaluated all University operations. We are providing limited housing and dining options to those students who need a safe place to stay, and strongly recommend students consult with their parents and families to determine where they should live. Housing and Residential Life is committed to providing those students who need to stay on campus with as much support as possible, given the circumstances.

What is the deadline to get my things out of my room?

In light of the “stay at home” order issued by the Governor an exact date is unknown at this time. Therefore, we have determined that students will have up to 7 days after the order is lifted to remove all belongings.  Once the order has been lifted we will send another update with the specific date.

Can I come get my things during the “stay at home” order?

You will have access to the halls and will be able to complete an express checkout at any time, however we encourage people to honor the “stay at home” order, as well as public health guidelines, such as staying home if you do not feel well.

What if I want a friend or family member to move my things out?

You may have a friend or family member move your things out.  Prior to them arriving, you need to send an email to housing@ewu.edu with your Name, EWU ID, Room #, and your friend/family member’s name.  They should call the on-call number for your building when they arrive and a staff member will help them get access to your room.

Will I be charged if my things aren’t out of my room?

Spring quarter charges will be applied to your account if you have not checked out of your room. As soon as you retrieve your belongings, within 7 days after the “stay at home” order is lifted and check out, those charges will be reversed.

What happens if I receive a late fee because I didn’t want to pay my housing charges since I know I’m moving out?

We will reverse any late fees you incurred as a result of housing and dining charges on your account.

If I stay on campus, will I get to stay in my current room? Do I have to have a roommate?

To help ensure the safety of our residents the university has decided to place all residents in their own single room at no additional cost to the student as part of the university’s ongoing efforts to protect the health of our students. All residents will be charged the lower double room rate ($2368) plus the cost of the meal plan they have selected. We will be consolidating our residents to two halls; those halls will be announced early next week.

What is happening with my meal plan?

All remaining Winter quarter balances are rolling to Spring for use, and will then continue to roll forward to Fall quarter. If you move out, your meal plan will be cancelled and charges will be reversed.

We are reaching out to a few students that have not told us their plans about staying or leaving for Spring quarter. If you have not updated us in the last few days, please reach out and let us know your plans.

In response to the governor’s order, the physical location of the main Housing office is not currently open, however we are operating remotely and are still answering phone calls and voicemails to the best of our ability. The most consistent way to reach us during this time is by email: housing@ewu.edu.

Please visit the coronavirus Q&A guide for answers to other questions you may have:  www.ewu.edu/coronavirus

Be well,

EWU Housing and Residential Life

Sent to all employee emails March 26, 2020

Dear Campus Community:

I realize that working from home can be stressful and difficult. However, we’re doing the right thing: we’re making healthy choices for ourselves and the broader community.

Beginning next week, EWU will offer up to two weeks of paid sick leave for employees who are unable to work or telework because (1) they have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COIVD-19 concerns or (2) they have minor children whose school or childcare provider is closed due to COVID-19.

Additionally, as directed by Congress, EWU will offer up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave to employees who are unable to work or telework because they need to care for a minor child whose school or childcare provider is closed due to COVID-19. More details about these leave options will be available next week.

I’ve been writing to you frequently over the last weeks as our situation has been uncertain and information has been voluminous. However, now that the situation has stabilized, at least for the moment, I’ll respect your inbox and the amount of work you’re all doing. Moving forward, I’ll write less frequently unless something significant needs to be shared immediately.

For ongoing news and information, continue to check the coronavirus FAQ webpage: www.ewu.edu/coronavirus. Also, go to the InsideEWU e-newsletter for ongoing news and information.

Please remember that, unless we communicate otherwise, Eastern Washington University remains open. And we are not in suspended operations.

As we move closer to the start of spring term, departments and offices are adjusting to the “new normal” of operating via alternate modalities and locations. Here are a few examples:

  • Admissions will launch Admitted Student Day in a virtual format, along with webinars and videos for prospective students.
  • The Student Care Team has developed a daily planner for students to help promote balance in their lives by ensuring they stay active and social.
  • Human Resources has posted a telework resource guide on the website for employees and supervisors.
  • Additional virtual town halls and panels will be scheduled to support our students, faculty, and staff through this difficult time.

Once again, I’m grateful to everyone for your creativity and flexibility during this time.

Mary Cullinan
President

P.S. The EWU Foundation recently shared recorded performances from EWU music students. If you need an inspirational break from your work at home, check these out!

Sent to all employee emails March 24, 2020

Dear Campus Community:

I hope you are all staying healthy and safe. I appreciate the work everyone is doing in so many ways to keep the university functioning during this tumultuous time.

Yesterday, Governor Inslee issued a “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” directive. This directive requires Washingtonians to stay at home except for essential activities, including work. I know we will follow these guidelines to keep our community safe and healthy.

Eastern Washington University can and will remain open. We are not in suspended operations. In keeping with the governor’s directive, we are continuing operations in alternate modalities and locations.

Under the directive, essential personnel for universities includes those employees who provide behavioral health services, financial aid, mail services and shipping, law enforcement, facilities, and limited dining operations.

Please note the following:

  • Local law enforcement, including EWU Police, will primarily educate and raise awareness about the conditions imposed by the governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” directive.
  • All faculty and staff who are able to telework must do so. While the governor’s current order will remain in place until midnight, April 6 [updated to May 4], 2020, employees should be prepared for possible extensions to the timeline.
  • Human Resources has published telework resources on their website.
  • Faculty who wish to have textbooks delivered to their homes may do so by ordering through the EWU Eagle Store.
  • I’ve directed my executive leadership to prudently manage expenses by restricting hiring and travel as well as limiting purchases.

As new information becomes available, I’ll continue to communicate with you. And we continue to update the coronavirus FAQ on this webpage.

Once again, I so deeply appreciate all you do. Even as we’re separated physically, we continue to work together as a community, supporting students and each other. Thank you.

Mary Cullinan
President

Sent to all student emails March 24, 2020

Dear EWU Students, 

Effective immediately checks will no longer be available for pick up in Sutton Hall. This includes payroll, financial aid, refunds or other payments. Please make arrangements to have direct deposit or ensure your current mailing address is up-to-date. You can update your address via EagleNET.

Payroll Checks:
Direct deposit information was sent with the March 25, 2020 mailed paychecks but can also be accessed at the following –https://d3tb2mkdocc4em.cloudfront.net/financialservices/wp-content/uploads/sites/44/2018/01/Direct-Deposit-Form.pdf

Completed forms can be emailed to payroll@ewu.edu or mailed to Payroll at Showalter Hall, Room 319, Cheney, WA  99004.

Financial Aid checks will continue to be mailed.

Sincerely,

Robert R. Sauders, PhD
Interim Vice President, Student Affairs

Sent to all employee and student emails March 23, 2020

Dear Campus Community:

Just moments ago, Gov. Jay Inslee issued a new “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order as part of the ongoing effort to reduce the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to share the details so that you can stay informed and be safe.

The governor’s newest restriction asks all Washingtonians to stay home and stay healthy in order to minimize contact with others for at least two weeks. [As of April 2, this order has been extended until May 4.] People are asked to go outside only if they are pursuing an essential activity, such as going to the grocery store, the doctor, or essential work duty.

The governor’s business order goes into effect in 48 hours. Between now and then EWU will determine how the directive applies to the university and follow up with specific directions. Until then, please continue to operate as you have, while making preparations to potentially work at home for a sustained period of time.

Students may remain on campus if they feel safer at the university, or if they have no other housing options.

I again urge you to stay informed on the latest developments and measures by visiting www.ewu.edu/coronavirus.

Our thoughts continue to be with you and your families during this difficult time. Your patience, understanding and courage will help carry Eastern through this unprecedented time.

