COVID-19

Official Communications

Last updated: Apr 3, 2020, 11:09:04 AM

Below are the official communications from the administration regarding COVID-19.

From Executive Vice President Bill Brauer emailed to students and parents.

Dear CNU Captains:

Christopher Newport will be able to provide rebates to eligible students who have a spring 2020 housing contract or meal plan. This includes students who were unable to remove all of their belongings from the residence halls and must return at a later time to do so. The information below will help you understand how the rebates were calculated and how they will be processed.

Housing Rebate

Students will receive a rebate based on their spring semester housing contract as follows:

  • 12-month contract: $1,200
  • 10-month contract: $1,000
  • 9-month contract: $900

Rebate amounts are based on each type of housing contract and adjusted for the many fixed and direct costs associated with operating university housing. These costs include debt payments and personnel costs.

Meal Plan Rebate

Students will receive a rebate based on their spring semester meal plan, to include dining dollars, as follows:

  • 5-meal plan: $150
  • 10-meal plan: $350
  • 14-meal plan: $350
  • 19-meal plan: $350

Rebate amounts for meal plans reflect adjustments for the many university costs incurred including debt payments, personnel and food costs. Dining dollars are included in the rebate amount and are not a separate rebate.

Captains Cash is not considered part of the rebate. If you are a continuing student, then the cash balance will remain on your card and available in upcoming semesters. If you are graduating, then you may request a refund by submitting the “Captains Cash Refund Request”.

Parking Pass Rebate

If you purchased a parking pass after December 15, 2019, you may request a refund from Parking and Transportation Services at parking@cnu.edu.

Timing of Rebates

Rebates will be applied to your student account on or before Friday, April 10. If you have a balance due to the university, the rebate will be used toward paying that balance. Once your outstanding balance is satisfied, any overage (rebate in excess of the amount you previously owed) will be refunded to you on or before April 30. Please see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for more information about this process and how you may receive your refund.

Questions about Rebates

If you have additional questions about your student account after reviewing the FAQs, please email the Student Accounts Office at studentaccts@cnu.edu. Questions will be directed to the appropriate staff for response.

While we understand that no approach is perfect for every person, we hope the rebates and this process will be helpful to students and families. We are looking forward to seeing you back on campus as soon as it is safe to do so. In the meantime, please exercise great care for your own health and the health of your loved ones by following the guidelines of the Governor and public health officials.

All the best to each of you and stay safe,

Bill Brauer (Class of 1977)
Go Captains!

From Chief of Staff Cindi Perry emailed to faculty and staff

Dear Colleagues:

I write to share some updates and recent decisions related to our ongoing response to COVID-19 and Governor Northam’s Stay at Home order issued earlier this week.

  • Student move-out from residence halls is suspended. More than 2,300 students have moved out already.
  • Summer classes beginning in the month of June are moving online and will be taught remotely.
  • Commencement Weekend has been moved to October 9-11, 2020, with Commencement Exercises on Sunday, October 11. A full schedule of Commencement activities will be posted on our website in the next few days.
  • Telework is extended until further notice. No additional paperwork is required from employees for the telework extension.
  • The campus will remain closed to the public until further notice. Entry to all buildings will remain card access only.
  • All events and activities on campus are canceled until further notice.
  • The April Board of Visitors meeting is canceled. A 2-day Board meeting is currently scheduled in June.

The Stay at Home order will continue until June 10, unless amended or rescinded by the Governor. As you adjust to these conditions with your families, be aware that employees are now eligible for up to 160 hours of Public Health Emergency Leave. Please contact your supervisor or the Office of Human Resources with questions.

A few other notes:

  • Fall Registration begins today.
  • Housing Lottery for rising sophomores will be held this Saturday, April 4 beginning at 9:00 a.m.
  • Rebates will be provided to students with a university housing contract or meal plan in Spring 2020.

Thank you for your commitment and tremendous efforts to tackle the many challenges of teaching and working remotely. While most of our students aren’t here, you should know that they miss you and value what you do.

This week on Facebook, we asked current students to send messages to the students admitted to the Class of 2024. The response has been huge and heartwarming. Here is one example:

“CNU is home away from home! Warm greetings, friendly smiles, and an overwhelming sense of community are a few things that make this campus so special. I have made some of my greatest memories here with some of my best friends! So much to be excited about Class of 2024!”

From President Trible emailed to students, parents, faculty, and staff.

Please see the email that I just sent to our December and August graduates and candidates for graduation

It saddens me deeply that the current reality of our world forces us to once again postpone Commencement. Given the recent stay-at-home Executive Order from the Governor of Virginia, Commencement Weekend has been rescheduled. We will celebrate all you have accomplished during the weekend of October 9–11, 2020 with Commencement Exercises on Sunday, October 11.

We are adjusting registration deadlines for these activities. Registration will now open on September 1, 2020 and not tomorrow.

We will capture all of the events and excitement of our traditional May ceremony. We will honor all of our graduates and all those who have earned PLP, Department and Latin Honors distinctions. We will see you at Candlelight and at Baccalaureate. A full schedule of Commencement activities will be posted on our website in the next few days.

We will cheer as you march onto the Great Lawn. I will personally congratulate each of you and so will Rosemary. For now, I wish you well with your classes. Let us make sure to stay in touch as best we can and know that we are here for you during this challenging time.

Best wishes,
Paul Trible

From Dean Kevin Hughes emailed to students and parents.

I am writing today regarding the housing move-out process.

