Community Updates Archive

The previous updates are listed below.

DeLand Campus

Message from President LIbby, President-elect Roellke, with Campus Updates

June 17, 2020 Weekly Update 5

On Friday, June 12, the COVID-19 Budget Priorities Working Group provided us with its final report that includes recommended DeLand budget reduction plans and prioritizations as Stetson, along with colleges all across the country, head into this next academic year with some enrollment uncertainty. We spent a significant amount of time over the weekend reviewing and discussing the BPWG report. Working together with our finance staff on Sunday and Monday, the proposed 2020-2021 budget originally prepared in April was adjusted and sent to the Board of Trustees Finance and Executive Committees on Monday. They are meeting late today, Wednesday, June 17. Their recommended budget will be considered by the full Board of Trustees on Thursday, June 25.

The BPWG was co-chaired by Executive Vice President and Provost Noel Painter and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Bob Huth, and met a dozen times for approximately 22 hours since May 5, with nearly perfect attendance. The group received a substantial amount of background material and engaged in multiple exercises to identify potential prioritization and amounts for increased revenue from our endowment, and reductions to operations and compensation to meet the expected enrollment drop. Confident that everyone was always working towards the best possible solutions for the Stetson community, we owe thanks to Chairs Painter and Huth, and committee members including SGA President George Alderman. Everyone gave their time and thoughtful consideration to the process. A special thank you to our staff support, Melissa Peters, associate vice president for Budget and Financial Planning; Drew Macan, associate vice president for Human Resources and Organizational Development; and Kim Walker Oates, our budget analyst, for their many, many additional hours preparing materials for the committee.

The result of their work is a detailed report that greatly assisted us in making final preparations for the 2020-2021 budget proposal. The group dutifully prepared budget solutions for the possibilities of a decline of revenue at the 5%, 10% and 15% levels as requested in our original charge, along with a prioritization of all the various ways that this could be managed. The budget proposal to the Board of Trustees is for the 15% drop in revenue because of major uncertainties still on the horizon regarding the coronavirus pandemic’s course.

In addition, last Friday's projection for the close of the 2019-2020 fiscal year shows that our financial strength will enable us to finish the year with a small surplus. Together we thank the Stetson community for their support and patience during this time as we continue our discussions and consult board leadership. After the board takes action on the budget in late June, we will inform everyone of what the next budget year will hold.

Wendy B. Libby signature

Wendy B. Libby, PhD, President

Christopher Roellke signature

Christopher Roellke, PhD, President-elect

Revised Fall 2020 Academic Calendar

For several months, many groups—individually and collectively—have been diligently meeting, planning and working to achieve our primary goal: for students, staff, and faculty to come to DeLand safely this fall for a powerful, residential, face-to-face Stetson teaching-learning experience.

As a result of this work, Provost Noel Painter was able to announce yesterday, via an email to faculty, staff and students, the revised Fall 2020 Academic Calendar. The calendar came to the provost as a recommendation from the broad-based committee of faculty and staff charged with reviewing calendar options.

The new calendar reveals that students will begin moving in by Aug. 7, and classes begin on Aug. 13. As mentioned in his email yesterday, "This calendar balances opportunities and concerns with an effective full-semester, on-campus learning experience and honors our core principle of safety for students, staff and faculty by minimizing travel away from campus. Assuming there are no unexpected cancellations during the semester, the fall term (both classes and exams) will end by Thanksgiving." Additional information and a link to the calendar is available on the web page link above and in Provost Painter’s email sent yesterday.

From the Safer Campus Task Force

Residential Living and Learning

Based on the revised Academic Calendar, Move-In Days for incoming students are Aug. 7-8, and for continuing students are Aug. 9-12.

  • All housing assignments will be completed throughout July and will be strategic assignments by Residential Living & Learning staff to reduce risk and maximize community and connections for residents.
  • All check-ins will be curbside and by appointment time.

There will be aspects of the residential environment that will undoubtedly feel different this fall, but we are committed to facilitating community, connection and care within our communities on-campus.

Based on Executive Order 20-139 issued by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on June 5, anyone traveling between states for academic work (including students) does not have to isolate or quarantine after arriving in Florida. International students who have not left the country also will not have to isolate or quarantine.

After careful consideration of the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the national college housing and health associations, as well as an evaluation of our residential facilities by the leadership of Residential Living and Learning and the Safer Campus Task Force, we have made several significant decisions about the residential environment for Fall 2020.

  • We will offer individual and 2-person shared bedrooms in community bath, suite, apartment, and house style environments, ranging from 1-4 students living in the unit.
  • The majority of student residents will share a bathroom with other students on their floor (community style) or within their suite/house/apartment.
  • There will be some strategic reductions of occupancy in some specific rooms and buildings. There will be significant additional cleaning and safety measures in place for common spaces and community restrooms.
  • We are working to maximize distance between desks and the heads of beds in shared bedrooms, and have ordered new furniture in some locations to make this possible.
  • The exemptions for the residency requirement were expanded for the 2020-2021 academic year and the refund schedule has been expanded.
  • There will be limitations on visitors, guests and overnight guests for all or part of Fall 2020.

Returning to Work on Campus

As we begin the transition to having more people on our campuses, the health and wellbeing of our employees and students are of paramount importance. To support this transition, the Safer Campus Task Force has developed the Guide for Returning to On-Campus Work, which is now online. It includes important policies, protocols and guidelines with which all community members are expected to fully comply. Employees will be required to affirm that they have read it prior to returning to work.

Frequently Asked Questions

The list of FAQs on the COVID-19 website is currently being updated. Question categories will include Academics, Attendance/FOCUS Orientation, Cleaning, Events, Financial Aid, Health & Safety, Human Resources, and Residential Living/Move-In Day. Questions/answers will be added or updated as decisions continue to be made. We will send you a message when the updated FAQs are live.

If you have comments/questions/suggestions, please email SaferStetson@stetson.edu. While we are not able to respond to every email, we do read all of them and appreciate your feedback.

Fall 2020 Academic Calendar announced

June 16, 2020

Faculty, Staff, Students and Parents,

Let me begin by thanking you for your patience as Stetson continues to navigate uncharted waters, as do all institutions dedicated to higher education. Many groups—individually and collectively—are diligently meeting, planning, educating themselves, purchasing and installing equipment, and gathering community input in order to achieve our primary goal: for students, staff, and faculty to come to DeLand safely this fall for a powerful, residential, face-to-face, Stetson teaching-learning experience. We are well on our way to achieving that goal, and, each day, we make progress toward clearly defining how our transition back to campus will occur. Several weeks ago, multiple working groups were charged with creating and implementing plans regarding

  • the academic calendar and fall course schedule;
  • safe, effective and engaged on-campus instruction; and
  • academic policies.

The academic calendar and course schedule working group has gathered substantial input from our community (including faculty, staff, and students), learned about federal guidelines for financial aid, and debated how to maximize safety for our community while keeping well-being (broadly considered) at the fore. A revised Fall 2020 academic calendar for undergraduates is now available, and the graduate calendars are forthcoming. Here are the highlights for your planning purposes.

  • August 7-12, residence halls and move-in dates for new students are August 7 and 8, and for returning students are August 9-12.
  • August 10-12, new students will begin a Stetson signature class: First Year Seminars, or FSEMs
  • Thursday, August 13, classes begin, a full week earlier than originally scheduled
  • Tuesday, November 24, classes, including final exams, conclude by the end of the day
  • Wednesday, November 25, residential students will move out by the end of the day

This calendar balances opportunities and concerns with an effective full-semester, on-campus learning experience and honors our core principle of safety for students, staff, and faculty by minimizing travel away from campus. Assuming there are no unexpected cancellations during the semester, the fall term (both classes and exams) will end by Thanksgiving. Should unexpected cancellations extend the semester, all instruction and/or final exams after Thanksgiving will be conducted by distance learning. Key points about the calendar that deserve additional focus can be found on the our Fall 2020 Revised Academic Calendar webpage, including notes on the starting date Labor Day, Values Day, fall break, make-up days, orientation, how community feedback was used to inform the calendar, and more.

In early August, when we are back on campus—in residence halls, libraries, classrooms, and the Palm Court—both I and President-elect Chris Roellke look forward to thanking our faculty and staff in person for their incredible efforts to educate and support students through a challenging spring semester and in preparing for a powerful fall return. We are also eager to commend our students for the resilience they have shown and continue to demonstrate: Students, that resilience will serve you for a lifetime.

Sincerely,

Noel Painter, Ph.D., Executive Vice President and Provost, Professor of Music

Guide for Returning On-Campus will include Health Policies, Protocols

June 10, 2020 Weekly Update 4

A Guide for Returning On-Campus

Stetson University and the Safer Campus Task Force are committed to a safe environment that fosters collaborative learning and intellectual pursuits for its community. As we begin the transition to having more people on our campuses, the health and wellbeing of our employees and students are of paramount importance. To support this transition, SCTF is developing a Guide for Returning to On-Campus Work which outlines important policies, protocols and guidelines with which all community members are expected to fully comply. This guide, which we expect to have available online later this week, covers a variety of topics.

  • A phased return-to-campus plan
  • Prevention basics
  • Self-screening
  • Physical distancing and group events
  • Stetson's cleaning process
  • Human resources issues
  • Visitor screening process
  • Other resources available

All employees will be required to read the guide before returning to work.

The most recent and up-to-date version of this guide will be available online. If there are changes as the guidance or recommendations are modified, the community will be notified.

Safety and Community

It has been shown that measures including physical distancing, face coverings, hand washing, restricted travel, self-screening, increased cleaning and other actions can be very effective at reducing the spread of COVID-19 when they are used in combination. One recommendation from the American College Health Association that Stetson has adopted, is a phased return to campus, with no more than 30% of the workforce returning to each campus location at a time, staggering every 2-4 weeks for full return.

Stetson's Safer Campus Task Force continues to work through policy and plans regarding face coverings, residential life, dining, athletics and recreation. We will communicate these to you as soon as possible. This week we ordered a massive number of hand sanitizer stations for common areas and completed design of campus-wide signage for health messaging.

Admissions Guest and Visitor Protocols

Starting the week of June 8, the Office of Admissions is hosting small, personalized, daily visits. Individual groups will be limited to nine total people (plus a tour guide) per group. Tours will go into the north side of the Carlton Union Building, Gordis Hall, Sage Hall and the Lynn Business Center to see the Roland George Investments Program space. With health precautions in place and continuing to follow CDC and the State of Florida guidelines for group gatherings and physical distancing, all visits will be small and personal.

All guests are required to submit a screening form prior to arriving to campus. Once on campus, guests will answer a few short questions related to the health and safety of their party and all members of the party will be required to undergo temperature screenings. Anyone displaying a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher will be asked to reschedule their visit. For additional caution, we encourage guests to check temperatures of themselves and their party prior to arriving on campus. Our staff and ambassadors are prepared to wear masks during the visit and ask that guests also wear masks during the campus visit experience (if they do not bring one, one is provided). If you see a campus tour out on campus, we encourage you to say hello and welcome them to campus while remaining physically distanced.

If you have comments/questions/suggestions, please email SaferStetson@stetson.edu. While we are not able to respond to every email, we do read all of them and appreciate your feedback.

Budget Priority Working Group

The members of the COVID-19 Budget Priority Working Group are prioritizing their recommendations and will finalize their report for President Libby and President-elect Roellke for delivery Friday, June 12.

As indicated, the group has worked through multiple scenarios and is categorizing recommendations into three areas roughly aligned to the 5%, 10% and 15% budget reductions outlined in their charge. These range from increased endowment spending and reductions in renewal and replacement at the lower end and potential pay reductions at the higher end of the scenarios. Throughout its discussions and deliberations, the COVID-19 Budget Priority Working Group has consistently adhered to its guiding principle of community first.

Academic Working Groups

As indicated in the Provost's recent email, the 2020 Fall Schedule Working Group is finalizing its recommendation for an undergraduate academic calendar for fall. A questionnaire was circulated requesting feedback and commentary on the different calendar plans. The 2020 Schedule Working Group expects to finalize its recommendation this week.

Additional Information

The Stetson community should expect additional communications, messages, and potentially webinars and virtual forums over the next few days and weeks as information regarding plans for returning to campus as well as health and safety guidelines for students, faculty and staff, and budget recommendations and academic planning for Fall 2020 based on enrollment and retention projections becomes available.

Watch the Webinar: Update for Incoming Students for Fall 2020

Friday, June 5, 3:00-4:00 p.m.

Incoming students and parents joined members of the COVID-19 Budget Priorities Working Group, the Safer Campus Task Force and academic leadership for a webinar and Q&A on Friday, June 5, to hear about progress towards a fall reopening and discuss planning to date. The panel took questions during the webinar and additional questions have been sent to the groups for feedback.

