Staff Updates Archive
The previous updates are listed below.
Stetson Adopts Face Covering Policy
June 19, 2020
There have been three consistent messages from federal, state and local health authorities about the best measures to keep yourself and the community safe.
- Wearing a face covering
- Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds (or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer when washing hands is not possible)
- Physically distancing at least six feet
Stetson University Policy on Face Coverings
Stetson University's Safer Campus Task Force and university leadership have approved the following face covering policy for the university:
Wearing of a cloth face covering is required on all Stetson University campuses, including all indoor and outdoor spaces.
WHEN TO WEAR A FACE COVERING OR MASK
- All face-to-face interactions (Indoors AND outdoors)
Face coverings should be worn in any common areas, whether indoors or outdoors
- Examples: hallways, stairs, restrooms, Library, lobbies, classrooms, physical meetings with multiple people, in the CUB, dining facilities, administrative buildings, kitchens, etc.
- Outdoors while in trafficked areas and outdoor seating areas in proximity to others (less than 6 feet)
WHEN A FACE COVERING OR MASK IS NOT REQUIRED
Face coverings are not required in private spaces
- Examples: an office space at least 6 feet away from others, private offices, individually used study rooms, residential rooms
- Face coverings are not required outdoors when physically remote from others (recommended to be at least 10 feet or more from others)
- Face coverings are not required in the gyms or athletic facilities during training, but only if participants are able to physically distance at least 6 feet and protective measures are in place (do not share equipment, disinfect equipment between users)
- Face coverings are not required in public spaces while eating or drinking, but users should seek to physically distance 6-feet and to return to use of face coverings when not eating or drinking
- Face coverings are not required in residence hall restrooms, but users are asked to physically distance 6-feet within the space.
The university's Safer Campus Task Force is continuing to work on the issues associated with face coverings and this message will continue to evolve along with health and safety standards. The university assumes students, faculty and staff will exercise common sense to keep the community safe in all circumstances.
Why Face Coverings?
Widespread use of face coverings among the Stetson community, in conjunction with other protective measures, is designed to lessen the risk of community transmission of COVID-19. The CDC recommends the widespread use of face coverings due to the possibility of transmission by asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic carriers of COVID-19. The use of face coverings may help prevent a carrier from spreading the virus to others, and should be utilized in conjunction with other protective measures. Face coverings are not a replacement for physical distancing and increased hygiene measures. Even if you are not concerned about community transmission, widespread use of face coverings may also help to alleviate anxiety of others in the Stetson community.
Face coverings should cover the nose and mouth, and may include cloth face coverings or clear face shields. Stetson University has purchased one cloth face covering for every member of the community, but community members may need to supplement with additional face coverings if they cannot wash the coverings regularly as recommended by the CDC. Learn more information on cleaning face coverings. The university has also ordered additional personal protective equipment for members of the community whose work requires such items.
It is important to properly wear a face covering. The CDC recommends washing hands before putting on a face covering, ensuring that it fits properly, removing the face covering without touching the face, and washing hands after removal. The CDC’s detailed guide for proper use of face coverings is available.
Bystander Intervention is our best strategy to help our community be mindful about wearing face coverings. We encourage community members to calmly suggest a face covering be worn if someone is not wearing one in a public shared space (always assess your own safety first). You could start by asking the person if they have a face covering with them. If they don’t- remind them that they can obtain a face covering from the university. With face coverings, it helps to point out that you wear a face covering to protect other people and that COVID-19 can be transmitted when someone is not demonstrating any symptoms of infection. You may also report concerns about community members not wearing face coverings to
- Report It
- email@example.com or EthicsPoint (to report concern regarding DeLand employee)
- firstname.lastname@example.org (to report concern regarding College of Law student)
- email@example.com or EthicsPoint (to report concern regarding College of Law employee)
While disciplinary action may be a possibility for the refusal to wear a face covering, our primary focus is on promoting awareness of the reasons for face coverings in order to encourage personal responsibility and voluntary compliance with our face covering policies.
Executive Summary: Recommendations from Budget Prioritization Working Group
June 19, 2020
We are pleased to share with the community an executive summary of the COVID-19 Budget Prioritization Working Group final report, submitted to us Friday, June 12. Together, we reviewed the report at length over this past weekend. Included were recommendations for potential budget reductions under three scenarios: 5%, 10% and 15%. The information and recommendations were considered, and then our joint recommendations were sent to EVP Bob Huth to be incorporated into the draft fiscal year 2021 budget (effective July 2020-June 2021).
Earlier this week, that budget was assembled with the 15% cut as the key assumption, discussed with the DeLand Faculty Finance Committee, and reviewed with the Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees. The final budget will be on the agenda for approval or adjustment by the full Board of Trustees at its meeting on June 25, 2020. Shortly thereafter we will announce the budget and its full implications to the Stetson community.
The report and this executive summary are the result of the substantial efforts of the working group over the past five weeks. We express our great appreciation to co-chairs, Provost Painter and CFO Bob Huth; the dedicated members of the working group; the incredible support of many participants related to communication, technology, budget information, and scenario planning; and the Stetson community for the gracious space and time we were given to prepare for a new academic year seated on our firm financial position.
We all recognize that the COVID-19 situation might get significantly better or worse as we move through the summer, into the fall and winter. The Finance Committee of the Board has given us the flexibility to work with them to adjust assumptions as needed. This includes reinstatement of temporary compensation and other decreases, as well as further belt tightening if necessary. Thank you for your patience as we work through the extraordinary complications of returning to on-campus work and teaching along with all the decisions that need to be made along the way.