Mary Cullinan
President

Sent to all employee and student emails March 23, 2020

Dear Campus Community:

Today is the first day of spring break. Instead of a traditional, much-anticipated time of respite, we are practicing social distancing. Many of us are physically separated from friends and family. Many of us are feeling somewhat isolated and lonely.

I encourage everyone to reach out to one another, to maintain connections vital to our social and emotional wellbeing. I’m delighted to hear that campus constituencies are organizing video chats, virtual book clubs, interactive computer game nights, and other online social interactions. Student Activities, Involvement & Leadership (SAIL) is developing additional opportunities for student engagement during spring term.

Eastern remains open. We are not in suspended operations. However, we have implemented the following measures:

  • All events through May 30 have been postponed or canceled, including Commencement for semester programs and the Student Research & Creative Works Symposium.
  • Faculty and staff should continue to telework as much as possible.
  • We need to anticipate added directives from the governor, including the possibility of sheltering-in-place. If the governor issues an executive order, we will follow rapidly with information about how this directive specifically impacts our campus community.
  • Faculty members have been working hard to reimagine online options for student internships, labs, practica, and so on. I encourage students to reach out to program directors and chairs with suggestions for ways to complete these activities online.

Lastly, please support community members who may be facing discrimination. Media reports of people of Asian origin and heritage being targeted and harassed—as well as people being bullied for showing potential symptoms of illness—are highly disturbing.

Our Eastern community remains committed to being an inclusive and respectful environment; our campuses welcome everyone who is working and studying here. This is the time for us to come together, not from a place of fear but from a place of kindness and compassion.

As new information becomes available, I will continue to communicate with you. And we will continue to update the coronavirus FAQ webpage: www.ewu.edu/coronavirus

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult time. As always, THANK YOU for all you do for our campus community.

Mary Cullinan
President

Sent to employee and student emails March 20, 2020

Dear Campus Community:

I know this is a difficult time for many. And I realize that both uncertainty and the fact that new measures are being regularly implemented increase stress. Please know that we will continue to navigate this crisis together; the university will support you in every way possible.

As you have undoubtedly heard, some city and state governments are directing people to shelter in place. While this directive has not been implemented in our state, the university is developing plans to continue operations remotely. We will respond appropriately to specific directives as they come forward.

At this time, although university buildings are closed to the public, we are still open and are not in suspended operations.

Since my last communication, I’ve determined that it’s in the best interest of our students, faculty, and staff to suspend all face-to-face instruction for the remainder of the academic year. This includes all internships, labs and practica that require face-to-face contact. Students may still enroll for course credits if their work in these programs can be completed in a non-face-to-face format. Please reach out to your department chair or program director for further guidance.

In light of these changes, the following notes provide some clarity to students making decisions on where to live:

  • At this time students may continue to reside in EWU residence halls and will have dining options available.
  • With the move of all classes to an online format, students should consider whether they want to live on campus for the duration of the academic year.
  • Students who terminate their contract after Sunday, March 29, will incur financial consequences as outlined in the Housing and Dining Services Contract; however, we will not impose the $150 processing fee.
  • Housing will continue to work with students who need to return to retrieve their belongings.
  • For more information, please visit the Housing & Residential Life section of our coronavirus FAQ: http://www.ewu.edu/coronavirus/student-info/#housing

The following decisions have also been implemented:

  • Advising has moved to online appointments only. This includes appointments scheduled with the Center for Academic Advising & Retention (CAAR), Running Start, and the School of Global Learning.
  • PLUS programs will provide all services online beginning April 13.
  • To access online classes, students can now apply online for laptop grants through our Student Emergency Fund.
  • Soon students will be able to change majors online. More details will be announced when this option is ready.
  • Employees who are using tuition waiver benefits will be able to apply them to those courses that have moved online as a result of the pandemic.

As new information becomes available, we will continue to communicate with you and will update the coronavirus FAQ webpage: www.ewu.edu/coronavirus

Once again, I ask for your patience and understanding during this difficult time. We need to continue taking care of ourselves, our classmates, and our colleagues. Thank you for all you do.

Mary Cullinan
President

Sent to resident emails March 19, 2020

Dear EWU Residents,

We appreciate your patience as the University and Housing and Residential Life continue to adjust to the rapidly evolving public health crisis surrounding the spread of the coronavirus. As each day has brought more restrictions locally and throughout the nation, we continue to adapt and implement measures that will serve you the best during these difficult times.

Our utmost priority is to ensure that all students have access to housing and food during this time of uncertainty. As President Cullinan said in her 3.17.20 Coronavirus Message, we will do so by offering limited housing and dining options for students who do not have a safe place to go.

As we think back on the excitement of move-in and fall quarter, we know that moving forward through Spring quarter will be a drastic adjustment. We pride ourselves on providing our students with a robust and vibrant on-campus community full of engaging interactions and events. However, we must ensure that providing a safe environment continues to be our top priority.

Therefore, it is important for you to know that if you choose to stay on campus for Spring Quarter, your experience will look much different than normal. Given the circumstances of the pandemic, and following directives from state and public health authorities, we are no longer able to offer the same robust, vibrant on-campus experience you’ve come to expect.

In order to comply with continued restrictions and emergency declarations we will be changing our interaction model to practice social distancing:

  • Our expectation is that residents will spend most of their time in their room.
  • There will be no socializing in lounges and common areas. Staff may split up groups and send residents back to their rooms for your health and safety.
  • The hall offices will be open limited hours for the purpose of sorting mail. We will not be checking items out from the office.
  • We will provide some virtual programs for social engagement but there will be no in-person events.
  • We will continue to support students as we are able via technology such as zoom meetings, phone calls, and emails.
  • Dining options will primarily be limited to take out options for meals. However,there will be increased Flex Dollars ($250) to provide community options. To learn more about Spring dining plans visit our student information section of the EWU Coronavirus FAQ site.

We know you have questions regarding charges and placement in the residential halls. We have implemented the following measures for Spring Quarter:

  • Remaining residents will be consolidated into two or three buildings. We will formalize decisions regarding which buildings will remain open after we know how many people intend to stay.
  • While your room may be different, you will not pay more than the room type you resided in during Winter Quarter.
  • Room and board charges will go onto accounts Tuesday, March 24 for students who have not turned in their keys and checked out.
  • Students who terminate their contract after Sunday, March 29 will incur financial consequences as outlined in the Housing and Dining Services Contract, however we will not impose the $150 processing fee.

While this is not the ideal student experience we strive to provide, we remain committed to our top priority of your health and safety in our community, and will do everything possible to make you feel at home. We appreciate our students and will be here to support you through the rest of your studies at Eastern Washington University.

Sincerely,

Josh Ashcroft
Interim AVP, Campus Life

Sent to employee and student emails March 19, 2020

Dear Campus Community:

As part of my commitment to regular and timely communications, I’m continuing to provide frequent updates to the campus community. Please note that, even with the changes outlined below, we are not in suspended operations. We remain open.

Recent significant decisions include the following:

  • Semester Commencement has been cancelled. This decision was not made lightly. I know that students and their families look forward to this important event. Therefore, we will invite graduates to participate in June Commencement. More details will be coming soon.
  • Starting today, I’m encouraging all employees who are able to telework to do so if possible until April 6. While some positions are critical to campus operations, we need to follow health department guidelines around social distancing in order to mitigate risk. Supervisors will reach out to employees to facilitate telework and discuss options. We will follow the guidance issued by EWU Human Resources yesterday.
  • All buildings on the Cheney campus will close to the public until April 6, except for the PUB. The Union Market and the PUB will be open Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for campus services. Authorized employees can still access buildings and should ensure their proximity cards are up to date. If you need to access a building to conduct business, please call Campus Police at 509.359.7676. Mail and UPS deliveries will continue.
  • Access to the EWU Spokane building will follow WSU’s operational procedure for that campus. Currently, buildings on that campus will be unlocked from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Faculty, staff, and students with EagleCards will have access after hours and on weekends.
  • The Parking Office is closed until April 6 and will provide customer service via telephone and electronically. Parking rules will continue to be enforced.
  • The EWU Children’s Center, operated by the YMCA, is closed in accordance with the Governor’s mandate, and parents have been notified.