The panel included

  • Special Guest: Wendy B. Libby, president
  • Noel Painter, provost and EVP
  • Lua Hancock, vice president for Campus Life and Student Success
  • Lynn Schoenberg, dean of students and co-chair of the Safer Campus Task Force
  • Larry Correll-Hughes, assistant vice president for Campus Life and Student Success and executive director of Residential Living and Learning
  • Dana Dolbow, director of campus visitation
  • Brian Nystrom, FOCUS Orientation leader and student ambassador

Safer Campus Task Force Outlines Cleaning, Safety Protocols

June 3, 2020 Weekly Update 3

The university has held a number of webinars to update the community on the current work underway in academic planning, Safer Campus Task Force and the COVID-19 Budget Priority Working Group. Those seminars have been posted for review to the Coronavirus Communications website, and there is a webinar scheduled for Friday for incoming students and parents.

The Safer Campus Task Force has received many questions regarding the cleaning and disinfection of campus prior to returning for work or classes. The health and safety of our community is top of mind for all of us and this important issue is being addressed by Facilities Management.

Facilities has developed an in-depth cleaning protocol that includes restrooms, classrooms, labs, offices, common areas – every space on campus. According to the protocol:

  • All spaces will be deep cleaned and disinfected prior to employees returning to work on campus.
  • Cleaning/disinfection is accomplished with EPA-approved cleaning products with label claims against the coronavirus.
  • Signage notifying the occupant that their space has been sanitized and disinfected will be posted.

Electrostatic sanitizers will be used to clean classrooms quickly between classes/labs. We are ensuring that each building's HVAC systems are fully operational per CDC and ASHRAE guidelines and that the indoor air quality is optimized accordingly.

In addition, there will be more frequent cleaning of more public locations, and in shared offices, of surfaces that multiple people repeatedly touch: doorknobs, tables, desks, light switches, countertops, handles, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks. Custodial staff will be provided with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required for cleaning/disinfecting any space that may have been exposed to coronavirus.

Returning to Campus – The Safer Campus Task Force is working on Stetson’s Guide for Returning to On-Campus Work for employees. The guide includes details of a phased-in approach that spans several weeks beginning June 8 and ending Aug. 22 (Aug. 8 in Gulfport), when all employees who are able to return to campus will be expected to do so. Your vice president or athletic director at the DeLand campus, or your dean, associate dean or department head at the Gulfport campus will inform you when to return to campus at least one week prior to your expected date of return. Please continue to work remotely until you are asked to return. The guide, which is currently being reviewed, will answer many questions about prevention basics, physical distancing, self-screening, what to do if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, events, visitors and many other topics.

More

  • Stetson will provide one washable mask, ear guards from Stetson’s 3D printer and one 8-ounce hand sanitizer for each person. Stetson will provide and refill hand sanitizer stations in common areas.
  • Stetson has purchased bulk hand sanitizer spray and paper towels for campus so that those in individual offices can keep their workspaces clean. Departments will be able to request supplies from the warehouse on the DeLand campus or from Facilities Management on the Gulfport campus, which will be billed back to departmental budgets. Departments with large common cleaning space needs should contact the Budget Office with questions.
  • FOCUS Orientation groups for incoming, first-year students and First Year Seminar Courses (FSEM’s) will be aligned this fall to minimize exposure of our first-year students. This means each FSEM of 16 or fewer students will also be the students FOCUS group, significantly decreasing physical contact.
  • Remote work should continue wherever possible. Employees should not return to on-campus work without the specific instruction from their vice presidents, athletic director, deans or department heads.

COVID-19 Budget Priority Working Group - The group has moved beyond their organizational meetings in May, and on Monday, June 1, provided their initial recommendations to President Libby and President-elect Roellke. These include reductions in operational expenses, cuts to travel expenses and staff development, and elimination of salary increases. The initial report is a first step for the working group towards final recommendations by Friday, June 12. The 2020-2021 budget is currently scheduled for review by the Board of Trustees on Thursday, June 25.

Watch the Webinar: Update for Current Students for Fall 2020

May 29, 2020

Fall 2020 Planning Update, Current Student and Parent Session

Current students and parents joined members of the COVID-19 Budget Priorities Working Group, the Safer Campus Task Force and academic leadership for a webinar and Q&A on Friday, May 29 to hear about progress towards a fall reopening and discuss planning to date. The panel took questions during the webinar and additional questions have been sent to the groups for feedback.

The panel included:

  • Noel Painter, provost and EVP
  • Lynn Schoenberg, dean of students and co-chair of the Safer Campus Task Force
  • Larry Correll-Hughes, assistant vice president for Campus Life & Student Success and executive director of Residential Living and Learning,
  • Lua Hancock, vice president for Campus Life and Student Success
  • George Alderman, president of the Student Government Association
  • Guest: Jeff Altier, director of athletics

Update on Webinars

Webinars took place Wednesday, May 27, for DeLand faculty and staff and College of Law faculty and staff in Gulfport. They are posted to the faculty and staff pages for both DeLand and College of Law. A webinar for current students and parents ins scheduled for Friday, May 29, at 3:30 p.m., and a webinar for new students is being scheduled for next week. These will also be recorded and posted.

Academic Working Groups Formed

May 27, 2020 Weekly Update 2

Keeping the Stetson Community informed

This is a weekly status report on the work of the COVID-19 Budget Priority Working Group for the DeLand campus, the Safer Campus Task Force for both the College of Law and DeLand, and other ongoing academic, safety and health, student life and fiscal planning that may impact the Stetson community. Our next update will be Wednesday, June 3, at 10 a.m., but additional information may be released or posted as needed.

Webinars have been scheduled for Wednesday, May 27. A webinar for DeLand faculty and staff, occurred at 8 a.m., and College of Law faculty and staff in Gulfport begins at 10 a.m. A webinar for current students and parents is scheduled for Friday, May 29, at 3:30 p.m., and a webinar for new students is being scheduled for the following week.

The webinars are being recorded and will be posted to the Coronavirus Communications website.

Academic Planning

Academic planning at both the DeLand campus and College of Law is active and underway. The provost and deans, have formed working groups to tackle three primary issues facing Stetson University as it prepares to welcome students back:

Fall 2020 Schedule Working Group:The purpose is to address the fall calendar, examining everything from start date, end date, fall break, even values day, to determine the preferred schedule for the fall semester in scenarios that include residential and online education. The group will be chaired by Noel Painter and includes faculty and staff representatives from across the DeLand campus with experience, expertise and connection to academic calendar issues, including representation from undergraduate and graduate programs, the registrar's office, the Academic Affairs Committee of the Faculty Senate and CLaSS.

Face-to-Face (F2F)/Socially Distanced Education Working Group:Assuming the university is able to have residential education in the fall, this group will discuss what needs to be put in place in order for that to safely occur for students, staff and faculty. Some questions to be addressed include: What does it look like to have in-person classes in a safe way? How do we build in the flexibility necessary for quarantined students or faculty in a semester, or international students who can't travel, or high-risk students and faculty who need to be accommodated? There are questions about technology that we may need to invest in now to facilitate the fall semester. The group will be chaired by Neal Mero and includes faculty representatives from each school and college, IT and facilities staff, a public health expert and a faculty senate representative.

Fall 2020 Special Policies Working Group:Knowing that the fall 2020 semester will involve remote or online learning to a greater extent than our current policies address, the Special Policies group will consider what revised policies, or newly created polices, may be considered in order to advance normal faculty processes (e.g., peer observation), ensure the best student experience (e.g., examining expectations for synchronous pedagogy in online classes), and other academic policies (e.g., pass/fail). The group will be chaired by Elizabeth Skomp and includes members of the Council of Undergraduate Associate/Assistant Deans; members of UCCAP and a faculty senate representative.

Special Summer Session

In addition to Fall 2020 planning, the DeLand campus announced special summer sessions for new students and special seminar experiences.

Starting June 18, Stetson is offering new students the opportunity to participate in one-unit, credit-bearing classes in a variety of courses specifically for incoming students including public speaking, psychology, health and wellness, digital arts, economics, history, math, or computer science. For this special session faculty also are offering students a chance to get an early start on our signature Stetson First Year Seminar. Some of the courses may apply to general education requirements, but all of them provide a great opportunity for new students to engage with Stetson faculty in learning, exploring and expanding their Stetson experience.

During the session, faculty also will be offering short, concentrated virtual seminar experiences of one, two or three partial days. These are non-credit, non-graded learning adventures and there is no cost to the student for participating.

Budget Priorities Working Group

The COVID-19 Budget Priorities Working Group is preparing to provide an interim report on budget priorities based on scenarios and potential budget shortfalls of 5%, 10% and 15% to President Libby and President-elect Roellke by Monday, June 1. A more in-depth set of recommendations are expected prior to a Thursday, June 25, special Board of Trustees meeting.

On Tuesday, May 26, the working group reviewed operating budget reductions provided by each department and research on potential savings from hiring freezes. There was also great support for ensuring recommendations are consistent with Stetson's mission and the working group's principles. The working group meets again on Thursday to review recommendations and remains on track to deliver their interim report.

Comments and questions can be sent to budgetpriority@stetson.edu. The working group can't respond to all the emails but will review the information.

Safer Campus Task Force

The Safer Campus Task Force continues its work on creating a safe campus environment and wants the Stetson community to know about its extensive protocol to respond to illness and potential COVID-19 exposure in the Stetson community. Stetson has an existing Infectious Disease Management Protocol that was launched in March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, even though there weren't any known cases of the disease on campus at that time.

The protocol is designed to better ensure the health and safety of the Stetson community, to assist community members in receiving the services they need, and to mitigate the impact of infection if it is discovered on campus. It seeks to bring together all of the expertise from across Stetson into a unified team.

Stetson has instituted a series of steps that are followed to ensure that students -- living both on and off campus – will receive the support they need, from dining services to academic assistance and financial relief. Employees are provided assistance through Human Resources.

An outline of Stetson's response is available along with a list of frequently asked questions focused on health care and assistance. However, if you have additional questions, this group established SaferStetson@stetson.edu to gather community comments and feedback. We want to thank everyone for their comments. Though we cannot respond to each comment individually, we are reviewing the comments and questions received.

Updates from Budget Priorities Working Group, Safer Campus Task Force

May 20, 2020 Weekly Update 1

Keeping the Stetson Community informed

Starting with this update, the university will report weekly on the status and work of the COVID-19 Budget Priority Working Group for the DeLand campus, the Safer Campus Task Force for both the College of Law and DeLand, and other ongoing academic, safety and health, student life and fiscal planning that may impact the Stetson Community. Our next update will be Wednesday, May 27 at 10 a.m., but additional information may be released or posted as needed. Planning is underway to schedule webinars for DeLand and at the College of Law either on Wednesday, May 27 or Friday, May 29. Dates and times will be announced as soon as they are available.

Budget Priorities Working Group

The recently formed a COVID-19 Budget Priorities Working Group is informed and guided by Stetson principles of integrity, transparency and confidentiality, and learning excellence. It is focused on the health and safety of our community, and the university’s financial stability and strength. Comprising faculty, staff and a student, it is co-chaired by the university’s Provost and Chief Financial Officer. The purpose of the working group is to make recommendations by early June to President Libby and President-elect Roellke based on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Stetson University with potential scenarios of 5%, 10% and 15% reductions in financial resources. These reductions would be focused in DeLand where the substantial financial strains are expected to occur.

The College of Law is projected to meet enrollment goals although the uncertainties with COVID-19 remain ongoing concerns for everyone. In collaboration with the President, the President-elect, the university's Provost, the Chief Financial Officer and all relevant constituencies, the College of Law continues to plan for all eventualities. It will continue to update and seek input from members of the community regarding key contingency plans and issues moving forward. More information about budget meetings and a schedule for the coming months will be circulated by the College of Law.

In DeLand, the group recently established budgetpriority@stetson.edu to gather community comments and feedback. We want to thank everyone for their comments to date and wish we could respond to each one.

Like many institutions Stetson is grappling with the immediate and long-term financial shock of COVID-19 beyond the uncertainty of fall enrollment, and including the substantial loss of net revenue from the cancellation of programs, camps, housing and dining revenue during the summer.

According to the most recent entering enrollment projections for the DeLand campus, improvements in undergraduate fall recruitment over the past few weeks is encouraging, moving from a double-digit deficit to single digit, but the pandemic has introduced a high measure of uncertainty. To inform our academic program decisions and enrollment forecasting for this upcoming fall, Stetson has engaged the Art & Science Group, a nationally recognized research firm, to assess new and continuing student sentiment towards learning modality, preferences, and health and safety. Results will be available in early June and will sharpen our planning and forecasting.

