Coronavirus Campus Communication 3/19/2020 – Official Message from the Office of the President
Dear Students, Colleagues, and Friends,
I realize these are challenging and uncertain days for us all. I want to thank and recognize the many individuals from our faculty, staff, senior leadership, and student employees who are all working to ensure our organizational and individual health. I am beyond grateful for this level of commitment to the College.
Ramapo College has one confirmed case of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and we continue to take necessary actions to keep our community healthy and safe. After a week of rapid changes and difficult decision-making, I write today to share more decisions that are disappointing to us all but necessary in light of this pandemic.
Student Learning & Extension of Remote Delivery of Instruction
Please note: The remote delivery of instruction will extend through to the end of the spring semester or until Governor Murphy lifts Executive Order 104, whichever occurs later. A follow up message from Provost Gaulden to faculty regarding this decision to extend is forthcoming.
Residence Life Closure
Our Residence Halls remain closed.
The College will continue to make food, housing, wi-fi, and mail services available to those students who have already received a housing waiver to remain in residence.
For all of our residents who have returned home but still have belongings on campus, as soon as we receive guidance on the relaxation of social distancing and other protocols, Residence Life will send further information to those of you who must return to retrieve your belongings and formally check out of on-campus housing.
Issuance of Refunds
Prorated refunds for room and board are being calculated. Details will be forthcoming from the Office of Student Accounts.
Postponement of Arching & Commencement Celebrations
Our 2020 Arching and Commencement Ceremonies, both Undergraduate and Graduate Programs, are postponed. Rest assured, we will honor and celebrate our graduates, even if the timing and format is currently beyond our control.
Most on-campus student employment will not continue during remote instruction. Student employees will receive communication from the Student Assistant Program as well as their supervisors. Unit heads will receive further information from their division Vice President on this process. Students on Federal Work Study should expect a specific message from Financial Aid in the future.
Continuity of College Operations
Effective March 23, 2020, we are robustly restricting operations at and access to our physical campus. All faculty and staff whose functions enable them to work remotely are expected to do so. What does this now mean?
- Most units will not be physically staffed on campus.
- However, there will be situations when it is determined that an employee(s) needs to be on-site to maintain or complete critical unit or College operations. Unit Managers will develop a schedule, to the extent possible, and share it with their employees.
With the exception of access by essential personnel, the following facilities on campus will be closed:
- Academic Complex
- Student Center including Alumni Lounges
- Bill Bradley Sports and Recreation Center
- Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts
- Birch Mansion
- McBride House
- Padovano Commons
- Residences: Bischoff Hall, the vast majority of the College Park Apartments and the Village, Laurel Hall, Mackin Hall, Overlook, and Pine Hall
- Sculpture Studio
- Sharp Sustainability Center
- Trustees Pavilion
Potter Library: Site for Support
Again, all faculty and staff whose functions enable them to work remotely are expected to do so. To accommodate faculty and matriculated students who are unable to deliver or complete coursework and professional responsibilities remotely, a portion of the George T. Potter Library will be open for a limited number of hours per day to assist with meeting their technology or wi-fi needs. Social distancing guidelines in these locations will be advanced. Let me be clear, this does not mean that traditional in-person Library Services will be provided at the Library. These services are available and already being delivered remotely.
A College-wide Effort
Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to take advantage of the range of resources to support community health, student learning, the remote delivery of instruction, and the continuity of College operations.
This situation is changing so quickly and we are doing all we can in accord with federal, state, and local guidance as well as our own pandemic protocols to address this unpredictable environment. I continue to ask for everyone’s support and partnership in honoring the prevention of community spread and the need for social distancing. It remains so important during this pandemic.
We will continue to provide communications to the College and, again, all COVID-19 related information may be found at www.ramapo.edu/health.
Peter P. Mercer