Although we have no confirmed cases on campus, we have received questions about how we will handle them should they occur. Please know that we will act on cases individually as appropriate and in compliance with federal privacy laws and health department guidance.

Earlier this week, I convened a group of faculty experts for an online panel to discuss the coronavirus pandemic. Provost David May facilitated the discussion. The panel showcased the expertise we have here at EWU and provided significant information. Video from the panel has been posted to this COVID-19 FAQ webpage.

Once again, I ask for your patience and understanding during this difficult time. We need to continue taking care of ourselves and our colleagues. Thank you for all you do.

Mary Cullinan
President

Sent to employee emails March 18, 2020

Dear Campus Community:

In this difficult and stressful environment, I am continuing to provide information and updates to our campus community.

Please note that, at this time, Eastern Washington University remains open and has not implemented suspended operations.

We have taken major steps to increase social distancing, including moving classes to online and providing opportunities for employees to telework.

Human Resources has provided the following information:

Encouragement to Telework

At this time, the university is implementing enhanced measures to promote telework opportunities. We strongly encourage all employees and supervisors to work collaboratively to explore and implement telework options beginning immediately.

Options may include:

  • Full Remote: Some employees are able to perform all of their duties remotely. For these employees, we strongly encourage the implementation of an interim full-time telework plan.
  • Limited Remote: Some employees may be able to perform some of their duties remotely, but may need to perform some duties at their usual workstation. For those employees, we strongly encourage a flexible interim telework plan. Options you may wish to explore include, but are not limited to, a rotation of days in the office and days at a remote site, or partial time on campus and partial time at a remote site.
  • Critical: Some work must be performed on campus for these individuals, telework may not be an option. However, by maximizing telework for employees who have more flexibility related to the location at which they perform their work, we will be able to provide greater opportunities for social distancing for those whose work requires an on-campus presence.
Building Closures

The university will be closing some buildings, including the JFK Library, effective March 19, 2020. If your building is closed, you will need to work with your supervisor regarding work locations.

Telework Resources

We have created resources for working remotely that you will find at  https://inside.ewu.edu/hr/. Included in the materials are training options as this would be a great opportunity for employees to complete mandatory Title IX training and Security Training. Employees may also be able to engage in professional development opportunities.

New Pandemic Illness Leave Options

We have adopted emergency rules—Pandemic Illness Leave, EWU Policy 403-06 —which can be accessed at https://inside.ewu.edu/policies/knowledge-base/ewu-policy-403-06-pandemic-illness-leave/.

These rules provide several benefits:

  • Shared Leave: The opportunity to request shared leave if an employee, a relative, or a household member is isolated or quarantined as recommended, requested, or ordered by a public health official or health care provider as a result of suspended or confirmed infection with or exposure to COVID-19.
  • Leave Without Pay: The university will grant leave without pay to employees who request the ability to protect themselves, a family, or a household member due to COVID-19 for up to 14 days and will also grant leave without pay to an employee at the request of an employee if the university is closed by order of a public official for a health-related reason or if an employee’s child’s school or place of care is closed. Written verification may be required to qualify for leave.
  • Sick Leave: Employees who have accrued sick leave may use this leave when they are unable to work due to illness or is seeking medical diagnosis and care; to allow the employee to provide care for a family member as defined in RCW 49.46.210 who is experiencing physical illness or who needs medical care; and, when the university is closed by order of a public official for any health-related reason or when an employee’s child’s school or place of care has been closed for such a reason.
What to do if you think you might have been exposed to coronavirus or are showing symptoms
  1. If you believe you have been exposed to the coronavirus or have been advised by a medical provider to self-quarantine, you should immediately contact your supervisor. Supervisors are required to immediately notify Caren Lincoln, Director of Human Resources. To support an employee’s privacy, supervisors shall not discuss reports of possible coronavirus with other employees.
  2. Call your healthcare provider or the emergency room before seeking medical treatment.
  3. The Washington State Department of Health has information about how to identify coronavirus symptoms and what to do if you think you have been exposed. This information is available at: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/Coronavirus
What to do if you are notified a colleague is reporting symptoms or has a confirmed case

The Spokane Regional Health District will directly contact individuals who have been potentially exposed to someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19. EWU is in daily contact with the Spokane Regional Health District to share information about potential exposures involving the university community.

How to Submit Concerns and Suggestions

If you have concerns, suggestions, or questions regarding EWU’s response to the pandemic, you can submit those through the COVID-19 response website: https://inside.ewu.edu/rcp/risk-management/covid19_concerns/.

Thank you again for your patience and flexibility during this stressful time.

Mary Cullinan
President

On Tuesday, March 17, a panel of EWU experts provided information and answered questions concerning the virus and its impact to our campuses. The panelists were:

  • Krisztian Magori, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biostatistics
  • Katie Taylor, PhD, Assistant Professor of Exercise Science
  • Sarah Mount, EdD, Program Director, Undergraduate Public Health
  • David Line, PhD, Program Director, Public Health

Sent to employee and student emails March 17, 2020

Dear Campus Community:

I’m writing today to share some key measures that EWU has implemented in order to serve our students and also help flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic in our region. I hope that these regular updates are helpful to you in these uncertain times.

Enabling students to move forward 

  • Spring quarter will begin on Monday, April 6. Spring semester will also resume April 6; however, some programs may be resuming online coursework as early as March 23. Please consult with your departments for further details. We will be communicating, as soon as possible, a plan for a reduced academic calendar, including finals planning.
  • Financial Aid will be disbursed into student accounts on March 30 to pay for tuition and fees—and post refunds if applicable. Paper checks and ACH transfers will take one to three days to reach student bank accounts and mailboxes. Most students should receive their portion of the disbursement by April 2-3.
  • Because we have removed the hold for students with 90 credits who have not yet declared a major, students will be able to register for Spring Quarter without the requirement to declare a major.
  • Students can continue their path to degree completion as EWU expands online offerings and provides as many classes online as possible. The online course delivery fee will be waived.
  • The Student Emergency Fund has been established to help cover the cost of laptops for students who aren’t otherwise able to access online learning.

Providing flexibility for students

  • Students who need to suspend or leave a bachelor’s program with no credential due to current circumstances may be awarded an associate’s degree if they meet credit totals and general Direct Transfer Agreement requirements.
  • Students who don’t have a safe place to go can stay in university housing. Limited housing and dining options will be provided to students who need them.
  • Student Support Services will remain available to all students, including remote/teleconferencing options, to the fullest extent possible.
  • We are removing the cap on the Eagle Flex plan, expanding access for students to obtain groceries.
  • The EWU Foundation is working on a student support fundraising initiative to provide financial support to students in need during this pandemic.
  • Although we have closed the EWU Eagle Store through April 6, students can order the course materials they need and have them shipped free of charge through April 10. Online orders will still be processed while the store is closed.

Addressing admissions hurdles for prospective students

  • Students may now submit an alternative to the SAT or ACT in order to receive an admission decision. All policy and updates about test-optional admission can be found online for freshmen and for transfer students.
  • Students who have already taken the SAT or ACT may submit unofficial copies of test scores and still receive an admission decision.
  • Students may submit unofficial transcripts from their high school or college. (Students will still need to provide copies of official transcripts before they start attending classes. In addition, official transcripts are still necessary to receive credit for college courses that students transfer to EWU.)
  • Admissions and financial aid deadlines for future students have been extended to June 1.