Given Gov. Northam’s “stay-at-home” directive issued today, we have suspended the move-out process effective immediately. At this time, students may not return to campus to retrieve their belongings. The “stay-at-home” directive is in place through June 10. We will reassess the move-out process as that date approaches.

To date, over 2275 residential students have returned to campus, removed all of their belongings, and properly checked out of their rooms. To those of you who participated in that process, thank you for your patience and willingness to make the process go smoothly and safely.

Students should remain vigilant in checking your campus email regarding important updates during this period. In the meantime, focus on finishing this semester strong, access the resources necessary to make that happen, and let us know how we can best assist you.

Regards,

Kevin

p.s. Rising sophomores are reminded that the housing selection process will restart on Saturday, April 4. Please see the housing selection website (here) for more information; you must be logged in to see it.

From Chief of Staff Cindi Perry emailed to students, parents, faculty, and staff.

Dear Christopher Newport Community,

The University received confirmation today that a staff member has tested positive for COVID–19. This is the first confirmed case of COVID–19 involving a member of our community.

In accordance with privacy laws and our own policy, we cannot release detailed information about this case, except that the individual is a staff member who works in Christopher Newport Hall and was last on campus on March 20. There is no indication this staff member interacted with anyone other than individuals in Christopher Newport Hall.

The Virginia Department of Health will contact anyone who may have been in close contact with this individual. If you receive a call from VDH, please follow their instructions and self-quarantine. If you do not receive a call, you do not need to take specific action other than to continue good preventative hygiene measures and physical social distancing. Please monitor your own health and if you develop symptoms, stay home and call your health care provider.

If you have questions specifically related to COVID–19 in the Hampton Roads area, VDH has a call center available at 857–594–7069.

They also have a wealth of information on their website http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/

We are in contact with VDH and are closely following their recommendations to include comprehensive cleaning of the building. It is important to remember that the vast majority of affected individuals develop only mild to moderate symptoms. Please continue to take care of yourself and your loved ones.

From Chief of Staff Cindi Perry emailed to faculty and staff

Dear Colleagues:

I write to share with you updates on the COVID–19 threat that may affect your work. Let me preface those with gratitude for all you have accomplished over the last several days and weeks.

As of now, there are no confirmed cases of COVID–19 on campus.

This week's developments:

  • Maymester is moving online and will be taught remotely.
  • All summer Study Abroad trips including the July programs are canceled.
  • Trible Library will close at noon tomorrow, Wednesday, March 25 for the safety of patrons and personnel. The library's enormous resources and helpful staff remain available here.
  • The grade deadline at the end of the semester has been pushed back two days, from 10 AM, Tuesday, May 5, to 10 AM, Thursday, May 7.
  • Tutors and writing associates are working with students remotely and the Captains Care referral system continues to be up and running.
  • Students have been notified that the housing selection process will be resumed when possible and that the University will offer a fair resolution on housing and dining fees as soon as possible.

I am pleased to report that through your efforts, online teaching has been successfully launched with relatively few glitches. Also, more than 1,300 students have moved out of the residence halls and many more will move out over the next several days.

Further difficult decisions and difficult days are ahead. We will continue to rely on the guidance of Gov. Northam and state and federal health agencies. Thank you for your patience and flexibility. Please take care of yourself and those around you.

As hard as this is on all of us, you should know our Captains are making an awesome impact on the community and the world. On social media, we asked alumni and friends to tell us about Captains who are helpers right now, helpers like this '05 alum with a BS in biology:

"I'm currently an infectious disease lab scientist working at the Minnesota Department of Health. My role here is to test for a variety of viruses including COVID–19. The ability to get results out quickly helps providers make crucial patient care decisions."

From President Paul Trible emailed to students, parents, faculty, and staff.

Tomorrow begins a new experience for us with the transition to online instruction. Our faculty, deans and provost have been preparing over the last week to successfully transition to online instruction. There may be glitches in the first few days but I know that we will work through them together.

As our faculty and staff shift to remote work to the extent possible, I thank you for your flexibility, determination and commitment in a rapidly-changing environment. I am grateful for your tireless efforts to transition to online instruction, to keep our operations running smoothly and to ensure that our students are supported.

I also want to make a special request of our students. Please make wise choices over the next several weeks. Focus on academics and practice social distancing. Even if you think you are not at risk and show no symptoms, you can still transmit the virus to someone else who is at risk. We are all in this together.

I am heartened and inspired by the work of so many people pulling together for the greater good, even while facing hardships and worries at home. Although we will be physically separated for the remainder of the semester, I am confident that our values, our culture and our spirit transcend boundaries and endure over any distance.

Let us resolve to take on this challenge with the kindness, patience, and yearning for excellence that are the hallmarks of our Christopher Newport community.

From Chief of Staff Cindi Perry emailed to faculty and staff

Dear Colleagues:

I write to share with you today’s updates on the COVID–19 threat that may affect your work.

As of now, there are no confirmed cases of COVID–19 on campus.

Today’s developments and key recent decisions:

  • Admitted Freshman Day scheduled for April 18 has been canceled. Since admitted students can’t come to us, we’re bringing the campus to them by creating robust virtual experiences on our Admission webpages and through social media.
  • Residential students are returning to campus to retrieve their belongings beginning today through Sunday, April 5. The process is well underway and running smoothly. About 250 students are expected today. About 225 have indicated they will return this weekend – 150 tomorrow and 75 on Sunday.
  • Supervisors should expect an email Monday morning from Ashleigh Andrews, Director of Human Resources, with instructions on how to complete timesheets and report leave for full-time and hourly staff. Her email will also provide information about student employees.
  • The Captains Locker will be offering free shipping return labels for rental textbooks and also will be extending the non-return period without penalty to assist with increased returns of rental textbooks by mail. More detailed emails will go out to students via the Captains Locker and related information will also be posted on the Captains Locker website.