The past few meetings of the Budget Priorities Working Group featured wide-ranging discussions with Melissa Peter, associate vice president for Budget & Financial Planning, examining the university budget, and potential reductions in operational expenses, salary and benefits, and capital expenditures. As we have seen recently announced by other small- to mid-sized institutions, these might include reductions in whole categories of operating expense such as travel and memberships, or in elimination of salary increases for the upcoming year, a graduated scale of pay reductions, reductions in retirement program deposits, and delays in renewal and repair expenses.

President Libby and President-elect Roellke will receive and consider the working group’s budget recommendations, along with guidance from our Safer Campus Task Force. These will inform decisions for the final 2020-21 budget due to be submitted to the Board of Trustees at a specially called meeting on June 25. That budget may include triggers for further reductions as fall enrollment, housing and dining revenue are solidified. The late June date was requested to allow as much time as possible for the university to fully understand the legal, regulatory and financial impact of the pandemic on the institution and community. Stetson remains committed to returning to an in-person, on-campus learning environment, but will make its final announcements on plans for Fall 2020 in June.

Safer Campus Task Force Update

Stetson University has been making plans for the return of students, staff and faculty to campus. The Safer Campus Task Force (SCTF) is tasked with advising university leadership on the operational elements and programs necessary to prepare Stetson University campuses in DeLand and Gulfport. We put health and safety at the forefront of all of our decisions, following protocols and guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Florida Department of Health (DOH). Additionally, the senior medical experts at the NCAA are working with the CDC to inform recommendations regarding athletic competitions and practices.

Bringing the community back together involves many decisions and moving parts – the volume is daunting. Nevertheless, the task force wants to keep the community updated as decisions are made and the work comes together.

We are committed to a phased-in return to campus for staff, faculty and students. We encourage your ideas and suggestions. Please send them to SaferStetson@stetson.edu. Because of the volume of work to be done, we will not be able to respond to all of your emails, but we appreciate your suggestions and feedback.

For now, below is a list of the work that has already been completed or is actively being developed.

Personal protection

  • One reusable mask will be provided to each person in the community. Masks should be washed after use. If you need more masks, please bring them with you to campus.
  • Appropriate additional PPE will be provided to workers whose jobs require it (Facilities, Public Safety, RAs, Health/Sports Health, On-Call staff) and student athletes.
  • Disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer will be available through the University Warehouses and College of Law Facilities Department for daily cleaning of frequently used surfaces. Offices do not need to purchase these items on their own independent of the university.
  • Hand sanitizer will be placed throughout the university in commonly used spaces.
  • Location of installation of plexiglass barriers is under active consideration.

Cleaning

  • Increased cleaning protocols have been implemented by Facilities Management including
    • More frequent cleaning of surfaces that are touched often such as doorknobs, light switches, countertops, etc.
    • Increased frequency of cleaning bathrooms and use of EPA-registered disinfectant
    • Installation of hand sanitizers in common areas throughout campus
    • Review and modification of custodial schedules to manage increased cleaning frequencies as campus locations re-open

Health care

  • A detailed protocol is in place for community members who may have COVID-19 or may have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19. The protocol includes support from Health Service, the DOH, campus professionals, Residential Living and Learning and Human Resources.
  • Students, staff and faculty on all campuses have access to Health Service (386-822-8150) during regular office hours. After hours COVID concerns should call Public Safety at 386-822-7300. They also can use an online form at Stetson.edu/report-it.
  • Options for expanded testing for the presence of COVID-19 and/or antibodies are being considered.
  • A screening process for all university members and visitors has been established.

Information

  • Campus-wide signage will include (departments or other areas do not need to order their own):
    • 6-foot physical distancing markings on floors in commonly used spaces
    • Door signage, yard signs
    • Social media messaging
    • Health messaging
  • An updated and re-designed COVID-19 website is being developed.
  • Videos are being created to help viewers understand how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, what to do if you feel sick, the importance of cleaning commonly used spaces, and other information.

Gatherings

  • Limits on the size of gatherings will be continually re-evaluated.
  • Options for various types of residential space are being considered.
  • A virtual FOCUS Orientation and new student check-in is being organized.
  • Guidelines for wearing a mask are being reviewed.
  • A physical distancing policy is being developed.
  • Consideration is being given to re-opening some physical spaces for summer.

Message from President Libby, President-elect Roellke on COVID-19 Impacts

April 28, 2020

Planning, Fall 2020, Enrollment Planning, Community Involvement

Unprecedented times require unprecedented collaboration, cooperation and planning, and we thank all of our dedicated faculty, staff and administrators who continue to work through the many different facets of the COVID-19 situation to help ensure Stetson University remains strong and resilient. You are providing the best and safest learning experience possible, keeping students at the center of all we do and ensuring that the unique qualities that make us Stetson continue. Some of you are still working on campus delivering health, housing, dining, facilities, public safety and other services. Thank you to everyone for the excellence of your work and the strength of your commitment to our university, one another and our students.

Over the weekend we watched a number of states re-open some of their commercial establishments. We are hopeful that efforts to open our country back up will be successful and that we will see continued improvements in the statistics that reflect progress to better health and outcomes. Our planning, of course, is for the return to face-to-face learning as soon as we can without undue risk; the health of our community and the quality of our education remain our driving concerns.

Since February, there have been hundreds of hours devoted to weekly, even daily, meetings with administrators, trustees, the Emergency Management Team, and among faculty, deans and staff. In addition to meetings in DeLand, at the College of Law, Dean Alexandre has held multiple meetings and webinars with students, faculty and staff. The depth and thoughtfulness of the discussions we are having underscore how our decisions are consistently student-centered and focused on our values. 

We are in the fortunate position to have sufficient cash on hand to meet expenses for this fiscal year. On March 31, we instituted a hiring delay and suspended conference and meeting travel, along with a request that all non-essential spending be halted. We understand the substantial uncertainty surrounding the current economic and public health landscape. The future is hard to predict and so we are planning for the different futures we might have to face. 

Planning

Stetson's finance staff members are using sophisticated modeling software to help assess multiple scenarios for fall undergraduate enrollment, graduate enrollment in DeLand and at the College of Law, and retention rates across campuses. Our aim has been to do the responsible thing: preview and plan for the various financial situations we might be confronting.

The recently approved federal CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) will help and we are working through U.S. Department of Education guidance on how these resources can be implemented to directly serve students and support the university. However, to protect the university’s financial strength in these uncertain times, we along with the university’s administrators and our Board of Trustees are reviewing the many scenarios we might face in the near future. These include 5%, 10% and 15% reductions in resources in DeLand and multiple possibilities at the College of Law. We have also recently received a series of recommendations from the DeLand Faculty Senate Finance Committee. Many of these align with the planning the administration is doing and will inform budgetary thinking as it proceeds.

Fall 2020

Without question, we remain hopeful for a Fall 2020 semester where we are together on campus in our buildings, classrooms, courtrooms, fields and recital halls. Whether in DeLand or Gulfport, Stetson is at its best as a people-to-people place of learning. With that said, we are planning for a face-to-face learning environment in Fall 2020, but realism and responsibility demand that we also plan for the potential of extended online experiences and education for the fall term if necessary. Given the current uncertainty for the virus’s mitigation by fall and the continuation of physical distancing, we must plan for both a safe on-campus re-opening and an online semester or perhaps something in between. We expect to make a decision in mid to late June on this.

Enrollment

We are keeping a close eye on enrollment data and projections. College of Law deposits and retention are both strong. Much work is being done to strengthen and increase summer enrollment and we are tracking beyond budget expectations. Also, in DeLand, registration for the returning Fall 2019 cohort is within 1% of last year (80.5% vs 81.7%). Of the degree-seeking students who have not applied to graduate, 90.1% have registered for next fall compared to 91.5% last year. Residential housing commitments of sophomores, juniors and seniors are in line with last year.

So many of you were part of our all-virtual Hatter Saturday. Thank you for your willingness to give us your hours of planning and your presence on Saturday afternoon. Likely reflecting the national story, deposits from accepted first-time-in-college student numbers are lagging expectations. Students seem to be waiting to see what their fall experience will look like before making a commitment. Transfer deposits are on track. Stetson’s Enrollment Management and Marketing Departments are redoubling efforts to generate and encourage more deposits and would be pleased to talk with you about how you can assist in these critical efforts.

Community Involvement: Budget for 2020-21

In early May, a process for community consultation will be finalized, and we will name a COVID-19 Budget Priorities Committee of staff and faculty pulled from different areas of the Stetson community. This group will assist in the development of the budget for next year and possible contingencies under different planning scenarios. The exact composition of this group and the timeline for its work will be announced shortly. The first task will be to formalize and confirm a series of guiding principles that include integrity and transparency, learning excellence, focus on our staff and faculty (their health and security) and financial stability and strength.

We look forward to being able to announce budget guidance, but at this point we are withholding decisions until we have had ample opportunity to understand the landscape. Typically, the Board of Trustees approves our university budget in early May. We asked the Board for a late June approval date this year to enable us to sharpen our assessment of the new year before presenting a formal budget. Consequently, the Board of Trustees will meet in late June to review and approve budget recommendations for the 2020-2021 year. 

Thank you

This is a stressful time for so many. Thank you for your grace and generosity. We have raised nearly $150,000 towards financial support for our students. Additionally, many of you have supported the food pantries on our campuses through monetary gifts and pantry items. We have seen acts of philanthropy and kindness in every corner.

We know the end of the spring semester and academic year is traditionally a time we can take a deep breath and reflect on the accomplishments of the previous year while preparing for the expectations of the next. We thank everyone for their tireless efforts and adaptability as the university has moved forward through the past weeks and months. We cannot fully anticipate what the next few months will bring, but we know that together we can tackle the planning and preparation necessary to deliver a solid entering and continuing class, and a top-flight learning experience.

We have proven, time and time again, that Stetson University is a resilient teaching and learning community. We will navigate these challenges boldly, collaboratively and with compassion for all Hatters, and we pledge that we will continue to communicate with you as we move forward.

Stay strong and stay safe,

Wendy B. Libby signature

Wendy B. Libby, PhD, President

Christopher Roellke signature

Christopher Roellke, PhD, President-elect

Commencement Dates Set

April 22, 2020

Stetson Faculty and Staff,

It is extraordinary how the Stetson community has responded to the rapid changes the university has had to make over the past few months, but it is especially gratifying to see how our seniors have responded with grace and resilience beyond expectations. We are sorry we will not be together in May to celebrate their achievements, but through the hard work of students, faculty and staff on our Senior Experience committee we have been able to set a date for commencement weekend: Friday and Saturday, Dec. 11-12.

Based on student survey feedback, and in working with Facilities and Academic Affairs, we believe these are the dates that present the best opportunity to successfully gather together for a two-day celebration to mark our 2020 Commencement. Although we are optimistic that we can be back on campus together, as you know it is still uncertain how or when colleges and universities will be able to hold large events and whether there will be size restrictions. Stetson University continues to follow state and local guidance and recommendations from the Florida Department of Health (DOH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

These dates, Dec. 11-12, are for students who qualify for graduation as of July 2019, December 2019, May 2020, August 2020 and December 2020. Since this is an unprecedented, one-time event, December 2020 graduates will have an opportunity to participate, and the Provost’s Office will provide additional guidance for the eligibility of December graduates who would like to attend.

The university is scheduling two days in order to host a full celebration of their achievements and, given the size of the class, commencement will still be separated into College of Arts and Sciences, and Schools of Business and Music events at the Edmunds Center. Tickets will remain in effect for each ceremony and will be reissued to students at a date to be announced.

More information about Stetson’s 134thCommencement ceremonies, awards and celebratory events can be found at the Commencement website, which will be updated as more details become available. We look forward to celebrating with you in December!

Julie Hunter, Director of University Events

2nd Student Tests Positive

April 4, 2020

Stetson University confirmed today a second student has tested positive for COVID-19. The student had off-campus contact with a family member around March 21 and was living in a campus apartment with no roommates. In an abundance of caution, the university contacted all other residential students on that floor. The student visited university Health Service on March 26, moved off campus at that time and has not returned. The student learned of the positive test result today. The university has confirmed the student had limited contact with one other student and one faculty member since March 21. They have been informed, are showing no symptoms, and are self-monitoring and maintaining social isolation for 14 days.

The university is taking extraordinary precautions and in addition to physical distancing protocols, facilities staff have been cleaning and disinfecting common areas in residential spaces daily. 

What to do if you or someone else is sick or fears exposure:

Any member of the Stetson community who has been to campus in the last 14 days and feels they may have come into direct contact with the virus causing COVID-19 or is experiencing flu-like symptoms (fever over 100.3, cough, shortness of breath, possible nausea/diarrhea, possible loss of taste/smell) should alert Stetson immediately. Fill out this online form: Stetson University: COVID-19 Report a Concern Form. During business hours, call Health Service (386-822-8150). After business hours, call Public Safety (386-822-7300). If you are concerned about someone else’s exposure, also let us know -- don’t just tell them to do so. This applies to our College of Law students, faculty and staff.