Prudently allocating resources

  • Until we have greater clarity surrounding the current situation and its fiscal impact, I have ordered a temporary freeze on the hiring of faculty and staff. Exceptions for mission-critical positions will be considered by Vice Presidents.

We’ve expanded the COVID-19 FAQ page and are updating it regularly with answers to your questions. Please visit this website for the latest information, including video from yesterday’s Virtual Town Hall with EWU leadership.

EWU staff and faculty have been doing tremendous work over the past weeks. Thank you all.

Mary Cullinan
President

Sent to EWU alumni and friend emails March 17, 2020

Friends,

Because you are part of our extended Eagle family, I wanted to personally reach out to you during these difficult, stressful times. As we continue to take care of our campus community, I want you to know we’re thinking about you and your family as you navigate the uncertainty ahead.

Under Gov. Inslee’s direction, we have postponed in-person events and classes as part of our community’s larger effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. However, we are still eagerly awaiting our annual tradition of Giving Joy Day on April 3. As many of you who have participated in Giving Joy Days know, in the past we have focused chiefly on raising funds for student scholarships. This year we will shift focus to serve immediate needs in local communities — including the urgent needs of our students.

Many Eagles are reaching out to ask what they can do to financially support EWU students. In that spirit, we want to share that we have an existing Student Emergency Fund which supports students’ immediate needs, such as access to the technology they need to continue their studies, as well as basic needs like food and childcare.

We realize not everyone is able to give at this time, but thank you in advance for the continued concern and support you have shown. It makes me so proud to be part of the Eagle family.

Please take care of yourself, and one another. We will stay connected with more details about Giving Joy Day and any updates related to future events.

Barb Richey ’92 & ‘99
Vice President of University Advancement
Executive Director of EWU Foundation

Sent to all student emails March 16, 2020

Dear Students,

EWU Records and Registration has been getting quite a few calls from students asking if they are required to re-enroll for online courses. Rest assured, we will be updating your courses to online without you needing to do anything. Due to class-size restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, most of your courses will be conducted online through the duration of the spring term. Some lab and studio courses, however, will continue to meet in person. You are encouraged to check with your instructor on any questions about course format.

Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we work through this.

Please visit our Q&A guide for the latest university announcements, information and updates:

https://www.ewu.edu/coronavirus

Thanks,

Mark Baldwin
Associate Vice President
Undergraduate Policy and Planning

Please note: as our response changes to meet the needs of an evolving situation, information contained in the recorded March 16 town hall may become out-of-date. Always refer to the Q&A sections of this webpage (ewu.edu/coronavirus) for the very latest information as it comes in.

Sent to employee and student emails March 16, 2020

Dear Campus Community:

During this local, national, and global crisis, most of our lives have been upended—with both significant changes and smaller modifications.Once again: please check the website we’ve set up to answer questions and provide critical information: www.ewu.edu/coronavirus.

The university needs stability in times of uncertainty and ambiguity. For that reason, I have removed the “interim” title from both Provost David May and Vice President for Student Affairs Rob Sauders. They are thoughtful and knowledgeable colleagues who are providing indispensable leadership during this difficult time. I’m delighted to make them permanent members of my administrative team.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank so many individuals and groups who have stepped up to assist during this unprecedented time on our campuses. EWU faculty have shown creativity and flexibility to ensure our students are able to finish Winter term and continue into the Spring quarter and toward the completion of the Spring semester without delaying their paths to graduation. Staff are working to ensure our processes are modified as needed to meet the shifting situation. Staff are also working hard to keep our buildings clean—and, last week, to help clear campus walkways from unexpected snow and ice.

Our crisis management team has been convening for hours every day for the past several weeks to make difficult decisions and ensure the university is doing everything possible, through a multitude of scenarios, to keep our campus community safe and comply with state and national directives.

Again, many thanks to everyone as you continue supporting our students and our mission as a university.

Mary Cullinan
President

P.S. Please note that our virtual town hall discussion of EWU’s response to the novel coronavirus situation is today from 2-3 p.m.Participants can engage with university leadership about actions the university is taking during the crisis. The second forum (Tuesday, March 17, 1-2 p.m.), will be a livestreamed panel discussion featuring faculty experts addressing the epidemiology of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sent to all EWU employee emails Sunday, March 15, 2020

Dear Faculty and Staff:

Please note that Eastern Washington University is open tomorrow, Monday, March 16. And we encourage you to view tomorrow’s Virtual Town Hall online from 2-3 p.m. to learn about what all EWU is doing in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

We realize that employees may be impacted by K-12 school closures and other factors related to the pandemic. Employees who will need to telework or utilize available leave options should check with their supervisor. Information has been posted to this COVID-19 FAQ website:

If campus operations are suspended, you will be notified through the EWU Alerts system.

Please continue to visit this website for the latest information.

Sent to employee and student emails March 14, 2020

Dear Campus Community:

The Spokane Regional Health District today confirmed the county’s first cases of COVID-19. Three people have tested positive. At this time, health officials have not released any details about their location. The Health District says it has contacted people who have interacted with two of the patients, but they have not connected with the third patient. EWU has not been notified if any of these cases are related to the university. We will follow up if we learn there is a connection.

This news confirms what we have all been planning for in recent weeks: that the virus is likely to spread in our region. I share the EWU community’s deep concern for those directly affected by these first cases. I’m hopeful that the measures everyone is taking to stop the spread of the illness will make a significant difference.

This highly disruptive and disturbing situation is evolving rapidly. So many people in our state, across our country and around the world have been tragically impacted by this disease. We must support one another during this difficult time.

As I noted yesterday, among the first impactful decisions we’ve made were the modification of winter quarter finals and the migration of spring quarter courses to an online format. Please note: At this time, EWU plans to begin spring quarter as originally scheduled on Monday, March 30. [As of March 16, spring quarter will begin April 6.]

Recognizing the complexity of this situation, we are working daily to provide clarity. The best resource at this time is this website which we’ve set up to answer questions and provide critical information.

EWU continues to communicate daily with our community partners to assess Spokane County’s status with the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to monitor conditions and update guidance accordingly. The best thing you can do is continue to practice preventive measures such as washing your hands, covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough, and social distancing.

As noted earlier, we’ll hold two online forums next week. The first (Monday, March 16, 2-3 p.m.), is a virtual town hall discussion of EWU’s response to the novel coronavirus situation. This event will provide an opportunity for participants to engage with university leadership about actions the university is taking during the crisis. The second forum (Tuesday, March 17, 1-2 p.m.), is a live-streamed panel discussion featuring faculty experts addressing the epidemiology of the COVID-19 pandemic.

I’ll communicate again as soon as more information becomes available.

Mary Cullinan
President

Sent to all student emails March 13, 2020

Dear EWU students,

To help support you as EWU continues to respond to the novel coronavirus challenge, we will be implementing a new grade option: XC. This grade, while similar to an “incomplete” grade, is intended to help solve issues related to COVID-19 and its impact on learning.

The XC grade indicates the student is passing and will receive credit, however the final grade is not yet determined because some coursework is not complete or is being redone. Unlike a traditional “incomplete” grade, this grade type will meet the “satisfactory academic progress” requirement for federal financial aid, which could help you avoid problems and delays in your financial aid disbursement.

There are many examples of when the XC grade might be appropriate. If, for instance, you couldn’t complete a final exam or culminating project, the “XC” grade might be a good option.

If you have questions about whether you and your instructor should utilize this grade option, please contact us at the Office of the Provost.

