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Campus Messages

Saluki Students,

Stressed? Feeling anxious? You’re not alone. Given upcoming finals, COVID-19 and other events that may be happening in your life, it’s normal to feel anxious and overwhelmed. Fear of the unknown and lack of control over our environment have long been shown to increase anxiety and affect our mental health.

While you can’t control everything around you, you can maintain your resilience by taking control of how you respond. To help prepare for finals, you can review the Writing Center’s Tips for Studying for Exams. To help you cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, Counseling and Psychological Services offers the following tips. (Visit siu.edu/coronavirus for information about the university’s pandemic response.)

  • Stick to the facts. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization and Illinois Department of Public Health are likely to be more accurate sources of information than what friends post on social media.
  • Be informed but not consumed. Don’t spend all day scrolling through social media, watching the news, arguing with people or trying to persuade them. Over-concentration on stressful situations can contribute to depression, feelings of helplessness and anxiety.
  • Accept reality and acknowledge the unknown. COVID-19 and the effects of the pandemic will be around for a while. By accepting reality and acknowledging the unknowns associated with the pandemic, we can better equip ourselves to make the best of a tough situation. Focus on positive events and making lemonade out of lemons.
  • Stay in the moment. Focus on what you can control and let go of the past, future, and things beyond your control. Break days up into small, manageable parts and take one day at a time.
  • Keep things in perspective. Not everyone who coughs has COVID-19, and a shift to remote learning does not mean you will never have a “typical” college experience. Catch yourself if you find your thoughts spiraling in a negative direction.
  • Don’t judge yourself or others. You emotions are valid and real, even if your feelings keep changing. Everyone has a different experience. Someone who has lost a loved one to COVID-19 may have a different opinion than someone who is struggling financially after being laid off.
  • Don’t equate physical distance with social distance. Social support is a huge predictor of mental health, so it is essential to find safe ways to connect with other people. Set aside time each day to have positive connections with others, even if you can’t be near them physically.
  • Build structure and a daily routine. Humans are shown to struggle where there is a lot of unstructured free time. Create new routines, build a schedule, keep busy with things you enjoy and make time for things you’ve never had the time to do.
  • Take care of yourself. It is important to get balanced sleep, eat healthy foods, exercise, avoid mood-altering substances, attend to your physical health and decrease risk by washing your hands, wearing a mask and taking other steps to remain safe.
  • Know the resources available to you and loved ones both on and off campus. Also help loved ones seek resources if you recognize they are struggling or presenting with mental health symptoms. Here are a few resources:
    • SIU Counseling and Psychological Services, 618-453-5371 (for students)
    • Suicide hotline, 800-273-8255
    • Domestic violence hotline, 800-799-7233
    • Alcohol and other drugs hotline, 877-726-4727

Whether your feelings relate to COVID-19, finals, both or anything else, always remember that it’s OK to reach out if you need help. Counseling and Psychological Services staff are available to help you, no matter where you live. Call 618-453-5371 for information or an appointment.

Please stay safe and have a happy Thanksgiving.

Lori Stettler
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Faculty and staff,

As you know, COVID-19 continues to spread in our region, leading to additional measures to help mitigate its growth. We must all do our part to help stem the spread of COVID-19 by following our safety protocols on and off campus: wear masks, avoid gatherings and practice social distancing.

Following are several updates related to campus safety as we wrap up the fall semester.

Gatherings: We have limited the number of individuals allowed at university-sponsored gatherings to 10 in order to align with the region’s current status in the state’s Restore Illinois plan. This limitation does not apply to in-person classes.

Remote work: We are encouraging a reduction in on-campus staff, effective next week. (The reduction was originally scheduled to take place after Thanksgiving break through the end of the year.) Offices should maintain at least one staff person on-site during regular office hours to assist visitors. Otherwise, staff who can work remotely should be encouraged and allowed to do so. Employees and supervisors should follow the existing remote work guidelines, including completion of the remote work agreement, to request and seek approval of remote work. Approval of the appropriate director or dean and vice chancellor is required.

Our goal is to remain fully open and operational, making sure that students, colleagues and visitors can be served both in person and by phone and email. We will be posting phone numbers for student service offices prominently online, given the importance of access during the final weeks of the semester. Please be sure phones and emails are answered.

Instruction: As you know, we had previously announced that nearly all fall instruction will be completely remote after the Thanksgiving break, which begins at the end of next week. We anticipate that most students will leave campus before the break begins. After break, the remaining two weeks of the semester will be completed remotely. Until break, and for the very few in-person classes that continue after break, we will continue to follow all classroom safety protocols. Thanks to our faculty and students, there have been no positive COVID-19 cases associated with classroom instruction.

Testing: On-campus testing for faculty, staff and students will continue next week. Drive-through testing will continue to be available for everyone until and after Thanksgiving. Students may also contact Student Health Services for COVID-19 testing after break.

Coronavirus Response Act: We encourage supervisors to be flexible when working with employees who have challenges due to COVID-19. For example, some employees may be able to complete their work outside of regular office hours or on an altered schedule. Employees who are unable to work due to health or child care issues associated with COVID-19 may be eligible for leave under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which expires Dec. 31. Please see the background and full guidelines.

Again, it is important that we continue to follow all of our safety protocols, to self-monitor our health and take appropriate steps if we have symptoms, and to follow the directives of health officials if instructed to quarantine or isolate. As always, you may email pandemicinfo@siu.edu with questions.

Thank you for doing your part to protect the safety of our campus community and Southern Illinois region.

Austin A. Lane
Chancellor

A Message from the Dean of Students:

Your son or daughter will be arriving back home to finish out their semester before you know it!  We have had a very successful fall semester with the students, faculty and staff wearing masks, social distancing and staying safe on and off campus. As you can imagine, college looks much different than any other year prior. We are doing our best to engage the students, but also being very careful in the number of students that can congregate, etc. The University is very proud of their work and we look forward to their arrival back to campus in January.

In this edition, there are many resources for your student as well as you as family. Start the conversation now:

  • Does your student take advantage of our COVID-19 testing right here on campus prior to returning home to family and friends?  Find out where and when and how easy it is to access the testing.
  • While they are taking care of COVID-19 testing, should they also get a flu shot?  Locations of flu shots, costs, etc.
  • Don’t forget that once Thanksgiving is over, the students still have classes and will need to take final exams the week of December 7-11, 2020.  Make a plan now to know the date and time of each final exam and to secure a quiet online place to take those exams.
  • It’s that time of year to make sure that your son or daughter and your family has filled out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  Learn more information about the process.
  • Learn about and talk about the Pass/No Pass option for certain classes as well as Academic Progress Appeal deadlines.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at Jennifer.Jones-Hall@siu.edu or call the Dean of Students Office at 618-453-2461

With Saluki Pride
Jennifer Jones-Hall
Dean of Students

On-Campus Scheduling for COVID-19 Tests for Students

Students can make an appointment for a COVID-19 test by scheduling online or calling the SIH-SIU hotline at 833-457-3072
    • On-campus testing is available
      • Mondays at Becker Pavilion next to campus lake from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m
      • Wednesdays at Grinnell Hall next to Mae Smith Residence Hall from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
    • Appointments are required.
    • Bring your insurance card, driver’s license and SIU ID. No student, faculty or staff member will be turned away due to lack of coverage.
    • Individuals with symptoms must self-quarantine until they receive further instructions and should not go to class or work.
    • All students and employees must follow the directives of the Jackson County Health Department to quarantine, isolate or assist with contact tracing.
    Reporting COVID-19 Cases and Possible Exposure
    • SIU Carbondale encourages the reporting of confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 among students, faculty and staff. The university works closely with the Jackson County Health Department, which is responsible for tracing cases, notifying individuals of possible exposure, and directing isolation and quarantine of ill or exposed individuals. Everyone is encouraged to report here: siu.edu/coronavirus/reporting.php
    • The University has an obligation to protect the privacy of individuals who have been diagnosed or exposed, including those who are part of the contact tracing process. Please remember to honor this commitment to privacy for those who contract the virus.
    • Individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19 will be notified directly through the contact tracing process. Students, faculty and staff are required to assist with the process when asked and to follow the instructions of health officials if they are asked to isolate or quarantine.

    Flu Shots Available at the Student Health Center Daily

    • Students are encouraged to get their Flu Shot this year and it can be done at the Student Health Center daily from 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
    • Cost is $20 for students without the Student Health Insurance Plan.
    • Student Health Insurance Plan will cover 100% of the cost

    Final Exams Times
    Please see the date and time of your son or daughters final exams here: registrar.siu.edu/pdf/examfall20.pdf

    Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
    To apply for financial aid at SIU:

    • File a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
    • Complete FAFSA as early as possible after October 1st with Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Federal School code 001758) listed as a school choice.
    • SIU does not have an institutional financial aid application, so students only need to complete the FAFSA.
    • Students who have applied for aid during the previous year should complete a Renewal FAFSA.
    • Filing electronically provides the benefit of built-in-edits to improve accurate completion of the application and the processing time is generally one to two weeks faster than filing the paper FAFSA.
    • Students and parents of dependent students should request an FSA-ID at the U.S. Department of Education’s website: fsaid.ed.gov
    • The FSA-ID serves as an electronic signature, which significantly improves the processing time.
    • A paper signature page must be downloaded, signed and mailed for students or parents who don’t have an FSA-ID.
    • A federal customer service telephone helpline is available at 800-433-3243 or 319-337-5665.

    Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Deadlines

    • For Spring 2021, students who may not have passed or taken enough credit hours for FAFSA will need to submit their appeal to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals (SAP) committee by January 22, 2021.  Please see the Financial Aid website for more information: fao.siu.edu/forms/academic-progress-forms.php

    Elective Pass/No Pass Grading for Fall 2020

    • The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic that struck Illinois during the Spring 2020 semester continues to impact the University's course delivery options through the Fall 2020 semester.
    • As a result of these unprecedented challenges to our faculty and students, SIU leadership has decided to permit undergraduate and graduate students – with the exception of students enrolled in the Schools of Law and Medicine – the option of electing to have their letter grades be converted to "Pass/NoPass" grades instead (i.e., P/NP grades for undergrads, S/U grades for grad students).  This option applies to courses taken during the Fall 2020 semester.
    • Most undergraduate and graduate students will be able to elect Pass/No Pass grading on one or more of their Fall 2020 courses from December 7 through December 16, 2020.  Any course, where Pass/No Pass grading is not elected by the student, will retain its normally-assigned grading.
    • For more information, access it here: registrar.siu.edu/pdf/PassNoPass-instructions.pdf

The southern Illinois region is under additional restrictions in order to address spikes in positive cases of COVID-19. While these spikes have been concentrated outside of Jackson County to date, university officials are urging faculty, staff and students to be diligent in their home communities as well as on campus.

“Most cases associated with the university have been connected to activities and contacts that have occurred off campus,” said Ben Newman, who oversees the Emergency Operations Committee responsible for managing SIU’s response to the pandemic.

“We all need to take the same precautions in our home communities that we are taking on campus so we do not put ourselves or others at risk,” Newman said. “That includes wearing masks as required, social distancing and avoiding gatherings whenever possible.”

The State of Illinois requires people to wear a mask or face covering “when in a public place and unable to maintain a six-foot social distance” and “in public indoor spaces such as stores.”

Newman also shared the following guidance:

  • Know the symptoms of COVID-19. If you have them, get tested and stay home until you know the results.

  • If your results are positive or you have been notified that you have been exposed, follow the directions of county health officials and health care providers. Isolate or quarantine as required, and assist with the contact tracing process.
  • If you haven’t done so already, get a flu shot. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a flu shot not only helps protect you and those around you, but “it can also save healthcare resources for the care of patients with COVID-19.” Flu shots also reduce health risks if you should get both the flu and COVID-19 at the same time.

In response to the increased restrictions in the region, SIU has reduced the number of people allowed at university-sponsored gatherings to no more than 25. In addition, the athletics program has further limited attendance at the upcoming SIU-SEMO football game to family members of players.

Newman echoed Chancellor Austin A. Lane’s recent message praising the efforts of the campus community to contain COVID-19. “It’s very notable that no cases have been traced to exposure in a classroom,” he said. “That’s a credit to the work faculty and students are doing to ensure that our classrooms are safe places for teaching and learning.”

Hello from University Housing

Where's the heat? The process of changing from summer air conditioning to winter heating takes about a week We are transitioning from chilled water to steam so the heat will be on in time for the anticipated cooler temperatures this weekend. We try to work with the fluctuating temperatures in a week like this to be ready for a forecast of cooler temperatures after Thursday. It is difficult to hit the mark exactly so we apologize if there have been some cool moments in your room.

Pass/No-Pass option for Fall 2020 semester. Provost Dr. Meera Komarraju has announced the details of a pass/no-pass grading option for some classes in the fall 2020 semester. This option affects various students differently so it is vitally important you know how it may affect you. Students are strongly encouraged to seek out their academic advisor to learn the specifics of how this option may impact GPA, scholarships, financial aid, accreditation, employment, etc.  Please see the Provost's message for further details. 