Below our signatures are the principles used to guide the working group during their deliberations and discussions.
Wendy B. Libby, PhD, President
Christopher Roellke, PhD, President-elect
Principles on which the COVID-19 Budget Prioritization Working Group is based
- Place the health and safety of the community first with special consideration of the most vulnerable among us;
- Prize integrity, equity and transparency in deliberations;
- Emphasize historic and continuing commitment to excellence;
- Believe in informing decision-making through the best available data, experience and informed opinion;
- Consider Stetson’s short-term issues as well as its longer-term health and vitality and the unique qualities of each division;
- Focus work and outcomes on the commitment to these principles
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, PhD, President
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.
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
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
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Watch the Webinar: Update for Faculty and Staff for Fall 2020
May 27, 2020
Faculty and Staff 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 Wednesday, May 27, to hear from the committees about their progress 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
- Drew Macan, Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Organizational Development
- Elise Paulson, Director of Risk Management
- Melissa Peters, Associate Vice President for Budget and Financial Planning
- Lynn Schoenberg, Dean of Students and Co-chair of the Safer Campus Task Force
- Lua Hancock, Vice President for Campus Life and Student Success
Updates from Budget Priorities Working Group, Safer Campus Task Force
May 20, 2020 Weekly Update 1
- Safer Campus Task Force
- Keeping the Stetson Community informed
- Budget Priorities Working Group
- Safer Campus Task Force Update
- Personal protection
- Health care
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.
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 email@example.com 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Safer Campus Task Force: Membership and Role
May 12, 2020
Dear Faculty and Staff,
I want to give you some insight into the work that is happening on both campuses so that we can continue our commitment to the safety of the community and to our powerful learning mission. The communication below has already been shared with DeLand undergraduate and graduate students.
Stetson’s Safer Campus Task Force: The team’s role is to advise university leadership on the operational elements and programs necessary to prepare Stetson University, both DeLand and Gulfport, for on-campus learning in Fall 2020. We put health and safety at the forefront of all of our decisions, so even as we plan for students to be back on campus, the university also is planning how to best support students in online learning environment. The Safer Campus Taskforce will work together to analyze guidance from the Center for Disease Control and the Florida Department of Health as well as best practices in higher education; the team will also call upon members of the Stetson community as needed to gather information and recommendations.
The team will advise the senior administration on the pieces needed as we continue to navigate this pandemic, including but not limited to: Personal protective equipment purchase and distribution, implementing physical distancing, adjustment of policies to support necessary changes, and continuation of health screening and tracing processes.
Safer Campus Task Force Membership:
Co-chair Terri Radwan, Professor of Law, College of Law
Co-chair Lynn Schoenberg, Dean of Students.
Jose Bernier, Associate Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer
Larry Correll-Hughes, Assistant Vice President for Campus Life and Student Success & Executive Director of Residential Living and Learning
Danielle Devoney, Assistant Professor of Practice, Public Health
Bonita Dukes, Associate Vice President of Facilities Management
Paula Hentz, Director of International Learning - World International Learning
JoCynda Hudson, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, College of Law
Drew Macan, Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Organizational Development
Tim Miesmer, Head Athletics Trainer
Cisco Ortiz, Director of Public Safety and Emergency Management Coordinator
Elise Paulson, Director of Risk Management
Mike Pridemore, Director for Public Safety and Emergency Management Coordinator, College of Law
Pam Skoularakos, Director for Human Resources and Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Terri Richards, University Registrar
Cathy Rinehart, Nurse and Health Service Coordinator
This team, along with the previously announced COVID-19 Budget Priority Working Group, are parts of a matrix of many faculty, staff and student groups that are actively working to respond to the ongoing, and anticipated, needs of our community. The Provost and deans are already strategizing for academic next steps, and there are also groups for summer engagement for new and returning students, and the Enrollment & Transitions Group addressing the onboarding processes of our new Hatters. We are also often in consultation with and seek input from the student government associations in DeLand and Gulfport regularly.
It has been so wonderful to see our student, faculty, staff and administrative leaders work together to continue to address the issues we face and plan to bring the community back together.
Lua R. Hancock Vice President, Campus Life and Student Success
COVID-19 Budget Priorities Working Group: Membership and Charge
May 5, 2020
In our note last Tuesday, April 28, we referenced a group that would come together to make recommendations for the DeLand budget for this upcoming fiscal year, 2020-21.
Putting together a budget is hard work in the best of times. But at a time when no one is exactly certain of what the future will hold, these financial considerations are even more difficult.
We are committed to a fall semester that is on-campus, but we also know the COVID-19 context requires planning for multiple scenarios. Like colleges and universities across the country, Stetson is likely to enter a period of constrained resources.
This document outlines the charge to this working group, the guiding principles under which we ask it to work, the membership and the timeline for their report. We are asking for a quick turnaround and recognize that dealing with ambiguity in a tight time frame is rarely simple. But we are heartened by the talent and commitment of those who so willingly agreed to serve.
Thank you to the members of the group; thank you for your willingness to roll up your sleeves and engage with your colleagues in budget development for the upcoming year. We will all benefit by your insights and creativity.
Stay well, stay energized!