Reminders of key resources and information:

  • Please refer to CNUalert.info and the FAQs, Official Communications and other information here: http://cnu.edu/coronavirus/ if you have questions about policies and announcements.
  • Information Technology Services has posted helpful responses to frequently asked questions about VPN access and telework here.
  • All faculty/staff mail from outside of campus will be collected and held in the mailroom. Please call 757-594-7935 to pick up and/or drop off mail, which will occur in 30 Commonwealth Hall. Please share inter-office mail electronically as much as possible.

Recent major announcements by President Trible:

  • Online instruction begins Monday and will extend through the remainder of the semester.
  • Commencement has been postponed until Sunday, June 21 if permitted by state and federal authorities.
  • Telework will be the primary means of conducting campus operations through at least April 10.
  • The University remains closed to the general public.

As you work to prepare for Monday and the other challenging days ahead, please know that while many of our students are hurting they are also grateful for your efforts. As we can, I’ll share comments such as this one:

“The professors are stepping up in remarkable ways in unprecedented amounts of time to make sure we are able to graduate on time and be prepared to move on. We can’t expect them to work miracles overnight. We have to be patient and work together as a team.”

From Dean Kevin Hughes emailed to students and parents.

Greetings everyone,

I know there is a lot going on right now and I want to address a variety of critical topics. Please read all of this as there is a great deal of specific and important information that you need to know.

Residence Halls and move out

I know some of you are eager while others are anxious about the opportunity to move your belongings out of the residence halls. We have established a time frame for you to return to campus and remove your belongings, however you are not required to do so. Please know that we have spoken with health professionals who indicated, based on current guidelines and the fact that we have no cases on campus, it is permissible for you to come back to remove your possessions subject to the restrictions listed below. We will continue to keep the residential environment well sanitized. We ask you to contribute to this effort by following the CDC guidelines, bringing your own sanitizing supplies, and taking steps to protect yourself, your friends, classmates, and family members.

All residential students should complete the following form found here.

If you are not experiencing any symptoms and have not been told to quarantine by medical or health department officials, you may return to campus to remove your belongings sometime between Friday, March 20 and Sunday, April 5. Please note that further restrictions or government travel bans may change these dates. After April 5, you will not be able to access your room for any reason until the university re-opens its residence halls. The uncertainty of the spread of the COVID–19 virus means we cannot predict when the residence halls will reopen.

It is important that we all do everything possible to keep ourselves and each other safe and healthy while still allowing you to retrieve your belongings. If you intend to retrieve your belongings, please cooperate with the following restrictions:

  • This is not a social opportunity. You should maintain social distancing, avoid physical contact and congregating, and remove your belongings as quickly as possible.
  • This will be an express check-out. If you have a hard key to your room, you will need to return it when you complete the process. The express check-out process is available 8 am–8pm on weekends, 11 a.m.–8 p.m. on weekdays. These are the only hours available for move-out.
  • This is a one-time opportunity to remove your belongings. This means you may not return to grab a few things and leave the rest of your items for a later date. If you access your room during this period, you must remove all of your belongings.
  • You must complete removal of your belongings in a single day.
  • You will not be able to move back into your room to spend the night in preparation for moving out.
  • You must coordinate with your roommates/suitemates so that you’re not arriving in the room/suite at the same time. This will allow social distancing in a confined space.
  • There is a limit of 3 people per room during this move-out phase. We realize you may need help carrying large items and the process goes faster with more hands, but only 3 people may be in the room at any one time.
  • You must be present to check out of your room; another person may not do it for you, even if it is a relative/parent.
  • Please be sure to sanitize your room with wipes/Lysol as you are removing items. This will help your roommates/suitemates. You may also consider bringing gloves, your own dolly, etc… if it will make you feel more comfortable.

Housing Selection Process

While some of you have completed the housing selection process for the 2020–21 year, some of you have not yet begun that process because we needed to pause during this period. As we finalize support mechanisms for you, we will share additional information including a new housing selection date. Please continue to monitor your email.

Mailroom Questions

I know folks have some mail related questions. Let me try to address them here, but as always if you have a specific question, Ms. Shauron is available to you at shauron.russell@cnu.edu.

  • Revised hours for the mailroom during the period March 20-April 5 will be 10 a.m.–6 p.m. daily, including weekends.
  • If you intend to check out of your residence hall and need to retrieve mail, please plan your day accordingly. To pick up mail during this period, you will need to call ahead at 757–594–7853.
  • We cannot forward packages without a pre-paid label. Contact Ms. Shauron directly if you need information on how to make a pre-paid label and get it to her.
  • To arrange forwarding of letter mail, please complete the following form and return it to Ms. Shauron.
  • For all other shipments, including prescription medication and regular deliveries, please contact the source to provide your updated, non-CNU delivery address.
  • If you are intending to check out during this period and you are a graduating senior or are studying abroad or moving off campus in Fall 2020, be sure to return your mailroom key. All other students returning to the university for Fall 2020 do not need to return their key at this time.

Please continue to monitor your email. We will update you as information on other topics becomes available.