The Provost's message includes a reminder that Spring 2021 semester class registration will begin Oct. 27. Students are strongly encouraged to register for Spring semester as soon as possible, and certainly before winter break. Please visit the Registrar's Website for more information. 

The provost also reminds students that the maximum amount a student can carry on their bursar account that permits Spring registration has been increased to $1500. Previously that limit was $200. Accounts must be below a balance of $1500 to register for Spring semester classes. 

Please remember that regular fall occupancy in the residence halls (not in the apartments) ends with the start of Fall Break at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday November 21. Most students will finish classes virtually so as they leave for fall break they will not return until the start of Spring semester on January 17, 2021. Students leaving through the winter break do NOT need to remove personal belongings from their room unless they are certain they will not return to SIU for the spring semester. Students should just take what they will need (medication, clothes, phone charger, computer, etc.) for the nearly 2-month break period. Please speak with your RA or Hall Director if you plan to permanently leave SIU at the end of the fall semester. 

If you need to stay on campus for Fall or Winter breaks or for the extended semester housing (Nov. 30 - Dec 12), please see sign up and additional information HERE

You may have noticed the national trend for increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases. Conversations are occurring around the term COVID-fatigue. Simply put, it is characterized by folks becoming lax in wearing their mask, washing their hands or keeping social distance. This is not a year we would wish for anyone in college but despite the many challenges, and with all things considered, we have had an excellent year so far!  Our on-campus students have been very diligent in following the recommended guidelines; please continue to do your part! The dining halls' dining rooms were exempted from closure in Monday's Governor's announcement of increased local restrictions. We will maintain the open dining rooms as long as it is safe to do so but please remember it all rests on you for when we would have to shut them down. Thank you for doing such a great job, please keep up the great work!

If you would like a taste of "normal" college life, try to catch the Marching Salukis afternoon practices near Shryock Auditorium. They are filling the air with great traditional college sounds as they practice for the Oct 30 football game

GO SALUKIS!

Jon L. Shaffer
Director of University Housing

Saluki Students,

As we move forward through the fall semester, we know many students continue to face challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. We also know that the additional restrictions implemented to help curb the spread of COVID-19 in our region may have had an additional impact on students who work in the community.

SIU Carbondale has resources and opportunities to help. Here are just a few.

Saluki Cares continues to work with students who are experiencing challenges throughout the pandemic.  Financial assistance is available through the emergency funding program. The application is available at salukicares.siu.edu.

The Saluki Food Pantry is located on the lower level of the Student Center and is open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., or by appointment at 618-536-3351. On Monday, October 26, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., there will be a drive-through food distribution at the Banterra Center parking lot. The food drive will provide free fruits and Vegetables, meat and dairy products. Please bring your student ID.

For students who may have been displaced due to the regional restrictions affecting restaurants in the community, opportunities exist to work on campus, and University Housing is hiring in the dining halls.  These opportunities are also available for all students. Students who are looking for employment can ask for the manager on duty at either Lentz or Trueblood to complete an application. 

If you need assistance for anything and aren’t quite sure where to turn, Saluki Cares is always a good place to start. Please let us know how we can help.

Reminders

Remember that advance registration for spring begins on a staggered schedule on Tuesday, Oct. 27. Students are encouraged to review the schedule of classes and academic calendar. Please review the earlier message about the spring semester schedule as well as the message about the pass/no pass option for fall, spring registration, and an increase in bursar account limits in order to reduce barriers to spring registration.

COVID-19 testing is available on campus Mondays and Wednesdays, and an off-campus drive-through option is also available. Be sure to make an appointment.

Thank you for continuing to stay safe by wearing masks, social distancing and doing your part to protect our community.

Lori Stettler
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

SIU Carbondale students,

I hope your classes are going well and that you are taking every precaution to stay safe this semester.

I write to give several important updates regarding the fall and spring semesters.

“Pass/no pass” option for fall semester

Due to the ongoing challenges associated with COVID-19, the university will once again offer undergraduate students the option of requesting a “pass/no-pass” grade for courses taken in fall 2020. Graduate students will have the option of selecting a “satisfactory/unsatisfactory” grade. We made this decision carefully in consultation with both student and faculty leaders and after assessing approaches by other universities.

It is very important that you have a full understanding of the potential impact of opting for a “pass/no pass” grade. For this reason, students will be required to consult with their academic advisors or program coordinators or directors before making the decision. You are also encouraged to discuss possible implications with the financial aid office.

Potential implications include:

  • GPA: “Pass” and “satisfactory” grades do not contribute to grade point averages. The “pass/satisfactory” grade option would not be helpful for students who are trying to raise their GPAs so that they can graduate, or for any other reason.
  • Scholarships: Some scholarships require a minimum GPA; GPAs are examined annually.
  • Financial aid: There could be financial aid ramifications with respect to maintaining adequate academic progress.
  • Professional/graduate school: Some students who are applying to graduate or professional schools may need letter grades.
  • Accreditation: Students in accredited programs may need letter grades. 
  • Employment: Some employers may be concerned about a student having a significant number of nongraded academic credits on the transcript.

Again, please reach out so that you can make an informed decision, and contact your academic advisor with questions.

Spring 2021 registration

Advisement has begun for undergraduate students for the spring 2021 semester. All students, graduate and undergraduate, are encouraged to register for courses before the winter break. Registration for the spring 2021 semester begins Tuesday, October 27. Visit the registrar’s website for more information.

It’s important to note that your bursar bill can be paid closer to the start of the semester, which begins on January 19. In other words, students can register in advance of that date and not pay the bill immediately.

Bursar account limits

Speaking of bursar accounts, we know that many students and families are facing financial challenges due to the pandemic. Our goal is to minimize the impact of these challenges on your ability to continue your education. 

For this reason, we have increased the amount you can carry on your bursar account in order to be able to register for spring 2021 classes. Previously, if you owed more than $200 on your account you would not be able to register. Continuing a temporary change made for the current fall semester, we have raised that amount to $1,500 to minimize barriers to registration for spring. In other words, as long as you owe no more than $1,500 on your account, you will be able to register for spring 2021 classes. This is a temporary measure in recognition of the extraordinary circumstances caused by the pandemic. Please email the bursar’s office at bursar@siu.edu or call 618-453-2221 with questions. 

Thank you for your commitment to your classes and the safety of our campus.

Sincerely,

Meera Komarraju
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
SIU Carbondale  

Hello from University Housing

Voters registered in Jackson County may take advantage of Early Voting opportunities on campus. Early Voting will be held in the SIU Student Center on October 13, 15, 19, 20, 28, 29 & 30 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Get involved! Become an Undergraduate Student Government Senator. Applications can be found on usg.rso.siu.edu/.

Students living in residence halls have contracted for the entire academic year (August to May) and have access to their rooms while in-person classes are in session. Housing for the fall 2020 semester has been defined as August 12 through November 21 (start of Fall Break) and students were billed a reduce rate to reflect the last two weeks of the semester being on-line.  Spring semester is defined as January 17 through May 8, 2021 with no spring break this year.

While most students will simply return home between November 21 and January 17, some will need to stay on campus at various times. Students have several options for housing past November 21 as has been outlined on the Housing website (read all the way through to the bottom of the page). Information will be updated as any COVID related information may alter plans. Mae Smith residence hall is the designated break housing hall this year. Anyone requiring housing during fall break or winter break (remember no spring break this year) must reside in Mae Smith, register to stay, and pay an additional fee for break housing. A small number of empty rooms may be available for students from other buildings needing break housing. If available, students may register to stay on a first come-first served basis. Room availability is not guaranteed for non-Mae Smith residents.

Students leaving at the start of fall break, who will not stay on campus for the last two weeks of the semester, will return to campus for the start of the spring semester on January 17, 2021. Because the Housing Contract is for the entire academic year, students may leave their belongings in their room during break times. However, we encourage students to take what they will need for the semester break remembering they will not have access to their room again until January 17! Residents who have not arranged for break housing will not have access to their room during break periods.

Fall Break Housing (Thanksgiving break) November 21 – November 29: Students who need to remain on campus during the week of fall break must request break housing through the Residence Life Office at least two weeks in advance. The Residence Life office is located across from the mailboxes in Trueblood Hall and may be reached at 618-453-2471. Please remember that dining halls are not open and no meals are served during fall break. Guests are not permitted in any building during the break period. There is an additional charge for break housing of approximately $27 per night and students are billed for the entire break period regardless of the actual number of nights a student stays in their room (approximately $216).

Final 2 Weeks of Semester Housing November 29 - December 12: Students who need to return to campus for in-person instruction during the final two weeks of fall semester must sign up for the extended housing option in the Housing Portal. The extended housing option carries an additional charge of $652 regardless of the actual number of days spent on campus. At least one dining hall will be open and meals will be served throughout these two weeks. Please note Trueblood dining hall may be the only operational dining hall depending on the number of students remaining on campus. Residence Halls will close for winter break at 2:00 pm on Saturday, December 12.

Winter Break (Semester break) December 12 – January 17, 2021: Students who need to remain on campus during the winter break must request break housing through the Residence Life Office at least two weeks in advance. The Residence Life office is located across from the mailboxes in Trueblood Hall and may be reached at 618-453-2471. Please remember that dining halls are not open and meals are not served during the winter break. Guests are not permitted in any building during the break period. There is an additional charge for break housing of approximately $27 per night and students are billed for the entire break period regardless of the number of nights a student stays in their room (approximately $945).

Wall & Grand residents, like residents of our other apartments, have contracted for the entire academic year. However, like the other apartments, W&G residents maintain access to their apartments during break periods at no additional charge. Please note University services may be reduced or unavailable during the break periods.

Students who do not plan to return to SIU for the Spring 2021 semester should make arrangements with their RA to properly check out of their residence hall room before departing SIU at the end of this semester.

The residence halls will open for the spring semester at 9:00 am on Sunday January 21, 2021.

GO SALUKIS!

JON L. SHAFFER, PH.D.
Director of University Housing

SIU Students,

With fall semester well underway, it is time to look forward to spring. First, though, thank you for the great job students are doing following safety protocols – wearing masks, social distancing and more. I appreciate the great care you are taking to protect yourself and others.

I also want to be sure you know that we are here for you. We have a number of services available, whether you need academic or emotional support. For example, the Center for Learning Support Services can connect you with a tutor and Counseling and Psychological Services can connect you with a counselor. You can reach out to these offices, your resident assistant, the Office of the Dean of Students or Saluki Cares if you need help.

We also encourage you to stay engaged. See the Virtual Involvement Fair on YouTube to check out student organizations, register for the moonlight paddle on campus lake, participate in virtual and in-person classes and events through the Student Recreation Center, and explore activities at the Student Center.  These are just a few of the ways you can get connected.

Regarding the spring semester, our goal remains the same: provide a quality education in a safe environment. Based upon what we know about COVID-19 today, we anticipate that we will need to take all of the same precautions in the spring that we are taking now. We are advised by medical professionals that we should not count on the wide availability of an approved vaccine in time for the semester to begin.

Here are some updates regarding the spring semester.

Schedule

We have expanded the break between semesters an additional week, so spring semester will start a week later than planned. Classes will begin Tuesday, January 19. Final exams will take place Monday, May 3, through Friday, May 7, as originally scheduled. We will not have a traditional spring break in order to minimize the risk of bringing COVID-19 back to campus due to travel. However, we recognize that this creates a long stretch for students and faculty alike, so we hope to provide some days off filled with lots of things to do close to campus. Residence hall move-in will now begin at 2 p.m. on Sunday, January 17.

The decision regarding the spring semester schedule was considered very carefully with input from multiple groups, including Undergraduate Student Government. Graduate and Professional Student Council and Graduate Assistants United.

Classes

Classes for the spring semester will again be offered in online, in-person and hybrid formats. Instructors are currently making decisions related to class format. Since we all learned a lot regarding course formats at the beginning of the academic year, we do not anticipate the last-minute format changes some students experienced after registration for fall semester.

You will receive an email from your academic advisor (if you have not already) to schedule advisement appointments. All appointments will be conducted virtually. 

Testing

We will continue to make on- and off-campus COVID-19 testing available to students in the spring. In fact, we are working on finalizing a partnership with Southern Illinois Healthcare, SHIELD and the University of Illinois to bring more testing this spring.

As an aside, our new testing plan with Southern Illinois Healthcare has been going well, and you are now able to schedule online as well as by phone for both on-campus and off-campus tests. We remain grateful to SIH and the Jackson County Health Department for the partnership that made this possible.

Overall, we still have details to work out regarding the spring semester and will post updates on our coronavirus website. As always, you may email pandemicinfo@siu.edu with questions.