Wendy B. Libby, PhD, President
Christopher Roellke, PhD, President-elect
Wage Continuity through June 30, 2020
April 29, 2020
Dear Staff Colleagues,
In earlier communications, President Libby communicated Stetson's commitment to maintaining current work hours and payroll for all employees, exempt and hourly, through the end of the semester. As the semester starts to draw to a close, there is obvious concern about what is next. I am happy to announce that Stetson’s commitment to salary and benefits will continue for University budgeted positions through the end of the fiscal year – June 30, 2020. Positions that may end prior to June 30 include those dependent upon funding from gifts and grants, should the grants and gift income be reduced to less than the amount needed to fund the position.
While Stetson remains in a solid financial position, there is a great deal that we do not yet know about the impact of Covid-19 on the 2020 and 2021 budgets. We will be working on these projections over the coming weeks and will share more information as it becomes available. However, in the meantime, we wanted to ease uncertainty about wage continuity through the end of the fiscal year.
Drew Macan, Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Organizational Development
Message from President Libby, President-elect Roellke on COVID-19 Impacts
April 28, 2020
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, PhD, President
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
floor. The student visited university Health Service on March 26, moved off campus at that time and
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.
Resources, Community Support for Students
April 2, 2020
Hello Stetson Faculty, Staff,
We want to remind you of the following referral and reporting resources that are available to our entire community, regardless of whether students are physically on campus or engaging with our community virtually from around the world.
1) Academic Concerns: Visit Student Success Collaborative (SSC)accessible through mystetson. If you have academic concerns for a student, continue to utilize the “Issue an Alert” function. Academic Success is still monitoring these concerns and reaching out to support students. Outreach efforts are being increased due to the many transitions that the community is experiencing.
2) Community Concerns Beyond Academics:www.Stetson.edu/reportit. A place to report concerns regarding Community Standards, Title IX and Honor Code. You can also report not-emergency concern for students beyond academics through our HattersCare form. COVID-19 concerns can also be reported here. Each form on this site outlines it’s unique purpose. Accessible in mystetson.
3) Counseling: Virtual counseling is still available, students can call: 386-822-8900 from 8am-12:00pm and 1pm-4:30pm. WellConnect is Stetson Student Counseling Services' 24/7 response line for students. Call 833-848-1765 any time, day or night, to speak with an experienced counselor. Follow-up is provided to connect students with ongoing support as needed. For emergency situations call 911.
4) Public Safety & On-Call: 386-822-7300. Our Public Safety and CLaSS On-Call team are still available 24/7 for support.
This is a link to an email sent to students this evening. We thought it would be helpful for you to know what we communicated to them. Questions or concerns, please let me know.
Stay safe and well Stetson,
Lynn Schoenberg, Dean of Students
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.
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 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 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.
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.
- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Update for Supervisors on Student Employees Working Remotely
March 26, 2020
I appreciate all of your flexibility and the kindness and support you provide our students. I am sure many of your student employees are feeling anxious with the ongoing changes, and I know their connection with you assists them in creating a needed sense of consistency. Below I have included information for you as a supervisor and the communication being sent today to all of the students who responded to last week’s e-mail stating that they planned to continue to work.
As you know from yesterday's e-mail, site-based work will be limited to Facilities student workers, Residential Living and Learning staff, and the Post Office beginning Saturday, March 28. All other student employment positions will need to be virtually based so students can work from their residence hall rooms or home.
Who is eligible to work?
Any current student employee who remained in campus housing after Monday 3/23, any commuter, and any student who had previously been approved to work remote (like tutors).
What work can I have students do remotely?
It is my hope that you will think of remote work that would benefit your department and the student. I encourage you to think about what projects have been on your to-do list that you haven’t gotten to do yet. Some examples I have come up with are: a website audit, review of manuals, creating/editing an orientation program for future student workers, etc. Additionally, students are great at researching. I might have a student create a state-wide Student Employment list since we currently don’t have a usable list-serve.
What if I don’t have/can’t find remote work for the student to complete?
We will have them work on a Professional Development Research Project (attached). The students will work the same weekly schedules similar to their first seven weeks of the semester and be checking in and out with you (as their supervisor) each shift to log to create a log of their hours. You will need to e-mail me their name and e-mail address. The students and you will be included in a Microsoft Team where the students will be posting the research they find and commenting on one another’s findings.
Thanks for everything!
Nora Huth, Assistant Director, Student Employment
Cultural Credit requirement waived for Spring and Summer 2020 Graduates
March 25, 2020
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
Stetson expands COVID-19 Leave for Employees
March 23, 2020
Stetson University has been proactive in establishing a safe and certain working environment for its staff. As the president previously announced, staff will be paid throughout this tumultuous and unprecedented semester, and the university recently approved many staff to work off campus, remotely, for some or all of their job responsibilities. Our goal is to provide a safe and healthy environment not only for the students who are still residing on campus, but also for the faculty and staff who are here providing services to those students and one another. We are monitoring on-going guidance from the Florida Department of Health and our Governor’s Office along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Thank you so much for keeping our students and your colleagues continuing health and success top of mind.
Continuing our commitments to one another, the university is announcing a series of temporary measures to assist staff members impacted by the current situation. The first is an expansion of work leave policy for those affected by COVID-19 illness and child care responsibilities.
Effective immediately, Stetson will provide 75 hours (80 hours if that is your normal, two-week hourly work commitment) of COVID-19-related leave for full-time staff in addition to sick and vacation time. Part-time staff will receive the same benefit but with a total number of hours that is proportional to the average work hours. These hours are to be used if a staff member is unable to work, even remotely, for the following reasons:
- A staff member is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order regarding COVID-19.
- A staff member has been advised by a health-care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19 and has medical documentation.