I know everything is challenging right now. It is natural to feel frustration and angst, a sadness over losing experiences that you had planned, and disappointment over not being able to simply share time together. I can assure you that many of us still on campus can relate to all of those feelings. I do look to the future though, when you return to our grounds with an even greater appreciation for each other, your university, and what it means to be a Captain. We’ll get through this together.

Be safe, be smart, and stay in touch.

From Chief of Staff Cindi Perry emailed to faculty and staff

Dear Colleagues:

As we work together to answer the multitude of challenges presented by our response to the COVID–19 (coronavirus) threat, we want to outline developments that may affect your work.

As of now, there are no confirmed cases of COVID–19 on campus.

Here are today’s developments, followed by reminders of key recent decisions:

  • The University has adopted a telework policy. You may read it here. Please refer questions to your supervisor. Telework will be the primary means of conducting campus operations through at least April 10.
  • Information Technology Services has posted helpful responses to frequently asked questions about VPN access and telework here.
  • For individuals and offices recording voicemail messages, a customizable message is below.
  • All faculty/staff mail from outside of campus will be collected and held in the mailroom. Please call 757–594–7935 to pick up and/or drop off mail, which will occur in 30 Commonwealth Hall. Please share inter-office mail electronically as much as possible.
  • The David Student Union is the only open campus building and the hours and services are limited. Retail dining and the Captains Locker are closed.

The University’s senior leadership and emergency managers have been meeting at least daily and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Offices and administrators are communicating through email to you with specific details and plans to address a quickly evolving crisis. For example, later today the faculty can expect an email from Provost Doughty with further instructions. Also today, Vice President Hughes will outline move-out plans in a message to students.

If you have questions about policies, announcements, and the mechanics of working under these trying conditions, please refer to CNUalert.info and the FAQs, Official Communications and other information here: http://cnu.edu/coronavirus/

In case you have missed them, these are recent, major announcements by President Trible:

  • Online instruction begins Monday and will extend through the remainder of the semester.
  • Commencement has been postponed until Sunday, June 21 if permitted by state and federal authorities.
  • Students may return to campus to recover their possessions between Friday, March 20 and Sunday, April 5.
  • The University remains closed to the general public.

As you deal with the stresses of your daily lives and challenging work conditions, it is heartening to know that your efforts are deeply appreciated by many of our students. We see many comments on our social media pages such as this one from a senior:

CNU~thank you, thank you for all the memories, people, and growth that I have gained. You have treated me well and helped me change in ways that I couldn’t have imagined. You’ve helped me better myself, learn more about myself, and grow mentally and intellectually throughout the last 4 years. Thank you for everything and everyone you’ve given me I am proud to call myself a Captain for life.

Voicemail message: Thank you for calling the (office name) at Christopher Newport University. Regrettably, our on-campus office is temporarily closed due to the coronavirus. We very much want to talk with you. We are monitoring this line and will return your call and answer your questions as quickly as possible. Please leave a message and we look forward to speaking with you.

From President Paul Trible emailed to students, faculty, and staff.

I walked across our magnificent campus today and everything is so beautiful and so sadly quiet. The green, green grass so precisely cut, the vibrant yellow, red and pink colors of our spring flowers, the majesty of our columns and cupolas and I was absolutely alone.

Not since September 11, 2001, have I personally experienced so much sorrow and loss. Professor Tom Berry recently shared these thoughts. “I recall being here at CNU on September 11th, when the terrorists attacked the USA. CNU was in a state of shock, fear and terrible sadness. But the CNU family pulled together that day, and since 2001 we have grown into an amazing University.” Dr. Berry is right. We are facing an historic crisis and we will “pull together” once again.

We all will miss the good and enriching times spent together on campus this spring. I am especially sad for our seniors because you have lost a magical time and you have earned the right to celebrate your hard work and all that you have achieved. Indeed, all of our students have lost opportunities for athletic competition, music and theater performances, Greek life, Paideia 2020, foreign study and the amazing array of activities that make life on our campus so meaningful and memorable.

Today I received this message from Dr. Tatiana Rizova, President of the Faculty Senate, “Our public health challenge demonstrates how much we are in need of kindness and civility in today’s world and how much we need true Captains like our students.” Indeed, this is a time that demands our very best and care and concern for others.

Since this message is going to the entire Christopher Newport family – students, parents, faculty, staff and alumni – I want to share a ray of sunshine in these dark and foreboding times. CNU Day was a great success and a powerful statement of how much you love and care for this precious place and your commitment and confidence in the future.

The past several weeks have challenged all of us. My colleagues and I have worked hard to make sense of the unknown and preserve as much of our life together as we could. I thank you for your thoughts and concerns and for your expressions of encouragement and support.

Unfortunately, the uncertainty about the future now forces us to make more painful decisions.

Commencement must be postponed to a later date. We will endeavor to host a full complement of events to honor our graduating seniors on the weekend of June 19. The Commencement Ceremony will take place on the Great Lawn at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, June 21, Father’s Day, if permitted by state and federal authorities.

Classes will remain online for the rest of this spring semester. I regret this decision because the genius of Christopher Newport is the on-campus engagement of faculty and students and I know this decision will further challenge all of our faculty, staff and students.

The decision to remain online means that our students should return to campus to recover their possessions. We ask that you do so between Friday, March 20 and Sunday, April 5. If you cannot return during that time, please contact the office of Residence Life.

Questions have been asked about refunds or credits for housing and dining. We will endeavor to answer those questions as soon as possible.