Governor Ron DeSantis issues Stay-at-Home Order

April 1, 2020

Dear Faculty and Staff,

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order today, Wednesday, April 1, for people in Florida to stay at home due to COVID-19. The order goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday, April 3, and will be in effect until April 30. The order limits movement and personal interaction outside the home.

Only essential services are allowed to operate. A list of essential services has been released, and private colleges and universities are considered essential, but activities are allowed only as needed to maintain or facilitate the online delivery of academic programs and to accommodate students who cannot return home.

Faculty
The executive order gives the university some degree of latitude to allow educators to leave their homes for purposes of facilitating distance learning. For those of you who rely on equipment and spaces that you do not have available at your remote location, you are still permitted to come to campus for the specific function of offering a distance education experience. However, unlike Stetson’s previous guidance, you should not come to campus to:

  • Conduct research that can otherwise be conducted off campus
  • Pursue routine artist endeavors (e.g. set-building, practice on portable instruments)
  • Complete office work
  • Prepare course materials
  • Perform tasks such as advising, hold office hours, or complete grading when those tasks can be performed remotely

Staff
Staff who do not need to be on campus for the continued operation and functioning of the university will work remotely as their job duties allow. All staff working remotely, no matter how much or little of their working day is spent online, must complete the remote work form.

Supervisors, vice presidents, athletic leadership and deans are responsible for having informed staff if they are considered “essential” under the current COVID-19 governor’s executive order, and are required, or allowed, to be on campus at this time. Personnel able to perform essential position functions with limited time on campus, i.e., health, student success, preparing payroll or other financial services, recording class sessions, are asked to continue to do so, but to limit their on-campus time to the minimum necessary.

The university is supporting online program delivery and auxiliary services for students and faculty, and the university is operating as normally as possible within government and health department guidelines.

In short, if you have continued to come to your office for the convenience of a familiar, quiet location where your educational and research materials are handy, you should now move that work to your home or other off campus location. If you can take your computer home in order to facilitate your online classes remotely, please do so. In a week, if you need to access a book, paper, instrument, or other item that you realize you now need, come to campus to pick it up and then return home. If you must come to campus because teaching your class requires a particular space, or a piece of equipment housed on campus, or for another absolutely necessary reason connected to distance learning, then come to campus for the shortest period necessary that is directly related to that activity.

Students are being informed in a separate communication from Campus Life and Student Success.

Additional information will follow as it becomes available and hours and access are defined.

Student Tests Positive

March 31, 2020

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

Stetson University received confirmation today (Tuesday, March 31) that a student has tested positive for COVID-19. The off-campus student, whose name will not be released, is in a hospital in Orlando. The university has been in touch with her family and they asked that this information be communicated to the community.

The student had not been feeling well and had limited her access and interactions with the campus since March 6, but attended a baseball game on March 11 at Melching Field as a student employee. She worked in the press box, but ran promotions and did interact with the crowd. Also, she attended a sorority meeting on March 16.

The sorority and Athletics Department have been notified. The City of DeLand Parks and Recreation Department also has been notified since Melching Field is a city property. The university is working with the Florida Department of Health (DOH), and is currently following its infectious disease protocol.

The university has identified individuals who may have been in contact with the student and asked them to monitor their symptoms per CDC guidelines and report any symptoms to Stetson University’s Health Service.

What to do if you or someone else is sick or fears exposure:

Updated on the morning of April 1: Any member of the Stetson community who has been to campus in the last 14 days and feels they may have come into direct contact with the virus causing COVID-19 or is experiencing flu-like symptoms (fever over 100.3, cough, shortness of breath, possible nausea/diarrhea, possible loss of taste/smell) should alert Stetson immediately. Fill out this online form: Stetson University: COVID-19 Report a Concern Form. During business hours, call Health Service (386-822-8150). After business hours, call Public Safety (386-822-7300). If you are concerned about someone else’s exposure, also let us know -- don’t just tell them to do so. This applies to our College of Law students, faculty and staff.

Protocol developed for Essential Personnel on Campus

March 27, 2020

Dear Faculty and Staff, 

In anticipation of a potential shelter-in-place or stay-at-home order, Stetson’s Emergency Management Team has developed a protocol for essential staff on the DeLand campus. As you may know, our College of Law in Gulfport has already had to institute a similar protocol on that campus.

With approximately 2,000 positive cases of COVID-19 in Florida (as of Thursday, March 26) and several counties and cities issuing a stay-at-home or safer-at-home orders, the university is requiring all campus departments to reduce on-campus staffing to essential personnel effective Monday, March 30.

This in no way impacts the university’s commitment to supporting our employees through this tumultuous semester. All previous communications regarding pay, benefits and leave remain in place.

It is important in these circumstances to recognize there is a difference between what we have traditionally defined as “essential” personnel in a weather related or a hurricane situation and under COVID-19 circumstances. Our definition is wider than what we have considered in the past in order to support the nearly 500 students remaining on campus, our continued online delivery of academic programs and university business operations.

Stetson University is currently defining ‘essential” in the COVID-19 situation, as people who must be on campus to complete part or all of their job responsibilities in order to keep the educational and operational services of the organization going; and people who must be on campus in order to offer services that are necessary during this time.

Staff

Staff who do not need to be on campus for the continued operations and functioning of the university will work remotely as their job duties allow. All staff working remotely, no matter how much or little of their working day is spent online, must complete the remote work form.

Supervisors or vice presidents should inform you if you are considered “essential” under the current COVID-19 situation, and are required, or allowed, to be on campus at this time. Personnel able to perform essential position functions with limited time on campus, i.e., preparing payroll or other financial services, recording class sessions, are asked to continue to do so. The university is supporting online program delivery and auxiliary services for students and faculty, and the university is operating as normally as possible within government and health department guidelines.

Faculty

The guidelines for staff apply also to faculty, recognizing that you may be considered essential personnel requiring access to office, classroom, and lab spaces during times when you are doing work that facilitates online or distance learning, or performing critical research, that cannot otherwise be done remotely.

In summary,

  • Campus buildings moved to key or card access only as of Wednesday, March 25.
  • Visitor access to the university campus has been restricted as of Friday, March 27.
  • Human Resources will move to a reservation system to address HR needs and requests. To contact HR, 386-822-8710, Email: humres@stetson.edu or use the HR contact page.
  • Post office and finance services will remain running, but limited to essential business needs.
  • Housing, On-Call Staff and Public Safety personnel will continue their duties.
  • Facilities will be staffed at a level to meet the needs of the university.
  • Faculty and staff unable to perform their job duties remotely should refer to previous information posted on extended leave available to you.

Physical distancing has been identified as a key weapon in fighting this virus. All of us can do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home. The university will continue to provide updates as we learn more.

Cultural Credit requirement waived for Spring and Summer 2020 Graduates

March 25, 2020

Students,

I am incredibly thankful for your collective approach to moving our educational experiences online. At every turn, I have witnessed your resilience in the face of change, your ability to support your colleagues, and your willingness to work together with faculty as we continue to design an online experience that fulfills our promise to you for a great education.

I write today with specific information about a decision made regarding the cultural credit requirement. Following consideration by multiple faculty groups, as well as a full review and recommendation by our university curriculum committee (UCCAP), the cultural credit requirement will be waived for students who graduate at the end of the Spring 2020 and Summer 2020 semesters. For students who graduate after Summer 2020, the current cultural credit requirement remains unchanged. There will be select virtual cultural credit events offered this semester, spring 2020, so that returning students have the opportunity to continue accumulating those credits toward their graduation in fall 2020 and beyond.

There are several other academic matters that remain under consideration, many of which I hope to resolve in the coming days.

Noel Painter, PhD, Executive Vice President and Provost

Updates About Services and Logistics on the DeLand Campus from Lua Hancock

March 24, 2020

Stetson DeLand community -

I know you have been hearing from me a lot, but I want to make sure you are as up to date as possible in this most unique time. The president’s cabinet, the vice president’s operational team, and the emergency management team meet often. Above my signature are some of the latest decisions we have made. Below my signature is a list of important information about Stetson operations, access to services, and updated dining information for new hours starting Friday. Whether you are on campus or not, we suggest that you read though this information and take advantage of the various programs and services that we will continue to offer you all throughout this Spring term. As always, see the Coronavirus Communication website for more details on the items below and all communications to date.

  • Following the statewide closure of libraries, duPont-Ball Library on the DeLand campus will close today, March 23, at 8 p.m. Library services can still be accessed online and by phone as well as curb service pick up for certain materials and electronics.
  • No parking tickets will be given out for the rest of the semester except for illegally parked vehicles (handicap spaces, loading areas, etc.).
  • Virtual enrollment tours begin Friday morning, March 27. There will not be on-campus tours at any Stetson campus.
  • Starting Friday, March 27, no visitors will be allowed on any Stetson campus unless approved by a Vice President or the Athletic Director. All visitors must fill out the Visitor Form prior to being approved to come to any campus.
  • Beginning on Wednesday, March 25, buildings on the DeLand campus will be accessible only by the Stetson community. By 9 a.m. tomorrow, all buildings will be on key or card swipe access only and open to all faculty, staff and students. If you need help with your card working please contact Beth Eaton, Public Safety administrative assistant at 386-822-7310. If you need a replacement card, please go to One Stop in the Welcome Center.
  • As previously reported, Lynn Commons, Einstein Brothers, BYOB and the coffee shop are take-out only, with curb-side pick-up. Lynn Commons is not accepting cash, and hours of operation and locations will change starting Friday.
  • A commencement survey will go out late next week to DeLand graduating students (July 2019, December 2019) and potential graduates (May 2020). Responses to that survey will inform the work of the senior celebration.
  • Additional leave may be available to employees whose family is negatively impacted by COVID-19 due to illness or the closing of childcare facilities. For more information on this benefit, please see the Faculty/Staff page on the Coronavirus Communication website.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Lua R. Hancock, Vice President, Campus Life and Student Success

How to access Virtual Services from duPont-Ball Library

March 23, 2020

Stetson Community:

The university continues to follow the guidance coming from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Department of Health. On Friday, the university made changes to food services following the governor’s order to end in-house food service. As a result, students are now limited to take-out and pick-up services. Following recent restrictions on libraries throughout Florida, for the health and safety of our community, the duPont-Ball Library will be moving to virtual services effective Monday, March 23, at 8:00 pm. The Library doors will close as of today, at 8 p.m., Monday, March 23. This is a difficult decision for us and we look forward to the day when we open our doors to you again.

We plan to continue to support students, faculty and staff by offering library services:

Ask a Librarian Virtual Information and Research Assistance: libref@stetson.edu

Available:

  • Monday-Friday: 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
  • Saturday: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Sunday: 2 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Request Physical Items for Pickup:

Items Available for Pickup at Library Front Doors

  • Monday-Friday: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Saturday-Sunday: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Request Equipment Checkout: libadmin@stetson.edu

Interlibrary Loan Questions: circdept@stetson.edu

If you need help with Archives and Special Collections: archives@stetson.edu

The 24/7 Computer Lab on the Library Ground Floor is open to users but requires card swipe to enter.

Susan M. Ryan, Betty Drees Johnson Dean of the Library and Learning Technologies, duPont-Ball Library

Message to Parents from Campus Life and Student Success

March 21, 2020

Parents-

You have likely been following the state, national, and global COVID-19 situation as it continues to rapidly evolve. As it does, guidance for decreasing contact with each other and emergency orders to close gyms, restrict travel, and ban in-restaurant dining increase.

As a result, Stetson closed our gyms, is asking students to not gather in groups of more than 10, and has restricted on campus dining to pick up and to-go options only. In light of all these rapid changes I know you have been seriously considering what is the best location for your Hatter. If your child is still planning to stay on campus and has an option to travel home, please consider that option, and if they decide to travel home, please have them resubmit the “What’s my plan” form online.

Stetson has no positive cases of COVID-19 in our community, and I remain hopeful that the university will not need to make any additional restrictions based on government and health department directives. We have a plan to house and feed the students who have no other choice but to stay on campus, but like you, I note the additional restrictions several states, hard hit by COVID-19, have made as an indication of what may be yet to come.

At this time, our campus and our services remain open and the COVID-19 Stetson website https://www.stetson.edu/covid-19/ has all of our communications to date and FAQs.

We stand ready to answer any further questions you may have. We send you wishes of continued health and some sense of peace in this unprecedented time. I am so grateful for this amazing Stetson community.

Lua R. Hancock, Vice President, Campus Life and Student Success

Video Message from President Libby

March 20, 2020

I want you to know we are thinking of all Hatters in these uncertain times, and I hope you and your families are safe and healthy. Please know the university administration and Emergency Management Team are working very hard to ensure faculty, students and employees are safe. We have quickly made some significant changes in how the university works, and I am so impressed with how this entire community has rallied.