The situation with COVID-19 is fluid. Plans may change based on the course of the pandemic and recommendations and directives from governmental and health agencies. We remain flexible, diligent and committed to the safety of our students, faculty and staff.

Sincerely,

Austin A. Lane
Chancellor

SIU Families,

With fall semester well underway, it is time to look forward to spring. First, though, I want to share thanks for the great job students are doing following safety protocols – wearing masks, social distancing and more. I appreciate the great care they are taking to protect themselves and others.

I also want to be sure you know that we have a number of services available for students, whether they need academic or emotional support. For example, the Center for Learning Support Services can connect them with tutors, and Counseling and Psychological Services can connect them with counselors. We encourage students to reach out to these offices, their resident assistants, the Office of the Dean of Students or Saluki Cares if they need help.

We also encourage them to stay engaged. They can review the Virtual Involvement Fair on YouTube to check out student organizations, register for the moonlight paddle on campus lake, participate in virtual and in-person classes and events through the Student Recreation Center, and explore activities at the Student Center.  These are just a few of the ways students can get connected.

Regarding the spring semester, our goal remains the same: provide a quality education in a safe environment. Based upon what we know about COVID-19 today, we anticipate that we will need to take all of the same precautions in the spring that we are taking now. We are advised by medical professionals that we should not count on the wide availability of an approved vaccine in time for the semester to begin.

Here are some updates regarding the spring semester.

Schedule

We have expanded the break between semesters an additional week, so spring semester will start a week later than planned. Classes will begin Tuesday, January 19. Final exams will take place Monday, May 3, through Friday, May 7, as originally scheduled. We will not have a traditional spring break in order to minimize the risk of bringing COVID-19 back to campus due to travel. However, we recognize that this creates a long stretch for students and faculty alike, so we hope to provide some days off filled with lots of things for students to do close to campus. Residence hall move-in will now begin at 2 p.m. on Sunday, January 17.

Classes

Classes for the spring semester will again be offered in online, in-person and hybrid formats. Instructors are currently making decisions related to class format. Since we all learned a lot regarding course formats at the beginning of the academic year, we do not anticipate the last-minute format changes some students experienced after registration for fall semester.

Students will receive an email from their academic advisors (if they have not already) to schedule advisement appointments. All appointments will be conducted virtually. 

Testing

We will continue to make on- and off-campus COVID-19 testing available to students in the spring. In fact, we are working on finalizing a partnership with Southern Illinois Healthcare, SHIELD and the University of Illinois to bring more testing this spring.

As an aside, our new testing plan with Southern Illinois Healthcare has been going well, and you are now able to schedule online as well as by phone for both on-campus and off-campus tests. We remain grateful to SIH and the Jackson County Health Department for the partnership that made this possible.

Overall, we still have details to work out regarding the spring semester and will post updates on our coronavirus website. As always, you may email pandemicinfo@siu.edu with questions.

The situation with COVID-19 is fluid. Plans may change based on the course of the pandemic and recommendations and directives from governmental and health agencies. We remain flexible, diligent and committed to the safety of our students, faculty and staff.

Sincerely,

Austin A. Lane
Chancellor

Hello from University Housing.

Last week’s note introduced you to COVID testing now available on campus. On campus testing occurs every Monday at the Becker Pavilion from 10 am to 4 pm and every Wednesday at Rinella Field from 10 am to 4 pm. Students are asked to make an appointment via the testing website. As always, please be sure to check out the many resources available for students with questions about COVID-19 at SIU.

Is your family the 2020 Saluki Family of the Year? The office of New Student Programs is in search of two of the most spirited Saluki families! The contest is simple: provide us with your contact information and tell us what makes you Family of the Year material. Prizes include a two-night stay at the Hampton Inn Carbondale, an exclusive visit with a campus administrator, Saluki swag and more! The deadline to submit the application is Monday, September 28th! For more details, visit https://salukifamily.siu.edu/fam-of-year/.

Are you registered to vote? The 2020 general election is just 6 weeks from today. Students still have time to request a ballot by mail for the jurisdiction where they are registered to vote. Students are also encouraged to take an active role as citizens here in the Carbondale community. Not registered to vote? There is still time! Check out the Illinois voter registration website or these opportunities to register right here on our campus:

  • Wednesday, Sept. 23, from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. in room 150 of the Student Services Building
  • Thursday, Sept. 24, from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. in room 150 of the Student Services Building
  • Friday, Sept. 25, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Student Center’s North Entrance
  • Tuesday, Sept. 29, from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. in room of the 150 Student Services Building
  • Friday, Oct. 2, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Student Center North Entrance

September 15 – October 15 is Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month: Be Proud of Your Past, Embrace Your Future. Check out all that’s going on!

This week’s note provides an opportunity to remind residents of the Resident Handbook which outlines policies and procedures for living on campus. As the semester moves along we are aware that some students have been selling goods or services from their rooms or apartments. Policy “T. Solicitation” (pg. 10) states: Operating a Business: Residents are not permitted to operate a business from their residence hall or apartment or elsewhere within University Housing. This includes selling things from your room/apt. or providing services for pay such as hair care or nails. The policy also prohibits virtual or online businesses via the university network. Thank you for your cooperation in adhering to all University policies.

Because of the pandemic, please remember that anyone who does not live on campus may not visit our residence halls or Wall & Grand at this time. This includes significant others who do not live on our campus, family members, friends from other schools, etc. We appreciate your help in keeping the risks of exposure to a minimum. We also remind residents that guests are to be escorted at all times. If you have a friend from another residence visiting, you are to meet them at the door and have them stay with you through their visit including walking them back to the front door to leave. Thank you for doing your part to keep our residences safe. The university’s policies for all students are in the Student Code of Conduct.

Be safe, wear your masks, wash your hands and maintain appropriate distances. Thank you for doing your part in slowing the spread of COVID on our campus!

Go Salukis!

Jon L. Shaffer
Director of University Housing

Hello from University Housing

Starting Monday, September 14, Saluki students, faculty and staff may get tested for COVID right here on our campus. If you’re interested in being tested you may set up an appointment to visit a testing center on Mondays or Wednesdays. On Mondays the testing center will be hosted at the Becker Pavilion at the campus lake boat dock. You will find the boat dock on the southeast corner of the lake behind the Engineering Building. On Wednesdays testing will occur at the tents which will be set up on the Southwest corner of Rinella Field. Rinella Field is the green space between the towers and the rec center. Looks for the tents on the north side of Mae Smith along the sidewalk leading to the rec center by the softball complex. Testing is possible through a partnership between SIU, Southern Illinois Healthcare and the Jackson County Health Department.

University Housing was made aware of rumors that COVID cases were spreading through contact in the dining halls. Please rest assured the we have confirmed with the Jackson County Health Department that to date, no positive COVID cases have been attributed to contract in our dining halls. Our staff continue to take great care for your safety, and most of our students doing a great job of wearing their masks, maintaining social distance between groups, and being aware of their surroundings while enjoying meals in Lentz and Trueblood. We extend a hearty thank you to everyone for continuing to do their part in keeping our halls as safe and accommodating to students.

As students who have tested positive have been identified, and through the campus and county contact tracing, some students have been asked to quarantine or isolate on campus. We have seen a tremendously positive response to keeping everyone safe. For those who were asked to isolate or quarantine we say THANK YOU for following the instructions and doing your part to slow the spread of the virus. For everyone else, please remember that no one asks to be associated with the COVID virus. Please respect the privacy of your fellow students who are going through the process and please reach out to friends you know are isolating or are in quarantine to help stave off the boredom and loneliness of this process.

Students continue to post on the Class of 2024 Facebook page and other sources for Salukis looking to meet new friends. The opportunities to meet new people in person are a bit limited this year. Normally the campus would have seen dozens of welcome weeks activities geared towards students getting to meet each other. With the safety restrictions in place we’ll have to rely more on virtual opportunities to meet new people. Please keep an eye out for folks looking to make connections and offer to make that connection with them. Small groups of students may get together for meals, walks around the lake, or exploring Carbondale. Despite all the restrictions, you can still meet and make those friendships that will likely hold for the rest of your life. Be sure to reach out but also be a good friend by respecting others’ boundaries and stay safe.

Go Salukis!

JON L. SHAFFER, PH.D.
Director of University Housing

Students, faculty and staff,

As we near the end the first four weeks of the semester, I again thank you for doing your part to protect the safety of our campus by wearing masks, social distancing and following other safety protocols.

I write to share some exciting news just announced today. Starting Monday, students, faculty and staff will be able to get COVID-19 tests on campus two days a week thanks to a grant-funded partnership between the Jackson County Health Department, Southern Illinois Healthcare and SIU Carbondale. We are deeply grateful for this collaboration with our community partners.

Testing will be by appointment at the Becker Pavilion near the boat dock on Campus Lake on Mondays and at the southwest corner of Rinella Field across from the Student Health Center near the Towers on Wednesdays. This new on-site testing is in addition to drive-through testing already offered to the SIU community not far from campus. A website with details and information about how to make appointments for both on-campus and drive-through testing will be live tomorrow.

Also on Monday, we will have our second Saluki Safety panel providing a monthly, live update on the semester and COVID-19 safety measures. We’ll talk about testing, reporting, student life, academic programs and more, and you’ll have the opportunity to submit questions. The online event takes place from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. and will also be posted afterwards for those who can’t make it. A link to access the panel will be at chancellor.siu.edu just before 1:30 p.m. Monday.

Meanwhile, to stay up-to-day on accurate information, please visit the coronavirus website frequently and be sure to review all of our Saluki Safety information and protocols.

Email pandemicinfo@siu.edu with questions, concerns and ideas. All input is welcome.

Please continue to do your part to keep our community safe. We must remain vigilant. This is a team effort, and the team is very large. It includes every faculty, staff and student who is wearing a mask, social distancing, washing hands and following our safety plan and requirements. It also includes many, many people who have worked tirelessly since March to keep our campus safe.

Thanks to you all.

Sincerely,

Austin A. Lane
Chancellor

Hello Salukis

We are on the cusp of a nice long weekend thanks to the Labor Day holiday. This provides an opportunity to remind everyone to keep safety in mind. Please remember that with our current guest policy only fellow on-campus residents may visit inside the residence halls. All off-campus students, non-students, students of other schools, or even family are not able to visit inside your residence hall at this time. As we strive to keep each other safe, it is our hope that you will stay in town this weekend. Students traveling home or to another campus could easily pick up an illness and bring it back to SIU. We have had a good start to the year with nowhere near the number of cases on other campuses. It would be easy to lose this progress. Please keep up the great work keeping yourself and your fellow Salukis safe! Regardless of your plans, please wear your mask faithfully, keep 6 feet from others, and wash your hands frequently. Thank you!

A few of our on-campus students have tested positive for the virus this fall. In these cases, students have been very cooperative in isolating away from others while the virus runs its course. Students have also been very good about helping with contact tracing and quarantining when learning they may have been exposed. With this kind of care and cooperation we’ve been able to keep the virus in check so far. I’m sure the great compliance with wearing masks is helping tremendously. It truly takes all of us remaining diligent to hold the virus at bay so please keep up the great work!

Remember that “quarantine” means a student may have been exposed. These students are asked to stay away from others to see if symptoms develop. “Isolation” means you have tested positive for COVID-19 and you need to live away from others while the virus runs its course. If you are contacted by contact tracers please follow all their directions

While sticking around town this weekend, there are many things you can do. West Campus has a Saturday afternoon of fun planned near Abbott, Kellogg and Felts Halls. Come on out between 2 and 7 pm to check out the games and snacks and be part of the fun. Be sure to check out the outdoor movies on both Saturday and Sunday evenings from 8 – 10 p.m. on Thompson Point. Remember to social distance and be sure to grab some snacks while catching these movies.

Wall & Grand students will be having fun on Saturday from 2 to 4 pm on Rinella Field (the big lawn space between Wall & Grand and the towers). Come hang out with your neighbors, check out the tie-dyeing, and grab some snacks while you’re there.

Students living in the towers will find a variety of fun things to do as well. Our ROTC students will be enjoying some outdoor sports and snacks on Friday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Rinella Field. Also on Friday, Mae Smith residents can partake in sunset yoga from 7 to 7:30 on Rinella Field. On Saturday, Mae Smith residents will be checking out Campus Lake and Lentz dining hall on the Campus Lake Hike and Brunch starting at 11:30 am. We should have wonderful weather this weekend, perfect for exploring new places like our beautiful Campus Lake!

Some students may feel like they haven’t yet made friends or found things to do with others. These are good times to remember such resources as reaching out to your RA, joining your house Group Me, talking to your suitemate and meeting your neighbors. Join the conversation with the SIU Class of 2024 Facebook group, there is always something happening there. Lots of students are reaching out to make new friends and the only way to have a friend is to be one. Put yourself out there so others can meet you too.

