This is truly an unprecedented time, and I continue to be inspired by how our Chico State family is pulling together with patience, understanding, and flexibility as we respond to the ever-changing COVID-19 situation. Please read this message carefully, as it contains updates on disruption to the semester, limiting campus to essential functions only, and the closing of residence halls.
A lot has changed in just a few days. Governor Gavin Newsom, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and health officials across California and the country have now called for rigorous shelter-in-place measures to greatly limit person-to-person contact and travel across the state to reduce potential for COVID-19 transmission. The seriousness of the situation continues to escalate, and it’s imperative Chico State further reduce the number of students and employees on campus or unnecessarily returning to Butte County to help bring the pandemic under control. We understand that Chico and Butte County may implement shelter-in-place measures that could have implications beyond what we have outlined below.
After very careful consideration, Chico State is moving to virtual delivery of instruction and most services for the remainder of the spring semester, including finals week.
Significant changes include:
- Beginning March 25, all instruction will take place online or in alternative formats until the end of the semester. No in-person classes, labs, or studio or field-based instruction will take place—this includes all final exams. We are asking students not to return to campus.
- The majority of staff will transition to work off-site starting March 23. The campus is not closed but on-campus staff will be reduced to the minimum required to provide limited essential services. “Essential services” include such functions as building operations, grounds, maintenance, security, and animal and lab maintenance.
- Other business operations will continue to be available through phone, video conference, or email. Campus facilities, such as Meriam Library, computer labs, and the Wildcat Recreation Center will be closed.
- The majority of residence halls will not reopen after spring break. Residents will receive a separate, detailed communication but please know students with no other housing options will be accommodated. Prorated refunds for room and meal charges will be available.
- Commencement ceremonies in May have been postponed. Rescheduled dates have not yet been set. Additional communication will be forthcoming.
I know this is an adjustment, but let’s view it as a chance to learn differently. Chico State’s goal is to limit exposure and protect the safety of our Wildcat community, while ensuring student success and supporting our faculty and staff. Doing our part to help “flatten the curve” is the best decision for our community—locally and globally.
Important things to know as we make this transition:
- Look for communications from your professors regarding their plans for the courses you’ve enrolled in. Please contact them directly with any questions. Additional information on alternative learning methods can be found on the Keep Learning webpage.
- All Student Affairs services, including academic advising and financial aid, will be available in alternative delivery methods. Go to the program’s website for additional information.
- IT Support Services will provide comprehensive technology support, including laptop loans and virtual technology assistance.
- WellCat Health Center will be open with reduced hours. Students should call ahead at 530-898-5241.
- Virtual support to students with questions on inclusive technology or who need assistance setting up technology accommodations by Office of Accessible Technology and Services.
- If you do not have off-campus access to the Internet, resources are available.
- University Housing residents will be emailed shortly with details regarding assistance with alternate accommodations and retrieval of belongings.
- Managers will be working with you to help create plans for moving forward in your departments.
- For those of us who continue to report to campus, I ask that we observe best practices in social distancing. Your health is more important than your work.
- All employees will be paid their normal rate of pay for normal hours assigned, as they will be telecommuting, working on site (with social distancing), or on paid administrative leave until further notice.
- Student employees should contact their supervisors before coming to campus. Until further notice, non-represented student employees will be paid normal rate of pay for normal hours assigned through April 4.
- Online and alternative modality course delivery will begin on March 25. Academic Affairs will share more details in the coming days.
- Faculty support for transitioning to alternative course delivery methods is available through the Technology and Learning Program.
- Faculty should maintain virtual office hours for students.
- Additional information has been sent to faculty regarding Instructional Faculty Telecommuting Expectations.
- Academic Affairs is working to answer additional questions. Please watch for upcoming notifications, and contact your department chair or dean if you have specific questions.
We will be sending regular updates to keep you informed as we navigate the remainder of the semester. In the meantime, we’ve updated our COVID-19 News & Info website with additional information and resources for students, faculty, and staff.
As we make this transition, I must acknowledge how heavy my heart is by this extreme disruption to our campus and community. Let’s embrace the opportunity to learn through alternative methods and create that Wildcat spirit and Chico Experience in a virtual community. I know this new reality will be difficult for us all, but I am confident in our resilience.