I recorded this message on Thursday, March 19, 2020. I say that only because in today’s environment, things can and do change quickly.

Wendy B. Libby, PhD, President

Commencement Message from President Libby

March 19, 2020

To our graduating students:

One of my most anticipated moments each year is the honor and pleasure of presiding over commencement ceremonies for our graduating class in DeLand, and for our College of Law graduates in Gulfport. As your ceremony starts, I look over the assembled audience and consider how everyone's success comes together at that moment: students’ hard work and achievements; faculty members' inspirational teaching and mentoring; staff members' professionalism and commitment; and, your family and friends' investment in you.

Recent guidance from the CDC, restricting gatherings to no more than 10 people for the next eight weeks and practicing physical distancing, makes it impossible for the university to celebrate your achievements at a formal, in-person graduation ceremony in mid-May. I am heartbroken but am writing to inform you, Class of 2020, undergraduate and graduate, that we must postpone your commissioning event, honors and award receptions and commencement ceremonies at this time.

You and your faculty have worked so hard for this, and you deserve every special moment that comes in your final semester and during commencement ceremonies. I promise you we will celebrate your commencement, and we will be in contact to ask for your feedback and input on the best way for those celebrations to occur. Additionally, we welcome your feedback on other senior celebratory activities that can no longer be held as planned. Thank you to the College of Law students for providing feedback to your dean about your thoughts on commencement. We will be reaching out to DeLand seniors as well.

Although the celebrations are postponed, your achievements are not. All students successfully completing their coursework and other requirements within the prescribed period of time will be graduates of Stetson University. Delaying the celebrations will not delay your degree. You will receive notice of the successful completion of requirements for your degree program and will receive your diploma in the mail.

I am profoundly sad about the need for this announcement. I am seeing evidence of Hatter strength and resilience everywhere I look. Our sense of love and community will help us weather the days until we come together for your commencement ceremonies in the future.

Wendy Libby, PhD, President

Staff Update from President Libby

March 17, 2020

Information also available on the Faculty and Staff Updates page.

Dear Staff Colleagues:

In an uncertain world, the most valuable thing I can provide is certainty. After meeting with the DeLand Staff Advisory Council, and with Dean Alexandre who held similar meetings at the College of Law, I’ve had an opportunity to hear about the issues that most concern staff in this rapidly changing situation. Here are some of the answers I can provide to you today:

  • The university is in a strong financial position and has the resources and strength to weather this storm and, with the support of our Board of Trustees, I am announcing today the university is committed to maintaining current work hours and payroll for all employees, exempt and hourly, through what I think we can all agree is a very atypical semester.
  • I have directed the vice presidents, athletics director and dean at the College of Law to work with their leadership teams to plan for maintaining operations and maximizing the ability for staff to telecommute or work from home while providing skeletal on-campus staffing where necessary. Leadership will ensure that offices accomplish their functions in a way that curtails time needed on campus while still meeting university needs. As you plan, please keep in mind that the university is still open, faculty are still working and students are taking full class loads. In addition, we have hundreds of students who have chosen to remain on campus.
  • All departments have been requested to use this week to put plans together, and by Thursday the Emergency Management Team will review the plans. Our intention is for them to take effect as of Friday, March 20.
  • University employees with medical or family situations that are at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness should be in touch with their VP/AD/Law Dean or HR to make other work arrangements. The university will work on a case-by-case basis to address issues as appropriate. Some conditions that may be of concern:
    • Those with critical, acute medical conditions
    • Older adults and those with underlying medical conditions, i.e., heart or lung disease or diabetes as defined by the CDC who are at high risk
    • Those in close daily contact with family members who have these conditions
  • We recognize the impact of the local school districts in closing their schools, and we again ask those individuals impacted to work with their VP/AD/Law Dean to address their situations while still maintaining university services.
  • We recognize that working in a telecommuting environment may be new for some staff and supervisors, and that most of our facilities and public safety staff do not require computers for their work. HR will be providing guidance and will be available to consult with and advise supervisors as needed.
  • As for leave: while there will be flexibility in hours worked, staff members who are legitimately on vacation and not working should record the time as such. Likewise, if a staff member is sick and unable to work, the time should be recorded as sick time. This is also important for tracking of the short-term disability elimination period.
  • We trust our staff to do the right thing for Stetson and our students.
  • I am working with Public Safety and Facilities to meet in person today (Wednesday, March 18) since many staff members in those departments do not have computer access.
  • I have scheduled webinars on Thursday, March 19, for staff participation. We have already held these for students and parents and found them to be very helpful. The links were sent in an email directly to staff and includes participation from the College of Law.

Nobody knows how long this will last, and there may come a time when we must reevaluate; for now, I want to give our community some level of comfort and certainty. These are challenging times, it is also a time for Stetson to highlight what makes us Stetson – care for our students and each other, love of the institution and a commitment to Stetson’s future.

Wendy B. Libby, PhD, President

President Libby Announces Online Classes, Other Proactive Measures

March 12, 2020

Stetson University has been working diligently to keep the personalized class experience we value in place, while planning and preparing for the potential disruption to our typical modes of education. We recognize that the classroom experience and interaction with faculty and close-knit groups of students are core to the transformative education we as an institution, as educators and as students truly value. Given the rapid changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, even within the last 24 hours, I believe that our responsibility to students, their families, and our amazing staff and faculty requires that we put in place a different approach to learning for the remainder of the semester.

With that in mind, we are taking the following proactive measures on all of our campuses:

  • Saturday, March 14 will be the last day for face-to-face classes for undergraduate and graduate students.
  • In DeLand and Celebration, classes are canceled on Monday and Tuesday, March 16-17 to allow faculty and students to pause and prepare for the transition to online classes.
  • In DeLand and Celebration, our normal class schedule will resume via remote instruction Wednesday, March 18.
  • Following spring break in Gulfport, all classes will resume on Monday, March 23, via remote instruction.
  • All classes will continue in an online format through the end of the spring semester on all Stetson campuses.
  • Stetson Athletics announced today the ASUN conference is suspending athletics competition through April 5, and will make a decision regarding any further competition this semester on Friday, March 13.
  • The university has not made a final decision on the handling of commencement and will continue to review and assess the situation, but will strive to provide a decision and announcement by March 31.

College of Law students should consider taking their academic materials, laptops and books with them as they leave for spring break.

In DeLand, on-campus housing remains open to students currently living in the residence halls. Students will have the option of continuing to stay, and the university will continue to assess any health risks to the community in line with the current coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. Students will need to decide by Friday, March 20, whether they will remain in the residence halls throughout the remainder of the term and should indicate their plans on the Housing form. Students who decide to leave should vacate their residence hall by Monday, March 23. Students remaining on campus may be moved to single or suite-style rooms and will be offered some assistance with moving.

Additionally, the library will remain open and services such as dining, counseling, health service and tutoring on campus will continue; however, the hours those services operate may become more limited depending on the volume of students who choose to stay. The Office of Residential Living and Learning will be in touch with students with more information about these changes.

College of Law Campus Housing also remains open to students. Follow up instructions will be sent by the Assistant Director of Residential Life.

The university is providing a suite of collaboration tools, including Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft OneDrive and Blackboard. You should become familiar with these tools if you haven’t already done so. Provost Painter and the deans will be directly in touch with faculty directly regarding planning, training and logistics.

All campuses will remain open until further notice, and we will be in touch with more details about campus operations in the coming days. Staff and faculty will continue to meet their administrative and educational responsibilities moving forward and will continue to report to work as normal until further notice. We urge staff and faculty to consult the HR guidelines published earlier this week. Vice presidents will be in touch with staff in their areas to clarify obligations and plans.

Other details about this decision will be found in the FAQ section that we are putting in place on the Coronavirus Communications site. Check back often as new information may be added daily.

In summary, please know that Stetson University remains committed to our students’ success and to the health and well-bring of everyone in our community. Our promise to provide students with an excellent education has not wavered. We will continue to learn and work together even with a different kind of learning delivery. We remain committed to the Stetson educational experience and face-to-face, hands-on education we are known for. We look forward to being able to return to our in-class learning environment during the upcoming summer and fall terms.

Wendy B. Libby, Ph.D., President 

President Libby Announces Restrictions on Travel, Events and Visitors

March 11, 2020

Dear Students, Parents, Faculty and Staff,

The university administration, College of Law, and Emergency Management Team, are continuing to meet to address the issues related to the outbreak of coronavirus COVID-19. As we are all aware it is a rapidly changing, and challenging, situation. The decisions the university faces are not easy, as we seek to balance the safety and welfare of our students and Stetson community against our educational mission and community partnerships. After considering multiple issues and possibilities, we are making the following announcements. All of them are effective immediately.

  • All non-essential Stetson-sponsored domestic and international travel are cancelled through the end of Spring term. The university cabinet, which includes vice presidents, the athletics director, deans and the President are responsible for defining essential and non-essential travel for their areas and questions should be directed to them.
  • Stetson University is postponing, rescheduling and cancelling events hosted on all campuses that are primarily attended by external visitors (conferences, advisory boards, open houses). This is effective through March 31, 2020.Event organizers may choose to adjust the audience to be primarily internal to the university, move it online or postpone the event to a later date.
  • The Athletics Department is restricting home game attendance to Stetson students, faculty and staff with a current Stetson ID, immediate families of Stetson athlete-scholars and officials.
  • The University is requiring all visitors to postpone their planned campus visit if they have been in any of the international areas impacted by COVID-19 in the past 14 days, have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days or are exhibiting flu- or cold-like symptoms.
  • Screening documents must be completed prior to arrival by prospective students planning shadow visits or overnight visits, and invited guests and speakers planning on being in the classroom or at an event. External faculty or staff candidates selected for on-campus interviews will also be asked to fill out screening forms. A link to the document will be provided. If visitors are found to be at high-risk, they will not be allowed on our campuses. Invited guests, speakers, and performers prohibited from coming to campus may be able to present their content in a streaming, video conference or online format.

Late Wednesday, the university received communications to the DeLand campus from the local Trinity United Methodist Church warning that a church member may have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 . The church has asked that any members of the Stetson community that have attended services at this church to please monitor your health status and report health issues tothe Florida Department of Health at 1-866-779-6121 or notify Stetson Health Service at 386-822-8150.

We will continue to keep the community informed as decisions are being made that impact us all, students, parents, faculty and staff. I personally ask all members of our community to treat each other with kindness and respect. We are in this together and we will come through it together.

Wendy B. Libby, Ph.D., President

Update from President Libby

March 11, 2020

UPDATE: The two non-Stetson University people who traveled with Stetson students and faculty member to London and Paris have tested negative for COVID-19.

12:30 p.m., March 11, 2020, Message From President Libby

The international outbreak of COVID-19 has created some uncertainty for all of us, and I want to ensure that members of the Stetson community are informed on the decisions and direction of the university. Every morning brings a new headline or update. Just yesterday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency in response to the coronavirus, and the university continues to receive ongoing guidance from national, state, and local health officials.

The university has been informed that two non-Stetson University people who traveled with Stetson students and a faculty member during a Stetson trip to London and Paris over spring break are currently being tested for COVID-19, and one has been hospitalized. At this time, the illness has NOT been confirmed. We informed all members of the trip this morning of the situation, and we are keeping the community informed as well. Students have been advised to self-monitor and contact Health Services if they develop any flu- or cold-like symptoms.

We will keep the community informed as we learn more about the situation.

TRAVEL

As has been previously indicated (see Health Measures and International Travel update), the university has suspended all university-sponsored travel to Level 4 or Level 3 countries as defined by the U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories through the spring term 2020.

The university is looking at the possibility of suspending all or some university-sponsored domestic travel to events or conferences, but at this point, we continue to operate as normally as possible. We encourage all of our community members to take necessary precautions. There are no recommendations from federal or state health officials that Stetson make any changes to domestic travel, class schedules, or events at this time.

VISITORS, GUESTS AND CANDIDATES

Stetson University is asking all potential visitors including prospective students and families, visiting scholars, community members and guests, athletes and athletic teams, and guest speakers to postpone their planned campus visit if they have been in an impacted area in the past 14 days, have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days, or are experiencing flu- or cold-like symptoms. 

Additionally, prospective students planning shadow visits or overnight visits, invited guests and speakers planning on being in the classroom or at an event, and any persons selected for on-campus faculty or staff interviews will be required to fill out a screening document prior to their arrival on campus. High-risk individuals will not be allowed to come to campus at this time.

NEXT

The university administration has been discussing issues associated with the COVID-19 outbreak since January, the Emergency Management Team (EMT) has been meeting, sometimes daily, since mid-February and contingency planning is actively underway through a variety of small action teams coordinated by the EMT.