I have asked the Provost and faculty to consider ways to depart from our normal grading system this semester. Every student will be allowed two additional courses for which they may earn a Pass/Fail grade this semester. These are not limited to elective courses. The deadline to submit electronic forms for Pass/Fail and Withdrawal is extended to April 10 at 5:00 p.m.

We encourage all faculty and staff to work remotely and only those individuals who have been asked to report to work in person should do so. Please know that we will continue to pay all of our full-time and part-time employees.

Normally these academic and operational changes would be decided after weeks or months of consultation and discussion. However, this public health crisis is changing so rapidly that it demands quick, decisive action to protect the health and safety of our community. I know these changes are disruptive and difficult and we do not yet have answers to all of your questions. My promise to you is that we will work through these challenges and we will do it together.

From University Housing emailed to students.

Students,

As you are aware, rising 2nd year housing selection was scheduled to take place today Wednesday, March 18, 2020. We have heard from a number of you in that group regarding concerns about access, and navigating the process for the first time. Given the circumstances we are facing, we have decided to postpone rising 2nd year selection until a later date. By doing so, we will be able to more effectively assist you throughout the process. In the meantime, we will publish some helpful information, including a step-by-step tutorial. Please keep an eye on your email for further updates, including the new date for housing selection.

From President Paul Trible emailed to students, faculty, and staff.

I write today to provide updates on Christopher Newport’s ongoing response to COVID–19.

Closing to the Public Extended: Christopher Newport University will remain closed to the public through April 10.

Building Access: Effective with building closures tonight, we will move to card access only to buildings on campus. Beginning tomorrow, you will need to use your CNU ID card to enter the building in which you work. Exception: McMurran Hall will remain unlocked from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm today and tomorrow to allow faculty to attend online training sessions. It will then convert to card access only.

Trible Library: The Trible Library will be card access only for faculty, staff and students. Students will have card access only from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday.

David Student Union: Doors will remain unlocked from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm Monday through Friday and from 10:00 am to 6:30 pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Dining Halls: Regattas will be open for brunch (10:30 am to 2:00 pm) and for dinner (4:30 pm to 6:30 pm) every day. The Commons and all retail dining operations are closed.

Protecting High-Risk Individuals: Governor Northam has advised that those who are aged 65 or older or with chronic or underlying medical conditions should self-quarantine.

Recruitment and On-Campus Interviews: All on-campus interviews for candidates are suspended through April 10.

The campus is stunningly beautiful and all too quiet. I appreciate everyone’s efforts in these sad and challenging times.

From President Paul Trible emailed to students, faculty, and staff.

Late yesterday evening, Governor Northam issued a directive closing executive branch and state offices in the Peninsula Health District, which includes Christopher Newport University.

Accordingly, Christopher Newport University is closing all offices to the general public for two weeks, effective 5:00 pm today through Sunday, March 29.

For now, all employees, including hourly employees and those who work in the residence and dining halls, should report to work as regularly scheduled. Let me state clearly that you will continue to be employed and paid.

The situation continues to change rapidly. We appreciate your patience and cooperation as we work through the challenges. It is important that you stay connected by email and text for CNUAlert messages so that we can provide information to you quickly as circumstances change.

Please review the following information about teleworking, sick and emergency leave, university travel and meetings, and limited services.

Telework: I have asked our provost and vice presidents to identify positions that may be eligible to telework and will encourage those employees to work remotely if possible. Other personnel may need to report as requested by their supervisors. HR will provide guidance on telework to supervisors.

Telework will be used as an interim measure during this emergency situation. It is our intent to return to full operations on Monday, April 13, therefore telework agreements will expire on Friday, April 10.

Emergency Leave: Employees who are sick should stay home. Call your health care practitioner and then notify your supervisor. Employees who think they may have been exposed to the virus are required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

All employees are now eligible for Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL). This benefit applies to all full-time and hourly employees. When medically necessary due to COVID-19, it provides up to 80 hours of paid time off to take care of yourself or a family member. HR will provide additional details on the use of PHEL, sick leave, and other leave options.

Employee Absence Tracking: Supervisors must report employee absences related to medical conditions so that we can identify specific areas of concern and adjust our operations accordingly. The employee absence tracking form will be emailed directly to supervisors.

If you have questions about time off, leave or telework, please ask your supervisor. Human Resources is also available to assist with questions.

Travel, Events and Meetings: Until further notice, all out-of-state university-funded travel is prohibited. In-state travel should be avoided and is prohibited for gatherings that will exceed 50 persons. Internal university meetings should be limited in the number of participants and avoided if possible. Options for virtual meetings will be provided by IT.

Limited Services on Campus: The residence halls will remain open for a limited number of students. Regattas dining hall will remain open to serve brunch and dinner but all other retail food operations will be closed.

The Freeman Center, Ferguson Center, Pope Chapel and Klich Alumni House will be closed except to full-time and hourly staff who work in those buildings.

The Trible Library will remain open with reduced hours of operation from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm during weekdays, and closed on Saturdays and Sundays with expanded online services.

Academic buildings, Christopher Newport Hall and CNU-North will be available from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm on weekdays. Card access will be required outside of those hours. (Please note that McMurran Hall will be open until 9:00 pm tonight and tomorrow so that faculty can complete online training.)

We continue to work through the many issues related to this situation and will provide updates as we know them. Please continue to use www.cnu.edu/coronavirus as the best source of information related to COVID-19.