- A staff member has medically documented symptoms of COVID-19.
- A staff member is caring for an individual subject to the qualifying events listed above and has medical documentation to that effect.
- A staff member is caring for a minor child because the child’s school or place of care has closed or the childcare provider is unavailable due to COVID-19 precautions and alternative child care options cannot be secured.
We also realize that prior to some of the COVID-19 qualifying events above, there may be a time of uncertainty regarding potential work-limiting illness. With that in mind, we are including an additional level of approved leave. If a staff member is feeling ill, Stetson will provide an additional two days of paid leave so the individual can determine if the symptoms are COVID-19 related. Once the individual receives a medical diagnosis confirming the virus, they can access the 75 hours described above.
In the event that this additional COVID-19-related paid leave is exhausted, a staff member may use sick or vacation time, as appropriate to the situation and with the typical approvals required. Human Resources will work with a staff member who does not have any sick or vacation time on a case-by-case basis. This additional COVID-19-related leave will be available for the rest of the spring semester and will then be re-evaluated.
Stetson will allow employees who have been employed for at least 30 days to use FMLA when an employee is unable to work or telework and must care for a minor child because the child’s school or place of care has closed or because the childcare provider is unavailable due to a public health emergency regarding COVID-19.
All scheduling and leave arrangements must be coordinated in conjunction with the vice presidents/athletics director/Dean of Stetson Law, department head, and Human Resources. Non-COVID-related illness and regular vacation time should be reported per Stetson’s regular policies. COVID-19-related leave will be recorded through the Banner time entry process.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: If I am asked to self-quarantine by Stetson, a health care provider, or federal, state, or local health authorities, does COVID-19-related leave apply to me?
A: Yes. The university created the program specifically for this situation and for other related COVID-19-specific circumstances.
Q: I have been approved to work remotely and I am able to coordinate my child or other care arrangements and still accomplish my job duties. Do I have to take COVID-19-related leave?
A: No. As long as you are approved for remote work and are completing your assignments during regular work hours, you are assumed to be continuing your responsibilities. The leave is designed for circumstances where COVID-19 related illness or child-care responsibilities mean that you can’t work.
Q: My child’s school or place of care is closed. Can I take COVID-19-related leave?
A: It depends. Your vice presidents/athletics director/Dean of Stetson Law and department head will first determine if there are work-from-home options that will also enable to you provide appropriate care to your minor child. If no options are available, COVID-19-related leave will be available.
Q: Do I have to have medical documentation if I am requesting COVID-19-related leave for COVID-19 illness?
Q: What if I need additional leave after I have exhausted the COVID-19-related leave?
A: With your vice presidents/athletic director/Dean of Stetson Law’s approval, you may utilize accrued sick or vacation time as appropriate.
Drew Macan, Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Organizational Development
How to access Virtual Services from duPont-Ball Library
March 23, 2020
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: email@example.com
- 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:
- Locate the item in OneSearch and use the Request item - Place Hold button.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Interlibrary Loan Questions: email@example.com
If you need help with Archives and Special Collections: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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
Work from Home Guidelines from HR
March 20, 2020
Dear Staff Colleagues –
As discussed in the webinars yesterday, in order to finalize telecommuting arrangements, you must read and acknowledge the “Working From Home Guidelines” form. Your supervisor will be going over the form with you and clarifying any questions about your work assignments, how you will check in and out each day, how you will meet and communicate, etc.
You can find the form here. The form must be submitted by Wednesday, March 25th. Completing the form is a requirement to be approved for working remotely.
Drew Macan, Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Organizational Development
How to Access Services from Finance, Remote Requisitions, Post Office, Warehouse
March 20, 2020
Stetson University staff and administrative support,
In order to effectively support reduced on campus staffing, physical distancing and remote work the following changes are being made for the Post Office and Warehouse and for management of requisition submissions, purchase orders and direct pay invoices.
Effective Friday, March 20:
- Remote requisition submissions for Purchase Order requests and Direct Pay invoices:
- Access online form on Finance web page: (https://www.stetson.edu/administration/finance/resources.php)
- Complete appropriate form and save it to a file.
- Preparer sends form via email to approver along with any necessary attachments (attachments may be photo from phone if needed)
- If form needs multiple approvers, it should be sent to other approvers as appropriate.
- Final approver sends form/attachments via email to address indicated on appropriate form.The email from the approver’s stetson.edu email account acts as approval authority.
- Forms are processed by Purchasing and Accounts Payable as appropriate.
- Checks and direct deposit payments will be processed and distributed every Thursday.
Effective Monday, March 23:
Post Office Operations
The University Post Office will remain open for business Monday – Friday 8am – 4:30pm. Due to the uncertainly of staffing across campus, departments will be required to retrieve mail and packages at the post office.
The post office will provide notification via email when registered, priority, certified, etc. mail has been received and is ready for retrieval.
Mail and packages for campus departments and students will remain at the front counter.
The University Warehouse will remain open for business Monday – Friday 7:30am – 4:30pm. Any orders placed for stocked, inventory items (water, copy paper, toner cartridges, etc) can be delivered or available for pick up.
Outside orders delivered to the Warehouse will be checked in and held.The requisitioner will be contacted via email stating their order has been received with instructions to contact the Warehouse to schedule a delivery or pick up.