Provost Painter has asked all faculty to speak with their students about the potential for continuing their Stetson education in a distance-learning or online environment, and he has informed students of the planning and efforts underway should that become necessary.

Finally, this is a question that is being asked, so I wanted to repost it to help guide your actions:

What do I do if I’m concerned about my health or someone else’s in the community?

All members of the Stetson community (DeLand, Celebration, Gulfport, and Tampa) who feel they may have come into direct contact with the virus causing COVID-19 or are experiencing flu-like symptoms (fever over 100.3, cough, shortness of breath), should alert Stetson Health Service (crinehar@stetson.edu, 386-822-8150) for assistance. After business hours, please contact Public Safety (386-822-7300). You can use the “Stetson University: COVID-19 Report a Concern” form to report any direct concerns you have for yourself or others regarding COVID-19. 

To reiterate, the above instruction and contact information applies to all members of the Stetson community on all campuses: DeLand, Celebration, Gulfport, and Tampa.

Thank you all for your commitment to the safety and welfare of our students and the Stetson community. I truly appreciate the incredible efforts across our campuses as we face this quickly changing situation together.

Wendy B. Libby, Ph.D., President

Welcome Back from Spring Break message

March 8, 2020

Now that Spring Break is coming to a close, we look forward to the Stetson community returning to campus and getting back in the academic rhythm. In regard to coronavirus COVID-19, the university continues to follow recommendations provided by the Florida Department of Health (DOH) regarding students, faculty and staff returning to campus from Spring Break travel, travel abroad, athletics events, music performances, conferences and other events.

We ask students, faculty and staff who have been out of town to follow all of the established guidelines we have stated in our communications to date. Any member of the Stetson community who feels they were in a situation during break where they may have come into direct contact with the virus and any member of the community that is experiencing flu-like symptoms when they are at Stetson should alert Stetson Health Service (crinehar@stetson.edu, 386-822-8150) or their healthcare provider for assistance. After business hours, please contact public safety (386-822-7300).

Stetson’s Health Service office is in continual contact with the Florida Department of Health and the Volusia County Health Department, and was informed Saturday that there are two new presumptive cases in Florida, one of which is in Volusia County.

In the event there are any significant changes in the medical and public health guidance Stetson is receiving, the university will communicate that to the campus and take all necessary steps to help keep you safe.

Lua R. Hancock, Vice President Campus Life and Student Success

Update on Health Measures and International Travel

March 6, 2020

Dear Stetson Community,

Although there is still much unknown about the eventual impact of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) on our nation and the world, work is underway at Stetson University to help graduate and undergraduate students, families, parents, faculty and staff make appropriate decisions about their education and health.

Health Measures:

The university’s Health Service office is connected to the Florida AdventHealth system and is able to access support and resources. It is following guidance provided by the Florida Department of Health (DOH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Health Service office and Emergency Management Team have an infectious disease protocol that is ready to be activated if it becomes necessary. For now, we have been implementing the preventive guidelines we have outlined in the plan. As has been reiterated by the Department of Health and the CDC, the most effective precaution is to practice good hygiene through hand washing and covering your mouth with the crook of your arm when you cough or sneeze. Obviously, given the spread of COVID-19, anyone exhibiting flu- or cold-like symptoms (e.g., cough, fever, shortness of breath) should stay home from class and/or work, avoid others for the duration of the symptoms and contact your health provider for guidance. We have implemented additional preventive measures in areas such as Dining, the Hollis Center and Residence Halls.

Stetson Health Service (SHS) has received the AdventHealth coronavirus protocol, along with clear direction from the Florida DOH regarding screening and testing for the coronavirus. ALL patients coming into the clinic will be asked to answer a two-question screening tool. If the responses warrant testing, our provider will be in contact with the state health department, who will make the determination for testing and follow-up. Testing consists of a throat and nasal swab. While test results are pending, and depending on symptomatic/asymptomatic presentation, the individual will be in isolation/quarantine, preferably at home. The university has a comprehensive plan to address infectious diseases on campus and is ready to implement it to maintain individual and community comfort, safety and health.

The Stetson Health Clinic is open to students, faculty and staff, and can be reached by calling 386-822-8150 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to noon and 1-4:30 p.m.

Health care options for those who need it when Stetson Health Service is closed include:

  • AdventHealth Hospital DeLand, 386-943-4650
  • Centra Care Urgent Care, 2293 S. Woodland Blvd., 386-279-7010
  • MedExpress Urgent Care, 1328 N. Woodland Blvd. 386-738-0574

Communication and Updates:

As information becomes known to the university, it is being shared as soon as possible through updates on Stetson Today, or here on the Coronavirus Communication website for the DeLand campus, and through emails from Dean Michèle Alexandre to the College of Law community.

International Travel:

The university’s W.O.R.L.D. (World Outreach, Research, Learning and Development): The David and Leighan Rinker Center for International Learning manages the university’s study abroad and exchange programs. We have no students, faculty or staff on university-sponsored travel in “hot zone” or “Level 4” areas or countries. We do have students, faculty and staff abroad on university-sponsored work, but they are all in lower-level risk areas.

Stetson’s decisions on travel are informed by the United States Department of State Travel Advisory levels of risk, as well as from other reputable health information sources (CDC, State of Florida). We have decided the following for Stetson-sponsored international travel for Spring 2020:

  1. Stetson does not support any university-sponsored travel to a U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory Level 4 region or country. Students, staff and faculty are required to return to the U.S. at any point when Level 4 is declared.
  2. Students, staff and faculty currently on Stetson-sponsored travel to U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory Level 3 regions or countries are urged, but not required, to leave the affected area immediately.
  3. Any student, staff, or faculty returning from a U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory Level 3 or 4 region or country must contact Stetson’s Health Service Coordinator, Cathy Rinehart, RN, at crinehar@stetson.edu to complete the return-to-campus process. This is applicable regardless of whether the country’s designation occurs before departure or during the trip. Please be aware you may be subject to self-quarantine restrictions prior to your return.
  4. Stetson is postponing or canceling all university-sponsored student, staff and faculty travel to U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory Level 3 regions or countries (where the travel advisory level is the result of COVID-19) through the end of the spring term, 2020. Such travel includes but is not restricted to all non-academic programs (i.e. athletic trips), non-credit programs (i.e. academic competitions, student organization trips) and credit-bearing academic programs that have not yet commenced.

If you have questions about current or upcoming international travel associated with Stetson, please contact world@stetson.edu or 386-822-8165 (DeLand), or Jessica Richman Dworkin at jdworkin@law.stetson.edu, 727-562-7857 (College of Law).

Campus Life and Domestic Travel:

At this point, the university continues to operate as normal, and we encourage all of our community members to take necessary precautions. There are no recommendations from federal or state health officials that Stetson make any changes to class schedules, events or domestic travel at this time.

Expectations of Professionalism and Compassion:

There have been an increasing number of national news reports regarding stereotyping, harassment and bullying directed at persons perceived to be of Chinese American or, more generally, Asian descent, including students. Additionally, students, staff and faculty who are ill for any reason (such as cold, flu, allergies) may face discriminatory behavior from others who joke, or even truly assume, that a sneeze or cough is evidence of having COVID-19. Similarly, students, staff and faculty who are known to have recently traveled to areas that have been prominent in the news for their cases of COVID-19 (Italy, Hillsborough County) may face similar behavior. These reports are troubling and this type of behavior is clearly out of alignment with university values and expectations of how we act in our community. Please make every effort to avoid such assumptions and inappropriate behavior.

In closing, there is a lot of information about the virus and actions being implemented at local, state and national levels. We encourage you to read our Coronavirus Communication website, which will be updated as needed, and FAQs, and please check the CDC and Florida Department of Health (DOH) websites for the latest information. This situation will continue to evolve and we will work together to take appropriate actions that support and protect our community. 

Sincerely

Wendy B. Libby, PhD, President

Lua Hancock, Vice President, Campus Life and Student Success

University Officials Assessing COVID-19 Situation

March 2, 2020

University officials continue to meet on an ongoing basis to discuss the evolving situation of the COVID-19 strain of the Corona Virus. Here on the COVID-19 update website you can read up to date information regarding the countries to which we have suspended or delayed international travel (below). In countries where we currently have students, faculty and or staff participating in Stetson sponsored programs, we are actively monitoring the situation and will make any changes if needed. Stetson’s W.O.R.L.D. (World Outreach, Research, Learning and Development): The David and Leighan Rinker Center for International Learning manages the university’s study abroad and exchange programs and is working with Stetson students and faculty to keep them up to date on current and planned travel programs.

The Florida Department of Health (DOH) is recommending travelers returning from any of the high to medium risk areas (China, South Korea, Iran and parts of Italy) that are asymptomatic, or without apparent symptoms, isolate themselves for up to 14 days to ensure COVID-19 is not present. According to the DOH the vast majority of flights from affected regions are being rerouted to airports with CDC quarantine areas for screening. If you are returning from personal travel from one of the areas for which the DOH suggests self-isolation, please contact studentsuccess@stetson.edu for us to work with you on your academic needs. 

The university continues to assess the situation on a daily basis and will provide updates as the situation changes and as the Florida DOH, CDC and State Department provide new information.

We will continue to work to provide guidance and context to students, faculty and administrators in this fast-evolving situation, and ask that despite the obvious health concerns and surrounding uncertainty, we as a community continue to treat each other with care and kindness.

Two Presumptive Cases of COVID-19 announced in Florida

March 2, 2020

On Sunday, March 1, the Florida Department of Health announced two presumptive cases of COVID-19 in Florida: One in Manatee County and another in Hillsborough. Both individuals are in isolation at this time. Following the announcements, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis directed that a Public Health Emergency be declared in the state of Florida.

Today, the governor and officials with Florida Health held a press conference in Tampa, and Florida Health is updating its information on its website and posting to social media.

Stetson University will continue to provide updates as information becomes available. 

Stetson Urges Community to Stay Informed of COVID-19 on Spring Break

Feb. 28, 2020

Dear campus community,

We wanted to take time to offer some information about the coronavirus known as COVID-19 and keep the community informed. We are taking proactive measures and monitoring the evolving situation. At this time, there are no known cases of coronavirus in the State of Florida. We are, of course, continuing to carefully follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and our state and county health departments.

Stetson has a comprehensive infectious disease protocol that is ready to be activated, should it be necessary, and Stetson’s Health Service office is part of the Florida Advent Health system, giving us access to their support and resources.

Spring Break begins next week, and it is important that you stay informed and practice healthy and safe behaviors, especially if you have travel plans. Stetson strongly encourages students, faculty and staff to evaluate travels plans and departure/return dates given possible travel limitations, bans and quarantines that can be put into effect with little or no prior warning as countries respond to outbreaks.

Below we have listed some additional information. Wishing you a restful and safe Spring Break.

Lua Hancock, Vice President: Campus Life and Student Success

College of Law

April 2, 2020, Message from Dean Alexandre

Dear Students, Staff and Faculty,

As a reminder, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order on Wednesday, April 1, for people in Florida to stay at home due to COVID-19. The order goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday, April 3, and will be in effect until April 30. The order limits movement and personal interaction outside the home.

As we outlined in our communication on March 25, 2020, Stetson Law has planned for these circumstances. To comply with health guidelines and governmental mandates, our law school has been operating remotely, with online learning, for weeks. Remote operations will continue. We will provide at least 48 hours’ notice regarding the return to campus.

What this means?
To continue operations on the College of Law in Gulfport and Tampa, we have reduced staffing to essential personnel only. Our various departments will continue to update you regarding their virtual office hours. If you need to reach anyone, please feel free to call the respective phone numbers of our offices listed here: https://www.stetson.edu/other/covid-19/col-student-resources.php

AROUND THE CAMPUS
All classrooms are locked. The gym, tennis courts, basketball courts, and the fields remain closed. Swipe-card access to the Student Lounge has been restricted to dorm residents. Other students wishing to access the food pantry can contact Public Safety. Access will be limited to one student at a time.

For any questions, please contact Public Safety at (727) 343-1262. It is open 24 hours/7 days a week.

DINING
The Coffee Bistro
– Dining is open with limited offering from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. We offer boxed lunches. Options from the grill are available but must be called in and given a scheduled pick up time.  Breakfast and dinners are offered on a to-go basis and orders are to be requested the day before, no later than 3 p.m.

Breakfast and snacks (on demand)
Lunch and Dinner Hours are 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. (pick up by 3 p.m.)
Orders must be called into the Coffee Bistro ahead of time by calling (727) 562-7753.

LIBRARY
The Dolly and Homer Hand Law Library remains closed in Gulfport and Tampa. Reference assistance continues to be offered via email lawrefgp@law.stetson.edu or via phone (727) 562-7821 during the following times:

Monday–Friday 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Additional Library information can be found here.