If you are feeling down, please remember there are a lot of folks at SIU to support you. The SIU Counseling and Psychological Services office (CAPS) is always available to you at 618-453-5371 or through your RA. On-campus residents can also reach out the CAPS-University Housing office in Baldwin Hall. Please reach out if you’re feeling down, we’re all here to help you have the best possible college experience.

Thank you, Salukis, for doing your part to keep yourself and those around you safe. No one wants the on-campus experience to end so please stay diligent in being safe!

Get out, meet some new Salukis and enjoy this great long weekend on campus.

Jon L. Shaffer
Director of University Housing

Hello Salukis!

By way of introduction, my name is Dr. Jon Shaffer and I am the director of University Housing here at SIU. University Housing encompasses the residence halls, apartments and dining halls among other function areas. I reach out to you today with thanks and information about your on-campus experience.

First, a heartfelt and genuine THANK YOU for everyone doing their part to keep fellow Salukis safe. Chancellor Lane and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Lori Stettler have noted time and again how pleased they have been to see our students wearing their masks and practicing social distancing. As I walk through our residence and dining halls, or even just across campus, it is so wonderful to see most everyone being great Salukis. Salukis really do take care of each other. Keep up the great work!

Sometimes, students starting college for the first time can feel a sense of loneliness in their new home. This is VERY normal, especially in a year affected by COVID. The excitement of the start of the year gives way to the daily routine and students can start to feel down if they haven’t yet made friends or found things to do with others. These are good times to remember such resources as reaching out to your RA, joining your house Group Me, talking to your suitemate and meeting your neighbors, or joining the conversation with the SIU Class of 2024 Facebook group. There are lots of folks reaching out to make new friends and the only way to make new friends is to put yourself out there so others can meet you too. Just say hi and break the ice and see where things go from there. Please keep track of campus events so you can join others having fun https://getinvolved.siu.edu/.

If you are feeling down, please remember there are a lot of folks at SIU to support you. The SIU Counseling and Psychological Services office (CAPS) is always available to you at 618-453-5371 or through your RA. On-campus residents can also reach out the CAPS-University Housing office in Baldwin Hall. Please reach out if you’re feeling down, we’re all here to help you have the best possible experience in college.

University Housing has received conflicting reports of how students prefer to obtain and eat meals in our dining halls. The university hears all of you. The decision to keep the dining rooms open is a balancing act that we monitor very carefully by working with the health department and health services. We keep an eye on things with full consideration for student safety first. Some students have asked for carryout service in the dining halls. Unfortunately, we cannot offer the Saluki Anytime Dining Plan, which permits students to enter the dining hall as many time a day they would choose and enjoy all-you-care-to-eat fare with each visit, and carry out at the same time. Like any all-you-care-to-eat facility, the restaurant must control food costs to keep prices affordable. SIU is no different. Offering carry out with an all-you-care-to-eat format would dramatically increase food costs which would result in higher room and board rates for students. Our commitment to keeping rates as low as they can be requires closely monitoring all of the expenses. Your room and board rates have not increased in 4 years despite everyone enjoying great amenities as a single room at the double room rate and the new Grill at Trueblood.

University Housing’s Culinary and Nutrition Services team partnered with several agencies in developing and obtaining approval for a tiered COVID plan for the fall 2020 semester. These agencies included the SIU Emergency Operations Center, Jackson County Health Department, SIU Medical School and SIU’s Student Health Services. The Culinary and Nutrition Services plan is tiered meaning services will change as circumstances with the virus change. If the University sees a critical increase in on-campus cases, the first step back is for the dining rooms (not dining halls) to close. All meals would then be served to-go. This will require us to go to a 19 meal per week plan and limit visits to just once per meal period (breakfast, lunch and dinner). In this first step back, students would still enter the serving area of the dining halls to request the food they’d like to eat, but all meals would be served in to-go containers and students would not be able to eat in the dining rooms. This means students would not have access to seconds, drink refills, etc.

The next step back would be to close the dining halls and have students pick up pre-made meals at the door. We utilized this format during the spring semester. Meal options would be posted a day in advance and would be different between Trueblood and Lentz so students would have several options at each meal.

Because we have received conflicting requests for the dining rooms to stay open or close to offer carry out, University Housing is conducting a survey of residents’ opinions. You will soon receive an email invitation to take the survey. It is just for on campus residents and each resident may take it only once. Please participate so your voice is heard! We’ll share the results in a couple of weeks and strongly consider the majority opinion for how we operate the dining halls the rest of this semester. Thank you in advance for taking the survey.

This is also a good time to remind everyone of some of the safety provisions in place for Fall 2020.

  • The dining halls have eliminated all student touch points in the serving square, including silverware

  • Removed and separated chairs and tables to promote social distancing

  • Created safety barriers between students and serving staff

  • Increased the sanitization schedules for tables and chairs in the dining rooms

  • Only students and Housing/Dining staff may eat in the dining halls

  • Everyone must be properly wearing their mask to enter

  • We ask everyone to keep their mask on until seated to eat, and then back on once their meal is done, even if they stay to chat with friends

  • We encourage everyone to move along in a timely manner to ensure everyone can enjoy a non-crowded dining room

We continue to provide great service by washing dishes and utensils at 150 degrees. We rinse at 160 degrees sanitize and rinse again at 180 degrees. Our dining staff have all been trained in safe food handling and proper hygiene for working in food service. The dining halls routinely receive 100% scores on our health inspections. Our team genuinely cares about your health and well-being along with creating tasty, healthy and satisfying meals.

Thank you again for all the great work you are doing to keep yourself and your fellow Salukis safe. It is wonderful to see so much SALUKI PRIDE! Keep an eye out for that survey invitation and best wishes for a wonderful semester.

Dr. Jon Shaffer
Director, University Housing
Southern Illinois University Carbondale

SIU Students:

Thank you for a great start to the fall semester. It’s terrific to see everyone wearing masks and taking steps to protect the health and safety of our campus and community. Keep up the good work!

As we approach the weekend, I remind you to avoid parties and other large gatherings that can be breeding grounds for COVID-19. While we want you to have fun while you are here, we do not want you to do so at the expense of your health and the health of those around you.

Again, thank you for staying safe and doing your part.

Go Dawgs!

Austin A. Lane
Chancellor

SIU Students:

We can’t wait to welcome you for the fall semester! Whether you’re taking classes in-person, online or both, we’re here to help you achieve your educational goals.

By now, you should have received information from your academic advisor about how to find the delivery method for each of your courses this fall. Please contact your advisor if you have questions or need assistance.

For those of you who will be taking courses on campus, I assure you that your safety is our top priority. We have listened carefully to the recommendations of health agencies as we have prepared for the fall semester, and are implementing comprehensive safety protocols across campus. Please review Saluki Safety carefully so you know what we are doing and how you can contribute to a safe community.

We strongly encourage you to test for COVID-19 prior to returning to campus, allowing enough time to get the results back before classes start. If you should test positive, don’t come to campus until you have been cleared by a health official; our Dean of Students office will work with you so you can stay on track with your courses.

During the two weeks before classes, we also encourage you to minimize your contact with others by self-quarantining. If you do go out, wear a mask, practice social distancing and avoid gatherings. Take care of your health so you can get off to a great start this fall and do your part to protect others.

While you can find a lot of information in Saluki Safety, our fall 2020 plan, and on the coronavirus website, you may have more questions. Please send them to us at pandemicinfo@siu.edu.

I also invite you to join me and other members of the campus leadership team to a Zoom update on our fall plans from 1 to 3 p.m. on Friday, August 7. We’ll review our safety plans, talk about course delivery, field questions and much more. Visit chancellor.siu.edu to participate.

Thank you for being a part of the SIU community. We look forward to connecting with you soon.

Go Dawgs!

Sincerely,

Austin A. Lane
Chancellor

SIU Families:

We can’t wait to welcome your student for the fall semester! Whether students are taking classes in-person, online or both, we’re here to help them achieve their educational goals.

By now, students who are registered for fall classes should have received information from their academic advisors about how to find the delivery method for each course this fall. Students should contact their advisors if they have questions or need assistance.

If your student will be taking courses on campus, I assure you that safety is our top priority. We have listened carefully to the recommendations of health agencies as we have prepared for the fall semester, and are implementing comprehensive safety protocols across campus. Please review Saluki Safety carefully so you know what we are doing and how your student can contribute to a safe community.

We are strongly encouraging students to test for COVID-19 prior to returning to campus, allowing enough time to get the results back before classes start. Students who test positive may not come to campus until they have been cleared by a health official; our Dean of Students office will work with them so they can stay on track with courses.

During the two weeks before classes, we also encourage students to minimize contact with others by self-quarantining. If they do go out, they should wear a mask, practice social distancing and avoid gatherings. We want them to take care of their health so they can get off to a great start this fall and do their part to protect others.

While you can find a lot of information in Saluki Safety, our fall 2020 plan, and on the coronavirus website, you may have more questions. Please send them to us at pandemicinfo@siu.edu.

I also invite you to join me and other members of the campus leadership team to a Zoom update on our fall plans from 1 to 3 p.m. on Friday, August 7. We’ll review our safety plans, talk about course delivery, field questions and much more. Visit chancellor.siu.edu to participate.

Thank you for supporting your student’s education.

Sincerely,

Austin A. Lane
Chancellor

SIU Faculty and Staff,

In my first weeks as chancellor, I have seen first-hand your careful work reopening physical offices on campus. I commend the focus on your safety and the safety of your colleagues, students and visitors.

Now, as the fall semester approaches, we are ready to take the next step forward in compliance with phase 4 of the state’s Restore Illinois Plan.

Starting August 1, offices may be staffed with up to 50 percent of employees present at any time. Of course, all of our safety protocols will remain in place. We’ll send a comprehensive update of our safety measures shortly.

As before, deans, directors or their designees will determine staffing based on office needs, the ability to maintain social distancing and other factors. They may choose to stagger work schedules by changing shifts or allowing staff to split their schedule between the campus and a remote location. Some staff may continue to work remotely full-time.

We will remain at the 50 percent maximum until Thanksgiving break. After break, offices will remain open, but we will significantly reduce on-campus staffing levels through December. Deans and directors will identify staff who are essential to on-campus operations, and all other staff who are able to work remotely will be allowed to do so.

Important reminders

  • Employees asked to return to campus either part time or full time must review Returning to Work: Training and Resources and Returning to Work: Guidelines for August 1-December 31 before coming back.
  • Supervisors should also review both return-to-work documents to ensure that they are following guidelines.
  • Employees should not return to work without approval.
  • Employees who work remotely either part-time or full time should review the remote work guidelines and complete a remote work agreement if needed. The online FAQ has additional details and answers to questions about employees who are in high-risk categories, student employees and other topics.
  • Given the changing nature of the pandemic, all plans are subject to change based on guidance and directives from state officials and health agencies.

If you have additional questions about your status or office, consult with your supervisor. Questions may also be sent to pandemicinfo@siu.edu by any employee.

Safety first

Our top priority is the safety of our faculty, staff and students. We continue to pay very close attention to the direction of the pandemic, the directives of state officials and the recommendations of health agencies. All of our plans are based on these recommendations and directives. As I mentioned earlier, we will provide an update of our safety measures very soon, and we will continue to adapt them as we have new information.

I know you share our commitment to safety. Thank you for serving as a role model by wearing masks, social distancing and following all of our safety protocols. With your help, we will have a successful fall semester.

Sincerely,

Austin A. Lane
Chancellor

SIU families,

Greetings from SIU! We hope you and your Saluki student are staying health and safe this summer.

We have been busy planning for the fall semester with the goal of providing every student with a quality education in a safe environment. Today, we are letting students know of our plans for the fall, and we want to share them with you, as well. Here are some highlights:

  • The academic calendar will stay the same, with classes starting Monday, August 17, and final examinations ending Friday, Dec. 11.
  • After Thanksgiving break, the remaining two weeks of the semester will be completed remotely to minimize risks associated with the return of students and others from Thanksgiving travel. Exceptions may be made for programs in which face-to-face instruction is essential.
  • The day and time of courses that are already scheduled will remain the same in order to minimize disruption to students who have already registered.

Courses will be offered in three formats:

  • Traditional face-to-face courses
  • Hybrid courses, in which some instruction is face-to-face but parts of the course may be provided online or in alternative formats
  • Courses fully online or in another alternative format

The format for each course is being determined based course requirements, class size, capacity for social distancing and other factors. Information about the format for individual courses will be emailed to students during the last two weeks of July so that they know what to expect or can adjust their schedules as needed. While we anticipate that the majority of courses will have some element of face-to-face instruction, a number of online-only options will be available.

Students living on campus will continue to have single rooms, and we are implementing a number of safety protocols in both housing and dining. In fact, all of our plans incorporate multiple safety measures based on recommendations from state and national health agencies.

You can learn more in the plan and accompanying FAQ. Additional questions can be emailed to pandemicinfo@siu.edu.