From Vice President of Enrollment and Student Success Lisa Duncan Raines emailed to students

This important information comes from Vice President of Enrollment and Student Success Lisa Duncan Raines and her team:

Academic Advising:

  • Although academic advising officially began this past Wednesday, March 11, 2020, we are pausing appointments for the week of March 16–20. We will resume advising appointments on March 23 and will continue through April 1, 2020. Online appointments will be available if needed.
  • The week of March 16–20 will be devoted to faculty training and preparation of online courses. Any appointments currently scheduled for that week will need to be rescheduled with the advisor.

Course Withdrawal and Pass/Fail Deadlines:

  • The Course Withdrawal and Request to Pass/Fail deadline has been extended to 5pm on March 25, 2020. The required forms are available for students in CNU Live under Student Services and Financial Aid, and then Student Forms.

Registration for Fall Semester 2020:

  • Fall 2020 course registration has been postponed until Wednesday, April 1 and will continue through April 17, 2020. More information on registration dates and times can be found at http://cnu.edu/registrar/registration/

Center for Career Planning:

  • During this period of online instruction, video and phone career planning appointments, if needed, may be scheduled through cnu.joinhandshake.com.
  • Check the events link at cnu.joinhandshake.com for details about previously scheduled workshops and events.
  • Employers continue to post jobs and internships in cnu.joinhandshake.com, so you can still be pursuing your full-time and summer employment options.

From President Trible emailed to students, faculty, staff and via CNUAlert.

The closing of all K-12 schools in Virginia will make it impossible for us to appropriately staff and support a residential student population. Virtually all of our staff have daughters or sons in the local schools. Accordingly, our residence halls will close on Monday, March 16 at 5:00 p.m. and will remain closed until we are able to resume classes on campus.

I recognize that some of our students may face circumstances that make remaining in campus housing necessary. These students may petition to remain on campus by contacting Student Affairs. The Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Kevin Hughes, will provide additional information this evening.

President Trible’s personal note to students

I am very sorry that Christopher Newport has been forced by events beyond our control - the spread of the coronavirus and decisions that had to be made at the federal and state level to keep us all safe – to close our residence halls for the next few weeks. We anticipate that classes will resume on campus on Monday, April 13, and we look forward to welcoming you back.

Please take care of yourselves and others in these challenging times.

Paul Trible


From Vice President for Student Affairs Kevin Hughes emailed to students

As you know from President Trible’s messages yesterday and today, issues surrounding the COVID–19 virus have compelled us to reconfigure your Christopher Newport experience in unprecedented ways. I write to reiterate information that has been shared with you, address questions that I have received, and provide additional updates for you. I remind all of you that this is a fluid and constantly evolving situation and things may change as a result.

Residence Halls

All residence halls, including the East Campus and Rappahannock apartments, will close at 5 p.m. on Monday, March 16. Students are NOT required to remove all of their belongings from their room as we hope and expect you to return. However, you should:

  • Take all academic materials needed to continue classes in the online format.
  • Take any medications, extra clothing, and supplies needed for an extended duration.
  • Follow residence hall guidelines regarding a proper checkout.
  • Scan the QR code or check out at the front desk so we can appropriately track people if needed.
  • Students who have already checked out of the residence halls but need to retrieve academic or other items must do so by 5 p.m. on Monday, March 16.

As President Trible indicated, some students may face circumstances that make remaining in campus housing a necessary option. If you would like to request to remain in on-campus housing, even if you have sent a separate email, you must click here.

Regatta’s will serve brunch and dinner during normal hours on Saturday and Sunday, March 14–15; the final meal served prior to the halls closing will be lunch on Monday. Limited dining options will be available for those students permitted to remain in the residence halls during the closing.

Academics

While we are finalizing preparations for the online platform delivery for your classes, I strongly advise you not to treat this coming week as your second spring break. The academics are going to be every bit as demanding, just presented differently.

  • Do not assume assignment due dates are changing. If you have questions, ask your faculty members.
  • Do not plan different activities during your currently scheduled class time. Online delivery can occur at the same time as your originally scheduled class period.
  • You will hear from your individual faculty members in the next week regarding how they will move your specific classes to the online platform. Look for this email.

Misinformation

In situations like this one, there is a significant amount of inaccurate information that is often shared despite having no foundation in the truth. Regardless of what you may have heard,

  • There have been no cases involving a faculty, staff, or student who has tested positive and/or been hospitalized for the COVID–19 virus.
  • We will provide you with accurate and updated information about such matters as we have it.

Please do not share misinformation that “you heard” as it is harmful, not helpful.

From President Trible emailed to students, faculty, and staff.

It breaks my heart that events in the world require us to disrupt the life of our Christopher Newport family, the superb academic experience we share where our marvelous faculty engage high-ability students in small classes and we all benefit from the enriching interaction of students, faculty and staff on our beautiful residential campus. Nevertheless, we are forced to make some hard decisions and these actions are taken after much thought and consultation.

The health and safety of the Christopher Newport community must be our primary concern in the rapidly evolving COVID–19 coronavirus situation. While there are no known cases of COVID–19 on our campus and Virginia continues to be designated as low risk, the World Health Organization has declared the spread of COVID–19 a pandemic and more than 1,000 cases have been confirmed across the country. We have an obligation and responsibility to protect our campus and extended community and take appropriate steps to prevent the spread of COVID–19.

One of the best ways to control the transmission of this viral illness is to limit personal contact, avoid large gatherings, and promote social distancing. And so, it is with my deepest regret that I announce the following actions, effective immediately.