Please direct any questions regarding Post Office or Warehouse hours and operations to Valinda Wimer x 8851 email@example.com
Jeff Margheim, Associate Vice President for Finance
Watch the Staff Webinars
March 20, 2020
If you were unable to attend either the 1 p.m. or 4 p.m. Staff Webinars with President Wendy B. Libby, CFO and EVP Bob Huth, VP for Campus Life and Student Success Lua Hancock and Associate Vice President for Human Resources Drew Macan, links for both Q&A sessions are below.
There are no additional sessions scheduled at this time, but if and when new sessions are scheduled the information and links will be emailed and posted here.
Update on Staff Webinar
March 19, 2020
Apologies for the confusion, but for purely technical reasons the Staff Webinars scheduled this afternoon at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. have been moved to the new link below:
The same link will be used for both sessions. If you registered for one of the two sessions and received an email with a link in it, that link is no longer valid. Use the link above to access the webinars for either the 1 p.m. or the 4 p.m.
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 B. Libby, PhD, President
Follow-up Q&A for Supervisors of Student Employees
March 18, 2020
Can students work remotely?
Only student tutors and SPIs are permitted to work remotely.
How can students work when their supervisor is working remotely or the space they typically work in is not appropriate?
In recognizing the need for physical distancing (remaining 6 ft apart), all student employees who remain on campus or in its proximity cannot work remotely but can work from the library or the CUB provided they have approval from their supervisor and they are emailing their supervisor at the start of their shift regarding where they are working and what they are working on and emailing their supervisors at the end of their shift, including work completed. (ex. Hi Supervisor: I am beginning my shift now at 1:30 pm in the Commuter Lounge in the Cub. I will be working on the plan for fall member recruitment. I’ll e-mail you with any questions and at the end of my shift at 3:30 pm., Sincerely, Student).
Can students work during their regularly scheduled class time given online classes?
No. The federal government has not provided additional guidance to relax this policy given online classes. Since the classes could be held in a synchronized format, no student can work during any scheduled class time listed on their class schedule.
What if a student is staying but decides not to work?
That is fine. We just need to know, so we can update the system accordingly.
What if the supervisor doesn’t have work for their current student employees who are staying?
We will find work for them in other areas of the University as possible. Students should make supervisors aware that they are looking for work to fulfill their typical work schedule. Supervisors will communicate this information to our Student Employment Office.
What if the student staff remaining (if any) in the office is not sufficient for the office to effectively operate?
Our office will be evaluating this information as it comes in and will work to fulfill student and office needs. Our goal is to have a full plan for the rest of the semester completed by Wednesday, 3/25, but likely sooner.
What if a supervisor wants to hire a student who is not currently a student employee on campus?
Supervisors cannot hire new student employees until the institution finds roles for the current remaining students.
What if a supervisor is no longer available for a student to regularly contact? (If the supervisor is out sick, on vacation, etc.)
Students should forward all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will do our best to answer them promptly.
How can students receive their paychecks if they are no longer on campus?
If they are not receiving their paychecks via Direct Deposit, they can have their mail transferred from the Stetson Post Office to a new address. They can visit the Stetson Post office website to find and complete the forwarding request form. If students have other questions regarding their mail or the post office, please contact them at email@example.com or 386-822-8826.
How can students fill out timesheets if they are no longer on campus?
Since timesheets are filled out online, this can be done the same way. The current timesheet is due Friday, March 20th. As usual, students should only be filling out the time they have actually worked.
How can students fill out Payroll Variance forms if they are no longer on campus?
Students should complete the Payroll Variance form, which they can find and print from our Student Employment website at https://www.stetson.edu/other/student-employment/forms-and-materials.php. After signing it, they can take a picture of the form and send it to their supervisor. The supervisor will then approve it and forward it to Payroll.
What can students do if they are still on campus, but are not getting the hours they previously worked?
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to resolve the issue.
Staff Update from President Libby
March 17, 2020
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 since many staff members in those departments do not have computer access.
- I have scheduled webinars on Thursday, March 19, for staff participation. The links are below. We have already held these for students and parents and found them to be very helpful.
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
Q&A for Supervisors about Student Employees
March 13, 2020
Can students work?
Yes. Students who remain on campus, or in the area, can continue to work in their student employment positions. Students who chose to leave campus proximately cannot work. Virtual work is not permitted with the exception of the tutoring program, which was noted in previous communication from Dr. Libby, and is following additional policies for safety and monitoring.
Should students choose to stay because their work is important to their department?
No. Students need to take a lot of things into account when making their personal decision to leave the area. The needs of the university regarding their student employment role should not be a factor in making this decision.
What if the place students typically work is not operating normally (ex. Gillespie Museum)?
Provided the supervisor can identify work for the student to do that benefits the department and institution, the work can be flexible. (ex. Museum tour guides can create virtual tours or develop marketing materials for the future.)
What will happen with students who work in Athletics?
There are a lot of students who work in Athletics in connection with athletic contests that have been cancelled. The supervisors of these students will work with these students to determine if there is work to be accomplished in Athletics. If there is not, supervisors are asked to contact me directly so I can reassign students to other roles as possible.
What will happen if a department does not have sufficient students remaining on campus to operate?
We will work with those departments and make adjustments, possibly moving a student in a lower priority position (ex. museum tour guide) to fill an operational need (ex. library employee). These decisions will be made in consultation with students and supervisors.
Will students get paid if they leave campus rendering them unable to work?
According to our University Emergency Pay policy, students are not eligible for emergency pay.
What will happen for students who are currently fulfilling their internships or ELR through on campus work and decide to go home?
This is a good question that we are working on. Supervisors are asked to e-mail me a summary of the situation (ex. what student is doing, how many remaining hours they need for completion, if they will be leaving campus, etc.).