We know that the recommendations associated with COVID-19 change daily. This means that our plans are fluid and subject to change. We will continue to adapt as new, scientifically founded information and guidelines are available. Our unwavering goal is to provide your student with a safe environment in which they can study and learn.

Thank you for all you do to support your SIU student.

John M. Dunn
Chancellor

SIU students,

I hope you are all having a safe and productive summer. As you know, we have been working on plans for the fall semester with a focus on providing a quality education in a safe and welcoming environment.

As we developed our plan, we sought input from students, faculty and staff, and we consulted with health officials and other colleges and universities. Based on this input, we share a few highlights about the upcoming fall semester:

  • The academic calendar will stay the same, with classes starting Monday, August 17, and final examinations ending Friday, Dec. 11.
  • After Thanksgiving break, the remaining two weeks of the semester will be completed remotely to minimize risks associated with the return of students and others from Thanksgiving travel. Exceptions may be made for programs in which face-to-face instruction is essential.
  • The day and time of courses that are already scheduled will remain the same in order to minimize disruption to students who have already registered.

Courses will be offered in three formats:

  • Traditional face-to-face courses
  • Hybrid courses, in which some instruction is face-to-face but parts of the course may be provided online or in alternative formats
  • Courses fully online or in another alternative format

The format for each course is being determined based course requirements, class size, capacity for social distancing and other factors. Information about the format for individual courses will be emailed to you during the last two weeks of July so that you know what to expect or can adjust your schedule as needed.

Of course, all of our planning has incorporated multiple safety measures based on recommendations from state and national health agencies.

In the plan, you’ll find more information about safety, housing and student life for this fall. Please review it carefully and visit the FAQs for more information. Additional questions can be emailed to pandemicinfo@siu.edu.

With your help, we will have a safe and successful fall semester. We look forward to welcoming you in August!

John M. Dunn
Chancellor

Faculty and staff colleagues,

As you know, we have been working diligently on planning for fall semester with input from faculty, staff and students. We are also aligning our plans with recommendations from state and national health agencies and the governor’s Restore Illinois plan. In addition, we have consulted with and reviewed information from other universities to understand how they are addressing the shared challenges we face.

Our plan is to provide a mix of course formats that include courses offered fully or almost fully face-to-face, hybrid courses that combine face-to-face instruction with online or alternative formats, and courses offered fully online. Decisions will be made on a course-by-course basis, taking into account course requirements, class size, faculty preferences, capacity for social distancing and other factors. All decisions will be made with the health and safety of our faculty, staff and students in mind.

To avoid as much disruption as possible, there will be no changes to course schedules or the academic calendar. However, we will be fully remote for the two weeks after Thanksgiving (one week of classes and finals week) in order to minimize exposure from travel to other parts of the state or country.

You can find additional information in the plan and online FAQ.

You’ll note that we are still working on a number of details to ensure that we have everything in place when classes start on August 17. We will share more information as we get closer to the start of classes.

We know that the recommendations associated with COVID-19 change almost daily. This means that our plans are subject to change. We will continue to adapt as new, scientifically founded information and guidelines are available. Our unwavering goal is to provide a quality education in a safe environment.

As always, you may email questions and comments to pandemicinfo@siu.edu.

When I became your interim chancellor on January 1, 2019, I could not have imagined that my final message to the campus would be about managing the fall 2020 semester during a pandemic. While the last months have been challenging for all of us, I could not be prouder being part of the SIU community during one of the most difficult times in our long history. We have come together with grit and determination to fulfill our mission of teaching, research and service.

I know the university will continue to thrive under the experienced and enlightened leadership of your new chancellor, Austin Lane. His appointment gives me continued confidence in SIU’s future.

Thank you all for your service and dedication.

John M. Dunn
Chancellor

SIU Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

Please see below for some important reminders, updates and new information regarding the first phase of our return to work plan starting June 29.

Training: All employees who are returning from remote work or are already working on campus must review Returning to Work: Training and Resources. It contains information about COVID-19, its symptoms, and what you can do to stay safe and contribute to the safety of others.

Guidelines: Employees who are returning from remote work should also review Returning to Work: Guidelines for June 29-July 31. This document outlines safety precautions and expectations for all employees working on campus. Supervisors are encouraged to remind employees that both the training and guidelines should be reviewed before employees return to campus.

Doors and mail: We had originally planned to keep building doors locked for the first week or two of the return-to-work plan but have since reconsidered in order to minimize contact with the staff members who would need to let people in. We will now unlock doors starting June 29. Mail will be delivered on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting June 30, and FedEx and UPS deliveries will be possible Monday through Friday. Individual units may still post signage if they prefer that people call before they come to their offices.

Time sheets: Employees should resume submitting time sheets effective July 1.

SIU Carbondale and phase four of the state’s Restore Illinois plan: Phase four of the state’s Restore Illinois Plan, which goes into effect on Friday, June 26, eases some of the restrictions the state required in phase three. However, SIU has chosen to move more slowly in order to ensure all of our safety protocols are in place and to allow offices time to adapt as we begin a phased reintegration of remote staff to the campus on Monday. For example, we are not yet reopening the Student Recreation Center or allowing events of up to 50 people, even though we have the option to do both under the state’s plan.

Events: As just noted, the university is not hosting or sponsoring events of more than 10 people until further notice. All events regardless of size will require advance approval before they are promoted and held. Event sponsors will need to submit a plan outlining the precautions that will be taken to protect the safety of participants at least two weeks before the event is scheduled to take place. Plans should be submitted to the appropriate vice chancellor.

Safety first: We know that many employees are eager to return to campus while others are apprehensive. We are taking a gradual, cautious approach because we are putting the safety of our faculty and staff first, in compliance with the recommendations of state health officials. We know there will be challenges and that not every office or unit is the same, so we ask you to be patient and work with supervisors, directors and deans to address issues that arise. You may also email pandemicinfo@siu.edu, and we will respond to or forward your message as appropriate.

Again, please review the required Returning to Work: Training and Resources information as well as Returning to Work: Guidelines for June 29-July 31 and the coronavirus website for more information.

Thank you for all you are doing to ensure that operations run as smoothly as possible while staying attuned to the health and safety of your colleagues and all members of the SIU community.

John M. Dunn
Chancellor

SIU Colleagues,

Thank you for your patience as we have been working on our plans to bring some of the employees who have been working remotely back to campus. Our goal has been to ensure that we have all of our safety protocols in place -- including cleaning supplies, masks and signage -- before initiating a phased approach to the physical reopening of offices.

Below are highlights of the plan for bringing a limited number of administrative professional and civil service employees back to campus beginning Monday, June 29. This plan will be in effect through July 31. Additional details are included in the online FAQ and Returning to Work: Guidelines for June 29-July 31. Note that the plan is based on recommendations from multiple sources and is subject to change based on additional guidance from state and health officials.

  • Most units or offices will be physically staffed by at least one person and maintain regular office hours.
  • On-site staffing will be determined by unit directors and deans based on the guidelines outlined throughout the online FAQ (25 percent maximum, ability to ensure social distancing, office need, etc.). Note that directors and deans may delegate any of their outlined responsibilities. Only those employees directed to return to campus should do so. Most staff members will continue to work remotely.
  • In order to support social distancing, a rule of thumb will be that no more than 25 percent of staff in a unit should be physically present at any time.
  • Employees who can work effectively from home may be allowed to do so based on the needs of the office; we assume that many employees who currently work remotely will continue to do so.
  • Employees who are unable to perform their duties from home may be notified that they should return to work on campus.
  • Social distancing and a number of other precautions shall be taken to support the safety of faculty and staff.
  • Staff who have been required to work on campus since March will continue their responsibilities as directed by their supervisors.
  • Meetings should continue to be held virtually regardless of where staff are located.

Employees who are returning to campus June 29 should review Returning to Work: Training and Resources, a guide that includes helpful information about COVID-19 and safety protocols.

Employees who have been told they should continue to to work remotely, or who would like to request continuing to work remotely, should review the remote work guidelines and complete a remote work agreement. The online FAQ has additional details and answers to questions about employees who are in high-risk categories, student employees and other topics.

Masks and safety protocols

Please note that cloth face coverings are REQUIRED in certain circumstances as directed by the university and in compliance with an order from the governor. This is for your protection and the protection of your colleagues, students and campus visitors, many of whom may be at high risk or live with individuals who are at high risk. We expect employees to set an example for others by following safety protocols.

In compliance with the governor’s order, masks are required in indoor public spaces regardless of the ability to maintain social distance. Indoor public places include spaces anyone can access, such as reception areas with walk-in access and the lobbies of buildings. However, we expect staff to wear masks at all locations, including offices and laboratories, where multiple people are present and social distancing is variable or not possible. Masks are also required outdoors when social distancing is not possible and when multiple employees are sharing a vehicle.

The university is providing masks to employees, if you prefer, you may use your own. Please read the online FAQ and the Returning to Work: Training and Resources guide for additional information about face coverings and other safety protocols. Your support and compliance will contribute to a safe and healthy campus for colleagues, students and visitors.

Again, please review the online FAQ, Returning to Work: Guidelines for June 29-July 31 and Returning to Work: Training and Resources carefully. If you have additional questions about your status or office, start with your supervisor. Supervisors will consult with directors and deans as appropriate. Questions may also be sent to pandemicinfo@siu.edu by any employee.

After July 31

The current plan takes us through July 31. At that time, depending upon our region’s status in the state’s Restore Illinois plan, additional staff will return to campus. Some will continue to work remotely. We are also working on the university’s plan for fall classes and operations and anticipate sharing preliminary details within the next two weeks.

Thanks to all of you for your continued great work. This is a team effort, and your support Is needed and appreciated.

John M. Dunn
Chancellor

SIU Faculty and Staff,

Thank you for all you have done to wrap up an unusual semester and ensure that the university has remained open virtually. Now we can address what operations will look like over the summer.

Many of you have asked what will happen when the governor’s stay-at-home order ends and we move into phase three of the governor’s Restore Illinois plan tomorrow, May 29.

As you may know, the Restore Illinois plan “reopens” the state in five phases by region based on a number of factors, including number of COVID-19 cases and health care capacity. Today we are in phase two, the “flattening” phase, and tomorrow we enter phase three, the “recovery” phase. Phase three allows some loosening of the restrictions we have operated under since March while remaining vigilant about safety measures.

Two key questions employees may have about phase three: When will we ask people who are working remotely from home to return to campus, and what safety measures will be in place when we do so?

The university has developed a plan for the reintegration of staff to the campus in phase three. It’s important to note that even when we implement the plan, many or most employees will continue to work remotely. The plan is subject to change based on future guidance from the governor, and some details are still in development, but you can review it as it currently stands in the coronavirus FAQ.

We will not implement the plan immediately. We will continue to operate as we have been under the stay-at-home order until further notice. We anticipate additional guidance from the state specific to higher education, and we want to ensure we have expanded safety measures in place before bringing additional people back to campus.

In short, we will let the campus community know when designated employees should return. It is important to note that employees should not return to campus until they have been notified by their supervisors that they should do so.

We are also working hard on plans for phase four of the Restore Illinois plan, the “revitalization” phase. We are hopeful we can reach this phase in August. As indicated earlier, we will have a draft of our plans for offering modified face-to-face courses in the fall by mid-June or early July.

We continue to make decisions with the following goals in mind:

  • Fulfill the university’s mission by providing an outstanding education through quality teaching, research and service.
  • Protect and support the health, safety and welfare of our students, staff and faculty.

We also realize that some of the necessary health and safety requirements, such as wearing a mask, can be annoying. However, doing so is respectful of others. It is essential that we model appropriate precautionary behaviors for students, campus visitors and others.

We have learned since March that we need to remain nimble and flexible. At the same time, we must continue to look to the future and put in place realistic academic and operational plans. I am optimistic that with your continued good work, we will be successful fulfilling our goals.

Thank you for your support. I am very proud of our university and its faculty and staff.

John M. Dunn
Chancellor

A time for thanks

Post from the chancellor’s blog

As we wrap-up a very unusual semester, I have many people to thank.

First, I thank our faculty, who made a rapid shift to new ways of teaching and worked tirelessly to support students who were learning to adapt to online education at the same time.

I thank our staff – those on the front lines and those working remotely. You have maintained services and operations as seamlessly as possible.

To students, I thank you for persevering in challenging times and for maintaining your focus on your education and future.

I thank faculty, staff and students for supporting the needs of our communities with research, service, and donations of supplies.

I thank families who supported their students in challenging circumstances.

I am grateful to the many alumni and friends who contributed more than $270,000 in emergency funds for students.

I thank our governor, legislators and state agencies for guiding us in unprecedented times.

And I thank the health care community and all who are on the front lines helping us stay safe and providing essential services.

Looking back

As I near the end of my second stint at SIU Carbondale, and as I contemplate my 45 years in higher education, I can say with confidence that the last few months have been among the most challenging and rewarding time of my career.