Thanks,

Robert R. Sauders, PhD
Interim Vice President, Student Affairs

Sent to EWU Student Club and Organization President and Advisor emails March 13, 2020

Greetings,

I am writing to you today regarding the evolving impact of the COVID-19 virus and how it relates to EWU Student Organizations Life day-to-day operations in the foreseeable future. As you have read or heard, EWU is moving to online courses for the spring quarter.  There may be some classes/labs that will require in-person attendance; however, the majority of students will engage online. This does impact the day-to-day life of being an Eastern Eagle and the SAIL office is here to support you during this time.

Health and Safety – The health and safety of our community remains our top priority. The first line of defense to reduce the spread of the virus is related to sanitizing.  This means that your organization should take the necessary measures to ensure any off-campus meeting locations you use are being properly sanitized. Routine cleaning should be done of frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks) with household cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectants that are appropriate for the surface, following label instructions. Student organization members should also practice appropriate personal self-care if they are ill to help lessen the potential of spreading the COVID-19 virus or any other illness, such as the flu. For up-to-date information regarding university operations, classes and FAQs, please refer to this page.

Events – While younger adults appear to be more resilient against the virus, they have the ability to spread it to more high-risk groups (ex. elderly or people with underlining health issues). We encourage student organization leadership and advising teams to use good judgment related to hosting or participating in events, meetings and social gatherings scheduled during the rest of the academic year.  With EWU moving to online classes, the university is discouraging large group gatherings or hosting of events during the spring quarter.  As a result, student organizations will currently be able to reserve rooms or table space(s), on EagleSync, if the event is 25 people or less in attendance.  Any event request that hosts more than 25 people on campus will be denied.

I would encourage your leadership to develop plans to communicate with your membership using virtual means and not host chapter events to ensure everyone’s health and safety (ex. recruitment events, philanthropy events, community service events). However, if you do host these off-campus events, you will still need to register the events on EagleSync, as is standard practice.

Travel – All travel is canceled for spring quarter, if you are using EWU Service and Activities Fees or Club Funds.

Support from SAIL – The SAIL staff will continue to support all student organizations to the best ability we can – providing resources and advising.  Student organization leadership is encouraged to reach out and let staff know what your needs are to help support you during this time. We are dedicated to helping you think about the future, take care of each other and plan for when we are able to resume normal social and event planning processes.

As always, please feel free to reach out if you have any questions via email or by phone: 509.359.7924.

Stacey L. Reece, Director 
Student Rights and Responsibilities (SRR)
Student Activities, Involvement and Leadership (SAIL)


Sent to EWU Sorority and Fraternity Chapter President and Advisor emails March 13, 2020

Greetings,

I am writing to you today regarding the evolving impact of the COVID-19 virus and how it relates to EWU Sorority and Fraternity Life day-to-day operations in the foreseeable future. As you have read or heard, EWU is moving to online courses for the spring quarter. There may be some classes/labs that will require in-person attendance; however, the majority of students will engage online. This does impact the day-to-day life of being an Eastern Eagle and the SAIL office is here to support you during this time.

Health and Safety – The health and safety of our community remains our top priority. The first line of defense to reduce the spread of the virus is related to sanitizing. This means that your chapter should take the necessary measures to ensure chapter facilities (for those who have them) are being properly sanitized. Routine cleaning should be done of frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks) with household cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectants that are appropriate for the surface, following label instructions. Chapter members should also practice appropriate personal self-care if they are ill to help lessen the potential of spreading the COVID-19 virus or any other illness, such as the flu. For up-to-date information regarding university operations, classes and FAQs, please refer to this page.

Events – While younger adults appear to be more resilient against the virus, they have the ability to spread it to more high-risk groups (ex. elderly or people with underlining health issues). We encourage chapter executive and advising teams to use good judgment related to hosting or participating in events, meetings and social gatherings scheduled during the rest of the academic year. With EWU moving to online classes, the university is discouraging large group gatherings or hosting of events during the spring quarter. As a result, chapters will currently be able to reserve rooms or table space(s), on EagleSync, if the event is 25 people or less in attendance. Any event request that hosts more than 25 people on campus will be denied.

I would encourage your leadership to develop plans to communicate with your membership, alumni, and parents using virtual means and not host chapter events to ensure everyone’s health and safety (ex. socials, date-dashes, philanthropy events). However, if you do host these off-campus events, you will still need to register the events on EagleSync, as is standard practice. You will also want to make contact with your (Inter)National Headquarters regarding their risk management plans and expectations for your chapter during this time.

Travel – All travel is canceled, if you are using EWU Service and Activities Fees or Club Funds.

Support from SAIL – The SAIL staff will continue to support SFL chapters – providing grade reports, resources and advising. Chapter leadership is encouraged to reach out and let staff know what your needs are to help support you during this time. We are dedicated to helping you think about the future, take care of each other and plan for when we are able to resume normal social and event planning processes.

As always, please feel free to reach out if you have any questions either by contacting me via the office phone or one of our team members through the SFL on-call phone.

Stacey L. Reece, Director 
Student Rights and Responsibilities (SRR)
Student Activities, Involvement and Leadership (SAIL)

Sent to employee and student emails March 13, 2020

Dear Campus Community:

I want to express my support once again for everyone who has been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. So many people in our state, across our country, and around the world have been tragically impacted by this disease. We must continue to support one another during this difficult time.

I’m writing today to provide an overview of the public health situation and the measures EWU has already implemented. I’m also addressing many of your questions concerning spring quarter.

The Current Public Health Situation

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has evolved rapidly over the past week, with government and public health officials instituting restrictions and providing guidance, including the cancellation of large public gatherings and emphasis on social distancing. Today, as part of a sweeping move to address the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the state of Washington, Governor Jay Inslee has restricted the activity of all public and private universities and colleges, including Eastern Washington University, through at least April 24.

The governor’s order allows universities to proceed with robust online academic courses, but most in-person classes are not allowed. Class labs can continue as long as social distancing (keeping people six feet apart) is practiced.

The governor’s order aligns with many of the measures that EWU implemented earlier this week as the university decided to move the start of spring quarter online. Eastern will now go online for the entire spring period, which begins March 30. [As of March 16, spring quarter will begin April 6.]

Over the last several weeks, Eastern has been proactively implementing measures in anticipation of the continued spread of the pandemic into our region. It is only a matter of time before a confirmed case occurs in our own backyard. We have a plan in place.

Steps We’ve Taken

Among the first impactful decisions we’ve made were the modification of winter quarter finals and the migration of spring quarter courses to an online format. We recognize these changes are complex. However, we must continue to respond and adapt to an environment that is changing quickly.

The university’s main operations remain open. Key functions include:

  • Spring Term/Financial AidSpring Term begins Monday, March 30, [As of March 16, spring quarter will begin April 6] to provide students with maximum financial aid benefits.
  • Housing – Students can continue to live on campus and have access to student support services although some adjustments may be made.
  • Dining – Campus dining remains available but with limited hours, menus, and locations.
  • Library – The main EWU library remains open, but with modified hours.
  • The PHASE and Rec Center – These campus areas will be closed for recreational purposes, March 16 – April 27.
  • Child Care Center – The campus Child Care Center remains open at this time.
  • Events – Events will be scheduled on EWU campuses only in accordance with the governor’s directive.

For More Information

We will hold two (virtual) town halls next week. The first (Monday, March 16, 2-3 p.m.) will involve a discussion of EWU’s response to the novel coronavirus situation, and will provide an opportunity for participants to engage with university leadership about what actions the university is taking during the crisis. Learn more and participate in the EWU COVID-19 Town Hall here.

The second virtual town hall (Tuesday, March 17, 1-2 p.m.) will feature faculty experts discussing the epidemiology of the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more and participate in the EWU COVID-19 Panel Discussion here.