Can students remaining on campus work additional hours?
This will be dependent on what students are available to work and what institutional needs exist. This question will be considered as needed. Students will still have a 20-hour-per-week limit.
What happens next?
Nora Huth, Student Employment manager, will be communicating on Monday and Tuesday with supervisors to understand the impact of student departures on their departments. If adjustments are needed to address student or operational needs, I will continue to communicate. As questions arise, please e-mail email@example.com so we can continue to provide comprehensive communication.
When will we know more?
Nora Huth will send out an additional communication to supervisors on Wednesday, if not before. I will reach out to student employees as necessary, but will be reliant on supervisors to share information. As you know this is a fluid situation and we are trying to remain as flexible and transparent as possible. Please be patient as we work though all of the upcoming transitions.
Guidance for Search Committees and Hiring Officials
March 13, 2020
As President Libby outlined in Wednesday evening’s communication, we are implementing a visitor screening process. You received general information about the program earlier today. This email is to outline process as it specifically applies to the search/hiring process. This information was emailed to search committee chairs, a designated recruiters and hiring managers for a position currently open in Silkroad and members of the University’ Administrative Council. Since this is an ever-changing list, please feel free to forward this message to relevant colleagues.
COVID-19: Guidance for Search Committees and Hiring Officials
The ongoing uncertainty concerning COVID-19 (coronavirus) requires that we be vigilant in mitigating the spread of the disease. For search committees and hiring officials, that means putting special guidelines in place for the hiring process for all Stetson campuses.
Although some organizations are delaying or halting all hiring, for now, Stetson will allow searches to continue with the expectation that the majority of the hiring process (up to the campus interview with the finalist(s)) be conducted through remote communication - telephone screening, Skype, and Spark Hire video interviews. Spark Hire is a new recruitment tool that allows the hiring official to send candidates a list of interview questions for which the candidates will video-record and submit their response. We have used this for staff positions and have found it to be a highly effective and efficient process that provides the ability to interview more people in less time, improves collaboration among decision-makers, and eliminates many of the scheduling challenges in the process. It may not be as effective for faculty searches but it is an option. If you are interested in using Spark Hire, please contact Betty Whiteman (DeLand) or Pam Skoularakos (COL).
The use of these remote tools will limit visitors to campus and also allow the search process to continue up to a point, should we have to close the campus. Please follow these guidelines in the recruitment process:
Screening and first-round interviews: telephone, Skype, or Spark Hire
Second-round interviews: Skype
Campus interview: Based on information from the United States Department of State Travel Advisory levels of risk, as well as from other reputable health information sources (CDC, State of Florida), Stetson has decided to postpone campus visits for those who have been in an impacted area in the past 14 days and those who have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days. Finalists who are to be invited for an on-campus interview must complete the on-line Visitor Screening Form before the on-campus interview can be scheduled. This candidate process will be coordinated through the Human Resources departments on each campus. The hiring official (or their designee) should contact Betty Whiteman (DeLand) or Pam Skoularakos (COL) with the names and contact information for those finalists to be invited to campus. Betty or Pam will send the Visitor Information form to the candidate and will notify the hiring official (or designee) if the candidate has been approved for an immediate on-campus interview. No interviews should be scheduled without this approval from Betty or Pam. Although the visitor’s answers to the questions may prevent them from entering our facilities at that time, it would not hinder nor limit their candidacy for the position. If we are unable to accommodate the campus interview, all efforts will be made to conduct the interview remotely or reschedule the visit at a later date.
Please note that these guidelines for campus visitors ought to be considered when negotiating start dates for new employees who were hired prior to the implementation of this procedure. Human Resources will be identifying employees who have been hired and who have not yet started to request that they complete the on-line form.
Please feel free to contact Human Resources with any questions about the hiring process.
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.
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
Preparing to Work Remotely, from Human Resources
March 12, 2020
Dear Staff Colleagues –
"May you live in interesting times..."
Huh – "interesting" is hardly the word for it right now. Times are really quite extraordinary and things change very quickly. No doubt all of us – students, faculty, staff and administrators are feeling some sort of impact and stress. As you have seen from the various communications, the University is doing everything it can to prepare for a range of possibilities and to keep you informed. President Libby communicated last night that we are shifting to a remote instruction delivery model. At this time, campus operations will continue as normal. However, in the spirit of continued preparation, I am writing to suggest some things that you, your team and your colleagues can do to be prepared if there are further shifts in how we conduct our business.
First, make sure that you can access the files and information you need if you should have to work from a remote location. Also, be sure that you have the contact information for your departmental team members and others with whom you may need to connect. Check out IT’s "Working Remote" webpage, which has information on resources for working remotely. If you have IT questions, please contact the IT Helpdesk. Think about how you will stay in contact with your team. Plan communication and if appropriate, test out how to conduct remote meetings.
We are going to be relying heavily on technology and for some, this is new territory. Please help out your colleagues who may not be as comfortable utilizing the new tools. Academic department assistants, you are in a critical role to assist your faculty members who are developing distance learning alternatives. Likewise, within every department, there tech-lovers and tech-wary people. If you are the former, please jump in and share your knowledge.
Finally, be kind with one another. With heightened concern and awareness. seemingly funny, off-the-cuff remarks could be received negatively and it is important to avoid making inquiries as to others’ personal health. Also, those who are stressed about local and world events may not be at their best or may be anxious. Show them compassion and grace. And, be kind to yourself. Remember that for many of us, these events are unprecedented and can feel overwhelming - especially as the impacts of your different roles (staff member, parent, partner, community member) accumulate. If you are feeling stressed or are just looking for some resources, please remember the Employee Assistance Program. You can contact them at 800-272-7252 or Resources for Living (username: STET, password: STET).