The decisions we faced, and the speed in which we had to make them, were difficult and complex. The sands were constantly shifting under us -- and still are -- but we have worked together to adapt while maintaining our focus on providing an outstanding education while protecting the safety of our community.

The reward has been in watching us come together to face the unknown, in seeing people solve new problems collaboratively and creatively, and witnessing acts of compassion and kindness to help our students and each other.

Looking forward

As we put the semester behind us and launch summer in online mode, we now look toward fall. We plan a return to on-campus classes, making adjustments that comply with social distancing and other safety requirements recommended by governmental and health agencies. The approach may vary based on the requirements of each course. Class sizes, mode of delivery, configurations and ​locations may change to ensure that social distancing is maintained. Face-to-face learning may be supplemented by alternative approaches. In short, our deans and faculty have a great opportunity to think differently as an academic community.

We are also looking at all aspects of campus life, including housing and dining, events and utilization of facilities.

Safety measures in addition to social distancing will include providing masks for all faculty, staff and students; enhanced cleaning protocols; limiting event size and more. We will continue to provide single rooms for all residence hall students.

There’s no doubt that fall 2020 will look much different from fall 2019, but the goal of providing a quality educational experience in a safe environment will be the same. Overall, we are targeting mid-June to have a plan in place.

We know that ultimately, the steps we take will need to comply with the state’s phased approach for returning to “normal,” whatever that will look like. Based upon what we know today, we are optimistic that our region will make the progress needed for a return to modified face-to-face classes in the fall.

There is work ahead, and the sands will continue to shift. But given all that we have accomplished in the face of adversity, I am confident that we will move forward to fulfill our mission.

SIU Students:

I write with a few updates at the end of the semester.

SPRING SEMESTER GRADING: We are making an additional exception to the grading policy for spring 2020. After viewing their final letter grade and consulting with their academic advisors or program coordinators, undergraduates can select a “pass/no pass” grade and graduate students can choose a “satisfactory/unsatisfactory” grade. This differs from the “pass/fail” option approved earlier because the “no pass” option does not impact a student’s grade point average.

FALL SEMESTER PLANS: As we put the semester behind us and launch summer in online mode, we now look toward fall. We plan a return to on-campus classes, making adjustments that comply with social distancing and other safety requirements recommended by governmental and health agencies. The approach may vary based on the requirements of each course. Class sizes, mode of delivery, configurations and ​locations may change to ensure that social distancing is maintained. Face-to-face learning may be supplemented by alternative approaches.

We are also looking at all aspects of campus life, including housing and dining, events and utilization of facilities.

Safety measures in addition to social distancing will include providing masks for all faculty, staff and students; enhanced cleaning protocols; limiting event size and more. We will continue to provide single rooms for all residence hall students.

There’s no doubt that fall 2020 will look much different from fall 2019, but the goal of providing a quality educational experience in a safe environment will be the same. Overall, we are targeting mid-June to have a plan in place.

We know that ultimately, the steps we take will need to comply with the state’s phased approach for returning to “normal,” whatever that will look like. Based upon what we know today, we are optimistic that our region will make the progress needed for a return to modified face-to-face classes in the fall.

CONGRATULATIONS: I know it has been a challenging semester given the sudden switch to online learning, the stay-at-home order and other unexpected issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. I congratulate you on sticking to your education and completing the semester. To those of you who are graduating, I wish you great success and invite you to return to your alma mater at any time. To those of you who are still working on your degrees, please know that we look forward to welcoming you back in the fall.

Stay safe this summer. Go Salukis!

John M. Dunn
Chancellor

SIU Families,

I write to share a few updates with you as we wrap up the spring semester. As always, you can review our online FAQ or submit questions to pandemicinfo@siu.edu.

FALL SEMESTER: As you know, we will conduct summer classes fully online or in alternative formats. We will also use the summer to plan for the fall semester. We are planning to operate as normally as possible, although “normal” may look different based on the prevailing recommendations and decisions from health and government officials. Our goal is to offer a combination of face-to-face and alternative-format courses while taking the steps necessary to protect the health and safety of our community. For example, we will be providing masks for students and taking a number of other precautions related to class size, how we use classroom space, and more. We will also continue to provide single rooms for all residence hall students. We’ll have a more detailed update in mid-to-late June. Ultimately, we will do everything possible to ensure that students can continue their education.

SPRING SEMESTER GRADING: We are making an exception to the grading policy for spring 2020. After viewing their final letter grade and consulting with their academic advisors or program coordinators, undergraduates can select a “pass/no pass” grade and graduate students can choose a “satisfactory/unsatisfactory” grade. This differs from the “pass/fail” option we approved earlier because the “no pass” option does not impact a student’s grade point average.

CARES ACT: The federal CARES Act provides emergency funding to help select students cover some expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus. Funds can be used toward the cost of attendance, food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, child care or similar expenses directly associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. SIU students who are eligible to receive funding based on information on the FAFSA have been contacted by email and advised how to apply. More information is available online. Students who are not eligible to receive funds and did not receive an email may still apply for alternative emergency funding through Saluki Cares by filling out the Saluki Cares report form.

SALUKI CARES: Speaking of Saluki Cares, I’m pleased to report that donors have contributed more than $270,000 to support emergency grants for students. Students have had many challenges associated with the pandemic, from lack of technology for online learning to difficulty paying for food, rent and utilities. We are grateful to our many alumni and friends for supporting students in need. You can learn more about the campaign to support Saluki Cares on the SIU Foundation’s SalukiFunder website.

RESIDENCE HALL MOVE-OUT: The governor’s extended stay-at-home order included a provision to allow students to move out of residence halls with appropriate social distancing strategies. SIU Carbondale’s move-out plan began last Friday and has been operating smoothly.

COMMENCEMENT: We have surveyed students scheduled to graduate in May about their preference for a future face-to-face commencement, a virtual commencement or a combination. The majority of students prefer a face-to-face commencement, and we are looking at options in late August or December. We still plan to recognize our graduating students with a special commencement message on May 9.

SUPPORTING ILLINOIS COMMUNITIES: As a public research university, SIU Carbondale has a responsibility to do everything it can to help Illinois communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. I am proud that our faculty, staff and students have stepped forward to make a difference. Please see our stories.

This is a remarkable time that has challenged all of us to stay focused on what matters most. I am impressed with the resiliency of our students and their commitment to continuing their education. Thank you for all that you do to support them.

Sincerely,

John M. Dunn
Chancellor, SIU Carbondale

SIU Faculty and Staff,

Thank you for your continued work serving students and sustaining operations during the most unusual challenging time in recent history. I am impressed and humbled by the work, outreach and care our faculty and staff model every day.

I am grateful to those of you who are supporting the healthcare community with face masks and testing materials, conducting research on COVID-19 antibodies, engaging student volunteers to assist local health departments and much, much more. Your work is telling the world what those of us at SIU Carbondale already know – this is a special place.

I am also grateful to everyone who continues to teach, conduct research, provide housing and meals to our students, clean facilities, pay employees, advise students, and simply do your jobs every day. You, too, speak to the resilience and nature of SIU. The past weeks have given me great confidence that we can continue to operate effectively during the extended stay-at-home order.

Face-coverings

A number of people have asked about the provision of face masks for “essential” employees, including student employees, starting May 1. As background, the governor has directed wearing a face-covering or mask in public places when you can’t maintain a six-foot social distance. Face masks are required in indoor public space regardless of the ability to maintain social distance. For the purposes of the governor’s order, we consider indoor public places to include spaces anyone can access, such as reception areas with walk-in access and the lobbies of buildings. However, we expect staff to wear masks at all locations, including offices and laboratories, where multiple people are present and social distancing is not possible.

If you need a mask effective May 1, please contact your supervisor, who will follow up with the appropriate vice chancellor. Please note that we will have a limited number of disposable and reusable masks available, so we encourage employees to use their own masks when possible. We are also exploring options for providing face-coverings to all employees when the stay-at-home order is lifted and to students when they return in the fall. Please stay tuned for more information.

Fall semester

As you know, we have plans in place to complete the spring semester and conduct summer classes fully online or in alternative formats. We will also use the summer to plan for the fall semester. As President Mahony said in his message last week, we are hoping to operate as normally as possible, although “normal” may look different based on the prevailing recommendations and decisions from health and government officials. Our goal is to offer a combination of face-to-face and alternative-format courses while taking the steps necessary to protect the health and safety of our community. We are looking at multiple options, and we are participating task force to ensure that we are considering the best ideas from across the system.

Budget

As Dr. Mahony has noted, we do not know when we will have information about our state allocation for the 2020-21 fiscal year. We continue to see promising trends for the enrollment of first-time and transfer students, and we will do everything possible to demonstrate why they should commit to SIU. But we should not take either state funding or enrollment for granted given the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic and the stress it has put on the state and prospective students. For this reason, I am asking the vice chancellors to prioritize filling vacant positions and defer hiring whenever possible. I also ask that all offices manage spending, again prioritizing essential needs and delaying purchases whenever possible.

Student updates

We have sent a number of messages to students about topics of interest especially to them. If you get questions, please refer students to the coronavirus web site. Anyone may also submit questions to pandemicinfo@siu.edu. Meanwhile, here are a few items we have shared:

We have also advised students that via the federal CARES act, emergency funds will be available to some students to assist with unexpected educational costs. We will distribute the funds according to federal guidelines. Our goal is to distribute funds as quickly as possible once we have a clear interpretation of the guidelines. We will post new information on the coronavirus website as it becomes available.

In addition, we will continue to operate our Saluki Cares program so that you can apply for resources even if you don’t meet the guidelines for the CARES funding. Our resources are not unlimited, but we are committed to doing what we can to assist.

Finally, we have surveyed students scheduled to graduate in May about their preference for a future face-to-face commencement, a virtual commencement or a combination. While the majority of students prefer a face-to-face commencement, we continue to explore all options.

Resilience

I have spoken before of the resilience of our faculty, staff and students as we made the transition to new ways of teaching and working. Now that the temporary transition is largely made, I continue to witness faculty and staff members adapting quickly to change and going above and beyond to ensure that SIU Carbondale fulfills its mission on behalf of our students, our community and state.

Thank you again for your commitment.

John M. Dunn
Chancellor

Dear Students:

Greetings and best wishes. As you know very well, we are experiencing one of the most unusual and challenging periods in recent history. Disruptions to daily life have brought frustration, challenges and uncertainty. You have been required to sustain your education via online and alternative instructional methods, and I am proud of the grit and determination you have demonstrated.

Following are a few updates as we move forward.

Summer and fall terms

We announced earlier that we will be open for summer term, but it will be necessary to deliver courses online. We are also using the summer to plan for the fall semester with the hope that we will be able to offer both in-person and online courses. While we envision a fall term that is “normal,” it is difficult to predict at this time what normal will mean. Our focus will be to ensure that you have access to the quality educational experience you expect and deserve in an environment that protects your health and safety. We are exploring multiple scenarios so that we are prepared as the situation changes.

My primary concern is that you sustain your education. We feel a responsibility to do our part to ensure that your educational goals are not severely disrupted in spite of the uncertainty. This will entail providing good advising, delivering courses in person or other accessible formats, and assisting you as needs arise. Please remember that our goal is to serve you. This is your university, and you should not hesitate to reach out with questions or requests for assistance.

Federal emergency financial assistance

I am also pleased that via the federal CARES act, emergency funds will be available to some students to assist with unexpected educational costs. We will distribute the funds according to federal guidelines. Our goal is to distribute funds as quickly as possible once we have a clear interpretation of the guidelines. We will post new information on the coronavirus website as it becomes available.

In addition, we will continue to operate our Saluki Cares program so that you can apply for resources even if you don’t meet the guidelines for the CARES funding. Our resources are not unlimited, but we are committed to doing what we can to assist.

Commencement

For graduating seniors and graduate students, we now have feedback regarding your preference for recognizing your accomplishments given that our traditional commencement had to be postponed. The consensus is to plan for a later graduation, perhaps in August, with the understanding that some of you may prefer to march in the December commencement. While the option of a virtual commencement was not heavily favored, we are still reviewing the data and thinking carefully about how best to honor and respect our graduates, perhaps in multiple ways. Please stay tuned.

Contact us

As always, you can reach out to us through pandemicinfo@siu.edu or any of the following offices.

  • Dean of Students office: 1-877-725-0006 or 618-453-4846
  • Saluki Cares: mail siucares@siu.edu , fill out a referral form or call 618-453-2461
  • Student Health Services: 618-453-3311 or email shcinfo@siu.edu
  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS): 618-453-5371
  • University Housing: 618-453-2301

In closing, let me repeat that I am very proud of you, your commitment, your resilience, and your willingness to be as flexible as necessary during this very unusual period in our history. Our wish for you will always be protecting your safety and good health delivered in an educational environment that is respectful of you and your life goals.