Online Academic Instruction and Advising

The University will remain open and services will continue with no change to the academic calendar with the following modifications to the delivery of instruction.

We are transitioning to online instruction for all students through April 10. Classes will continue as scheduled on campus for the rest of this week. Classes will be canceled next week, March 16 - 20, to provide time for our faculty and staff to make the transition to online instruction. Beginning Monday, March 23, students will take their classes online. Specific guidance will follow for classes that may require especially creative solutions such as laboratories, performance-based courses, or those that involve studio-learning.

Academic advising is proceeding on schedule but will transition to an online format next week.

If it is determined that online instruction needs to extend beyond April 10, that decision will be communicated the week of April 6.

Any student with a concern about transitioning to online instruction should contact the student affairs office (757–594–7160). We ask our faculty to be as flexible as possible to accommodate the needs of students.

The decision to go online is only an emergency and short-lived measure and in the future, our classes will be taught in the traditional manner. Small classes and personal instruction are the hallmark of a Christopher Newport education.

Students

Classes are canceled from March 16–20. Residence and dining halls will remain open and operational for the remainder of the spring semester for those students who cannot or choose not to return home.

Students should expect to hear from faculty about their courses and should stay in touch with faculty about their coursework. Please remain flexible and be aware that faculty are being asked to transition from in-class to online instruction within a few days. There may be glitches and technical issues that will need to be resolved but we will make every effort to make this transition as smooth as possible.

Study Abroad

All summer 2020 study abroad programs departing in May have been canceled. This decision was not taken lightly but responds to health and safety concerns and the difficulty of coordinating program plans with a rapidly changing global environment. Students will be fully reimbursed for any deposits or other financial payments made prior to the cancellations. We will work with students to resolve any academic progress or graduation issues that may occur as a result of these cancellations.

We are closely monitoring the situation and decisions on the remaining summer 2020 programs will be made as more information becomes available. Questions or concerns about study abroad programs should be directed to Mandi Pierce at 757–594–8851 or amanda.pierce@cnu.edu.

Travel

As announced yesterday, University-related travel by airline and train is prohibited in the U.S. and abroad, even if your travel was previously approved. Travel by personal vehicle is permitted but we strongly discourage all University travel for non-essential purposes to large gatherings greater than 100, and to areas experiencing high numbers of COVID–19 cases. Exceptional circumstances for travel may be appealed through the offices of the provost or chief of staff.

We ask members of the community to apply similar judgment in considering personal travel commitments, both internationally and domestically. If you choose to travel abroad to a country designated as Level 3 by the CDC, you will be required to quarantine off campus for 14 days after your return.

If you have already received approval to travel and made associated travel arrangements, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on our website on how to pursue a refund or reimbursement. Faculty should contact their deans or the provost’s office with questions about these actions. Staff members should contact their supervisor. Students should contact the student affairs office.

Events

With specific exceptions noted below, all events and gatherings in university facilities as well as university-sponsored events on campus that are expected to draw crowds greater than 100 people are suspended until Monday, April 13. This includes events sponsored by any recognized student organization and other affiliated groups.

  • Commencement: We expect commencement events in May to proceed as scheduled. Any changes that might be needed will be communicated with as much advance notice as possible.
  • Admission: The Open House scheduled for Saturday, March 14 is canceled. However, for now, other recruitment activities including Admitted Freshman Days, All Aboard events, daily visits and special group visits will continue as scheduled.
  • Athletic Events: At this time, athletic events will continue as scheduled. Attendance at both the women’s and men’s basketball tournaments this weekend is restricted. We are working with the NCAA and members of our conference to determine attendance restrictions, if any, for our other indoor and outdoor sports. Updates will be posted on www.cnusports.com.
  • Ferguson Center for the Arts: Scheduled performances and events are being evaluated and decisions will be communicated broadly as decisions are made. Updates will also be posted on www.fergusoncenter.org

For events or activities expected to draw fewer than 100 participants, event planners and sponsors are encouraged to consider alternatives to having in-person events and should follow the public health and safety guidelines of the Virginia Department of Health.

Faculty

We recognize that the shift to online instruction imposes significant challenges and is extremely disruptive to the traditional academic experience that you enjoy with students. Christopher Newport has a tradition of excellence in the classroom and I trust that all of us will work together to offer that same level of excellence through the online medium. What makes Christopher Newport special is that we offer small classes and have close and personal relationships between our faculty and staff and unfortunately, that will be lost for a time.

Faculty are expected to fulfill your normal duties and work to transition your course content and assignments online. Faculty are expected to take advantage of the instruction being offered through our IT department to transition to online instruction and advising. Further communication about additional IT training and sessions with faculty who have online expertise will be coming from the provost’s office this weekend. Any faculty member with a concern about offering their course(s) online should contact your dean or the provost’s office.

We plan to allow research operations to continue. Any faculty member with a concern about the impact of the modified operation on your research should contact your dean or the provost’s office.

Staff

Staff will report to work as scheduled. All campus buildings will remain open and all services will continue to be provided. Staff should take the appropriate steps to prevent illness and should follow existing protocols regarding notifying supervisors when using sick leave.

We encourage every member of our community to take responsibility for your own health and make good decisions to limit the spread of COVID–19 and other viral diseases. If you have a cold, the flu, or another illness, please exercise good judgment and not expose your friends, co-workers or other members of the community to unnecessary health risks. The health center remains open for our students and students should call in advance to schedule an appointment.