And remember, HR is here for you. Let us know how we can assist and we will get through this together. We’re Hatters. We can do this!
Your Human Resources Team
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.
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.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org, 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
Q&A for Faculty, Staff from Human Resources
March 9, 2020
Although the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation is unfolding in real time, we wanted to address some of the questions that faculty and staff might have. As you know, the University is committed to full and ongoing communications so feel free to let us know what other questions you might have.
What do we know about the Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
- Infection occurs through close contact through coughing and sneezing, as well as possibly through touching surfaces that has the virus on it.
- It is believed to be most contagious when individuals are most symptomatic, although reports indicate that it may spread when people do not show symptoms.
- Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
- Death rates are currently estimated to be less than 2% considering the number of mild or asymptomatic cases that are likely going unreported.
- Majority of deaths have occurred in China.
- 2 to 14-day incubation period.
- No vaccination to prevent COVID-19.
What are some tips for prevention?
- Practice good hygiene (cover coughs, avoid close contact with those who are sick, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, wash hands with soap and water).
- Practice cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and wash hands).
- Wash hands frequently, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment.
- Frequently clean and disinfect surfaces with household cleaning spray or wipes.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask. Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms to help stop the spread of the virus.
- Avoid close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections.
- Wear personal protective equipment, such as gloves and goggles, if touching/working with bloodborne pathogens.
- Follow updates from the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding additional precautions.
How can we all help to ensure workplace safety?
- It is critical that employees do not report to work while they are experiencing respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills or fatigue. The CDC recommends that employees remain at home until at least 24 hours after they are free of fever (100 degrees F or 37.8 degrees C) or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.
- Our staff and faculty are extremely dedicated and, with the best of intentions, may report to work even when they are ill. Please do not do this! We provide paid sick time and other benefits to compensate employees who are unable to work due to illness. Employees who do not have sufficient sick time can be granted leave without pay.
- Although we cannot require that an employee seek medical evaluation, employees who report to work ill may be sent home and require a medical release to return.
- It is important to note that these symptoms are not always associated with the virus and the likelihood of an employee having the COVID-19 coronavirus is extremely low. Do not overreact to situations in the workplace potentially related to COVID-19 in order to prevent a panic among your team and co-workers.
How should we communicate with our team if there is a sick employee?
- Supervisors may not ask whether or not an employee has the coronavirus diagnosis. However, an employee may self-disclose.
- Likewise, even if an employee discloses that they are ill due to the coronavirus, this information may not be shared with other team members. This would be a HIPAA violation. It is fine to say that someone is out sick. It is inappropriate to suggest any cause or reason for the leave.
Can an employee refuse to come to work because of fear of infection?
- According to the regulations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), employees can only refuse work if they believe they are in imminent danger. OSHA discusses imminent danger as where there is "threat of death or serious physical harm," or "a reasonable expectation that toxic substances or other health hazards are present, and exposure to them will shorten life or cause substantial reduction in physical or mental efficiency."
- At this time, most work conditions in the United States do not meet this standard, however we will address each request on a case-by-case basis. Supervisors should be open to exploring alternative solutions.
Some employees are expected to travel for their jobs. What if they refuse?
- Departmental leadership, in conjunction with HR, will look at each request on a case-by-case basis.
- If there seem to be legitimate concerns, we can explore other options such as teleconferencing, etc. If the travel is to a low-risk area, consider (if feasible) sending another employee instead.
- Supervisors should avoid taking punitive measures against an employee who has legitimate concerns for their safety.
What are some flexible alternatives we could consider?
- Encourage the use of telephone and video conferencing instead of face-to-face meetings as much as possible during this outbreak.
- Although we currently do not offer formal telecommuting arrangements, Stetson will consider, on a case-by-case basis, requests from employees to work from home during this time. Some positions, by the nature of the work performed are not conducive to telework (Public Safety Officer, Maintenance positions, Coaching positions, etc.) and cannot be approved. However, those positions with primary job duties that can be effectively performed remotely will be given consideration. Non-exempt employees (bi-weekly paid employees) may be considered for telecommuting if the tasks they perform are considered critical to the operation of the University’s business, if the work can be easily monitored in a telecommuting arrangement, and only after the supervisor and employee have consulted with HR on procedures to ensure the proper recording of time. Supervisors should discuss requests with the VP/Director of Athletics or COL Dean as appropriate, and the request should then be forwarded to HR for review.
What if an employee claims that the virus was contracted at work?
- If anyone makes a claim that the virus was contracted at work, it could be covered under our Workers’ Compensation program. Please notify Risk Management (in DeLand) or HR (in Gulfport) immediately for determination of basis for claim.
If an employee is out sick for three or more days, would the FMLA apply?
- Yes, the coronavirus would qualify as a "serious health condition" under FMLA, allowing an employee to take FMLA leave if either the employee or an immediate family member contracts the disease. The employee would be entitled to job reinstatement as well.
Would our short-term disability policies apply?
- Maybe. The employee should contact Human Resources for more information.
What about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?
- The ADA protects qualified individuals with a disability or perceived disability from discrimination.
- It is conceivable that an employee may develop a disability from the coronavirus or that it might aggravate a pre-existing disability. If this is determined to be the case, the employee may be entitled to a reasonable accommodation under the regulation.