Continuing best wishes for good health. Please remember, too, that you can always reach me via email: jmdunn@siu.edu

John M. Dunn

Chancellor

Residents of University Housing,

Governor Pritzker has altered the stay at home order so that effective May 1, 2020, educational institutions may establish procedures for pick-up of necessary supplies or student belongings during the stay-at-home order. Residence Hall move-outs must follow public health guidelines, including social distancing.

The spring 2020 semester will end on May 9, 2020. All residents of University Housing residence halls and Wall & Grand apartments must utilize the express checkout process to remove all personal belongings from their rooms by 2 p.m. Saturday May 9.

Current residence hall students and students who are not currently on campus may move out between May 1 and May 9. This process will begin on Friday May 1, at 9 a.m. and continue daily through 2 p.m. May 9. In order to allow for a safe and organized move-out that promotes the social distancing guidelines of the CDC and the Governor’s order, we have assigned times for residents to check out based on the first letter of their last names. SIU requests that students bring only one additional person to help them move.

Check-out will occur daily between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m., utilizing the express checkout method, according to this schedule:

Hour Last Name
9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. A-B
10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. C-D
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. E-G
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. H-J
1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. K-L
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. M-N
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. O-R
4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. S
5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. T-V
6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. W-Z
7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. Those who could not make their assigned times

This schedule provides for an average of no more than 8-10 students checking out of any one building at a time. Please note the hours of 7 to 10 p.m. are set aside each day to accommodate those who could not make their assigned time slots earlier in the day.

State guidelines require that as of May 1, all persons must wear masks in public when it is possible they may come within 6 feet of others. The move-out process will bring many people together. The university asks all persons entering our residential facilities to provide and wear masks. Students and family members must provide their own masks.

Grey moving bins will be available for residents’ use. University Housing staff will disinfect bins as well as provide disinfectant and towels for additional cleaning of bins between uses. Facilities staff will be cleaning all public surfaces on a regular schedule. All residents and family members must remain in their rooms with the doors closed while packing. When moving out, please minimize the number of people in stairwells and do not share an elevator with non-family members to comply with social distancing guidelines.

Proper Check Out: For the safety of university students and staff, all students will check out of their room via express check out. Envelopes with check out instructions printed on them are available at the entrance to each building. Residents should remove all personal belongings from their rooms, clean the room to the extent possible, seal trash bags, take all trash to the dumpsters outside the hall, donate unwanted bicycles and other items to local charities (details posted in building lobbies), and lock their bathroom and hallway room doors. Students will place their key and key fob in the envelope and drop off the sealed envelope in the bin at the front door.

Loft Kits & Rental Fridges: Students who had checked out SIU lofting kits may leave the kits in the room. Similarly, students who rented refrigerators from Campus Fridges may leave the refrigerators in their room. Students are strongly encouraged to contact Campus Fridges for specific return instructions.

University Housing thanks all of our students and family members for their cooperation in keeping everyone safe as we close out the year. Go! Southern, Go!

University Housing
housing@siu.edu
618-453-2301

SIU Students:

As you know, the university has been working to acknowledge and address complex issues associated with the sudden, unexpected changes to the spring semester.

We have made a number of decisions and announcements to date, including:

One of our largest challenges has been determining whether and what portion of the general student fee should be reimbursed to on-campus students. It’s complex, because the fee supports the following:

  • Services that are no longer available to any student, such as the Student Center.
  • Services that are still available to all students, such as information technology.
  • Campus infrastructure -- facilities, maintenance and debt service -- that benefits the entire university community.

We have carefully analyzed how the general fee is used, and we have reviewed approaches being taken by other institutions.

Based on this analysis, we will refund $12 per credit hour to students who were originally enrolled in on-campus classes for the spring semester. This reflects fees for services that were no longer available to students the second half of spring semester. A student’s total fee reimbursement will be based on the number of credit hours taken for the spring semester. For example, a student enrolled for 15 credit hours will receive a refund of $180.

We will also refund two months of the annual parking decal fee for on-campus students who purchased stickers. The amount will range from $10 to $63 depending on the type of parking decal purchased, although the majority of students will receive $23.

Both fee and parking refunds will be applied as credits to student accounts, and any remaining funds will be reimbursed. Reimbursements will be made via direct deposit to either a checking or savings account. If the university does not already have your direct deposit information, you may sign up at SalukiNet. Refund processing will occur as soon as possible.

You may email pandemicinfo@siu.edu with general questions about these or any other topics.

You may email the bursar’s office with questions about your bursar account.

For information on the status of most potential refunds, please see the coronavirus website.

Thank you for your patience as we continue to work through this unprecedented situation.

On a related note, you may be aware that the U.S. Department of Education has announced it is distributing a portion of the funding reserved for emergency grants to college students through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. SIU Carbondale will be included. We have not yet received the funds, and are awaiting further guidance on how they can be used and who is eligible to receive them once they arrive. We will develop a plan based on what we learn and provide an update when we have new information to share.

Finally, we know that some students may be facing unanticipated personal or financial stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please remember that you have access to Saluki Cares, which may be able to assist you with emergency needs. Contact Saluki Cares at siucares@siu.edu, fill out a referral form or call 618-453-2461.

Sincerely,

John M. Dunn
Chancellor

SIU Students,

We know that many students and families are facing financial challenges due to the state’s “stay-at-home” order and our shared efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19. Our goal is to minimize the impact of these challenges on your ability to continue your education.

Effective immediately, we are increasing the amount you can carry on your bursar account in order to be able to register for summer and fall 2020 classes. Previously, if you owed more than $200 on your account you would not be able to register. We are raising that amount to $1,500 to minimize barriers to registration. In other words, as long as you owe no more than $1,500 on your account, you will be able to register for summer and fall 2020 classes. This is a temporary measure in recognition of the extraordinary circumstances caused by the pandemic. Please email the bursar’s office at bursar@siu.edu or call 618-453-2221 with questions.

On a related note, we have shared plans for room and board reimbursement and payment for student employees. We continue to receive questions about partial reimbursement of fees; we are working through this complex question and will notify you as soon as we have it resolved. In all of these cases, our goal is to be as fair and reasonable as possible.

The faculty and staff of SIU Carbondale are here for you as you navigate these challenging times. Here are some ways you can reach out to us for assistance:

  • Dean of Students office: 1-877-725-0006 or 618-453-4846
  • Saluki Cares: mail siucares@siu.edu , fill out a referral form or call 618-453-2461
  • Student Health Services: 618-453-3311 or email shcinfo@siu.edu
  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS): 618-453-5371
  • University Housing: 618-453-2301

As always, you may also email pandemicinfo@siu.edu with questions on any subject.

Thank you, and stay safe.

John M. Dunn
Chancellor

SIU students,

I write to provide the following update on a number of important topics, including summer classes and student employment. As always, we appreciate your patience as we work through complex challenges.

SUMMER CLASSES

Given the uncertainty surrounding the length of the pandemic, all summer and intersession courses will be conducted online. Registration opens on Monday, April 6. Please contact your academic advisor with questions and any assistance needed.

U.S. CENSUS

I encourage you to take a critical step to support SIU Carbondale and your Carbondale community by responding to the Census 2020 invitation sent to your Carbondale address. You don’t need the invitation to complete the census: you can go online and complete it through this link: 2020 U.S. Census. You do not need your unique ID to complete the survey. Simply enter your physical address where you lived while attending SIU Carbondale. Additional details are available on the Dean of Students website.


By completing the Census, you help ensure that the City of Carbondale, Jackson County, and the State of Illinois receive the federal funding necessary to support services utilized on and around campus. Included are initiatives such as Pell Grants, public transportation, mental health services, infrastructure, roads and more. The Census data also has a significant impact on our state representation in Congress.

STUDENT EMPLOYMENT

Student employees provide valuable support for university operations, and we know students rely on campus jobs to help cover tuition, rent and other expenses. Unfortunately, many students were not able to continue to work on campus due to the governor’s “stay-at-home” order. Others have continued to work based on the needs of their departments.

Recognizing the importance of student employment, we have committed that students with campus jobs will continue to be paid, whether or not they were able to fulfill their responsibilities. At the same time, we want to acknowledge those students who are still actively working.

Below, we have laid out our plans for all student employees to be paid through May 8, the end of the semester.

  • For the pay period of March 8 to March 21 students will be paid for the actual hours they worked. Funds will be deposited directly into bank accounts, as usual, today, April 3.
  • For the balance of the semester, beginning March 22, all students, including those on federal work-study funds, will be paid based on the average hours worked in the eight weeks before spring break. Here are some examples:
    • If you averaged 15 hours per week before spring break, you will be paid for 15 hours per week through May 8.
    • If you worked 10 hours for four weeks and 15 hours for four weeks before spring break, you will be paid for 12.5 hours per week through May 8.
  • All students will be paid at their regular hourly rates, and direct deposits will be made on the regular payroll schedule: April 17 and May 1, 15 and 29.
  • In addition, students who have continued to work will receive a bi-weekly stipend reflecting actual hours worked from March 22 through May 8.
  • Please note that students who continue to work do so because they have jobs that have been deemed necessary to their departments and they are available to work. Students who are not currently working may not return to their jobs.
  • This plan does not apply to students with graduate assistantships, who are expected to be available for work. They will continue to be paid as usual.

While no plan can address every situation, our goal has been to be as fair and reasonable as possible. Please email pandemicinfo@siu.edu with questions.

SERVICES AVAILABLE NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE

Please remember that you still have access to many university support services whether you are on campus or at home. As a reminder, here are just a few:

  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS): Counselors are available to help students with mental health concerns or coach students who are dealing with anxiety surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak. CAPS staff are available by phone at 618-453-5371 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Treatment and coaching options have been expanded to accommodate students remotely and now include telehealth appointments, skills coaching or referrals to other providers in your area.
  • Morris Library: Reference services are being delivered virtually through Ask a Librarian or by phone at 618-453-1455. Library staff members are scanning parts of books for faculty and students on demand. Current Fair Use best practices allow scanning of entire books if necessary. Please consult the Morris Library Covid-19 FAQ for more information.
  • Saluki Cares: Students in distress due to financial, academic or other concerns can reach out to Saluki Cares for help. Email siucares@siu.edu, fill out a referral form or call 618-453-2461.
  • SalukiTech: Contact SalukiTech for technology services. SalukiTech also has online resources to assist students, faculty and staff impacted by the “stay-at-home” order.
  • Student Health Services: Staff are available to answer health-related questions by phone and email. Students can call 618-453-3311 or email shcinfo@siu.edu with health-related questions. Please do not share personal health-related information by email. Students in the Carbondale area should call ahead to make appointments.
  • Students Legal Assistance: Enrolled students have access to legal assistance in selected areas. Visit the website to learn more or email sladesk@siu.edu.

STAY-AT-HOME ORDER

I’m sure you are aware that Governor Pritzker has extended the “stay-at-home” order through April 30. We remind students who did not return to the residence halls after spring break that they may not return until further notice; fob access has been turned off and meal plans have been suspended. Students who are already here should stay here in compliance with the order, which is intended to stem the spread of COVID-19. When you put yourself at risk in defiance of the order, you put others at risk, as well.

REIMBURSEMENTS

Students who had housing contracts have been advised of potential reimbursements if they did not return after spring break. We continue to receive requests related to reimbursements of various fees. As noted before, this is a complex issue with many complicated details. We appreciate your patience.

COMMENCEMENT OPTIONS

We have consulted with undergraduate and graduate student government leaders about commencement options. Students who are scheduled to graduate in May will receive a survey regarding their preferences for how best to honor our graduates. We realize that this is a rare and seminal moment in your lives.

We will continue to keep you updated as we have new information to share. Meanwhile, you can email pandemicinfo@siu.edu with questions.

Sincerely,

John M. Dunn
Chancellor

SIU families:

We have provided students with a number of updates this week, and I write to share highlights with links to more detailed information.

PASS/FAIL OPTION: We are giving students the option of taking individual spring semester courses on a “pass/fail” basis instead of receiving a letter grade. Students should talk with their academic advisors and program directors before making the change to make sure there is no negative impact on their progress toward graduation.

SUMMER CLASSES: Given the uncertainty surrounding the length of the pandemic, all summer and intersession courses will be conducted online. Registration opens on Monday, April 6. Students should contact their academic advisors with questions and for any assistance needed.

SUPPORT SERVICES: Student have access to a number of support services whether they are at home or on campus. These include Counseling and Psychological Services, Morris Library, Saluki Cares, Student Health Services, and Students Legal Assistance. More information and links are available in a message sent earlier today.

U.S. CENSUS: Based upon guidance from the U.S. Census Bureau, students are encouraged to report their SIU or Carbondale addresses when responding to the census.

STUDENT EMPLOYMENT: SIU is committed to paying students with campus jobs whether or not they were able to work. You can find details in a message sent earlier today.