We will continue to update the campus community on a regular basis. Please visit this webpage for ongoing updates to our FAQs.

Again, I realize this is a highly disruptive and disturbing situation that is evolving rapidly. We will get through this successfully if we work together, support each other, and remain true to our core values as a university. My heart and thoughts are with all our Eagle family and friends.

We will issue guidance and direction shortly.

Mary Cullinan
President

Sent to EWU supervisor emails March 13, 2020

Good Afternoon,

As you are aware, Governor Inslee today announced the closure of all K-12 school districts across the state beginning no later than Tuesday, March 17, 2020, through April 24, 2020.  The University recognizes that this will have an impact on employees who have school-age children who may require child care.

Employees whose child’s school or place of care has been closed due to the COVID-19 are able to use accrued paid leave including sick leave (e.g. vacation, personal leave day, personal holiday, and earned comp time) for this purpose.

We are also encouraging supervisors to work with employees in these circumstances to coordinate “incidental telework” arrangements which will be temporary in nature as permitted by EWU Policy 401-09—Telework Policy. Prior to approving an incidental telework request, supervisors must:

  • Confirm that the employee has the capability to adequately perform assignments from home,
  • Determine the work is crucial enough to warrant being performed at that time, and
  • Specify to the employee the work to be done and the amount of work time allotted (number of hours and dates).

Our goal is to minimize the financial impact for individuals who will be facing child care challenges and to mitigate disruptions to the University’s operations.  We understand these are challenging times and truly appreciate your continued cooperation as we navigate this new territory.

Deborah Danner, J.D.
Associate Vice President for Human Resources

Sent to EWU faculty emails March 13, 2020

Dear Campus Community,

To help support our students in response to the coronavirus challenge, Academic Affairs will be implementing a new grade option: XC. This grade, while similar to an “incomplete” grade, is intended for student issues related to COVID-19 and its impact on learning and course and test delivery.

For example, for a student who is unable to complete a final or culminating project, faculty have the option to assign the XC grade. This grade indicates that the student is passing a specific course and will receive credit for it, but a final grade has not been determined because the student has some coursework to complete or to redo. Unlike a traditional incomplete (X) grade, the XC grade will meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirement for Federal Financial Aid.

Please note that online grading is currently open and that, beginning on March 24, 2020, the grade change (correction) process will be moving to an electronic format. The electronic grade change process is in its final stages of testing and is a top priority in the Records and Registration Office. Instructions about the new online process for grade changes will come out early next week.

In addition, next week we will be sending out information about grade appeals to remind faculty and students how that process works. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with this policy in advance. Although we are hopeful that the XC grade will help, we do anticipate an increase in grade appeals.

If you have questions about whether to assign the XC grade option, please contact the Provost’s Office.

Sincerely,

David May
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Sent to employee and student emails March 12, 2020

Dear campus community,

As you have probably seen and heard today, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to evolve rapidly, as government agencies, businesses, and organizations move quickly to implement responsive measures. Across our own campus, units have been working diligently to make adjustments that will ensure our students continue to be served, and that we are providing ongoing support to our faculty and staff. Our Housing and Residential Life team is sending communication to students regarding spring quarter this afternoon. Academic Affairs is working with faculty on special grade options for students impacted by the situation during winter quarter. In addition, Financial Aid is reviewing federal guidance for spring quarter and we expect to have specific information available soon.

Our FAQs are updated on a regular basis and posted to the EWU coronavirus website. Please continue to check this page for the most up to date information.

We thank you for your continued patience and support of one another as our Eagle family moves forward together.

Sincerely,

Mary Cullinan
President

Sent to residence hall students and their family contacts – March 12, 2020

Dear Students and Families,

Let me begin by saying THANK YOU for your questions and patience during this past week. The decisions being made by the EWU executive leadership team and institutions across the country in response to COVID-19 are some of the most difficult I have seen in my tenure as a student affairs professional. I am mindful of the well-being and stress levels of everyone at EWU—especially our students and their families—as we work through this together and respond to the full impact of decisions on students, staff, and faculty.

Housing and Dining services are still operational and can be utilized by students living on campus. Students planning to live with us during spring quarter can stay over Spring Break at no additional charge for their room and we encourage students to do so if they feel staying is better for the safety of them and their families.

Many of you have been asking about housing for spring quarter. Housing and Dining services will be operational during spring quarter while you take classes. Please note that there may still be some classes conducted in-person. If you are planning to go home or live off-campus while taking classes during spring quarter, we ask that you do the following:

  • Complete a housing exception form and choose “Spring 2020” as your arrival quarter and “Living with parents” as your reason.
  • Take your belongings home by March 20th and complete a check-out with hall staff, or complete an express check-out form.

We will not be assessing the $150 cancellation/processing fee.

As we continue to navigate the complexities of the impact of the Coronavirus, we appreciate your patience and cooperation. Please visit the [Resident Student FAQ] below for additional information.

Sincerely,

Josh Ashcroft
Interim AVP, Campus Life

Clarification Memo – sent to employee and student emails March 11, 2020

Dear members of the EWU community,

Earlier today, we issued new proactive measures via email to address the coronavirus pandemic. We are writing to clarify that winter quarter finals and classes can still be held tomorrow (Thursday) and Friday. The prior email intended to refer to the moving of courses online for spring quarter.

We know that there are other questions about these changes for spring quarter and additional information will be shared tomorrow concerning financial aid, housing, etc.

Thank you for your ongoing patience and flexibility as we navigate this together.

Sincerely,

David May
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

 

EWU Campus Memo – sent to employee and student emails March 11, 2020

 

Dear members of the EWU campus community,

Earlier today, Governor Inslee announced that events involving more than 250 people in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties will be prohibited. Furthermore, gatherings of less than 250 people in those areas must follow public health guidelines that mitigate the possible spread of the virus. As Governor Inslee noted, “This is an unprecedented public health situation and we can’t wait until we’re in the middle of it to slow it down. We’ve got to get ahead of the curve. One main defense is to reduce the interaction of people in our lives.”

Eastern Washington University is following the Governor’s recommendations to protect the health and safety of all members of our community, visitors to our campus, and the region.

Recognizing the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, EWU is implementing, effective immediately [for spring quarter 2020], the following preventive measures as a proactive response to the pandemic:

      • In-person activities, following CDC-recommended social distancing practices, are to be restricted as follows:
        • All academic operations, to the fullest extent possible, will be moved online through the remainder of the current academic year. This includes classes, academic advising and educational activities.
        • Those classes and labs that cannot be moved online must not exceed 25 people.
        • All other gatherings that cannot be held virtually (i.e., phone or web conferencing) are to be postponed and rescheduled to a future date, or canceled.
        • Discussions will continue regarding major university events scheduled for later this spring, such as Get Lit!, the Undergraduate Research & Creative Works Symposium, and Commencement.
      • All university-sponsored domestic and international travel, including already approved travel, is restricted. Any exceptions require authorization from your Vice President or Provost.

We are also exploring the possibility of delaying the start of spring quarter.

While EWU is taking the aforementioned actions out of an abundance of caution, we are not closing the campus or suspending operations at this time. Residence halls and dining operations will continue to operate. Staff will continue to report to their regular workstations, unless otherwise notified. EWU will continue to work with and follow guidance from local, state and federal health agencies, and will take additional action as needed to ensure the well-being of our campus community.

These decisions were not made lightly. Our first and foremost priority is the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, their families and the larger community. We acknowledge that these decisions will have a real impact upon how the university operates, and that there are no easy or simple solutions. This is our time, as an institution of higher learning and a major community partner in our region, to take the lead in addressing a public health crisis.

Many of us are experiencing stress and uncertainty during this rapidly evolving situation. I encourage you to support one another and be sure to visit this webpage for health, wellness and prevention tips, including resources for coping with emotions that are inherent to situations such as these.