This is a challenge that none of us have faced before and it is certainly not the semester that we expected, but together, we will make this transition a successful one. Thank you for your patience and your willingness to do what is best to protect our community. Please take care of yourself and one another.

 

From the Director of Emergency Management emailed to students, faculty and staff.

As you return from spring break, here is the latest on the university’s response to COVID–19 (known as the coronavirus).

We have no indication that anyone connected with the university has contracted the virus. Because the situation is constantly changing, we are taking precautions to protect the health of students, faculty, staff and visitors.

Members of the Christopher Newport community are required to follow CDC guidelines and self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus if they have traveled to or through a Warning Level 3 notice area (currently Italy, South Korea, China and Iran).

University-sponsored travel by students, staff and faculty to CDC Warning Level 3 notice areas (currently Italy, South Korea, China and Iran) is prohibited.

Carefully consider any decision to travel anywhere that has been or may become a designated Level 3 location. The 14-day self-isolation period will be required before you can return to campus if the CDC’s travel notice areas change.

If you are a student and have flu-like symptoms, call University Health and Wellness Services weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., at (757) 594–7661, or the 24-hour Riverside Nurse at Riverside Regional Medical Center at (757) 595–6363.

If you are a faculty or staff member, call your primary care physician or the Riverside Nurse at (757) 595–6363.

Riverside cannot answer questions about class attendance, quarantines and other university-specific issues.

In the days immediately ahead, please be mindful of your health and the safety of those around you. All the standard rules apply:

  • Faculty, staff and students who are sick should not go to class or work.
  • Wash your hands frequently (the CDC recommends washing for 20 seconds).
  • Do not share water bottles.
  • Keep your work and living spaces as clean as possible.

While our housekeeping staff does a remarkable job, your efforts (and cleaning supplies for your office or room) will help prevent the spread of illness.

Here is a March 5, 2020 status report on other actions taken by the university:

  • A spring break study abroad trip to Italy was successfully rerouted to England.
  • Staff members have taken additional steps to clean and disinfect heavily used spaces, including common areas in residence halls and dining facilities.
  • A webpage is now available at cnu.edu/coronavirus and includes answers to questions we have received from parents, students and colleagues.

If you have questions about the university’s plans and response, we urge you to first read the FAQs on the website. If you don’t find the answer there, contact the appropriate on-campus office or Jim Hanchett, chief communications officer, at (757) 594–7699, or Tammy Sommer, director of emergency management, at (757) 594–7428.

When warranted, updates will be posted on CNUalert.info, cnu.edu/coronavirus and on the university’s social media channels.

We look forward to a safe conclusion of the semester and ask for your help and vigilance to make that possible. Together, we can surmount this challenge. Go Captains!

From the Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students Kevin Hughes emailed to students and posted on Facebook

Greetings everyone,

Can you believe we're only days away from Spring Break? This semester sure does fly by, and before you know it we 'll be in exams and then graduation will be here. I sure hope you seniors are checking off memorable opportunities from your “bucket list” before your big day. I have a few things (I promise just a few) to share about Spring Break, being safe and healthy, and so I ask that you just take a minute to peruse this note.

No doubt many of you are about to head out of town by the end of this week (and yes, we know a few of you are gonna try and sneak out of here even earlier). Some of you are going to use this time to interview for grad school opportunities or internship and summer employment positions. Good luck to all of you, and be sure to touch base with your faculty members and the Center for Career Planning if you need some last-minute tips, reminders, or just positive vibes as you put yourself out there. Remember, all of those possibilities are "mutual-match", which means it not only has to be right for the grad school or employer, but also for you. You 'll find the right one, and you 'll be glad that you did.

Some of you are spending your break on service outings or similar adventures to help others. You will certainly have a meaningful week away from campus that will have an impact on you as much it will on those in a different community. Be sure to learn…about yourself and about folks with different backgrounds or from different parts of the country...as you make the most of the week.

Certainly, there will be more than a handful of you that are leaving for a well-deserved respite. Maybe you 're headed home or to see family and friends. Others of you are gearing up for a Spring Break adventure that you 've been planning for a while; I 'm sure the anticipation is high (but please try to focus on classes the rest of the week). Regardless of what your plans are for Spring Break, be safe. Take your time getting to your destination and back to campus at the end of the week. You 're all very important to us, so get the rest you need before heading out on your adventures.

Some of you may be planning an excursion to an exotic locale, maybe a cruise, maybe some time in the sun. Prepare smartly with your group and always do things together. By the way, sunscreen is really ok. Water is a healthy way to quench your thirst. Resting up, sleeping in, and relaxing are all acceptable. It is a vacation after all, not a contest to see how much you can cram into a short amount of time.

Regardless of your plans, you also need to remember it is flu season. You 're likely to interact with a lot of folks. Follow the appropriate guidelines for disinfecting, hand washing, avoidance of public surfaces, etc. The CDC Flu Prevention recommendations are pretty straightforward and worth a look. Some of you may have some extensive plans and while it may be unlikely that you are headed to an area or in a situation related to the coronavirus that you 've heard about, you should heed the CDC traveler advice for coronavirus. Please know that the university continues to actively monitor the coronavirus situation; we will post relevant updates on the CNU Alert website, so be sure to check there regularly. So you 're aware, there are no confirmed cases of this virus in Virginia or the Eastern Seaboard of the United States.

Enough for now as I promised to keep it short. Just remember, be smart and be safe. We want all of you to come back to us after break healthy, happy, and ready for a great finish to the semester.

Best,
Kevin Hughes

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