HEALTH SERVICES
We encourage you to read our Coronavirus Communication website, which will be updated as needed and please check the CDC and Florida Department of Health (DOH) websites for the latest information.

For local medical services, please see the COL local health resources page at https://www.stetson.edu/law/students/home/health-services.php.

Staying at home
Physical distancing is a key weapon in fighting this virus. All of us can do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home. We will continue to provide you with updates as we learn more.

The Stetson spirit shines bright in our work together. We remain at our best in the midst of the current conditions. Take care of yourself and your loved ones.

Sincerely,

Michèle Alexandre Dean and Professor of Law

April 1, 2020, Message from Dean Alexandre

Dear Students,

Thank you for your continued engagement. We have heard you. We value your input and our goal is to answer your questions as swiftly as possible. In reaching our decisions, we prioritize your health, your career, and our academic obligations to you. In that vein, see below for announcements regarding the College of Law’s grading policy for Spring of 2020 and various other issues.

Grading Policy
This evening, the College of Law passed the Emergency Grading Policies and Procedures for the COVID-19 Pandemic. This policy requires that all J.D. students and resident LL.M. students be graded using a pass/fail scale, unless the course was completed by March 13. Students in the online LL.M. and online Masters Programs will be graded as normal.

The policy preserves opportunities for students to maintain their ranks as of Fall 2019 and to be eligible for grade-based awards and co-curricular activities, as well as addresses the honors program and graduation honors for May/August 2020 graduates. The advocacy board’s faculty advisors and members, as well as the journals, will communicate specific details regarding their selection process in light of the Spring 2020 pass/fail system, as requested by the College of Law. The full text of this policy will be posted soon.

As always, students should feel free to contact the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Jason Bent, jbent@law.stetson.edu, for specific questions.

Fee Reimbursement
All J.D. and International LL.M. students will be refunded a prorated percentage of the activity fee and printing benefit you may not have been able to use. Additionally, the Business Office will refund any graduating 3L who has a balance on their print accounts from funds that they personally contributed this semester. Please contact the Business Office at (727) 562-7805, if you believe you are eligible for this refund.

Housing Security deposits will be reimbursed to 3Ls who desire to move out due to the Coronavirus. For 1L and 2Ls, security deposits will be handled in the normal way by rolling over to the next year. If you would like to move out due to the Coronavirus, you must notify housing immediately and let them know what arrangements you plan to make. The deadline for making these arrangements is Wednesday, April 15, 2020.

For graduating 3Ls who want to take advantage of Bar Stay, we will extend the Bar Stay move out deadline to August 2, regardless of whether the July Bar takes place or is delayed.

Regarding SBA fees, as you know, student organizations are independent entities. As such, we will continue to communicate with SBA President, Rachel Wise, as to SBA’s preferred approach, considering the current circumstances.

We will continue to update you on other issues, including exam administration, graduation and news relating to the July Bar Exam.

I look forward to continued communications with you.

Best,

Dean Alexandre

March 31, 2020, Message from Dean Alexandre

Dear Students,

Thank you to those who attended today’s Town Hall Webinars.

As we discussed, we will provide specific updates by this Friday, April 3 regarding grading policies, considering COVID-19. Additionally, faculty members will be in touch by the end of the week with an update regarding the administration of their assessments. As indicated at the Town Hall, we are planning for remote assessments. Options available to faculty members for administration of final assessments include Exam Soft’s ExamMonitor for remote proctoring, take home exams, or final papers. All of these means of assessment administration will be subject to the Academic Honor Code.

We will continue to provide regular updates regarding discussions with the Florida Board of Bar Examiners, graduation and ways to satisfy pro bono hours. We are taking all student input into consideration and are working to provide the best alternatives.

As you know, our goal is to continue to provide specific answers to your questions in weekly Town Hall Webinars on Tuesdays, at either 12 noon or 5 p.m. To help accomplish that, starting next week, every Monday, we will send a link where you can submit questions in advance of the Town Hall Webinar. For instance, we have heard your feedback on graduation. Continue sending your thoughts and we will consider it all as we look to provide the best solution.

We will also continue to work diligently to keep our COVID Coronavirus Communication website updated so that you have the most accurate information after the webinars.

The College of Law remains committed to our students’ success and to the health and well-being of everyone in our community.

Sincerely,

Dean Alexandre

March 25, 2020, Message from Dean Alexandre

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

To comply with the county directives and to manage the health of the community, the College of Law will follow shelter-in-place guidelines for Gulfport and Tampa, effective Friday, March 27, until further notice. We will continue to monitor the situation and will provide at least 48 hours’ notice regarding the return to campus.

Pinellas County has issued a “safer at home” directive that goes into effect at noon on Thursday, March 26. Non-essential businesses will be required to practice strict CDC physical distancing guidelines or close, and residents must limit travel outside their homes.

Additionally, Hillsborough County has enacted a “safer at home” directive and nightly curfew, restricting residents to their homes from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. starting this Friday. Apart from the mandatory curfew, all Hillsborough residents will be asked to stay in their homes 24-hours a day, seven days a week, except to access essential services such as grocery stores, banks and pharmacies.

What this means
The College of Law has planned for this circumstance. The majority of faculty and staff are already working remotely, and students are continuing their studies online. To continue operations on the College of Law in Gulfport and Tampa while sheltering in place, we have reduced staffing to essential personnel only. In this remote landscape, we are committed to delivering the exceptional education that distinguishes us.

AROUND THE CAMPUS AND SWIPE CARD ACCESS

All classrooms have been sanitized and will remain locked.  External doors to campus buildings will begin to be locked at 5 p.m. and will be reopened by 8 a.m.

The gym, tennis courts, basketball courts, and the fields are closed effective immediately. Swipe-card access to the Student Lounge has been restricted to dorm residents. Other students wishing access to the Student Lounge to access the food pantry can contact Public Safety. Access will be limited to one student at a time.

Public Safety is open 24 hours /7 days a week. Call (727) 343-1262.

DINING

The Coffee Bistro – Dining will be open with limited offering from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. We will offer boxed lunches. Options from the grill will be available, but must be called in and given a scheduled pick up time.  Breakfast and Dinners will be offered on a to-go basis, and orders are to be requested the day before no later than 4 p.m.

Breakfast and snacks (on demand)
Lunch Hours are 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Dinner Hours are 4 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Orders must be called into the Coffee Bistro ahead of time by calling (727) 562-7753.

LIBRARY

The Dolly and Homer Hand Law Library will be closing in Gulfport and Tampa as of 5 p.m., Thursday, March 26. At that time, the swipe card access will be disabled.

Reference assistance will be offered via email lawrefgp@law.stetson.edu or via phone (727) 562-7821 during the following times:

Monday–Friday 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Additional Library information can be found here.

HEALTH SERVICES
We encourage you to read our  Coronavirus Communication website, which will be updated as needed and please check the CDC  and Florida Department of Health (DOH) websites for the latest information.    

For local medical services, please see the COL local health resources page at:

https://www.stetson.edu/law/students/home/health-services.php

Physical distancing is the key weapon to fighting this virus. We can all do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home. We will continue to provide you with updates as we learn more from Pinellas County, Hillsborough County and the State of Florida. We will get through this unprecedented time together. Take care of yourself and each other.

Sincerely,

Michèle Alexandre
Dean and Professor of Law

March 20, 2020, Message from Dean Bent

Dear College of Law Students, Faculty and Staff,

As we are all returning from spring break and focusing on the health of our communities, it is imperative to review the following guidance before returning to campus:

All travelers arriving from a country, state or region with widespread ongoing transmission of COVID-19 or arriving from cruise travel are required to contact Public Safety at 727-343-1262 before returning to campus and should self-quarantine for 14 days after their return from travel.

To protect the health of others, these travelers should not go to work, or school, or otherwise leave their home for any reason (other than seeking health care) for 14 days.

We ask all members of the Stetson University College of Law community to complete the Spring Break Travel Form at your earliest convenience so we can track travelers who may have needs upon return.

Take these steps to monitor your health and practice physical distancing:

  • Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.
  • Stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school for this 14-day period. Discuss your work situation with your employer before returning to work.
  • Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares during the time you are practicing physical distancing.
  • Avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public.
  • Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).

Stetson will continue to enforce CDC recommendations on health monitoring and physical distancing based on travel locations. Recommendations can be accessed online for International Destinations and Cruise Ship Travel. For domestic travel, recommendations will be enforced based on the states and territories reporting widespread transmission. The status of domestic transmission can be accessed on the CDC website.

If you are feeling sick, please follow the CDC’s instructions to protect yourself and other people in your home and in the community

All members of the Stetson community (DeLand, Celebration, Gulfport, and Tampa) who feel they may have come into direct contact with the virus causing COVID-19 or are experiencing flu-like symptoms (fever over 100.3, cough, shortness of breath), should alert Stetson Health Service for assistance. During business hours, alerts can be submitted to Stetson Health Service in three ways:

After business hours, please contact Gulfport Public Safety at 727-343-1262.

Please remember the Food Pantry in the Student Lounge is still open and stocked. Dining will be posting hours for a limited meal service shortly. For students that are in a “stay in place” situation, we can mail your books to you at your current location. If you live on campus and find yourself needing help with meals or with accessing local health resources, please contact Student Affairs at studentaffairs@law.stetson.edu or 727-562-7808.

Jason R. Bent,
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Professor of Law

March 12, 2020, President Libby Announces Proactive Measures on All Stetson Campuses

March 12, 2020

Stetson University and Stetson University College of Law have been working diligently to keep the personalized class experience we value in place, while planning and preparing for the potential disruption to our typical modes of education. We recognize that the classroom experience and interaction with faculty and close-knit groups of students are core to the transformative education we as an institution, as educators and as students truly value. Given the rapid changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, even within the last 24 hours, I believe that our responsibility to students, their families, and our amazing staff and faculty requires that we put in place a different approach to learning for the remainder of the semester.

With that in mind, we are taking the following proactive measures on all of our campuses:

  • Saturday, March 14 will be the last day for face-to-face classes for undergraduate and graduate students.
  • In DeLand and Celebration, classes are canceled on Monday and Tuesday, March 16-17 to allow faculty and students to pause and prepare for the transition to online classes.
  • In DeLand and Celebration, our normal class schedule will resume via remote instruction Wednesday, March 18.
  • Following spring break at the College of Law, all classes will resume on Monday, March 23, via remote instruction.
  • All classes will continue in an online format through the end of the spring semester on all Stetson campuses.
  • Stetson Athletics announced today the ASUN conference is suspending athletics competition through April 5, and will make a decision regarding any further competition this semester on Friday, March 13.
  • The university has not made a final decision on the handling of commencement and will continue to review and assess the situation, but will strive to provide a decision and announcement by March 31.

College of Law students should consider taking their academic materials, laptops and books with them as they leave for spring break.

In DeLand, on-campus housing remains open to students currently living in the residence halls. Students will have the option of continuing to stay, and the university will continue to assess any health risks to the community in line with the current coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. Students will need to decide by Friday, March 20, whether they will remain in the residence halls throughout the remainder of the term and should indicate their plans on the Housing form. Students who decide to leave should vacate their residence hall by Monday, March 23. Students remaining on campus may be moved to single or suite-style rooms and will be offered some assistance with moving.

Additionally, the library will remain open and services such as dining, counseling, health service and tutoring on campus will continue; however, the hours those services operate may become more limited depending on the volume of students who choose to stay. The Office of Residential Living and Learning will be in touch with students with more information about these changes.

College of Law Campus Housing also remains open to students. Follow up instructions will be sent by the Assistant Director of Residential Life.

The university is providing a suite of collaboration tools, including Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft OneDrive and Blackboard. You should become familiar with these tools if you haven’t already done so. Provost Painter and the deans will be directly in touch with faculty directly regarding planning, training and logistics.

All campuses will remain open until further notice, and we will be in touch with more details about campus operations in the coming days. Staff and faculty will continue to meet their administrative and educational responsibilities moving forward and will continue to report to work as normal until further notice. We urge staff and faculty to consult the HR guidelines published earlier this week. Vice presidents will be in touch with staff in their areas to clarify obligations and plans.

Other details about this decision will be found in the FAQ section that we are putting in place on the Coronavirus Communications site. Check back often as new information may be added daily.

In summary, please know that Stetson University remains committed to our students’ success and to the health and well-bring of everyone in our community. Our promise to provide students with an excellent education has not wavered. We will continue to learn and work together even with a different kind of learning delivery. We remain committed to the Stetson educational experience and face-to-face, hands-on education we are known for. We look forward to being able to return to our in-class learning environment during the upcoming summer and fall terms.