Mary Cullinan
President

Sent to employee and student emails March 10, 2020

Dear Campus Community:

I write to the campus again as we receive more news and information every day about the COVID-19 coronavirus. Please know that we are not aware of any confirmed or potential cases on EWU campuses. If this situation changes, I will quickly notify the campus community. I realize that, in stressful times, it’s vital to provide as much information as possible.I remain confident in our campus planning and preparation; we have extensive emergency procedures. We’re in frequent contact with the Governor’s office and the Spokane Regional Health District and also monitoring updates from the CDC and World Health Organization. We are not closing our campuses or canceling events at this time. As the situation evolves, direction from federal, state, and local agencies may change; we will need to be flexible and work together to modify our approach. For example, we may need to seek out alternatives to teaching and meeting face-to-face for an interim period: this will require us to rely on technology and creativity. Even now, I suggest providing web-based or call-in options when scheduling large group meetings.

I know you’re aware of the changes made to the final exam schedule. I very much appreciate everyone’s flexibility with these precautionary measures. Right now we’re proceeding with spring break and spring term as normal; we’ll continue to monitor the situation closely and take appropriate measures if the situation changes. Please visit this coronavirus webpage for information pertaining to current travel restrictions and prevention tips as you prepare for the weeks ahead.

I know this is a very stressful situation. As the situation continues to evolve, we may need to adapt quickly. However, I am confident that, working together, being creative and flexible, we will handle disruptions successfully.

As always, I thank all of you for your support and commitment during this difficult time.

Mary Cullinan
President

Sent to EWU student emails March 7, 2020

Dear EWU Residents,

During times like these—such as the current COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation, rumors can easily spread across campus, from word of mouth to social media. While we obviously cannot refute and contradict each and every false rumor that circulates, we do want to provide you with information when we can to quell rumors and misinformation that can directly impact your day-to-day lives.

We have heard today that there is concern that EWU is quarantining a student with COVID-19 in one of our residence halls. This is not true. EWU does not, at this time, have any confirmed cases of COVID-19 and to our knowledge we do not have any students that have been tested for the virus.

To be clear: we have no knowledge of any EWU student with a presumptive or confirmed case of COVID-19, no student to our knowledge has been tested for COVID-19, and no student has been quarantined on our campus or in our residence halls.

We recognize that this can be a stressful time for many students and we hope that, by sharing information like this, we can help alleviate some of the anxiety you might be experiencing. Moving forward, if you have questions or concerns regarding rumors that you’ve heard, we encourage you to talk to your CAs, RLCs or other Housing staff so that we can help get you the information you need to help allay concerns.

Robert R. Sauders
Interim Vice President for Student Affairs

Clarification About Finals Week – sent to EWU student emails March 6, 2020

Dear Students,

We have an update to yesterday’s email regarding the academic schedule for winter quarter that we wanted to share with you in response to questions about the last day of in-person class.

To clarify, Friday, March 13 will be the last day for students to potentially attend class in-person. While Monday, March 16 was originally scheduled as the last day of instruction we do not want to hold students on campus for longer than necessary. Faculty have also been notified of this change. Please note that while you do not need to be on campus during finals week instructors may still have coursework and finals that may be conducted online that week.  Noting this change, please check with your instructors to confirm your final exam dates and guidance for submitting your finals and any remaining coursework.

Please remember that if you are feeling ill, you are encouraged to stay home and excused absences do not require a note from a health care provider. Call your healthcare provider before visiting a clinic in person. MultiCare is offering free e-visits to anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms (mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough or shortness of breath). Learn more

To reiterate, the underlying goals of this change to the finals schedule are really twofold: first, we want to minimize face-to-face interactions and group settings as a response to the COVID-19 situation that is continuing to rapidly evolve around us, and second, to allow our students and faculty the opportunity to get off campus and back to their families to reduce the levels of stress and concerns within our whole community.

This website is being updated as quickly as new information comes in.

Thanks and Go Eagles!

Robert R. Sauders
Interim Vice President for Student Affairs


Change to Finals Week & Important Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update – sent to EWU student emails March 5, 2020

Dear Students,

We know that you are concerned about COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) and its impact on the health of our campus community. We want you to know that your safety is our top priority. As the President stated in her email earlier this week, we are actively working with state and local agencies to continually monitor and assess the situation, as well as to implement their recommendations for bolstering our existing safety-preparedness plans.

While there are currently no confirmed cases of coronavirus on the EWU campus, out of an abundance of caution we have asked faculty to forego in-person finals during the regularly scheduled finals week of March 17-20. Instead, we have encouraged faculty to conduct finals online. Faculty may choose to conduct in-person finals during the week of March 9-13 as an alternative.

The university is not closing or suspending operations at this time. Housing and dining operations will continue to remain open, providing services to students who choose to stay on campus through the remainder of winter quarter or during spring break. As a precautionary measure, Union Market will be suspending self-service and salad bar offerings, replacing them with behind-the-counter options. Some menu items may also change during this time.

The Center for Academic Advising & Retention (CAAR) will continue to provide in-person and over-the-phone advising, and will offer Zoom video conferencing as an option beginning on Monday, March 9. While we strongly encourage you to seek out academic advising, in order to provide additional flexibility the requirement for students to meet with an advisor before registration for spring quarter will be waived.

If you are not feeling well, you should not attend class. Call your healthcare provider before seeking treatment for your symptoms. Please also reach out to your instructors to discuss accommodations that can be made to ensure you complete your course requirements. You do not need to provide a doctor’s note or to obtain permission from the Dean of Students to receive an excused absence, but you will still need to complete course requirements in order to receive a grade.

We will continue to evaluate the situation moving into spring quarter and beyond. In the meantime, we encourage you to visit this webpage for FAQs, updates and additional information, as well as to register your mobile phones and personal emails to receive EWU Alerts. EWU will provide ongoing communication via email as the situation evolves.

We hope that this shift in the finals week schedule will help keep students healthy and safe. We wish you the best of luck with your finals and look forward to seeing you back on campus for the beginning of the spring quarter.

Sincerely,

Robert R. Sauders
Interim Vice President for Student Affairs

Clarification About Finals Week – sent to EWU faculty emails March 6, 2020

Colleagues,

Let me first say thanks to all of you for how you are responding to the issues that are confronting our community at the moment. Students are looking to all of you for leadership and guidance and you are all stepping up to those challenges in very important and much appreciated ways.

A few people have asked about having a face-to-face final on Monday, March 16 and about the last day of instruction and I want to address those questions for everyone.

To reiterate, the underlying goals of this change to the finals schedule are really twofold: first, we want to minimize face-to-face interactions and group settings as a response to the COVID-19 situation that is continuing to rapidly evolve around us, and second, to allow our students and faculty the opportunity to get off campus and back to their families to reduce the levels of stress and concerns within our whole community.

So, the answers to the specific questions that have come in are as follows:

    • Friday, March 13 will be the last day of instruction and the last day of face-to-face class requirements for our students.
    • Monday, March 16 would normally be an instruction day rather than an exam day. Given the changes to the schedule, if faculty want to have an online exam that day, that would be fine.

Please remember also that students who are ill are being strongly encouraged to stay home and that excused absences do not require a note from a health care provider. I know how important class attendance is in the educational environment but these exceptional circumstances require us to increase our flexibility and I appreciate your attention to and help on these issues.

As issues or concerns or just questions arise, this website is being updated as quickly as new information comes in. Questions that are specific to academics can still be directed to me through Lynn Harty (lharty@ewu.edu) but the best place to find answers to more general questions will be the website.

Thanks and have a great day.