- Possible accommodations could include working from home or telecommuting if the job duties allow, leave of absence, reduced schedule upon return to work, or restriction of travel.
- Notify Human Resources if an employee asks for an accommodation.
Please contact the Human Resources department with any questions or concerns.
C. Drew Macan, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Organizational Development
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 (email@example.com, 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.
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
- 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 email@example.com or 386-822-8165 (DeLand), or Jessica Richman Dworkin at firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
Wendy B. Libby, PhD, President
Lua Hancock, Vice President, Campus Life and Student Success
Blackboard Training Modules Available
March 6, 2020
Dear Faculty & Staff,
You have been registered for the Introduction to Blackboard training, which is now available. To access the course, go to Blackboard > Courses > Current Courses > Introduction to Blackboard: Spring 2020.
The Office of Online Learning and Educational Technology (OOLET), developed these modules to guide instructors through a detailed review of the current best practices and pedagogical recommendations that will result in increased student satisfaction and excellence for the online content. The creation of this program responds to student evaluation data (Summer 2017), that identified a need for attention regarding practicalities and pedagogies of teaching online and how those align with student expectations and the pursuit of a high-quality learning experience.
OOLET staff are always available for individual, virtual, drop-in and/or group training regarding online pedagogy, best practices, management, and technical tools for online course development. To schedule a meeting, email email@example.com.
-The Office of Online Learning and Educational Technology
Stetson 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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
Stetson Law Working Groups
May 14, 2020
We appreciate your patience as we plan our various phases for returning face-to-face and as we construct plans for the Fall 2020 semester. To that end, I would like to provide you with a few updates.
As part of university leadership on operations, the Dean meets multiple times a week with our President, President-elect, Provost and other Vice Presidents on issues of safety and well-being of our campuses. As off-shoots of those meetings, we have formulated four working groups at the College of Law, each focused on an aspect of preparation for face-to-face protocols and for Fall 2020. Each working group is identifying the most important questions that we will need to address in the coming weeks.
First, like the Stetson University Safer Campus Task Force, the College of Law has created a sister College of Law Safer Campus Task Force designed to implement College of Law specific protocols for our two campuses, in collaboration with the DeLand campus. The team’s role is to advise senior leadership on the operational elements and programs necessary to prepare the College of Law for on-campus learning and safety in Fall 2020. We put health, safety and educational quality at the forefront of all our decisions. And, as we plan for staff, faculty and students to be back on campus, the College of Law is also planning how best to support all members of our community. The members of this Task Force are listed at the bottom of this email.
It is also worth noting that Stetson University’s Safer Campus Task Force
exceptional colleagues focused on Public Health. Among them are Assistant Professor
Danielle Devoney, an expert on public health, and Cathy Rinehart, a nurse and health
coordinator. Their group will analyze guidance provided from the Center for Disease
the Florida Department of Health to make recommendations that best secure our
Second, we developed a subgroup designed to troubleshoot and implement measures regarding the academic calendar.
Third, an additional team will discuss potential academic policies relating to relevant issues that might arise from COVID-19.
Lastly, as we have discussed these past weeks, there is a team focused on the potential impact on the budget. This team will update the community as soon as more information presents itself.
Please note that the Task Force and the dean’s office are planning to procure specific health items and Personal Protective Equipment for the College of Law. Consequently, all departments should refrain from ordering PPE or any related items. Details will be provided at a later date. If you have any questions, please consult the liaison to the University Safer Campus Task Force, Professor Terri Radwan.
We value your input and know that many of you have insights that would be important to this process in any of the foregoing categories. Feel free to reach out to the dean’s office, Professor Terri Radwan, or any of the Task Force members with recommendations that you feel would be beneficial.
Our campuses are off to a great start working together to address the issues we face. With the full engagement of every member of our community, I am confident we will effectively respond to the demands that now confront us.
I am grateful to you for your commitment to the Stetson Law Community.
COL Safer Campus Task Force
- Dean Michèle Alexandre
- Terri Radwan – Professor of Law, Interim Business Administrator, and Liaison to Stetson University Safer Campus Task Force
- Jason Bent – Associate Dean
- Darryl Wilson – Associate Dean
- Mike Pridemore – Director for Public Safety and Emergency Management Coordinator
- William (Dale) Stubblefield – Supervisor of Grounds and Event Setup
- Pam Skoularakos – Director for Human Resource
- JoCynda Hudson – Assistant Dean for Student Affairs
- Kristina Macys - Director for Events and Tampa Law Center
- Patty Johnson - Associate Vice President, Budget and Finance
- Dan Payne – Director of Media Services
- William Delgado – Director of Information Technology
- Lisa Diliberto – Director of Communications and Marketing
CARES Act and July Bar Exam
May 5, 2020
Tonight, the Florida Board of Bar Examiners announced that they plan to proceed with the administration of the July Bar Examination on July 28 and 29, in accordance with health and safety protocols. The full press release is attached. Please encourage graduating law students to connect with our Office of Academic Support and Bar Prep (email@example.com or 727-562-7343) for support and guidance as they prepare for the summer and the Bar Exam.
Additionally, we are happy to announce that our financial aid office finalized the procedures for distributing the CARES Funds. Awards will range up to $1500. Students can apply for the CARES emergency funding using the CARES Act application. Information is also posted on our COVID Communication page and the Student Financial Planning homepage.
Please encourage them to apply and/or reach out to our financial aid office for any questions about the award process.