Wendy B. Libby, Ph.D., President 

March, 11, 2020, Message from President Libby and Dean Alexandre, Restrictions on Travel, Events and Visitors

Dear Students, Parents, Faculty and Staff,

The university administration, College of Law, and Emergency Management Team, are continuing to meet to address the issues related to the outbreak of coronavirus COVID-19. As we are all aware it is a rapidly changing, and challenging, situation. The decisions the university faces are not easy, as we seek to balance the safety and welfare of our students and Stetson community against our educational mission and community partnerships. After considering multiple issues and possibilities, we are making the following announcements. All of them are effective immediately.

  • All non-essential Stetson-sponsored domestic and international travel are cancelled through the end of Spring term. The university cabinet, which includes vice presidents, the athletics director, deans and the President are responsible for defining essential and non-essential travel for their areas and questions should be directed to them.
  • Stetson University and Stetson University College of Law are postponing, rescheduling and cancelling events hosted on all campuses that are primarily attended by external visitors (conferences, advisory boards, open houses). This is effective through March 31, 2020. Event organizers may choose to adjust the audience to be primarily internal to the university, move it online or postpone the event to a later date.
  • The Athletics Department is restricting home game attendance to Stetson students, faculty and staff with a current Stetson ID, immediate families of Stetson athlete-scholars and officials.
  • The University and College of Law are requiring all visitors to postpone their planned campus visit if they have been in any of the international areas impacted by COVID-19 in the past 14 days, have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days or are exhibiting flu- or cold-like symptoms.
  • Screening documents must be completed prior to arrival by prospective students planning shadow visits or overnight visits, and invited guests and speakers planning on being in the classroom or at an event. External faculty or staff candidates selected for on-campus interviews will also be asked to fill out screening forms. A link to the document will be provided. If visitors are found to be at high-risk, they will not be allowed on our campuses. Invited guests, speakers, and performers prohibited from coming to campus may be able to present their content in a streaming, video conference or online format.

We will continue to keep the community informed as decisions are being made that impact us all, students, parents, faculty and staff. I personally ask all members of our community to treat each other with kindness and respect. We are in this together and we will come through it together.

Wendy B. Libby, Ph.D., President
Michèle Alexandre, Dean, Stetson University College of Law

March 11, 2020, President Libby Announces Restrictions on Travel, Events and Visitors

March 11, 2020

UPDATE: The two non-Stetson University people who traveled with Stetson students and faculty member to London and Paris have tested negative for COVID-19.

12:30 p.m., March 11, 2020, Message From President Libby

The international outbreak of COVID-19 has created some uncertainty for all of us, and I want to ensure that members of the Stetson community are informed on the decisions and direction of the university. Every morning brings a new headline or update. Just yesterday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency in response to the coronavirus, and the university continues to receive ongoing guidance from national, state, and local health officials.

The university has been informed that two non-Stetson University people who traveled with Stetson students and a faculty member during a Stetson trip to London and Paris over spring break are currently being tested for COVID-19, and one has been hospitalized. At this time, the illness has NOT been confirmed. We informed all members of the trip this morning of the situation, and we are keeping the community informed as well. Students have been advised to self-monitor and contact Health Services if they develop any flu- or cold-like symptoms.

We will keep the community informed as we learn more about the situation.

TRAVEL

As has been previously indicated (see Health Measures and International Travel update), the university has suspended all university-sponsored travel to Level 4 or Level 3 countries as defined by the U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories through the spring term 2020.

The university is looking at the possibility of suspending all or some university-sponsored domestic travel to events or conferences, but at this point, we continue to operate as normally as possible. We encourage all of our community members to take necessary precautions. There are no recommendations from federal or state health officials that Stetson make any changes to domestic travel, class schedules, or events at this time.

VISITORS, GUESTS AND CANDIDATES

Stetson University is asking all potential visitors including prospective students and families, visiting scholars, community members and guests, athletes and athletic teams, and guest speakers to postpone their planned campus visit if they have been in an impacted area in the past 14 days, have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days, or are experiencing flu- or cold-like symptoms. 

Additionally, prospective students planning shadow visits or overnight visits, invited guests and speakers planning on being in the classroom or at an event, and any persons selected for on-campus faculty or staff interviews will be required to fill out a screening document prior to their arrival on campus. High-risk individuals will not be allowed to come to campus at this time.

NEXT

The university administration has been discussing issues associated with the COVID-19 outbreak since January, the Emergency Management Team (EMT) has been meeting, sometimes daily, since mid-February and contingency planning is actively underway through a variety of small action teams coordinated by the EMT.

Provost Painter has asked all faculty to speak with their students about the potential for continuing their Stetson education in a distance-learning or online environment, and he has informed students of the planning and efforts underway should that become necessary.

Finally, this is a question that is being asked, so I wanted to repost it to help guide your actions:

What do I do if I’m concerned about my health or someone else’s in the community?

All members of the Stetson community (DeLand, Celebration, Gulfport, and Tampa) who feel they may have come into direct contact with the virus causing COVID-19 or are experiencing flu-like symptoms (fever over 100.3, cough, shortness of breath), should alert Stetson Health Service (crinehar@stetson.edu, 386-822-8150) for assistance. If you are concerned about someone else’s exposure, please also report it -- don’t just tell them to do so. After business hours, please contact Public Safety (386-822-7300). 

To reiterate, the above instruction and contact information applies to all members of the Stetson community on all campuses: DeLand, Celebration, Gulfport, and Tampa.

Thank you all for your commitment to the safety and welfare of our students and the Stetson community. I truly appreciate the incredible efforts across our campuses as we face this quickly changing situation together.

Wendy B. Libby, Ph.D., President

March 6, 2020, Update on Health Measures and International Travel

March 6, 2020

Dear Stetson Community,

Although there is still much unknown about the eventual impact of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) on our nation and the world, work is underway at Stetson University to help graduate and undergraduate students, families, parents, faculty and staff make appropriate decisions about their education and health.

Health Measures:

The university’s Health Service office is connected to the Florida AdventHealth system and is able to access support and resources. It is following guidance provided by the Florida Department of Health (DOH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Health Service office and Emergency Management Team have an infectious disease protocol that is ready to be activated if it becomes necessary. For now, we have been implementing the preventive guidelines we have outlined in the plan. As has been reiterated by the Department of Health and the CDC, the most effective precaution is to practice good hygiene through hand washing and covering your mouth with the crook of your arm when you cough or sneeze. Obviously, given the spread of COVID-19, anyone exhibiting flu- or cold-like symptoms (e.g., cough, fever, shortness of breath) should stay home from class and/or work, avoid others for the duration of the symptoms and contact your health provider for guidance. We have implemented additional preventive measures in areas such as Dining, the Hollis Center and Residence Halls.

Stetson Health Service (SHS) has received the AdventHealth coronavirus protocol, along with clear direction from the Florida DOH regarding screening and testing for the coronavirus. ALL patients coming into the clinic will be asked to answer a two-question screening tool. If the responses warrant testing, our provider will be in contact with the state health department, who will make the determination for testing and follow-up. Testing consists of a throat and nasal swab. While test results are pending, and depending on symptomatic/asymptomatic presentation, the individual will be in isolation/quarantine, preferably at home. The university has a comprehensive plan to address infectious diseases on campus and is ready to implement it to maintain individual and community comfort, safety and health.

The Stetson Health Clinic is open to students, faculty and staff, and can be reached by calling 386-822-8150 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to noon and 1-4:30 p.m.

Health care options for those who need it when Stetson Health Service is closed include:

  • AdventHealth Hospital DeLand, 386-943-4650
  • Centra Care Urgent Care, 2293 S. Woodland Blvd., 386-279-7010
  • MedExpress Urgent Care, 1328 N. Woodland Blvd. 386-738-0574

Communication and Updates:

As information becomes known to the university, it is being shared as soon as possible through updates on Stetson Today, or here on the Coronavirus Communication website for the DeLand campus, and through emails from Dean Michèle Alexandre to the College of Law community.

International Travel:

The university’s W.O.R.L.D. (World Outreach, Research, Learning and Development): The David and Leighan Rinker Center for International Learning manages the university’s study abroad and exchange programs. We have no students, faculty or staff on university-sponsored travel in “hot zone” or “Level 4” areas or countries. We do have students, faculty and staff abroad on university-sponsored work, but they are all in lower-level risk areas.

Stetson’s decisions on travel are informed by the United States Department of State Travel Advisory levels of risk, as well as from other reputable health information sources (CDC, State of Florida). We have decided the following for Stetson-sponsored international travel for Spring 2020:

  1. Stetson does not support any university-sponsored travel to a U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory Level 4 region or country. Students, staff and faculty are required to return to the U.S. at any point when Level 4 is declared.
  2. Students, staff and faculty currently on Stetson-sponsored travel to U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory Level 3 regions or countries are urged, but not required, to leave the affected area immediately.
  3. Any student, staff, or faculty returning from a U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory Level 3 or 4 region or country must contact Stetson’s Health Service Coordinator, Cathy Rinehart, RN, at crinehar@stetson.edu to complete the return-to-campus process. This is applicable regardless of whether the country’s designation occurs before departure or during the trip. Please be aware you may be subject to self-quarantine restrictions prior to your return.
  4. Stetson is postponing or canceling all university-sponsored student, staff and faculty travel to U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory Level 3 regions or countries (where the travel advisory level is the result of COVID-19) through the end of the spring term, 2020. Such travel includes but is not restricted to all non-academic programs (i.e. athletic trips), non-credit programs (i.e. academic competitions, student organization trips) and credit-bearing academic programs that have not yet commenced.

If you have questions about current or upcoming international travel associated with Stetson, please contact world@stetson.edu or 386-822-8165 (DeLand), or Jessica Richman Dworkin at jdworkin@law.stetson.edu, 727-562-7857 (College of Law).

Campus Life and Domestic Travel:

At this point, the university continues to operate as normal, and we encourage all of our community members to take necessary precautions. There are no recommendations from federal or state health officials that Stetson make any changes to class schedules, events or domestic travel at this time.

Expectations of Professionalism and Compassion:

There have been an increasing number of national news reports regarding stereotyping, harassment and bullying directed at persons perceived to be of Chinese American or, more generally, Asian descent, including students. Additionally, students, staff and faculty who are ill for any reason (such as cold, flu, allergies) may face discriminatory behavior from others who joke, or even truly assume, that a sneeze or cough is evidence of having COVID-19. Similarly, students, staff and faculty who are known to have recently traveled to areas that have been prominent in the news for their cases of COVID-19 (Italy, Hillsborough County) may face similar behavior. These reports are troubling and this type of behavior is clearly out of alignment with university values and expectations of how we act in our community. Please make every effort to avoid such assumptions and inappropriate behavior.

In closing, there is a lot of information about the virus and actions being implemented at local, state and national levels. We encourage you to read our Coronavirus Communication website, which will be updated as needed, and FAQs, and please check the CDC and Florida Department of Health (DOH) websites for the latest information. This situation will continue to evolve and we will work together to take appropriate actions that support and protect our community. 

Sincerely

Wendy B. Libby, PhD, President

Michèle Alexandre, Dean and Professor of Law, College of Law

March 4, 2020, International travel programs

Dear Students, Staff and Faculty-

We are currently reviewing our upcoming international travel programs.

While we monitor the situation, if you have questions about international travel, please send them directly to Dean Bent, Dean Wilson or Jessica Dworkin.

At this time, we have not made any changes to the programs. We will continue to update you as information becomes available.

Thank you.

The Office of the Dean, Stetson University College of Law

March 2, 2020, International travel programs

Dear Law School Community,

9:30 a.m., March 4, Dear Students, Staff and Faculty- We are currently reviewing our upcoming international travel programs. While we monitor the situation, if you have questions about international travel, please send them directly to Dean Bent, Dean Wilson or Jessica Dworkin. At this time, we have not made any changes to the programs. We will continue to update you as information becomes available. Thank you. The Office of the Dean Stetson University College of Law 1401 61st Street South

We wanted to follow up on our recent email concerning the coronavirus (COVID-19), as it relates to travel planning for domestic travel and Stetson team competitions.

At this time, the College of Law has not canceled or postponed any programs or events involving travel. If you have any concerns or questions, please feel free to contact Professor Flowers, Professor Adams, Professor Bowman, Dean Bent, or Dean Alexandre.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not currently have a COVID-19 travel health notice for the Continental United States.

For Stetson sponsored travel out of the United States, we are coordinating international travel with our counterparts in DeLand and taking steps to cancel or postpone programs, in the event conditions change.

We will continue to closely monitor and follow CDC recommendations and you will be promptly notified of any decisions to cancel or postpone Stetson planned travel and events.

As a reminder, the CDC recommends that everyone avoid contact with sick people and clean their hands often by washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60%–95% alcohol.

Michèle Alexandre, Dean and Professor of Law, College of Law