David A. May
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs


Change to Finals Week & Important Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update – sent to EWU employee emails March 5, 2020

Dear EWU Faculty and Staff,

I wanted to inform you that earlier this afternoon, faculty and staff within Academic Affairs were provided with an important update regarding changes made to finals week, as well as additional updates related to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) and its impact on the health of our campus community. Students will also soon receive an update from Rob Sauders, interim vice president for Student Affairs, sharing similar information.

The message below has been updated to reflect the corrected quarter in the following statement: “In order to provide additional flexibility, the requirement for students to meet with an advisor before registration for spring quarter will also be waived.”

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me, or your supervisor, with any questions or concerns.

Message to faculty and Academic Affairs staff:

We know that you are concerned about COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) and its impact on the health of our campus community. Since its emergence, the situation surrounding coronavirus continues to evolve quickly. Ensuring the safety of our students, faculty and staff is our top priority. As the president stated in her email earlier this week, we are actively working with state and local agencies to continually monitor and assess the situation, as well as to implement recommendations to bolster our existing safety preparedness plans.

There are currently no confirmed cases of coronavirus on the Eastern Washington University campus. However, out of an abundance of caution, we are implementing several proactive measures to reduce and mitigate risk for the remainder of winter quarter, and will continue to evaluate the situation moving into spring quarter and beyond. The university is not closing or suspending operations at this time.

Winter Quarter Finals
Classes will continue to meet through Monday, March 16; however, the format of in-person finals for quarter-based programs during winter quarter must be modified to one of the following:

    • Preferred option: conducted online during the regularly scheduled finals period (March 17-20); or
    • If an online option is not feasible: conduct the in-person final during the week of March 9-13.

Please choose the option that will best suit your syllabus and curriculum, while taking into consideration the impact it may have on your students and their workload, travel plans and ability to prepare for the final. Academic Affairs has resources available to help faculty move curriculum and testing online through our Online Learning team. Faculty are encouraged to take their devices home so they can continue to work remotely if needed. Please check with your department chair for more specific direction.

University Housing & Dining Operations
At this time, EWU housing and dining facilities will continue to remain open, providing services to students who choose to stay on campus through the remainder of winter quarter or during spring break.

Advising for Spring Quarter
The Center for Academic Advising & Retention (CAAR) will continue to provide in-person and over-the-phone advising, and will offer Zoom video conferencing as an option beginning on Monday, March 9. In order to provide additional flexibility, the requirement for students to meet with an advisor before registration for spring quarter will also be waived.

Class Attendance and Grading
We are asking all faculty to be flexible with their attendance policies to accommodate students during this time. Students have been encouraged to stay at home if they are sick, and do not need to provide a doctor’s note or permission from the dean of students to receive an excused absence. Students will still need to complete course requirements in order to receive a grade.

EWU will provide ongoing communication via email as the situation evolves. The campus community is strongly encouraged to visit this website for FAQs, updates and additional information, as well as to register their mobile phones and personal emails to receive EWU Alerts.

I recognize that these are challenging and worrying times for all of us, and also for our students and their families. This shift in the finals week schedule will help our students and their families feel safer. It will also allow us, as an institution, to do some deep cleaning — and some deep planning — before we begin the spring quarter. As we move forward together, I sincerely appreciate all of your efforts in continuing to serve our students and our institution. If there is anything that I can do in the coming weeks, please contact me directly.

David A. May
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Sent to EWU employee emails – March 3, 2020

Dear EWU faculty and staff:

I’m writing to update you on steps Eastern is taking to monitor the worldwide coronavirus disease 2019 [COVID-19] outbreak and prepare for the safety and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff.

I realize that news of the ongoing spread of this disease is very alarming. Please know that we’re doing everything possible to protect our community. To keep faculty and staff updated on COVID-19, we’ve launched this informational webpage.

This webpage will be regularly updated. I encourage you to check it for news and information.

We’re in direct contact with state and local health departments and have been closely following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization. As a result of the increasingly rapid spread of the virus worldwide, we’re taking the following precautionary measures:

  • We’re arranging for the immediate return of all EWU students currently studying abroad. We will be working with them upon their arrival to arrange for completion of their studies in the United States.
  • We are, until further notice, cancelling any University-sponsored travel for faculty and staff to China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, and Japan, where the CDC has issued Level 2 or higher Travel Health Notices. Should the CDC issue elevated travel health notices to other countries, we may cancel scheduled travel to those locations as well. If this restriction impacts you, please contact your Dean or immediate supervisor.
  • We’re strongly discouraging faculty and staff from traveling abroad for work to any other country. Should you decide to travel to an area outside of the United States and find yourself in quarantine, the university will not be able to intervene and bring you home until that quarantine has been lifted and you have been cleared to travel.
  • Any faculty planning to travel abroad for work in the near future, please contact your Dean to discuss options—including potential alternatives to travel—and ways to stay safe while abroad. Any staff members who are planning international travel, please contact your immediate supervisor.
  • We strongly advise that anyone planning personal travel overseas in coming weeks consult current CDC travel notices before departing. People who are over 60 years old or have chronic medical conditions are most at risk. Because the situation is changing daily, the CDC may add more countries to the list with Travel Health Notices.
  • If you are planning to travel abroad on personal trips, you are strongly advised to have contingency plans in case of major disruptions, such as being unable to return to the United States due to in-country quarantines.
  • While we’re preparing for any scenario, we have no plans to cancel classes at this time and will not do so unless directed by our local health department. We are, however, developing a plan to permit students to complete their winter quarter courses online should the need arise.

I strongly encourage you to subscribe to EWU’s emergency alert system, EWU Alerts, which sends emergency updates directly to you via text messaging and e-mail. Subscribe to EWU Alerts at ewu.edu/alerts.

EWU will continue to monitor this developing situation and make decisions based on facts and guidance from the health community. I will provide regular updates as the situation unfolds, always prioritizing the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff.

Finally, I ask that we continue to support each other as we navigate this difficult time. As with any other challenge, we will be more successful as we work together. Thank you, as always, for all you do for our university.

Mary Cullinan
President

Sent to EWU student emails – March 2, 2020

Sent to EWU parents and families who have subscribed to NSTFP e-blasts – March 4, 2020

Dear EWU Students,

The situation concerning the worldwide coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is rapidly evolving. Governor Inslee has declared a state of emergency for our state as a number of cases have been identified.

Many Eastern students, as well as faculty and staff, are feeling fearful and uncertain. Please know that our university is working collaboratively and aggressively to safeguard the campus. As always, my primary focus is the safety and wellbeing of our campus community.

We’re closely monitoring the situation. We have an emergency plan and are following established emergency management procedures. At this time, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on our EWU campuses or with any of our students, faculty or staff.

To best protect ourselves and our campus community, I encourage you to follow the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control (CDC):

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, such as cellphones, tablets and laptops, using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; if soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Stay home if you are sick; you will not need to provide a doctor’s note or permission from the Dean of Students to receive an excused absence.

Depending on the severity of any outbreak in our region, we may need to make changes to our normal operations, such as cancelling or rescheduling events, providing greater flexibility for students to complete coursework, or using technological solutions, such as Zoom meetings, to reduce the need for large groups to gather.

We have launched this website with information, resources, and FAQs about COVID-19. This site will help you and your families better understand the steps EWU is taking for your wellbeing and the resources available to assist you if and when you are not feeling well. I encourage you to share this site with your families.

I also strongly encourage you to subscribe to EWU’s emergency alert system, EWU Alerts, which sends emergency updates directly to you via text messaging and e-mail.  Subscribe to EWU Alerts.

Please know that, as we make these decisions, we do so with your safety as our top priority. As with any other challenge, we will be more successful as we work together.  I will make sure you are informed as we go forward.

Mary Cullinan
President