HOUSING AND DINING REIMBUSEMENTS: We have notified residence hall students who have not been living on campus since spring break that they will receive either credit or reimbursement for up to 50 percent of their room and board costs.

STAY-AT-HOME ORDER: We have reminded students that due to the extension of the state’s “stay-at-home” order, residence hall students who did not return after spring break may not come back, and students who are here should remain. See today’s message.

We will continue to keep you informed as we have new information to share. Meanwhile, you may continue to visit the coronavirus website for updates and send questions to pandemicinfo@siu.edu. We pledge to continue to support students during these challenging times, and we know students benefit from the support of their families, as well. Thank you for doing all you are doing to help your student be successful.

John M. Dunn
Chancellor

SIU Students,

Some of you have expressed concern about challenges you are facing maintaining your academic performance due to changes in instruction and your own personal circumstances. We understand that students are facing hardships related to access to technology, loss of employment, childcare, changes in family situations and more, all related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the governor’s stay-at-home directive.

For many faculty members, teaching in an online/alternate mode has also been a new experience with a sharp learning curve.

Given the unusual and unprecedented circumstances, we are doing our best to accommodate student and faculty concerns regarding academic performance and grades for Spring 2020.

Based on consultation with faculty and student leaders, as well as a review of approaches taken by other campuses, we have made the decision that all undergraduate and graduate students, with the exception of students enrolled in the Schools of Law and Medicine, will have the option of requesting a pass/fail grade for individual courses.

On a historical note, SIU Carbondale took a similar action in 1970, when campus was closed three weeks early due to unrest associated with the Vietnam War, and students were issued pass/fail grades.

This decision was not easy to make, and we acknowledge there are issues related to accreditation requirements, grades required for pre-requisite courses, GPAs required for scholarships and the honors program, and more. However, we believe that this is the best decision for students given the challenges you are facing and the unique situation we are experiencing. The overriding principle is to provide flexibility for our students.

Here is how we will move forward to implement the pass/fail grade option:

  • Faculty will submit their final grades, as usual, by Wednesday, May 13.
  • You will be able to see your letter grades and then choose to opt for a pass/fail grade online. This opportunity will be made available starting Monday, May 4, through Wednesday, May 20, 11:59 p.m.
  • You will be able to select the pass/fail option on a course-by-course basis.
  • If you select the pass/fail grade option, a Pass grade will be substituted by the Registrar’s office for the A, B, C or D letter grade.
  • The Pass grade for a course will not be calculated into your GPA, although the credits completed in the course will be counted for progression towards your degree.
  • The Registrar’s office will provide students with additional details about the process for requesting the pass/fail option, online, via Salukinet.
  • If you opt for a Pass/Fail grade, your Spring 2020 transcript will include this information “Grades of Pass/Fail permitted in Spring 2020 in response to COVID-19 global pandemic”.
  • The deadline to drop Spring 2020 courses has been extended through Sunday, April 5.
  • Students who were on academic probation at the end of Fall 2019 will not face academic suspension due to Spring 2020 grades; academic probation will be extended into Fall 2020.
  • Undergraduate students who received an incomplete grade in Fall 2019 and those who may receive an incomplete grade for Spring 2020 will have one year (instead of one semester) to complete the work.
  • Since selecting a pass/fail grade could impact "satisfactory academic progress" for financial aid, as well as eligibility for scholarships you need to consult with the Financial Aid Office, as well as your academic advisor and your academic program director before making the decision to opt for a pass/fail grade.
  • If you are enrolled in an academic program that leads to certification or licensure, or you are completing a course that is a prerequisite and needs to be completed with a grade of “C” or better, you will need to get prior permission from your program director/department chair/school director and academic advisor before you opt in for the pass/fail grade. A Pass grade will satisfy prerequisites that need to be completed with a minimum grade of C.
  • If you make a mistake in changing your letter grade to a pass/fail option or change your mind, you will have to contact the Registrar's Office for a manual adjustment.
  • Please contact your academic advisors and academic programs with questions.

Thank you for your patience as we have worked through the details related to providing our students with a pass/fail option.

John M. Dunn
Chancellor

Meera Komarraju
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Dear Residence Hall Student,

Thank you for your patience as we have worked through our plans to reimburse room and board to students who have not been on campus since spring break. Our goal has been to make sure we have looked at all of our options in order to be as fair and responsible as possible. Please see the following updated information.

Residence hall students who have not lived on campus since spring break will receive either credit or reimbursement of up to 50 percent of their room and board costs. The amount of your reimbursement will depend upon your housing contract and meal plan as well as other factors outlined below.

  • If part of your room and board was covered by a scholarship or other form of financial aid, it is possible that you will not receive the full 50 percent. The Financial Aid and Scholarship Office will review your account carefully and make any required adjustments based on the type of aid received.
  • If you have an outstanding balance on your bursar account, your refund will be credited to the account. Any remaining funds will be reimbursed.

Please also review the following important information for residence hall students who have not lived on campus since spring break:

  • Reimbursements will be made by direct deposit. Visit SalukiNet to sign up for direct deposit if you haven’t already done so.
  • You will be reimbursed whether or not you have already officially checked out of and removed your belongings from your room.
  • If your belongings are still on campus, you will be notified of the time period when you may retrieve your belongings and properly check out of your room. Please remember that you may not come to campus to retrieve your belongings until further notice in order to protect everyone’s safety. Access to the residence halls has been restricted to current residents only and fobs accessing buildings will not work for those not currently in the residence halls. Please email housing@siu.edu with questions.
  • We expect reimbursements to begin processing around mid-April. Please email bursar@siu.edu with questions.

No reimbursements are planned for students who are remaining in the residence halls for the spring semester.

Sincerely,

Lori Stettler
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

SIU faculty and staff:

We have been notified by the Jackson County Health Department that a second campus case of COVID-19 has been diagnosed. The individual is in the same residence hall as the first individual diagnosed on Thursday, March 26. All 21 residents of the hall have been placed in quarantine by the health department and are fully supported with food and other necessities.

In fact, we are fortunate that these and other students on campus have access to the full resources of the university—including student health and housing services–as well as the expertise of the Jackson County Health Department and other health agencies during this unprecedented time. The health and safety of our community is our top priority.

It is important that we all understand that most communities across the country will experience COVID-19, and we are no different. The following is from the Jackson County Health Department: “We can expect more cases to be confirmed locally, as the number of tests being conducted is increasing. The number of cases can be reduced by adhering to the governor’s stay at home order, washing hands frequently, disinfecting commonly touched surfaces, and maintaining space from others when in public.”

One of the positive signs of an organization is its ability to weather the storm in challenging times. I am very proud of how well faculty, staff and students have adjusted to the current situation. Kudos to our front-line workers–in public safety, housing and dining, plant and service operations and other areas–as well as to staff who are maintaining operations from home. Appreciation also goes to our Student Health Center personnel for their commitment to the health and safety of our students and community. Each of you is exhibiting, every day, the power of the words “to serve.”

This is not an easy time on the academic front as our faculty and students adjust mid-stream to an alternative way of delivering and receiving course content. We are all learning something new each day, but the key point is that learning is occurring. As a campus we are a resilient lot with a commitment to sustain our primary mission of education.

Special thanks to our shared governance partners and leaders, including the Faculty Senate, Graduate Council, Undergraduate Student Government, Graduate and Professional Student Council, the Civil Service Council, the Administrative Professional Staff Council, as well as the Faculty Association and our other partners. We are at our best in times of crisis, and we are strongest when we pull together.

I am also very impressed with the excellent coordination that is occurring among health care agencies and providers. These include Southern Illinois Healthcare and the Jackson County Health Department and our own Student Health Services. Their ability to work together and be supportive of one another, including our own health care providers is commendable. And, of course, we are very fortunate to have our own School of Medicine for support and consultation.

Winston Churchill once observed: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” That is, in fact, what we are doing. Each day we are adjusting to a new reality, and thanks to you, we are making it work. As we know, this current health crisis will pass, but the lessons learned will remain forever. Your support and willingness to stay the course is an inspiration.

We are in this together, and we are working together. Please stay positive and safe, and thank you for doing your part.

John M. Dunn
Chancellor

SIU Students and Families,

We have been notified by the Jackson County Health Department that a second campus case of COVID-19 has been diagnosed. The individual is in the same residence hall as the first student diagnosed on Thursday, March 26. All 21 residents of the hall have been placed in quarantine by the health department and are fully supported with food and other necessities.

In fact, we are fortunate that these and other students on campus have access to the full resources of the university–including student health and housing services–as well as the expertise of the Jackson County Health Department and other health agencies during this unprecedented time. The health and safety of our community is our top priority.

It is important that we all understand that most communities across the country will experience COVID-19. We are no different. The following is from the Jackson County Health Department: “We can expect more cases to be confirmed locally, as the number of tests being conducted is increasing. The number of cases can be reduced by adhering to the governor’s stay at home order, washing hands frequently, disinfecting commonly touched surfaces, and maintaining space from others when in public.”

As always, you can call 1-877-725-0006 with questions or email pandemicinfo@siu.edu. Please also continue to visit our coronavirus website at shc.siu.edu/coronavirus/ for updates.

These are challenging times, but they also demonstrate our resilience as a community. People are donating funds for food, laptops and other emergency needs for students. Our faculty and staff members—those who must be on campus and those who are able to work from home -- are going above and beyond to support students as they adapt to a new teaching and work environment.

We appreciate our students’ willingness to remain engaged and adjust to the transition to online learning. We thank all of the family members and friends who are supporting our students in these challenging times.

I am also very impressed with the excellent coordination that is occurring among health care agencies and providers. These include Southern Illinois Healthcare, the Jackson County Health Department and our own Student Health Services. Their ability to work together and be supportive of one another, including our own student health care providers is commendable. And, of course, we are very fortunate to have our own School of Medicine for support and consultation.

We urge everyone to follow the governor’s “stay-at-home” order and stay safe. We are in this together, and we are working together. Thank you for doing your part.

John M. Dunn
Chancellor

Members of the SIU Carbondale Community,

You are receiving this message as part of Southern Illinois University's commitment to providing campus-area emergency information in compliance with the federal Clery Act, formally known as the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act.

Southern Illinois University Carbondale received information on 3.26.20 from Jackson County Health Department of a resident on campus who tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19). The individual, a male in his late teens, is doing fair and is in isolation on west campus. This individual is thought to have been exposed to the novel coronavirus through recent travel to the Chicago area. This individual is not allowed to leave home until they are well and can no longer transmit the disease.

According to the Jackson County Health Department, the number of cases can be reduced by adhering to the Governor’s stay at home order, washing hands frequently, disinfecting commonly touched surfaces, and maintaining space from others when in public.

COVID-19 shares many symptoms with more common respiratory diseases. If you have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, call your health care provider for further guidance. Students should contact the SIU Student Health Center at 618-453-3311. In addition, Southern Illinois Healthcare (SIH) has established a 24-hour COVID-19 hotline at 1-844-988-7800. Clinicians there will answer questions, assess each caller and advise on next steps for evaluation or potential testing.

For more information on the Clery Act and why you're receiving this message, please visit www.ed.gov.

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

SIU Students and Families:

Today, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has directed that everyone in the state must "stay at home" through April 7. Staying at home means just as it says: you should stay at home and leave only for essential functions, such as to purchase food or visit a health care professional.

The following information is important. Please read carefully.

  • Consistent with guidance from the governor’s office, online instruction will continue as planned so that students may complete the semester. There will be no face-to-face instruction, including lab sections. The date for withdrawing from classes will be extended by one week to Sunday, April 5, and we ask faculty to honor all requests for incomplete grades. The date for summer and fall registration is extended to Monday, April 6. The very few faculty members who were planning face-to-face instruction in small groups will reach out to their students to update them on how these plans will impact their ability to complete their courses.
  • Students who are living on campus must stay on campus, and students who are not on campus may not return to campus. Questions or requests for special consideration about this directive can be answered by calling the Office of the Dean of Students, 1-877-725-0006.
  • Those students who are on campus will continue to have access to food, Student Health Services, WiFi and other tools and support. We will continue to expect students to follow social distancing practices, and we will continue to follow all of the additional dining and cleaning protocols we have in place to prevent risk of COVID-19.
  • Students who want to come to campus to retrieve possessions must wait until the order is lifted. Call University Housing at 618-453-2301 with questions and concerns.
  • Student employees will be paid whether or not they work. Graduate assistants should review the online FAQ for detailed information.
  • With the exception of the computer lab and first-floor study area in Morris Library and select research labs, university academic and administrative buildings will be closed. Most services and operations will be available by phone, email or other alternative formats.
  • Only employees whose work requires them to be will be on campus. These include but are not limited to people who support students in residence halls, employees in health care and public safety, employees required to maintain the research labs and farms and others. All of these required employees will follow social distancing and other guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. All other staff who are able to work from home will be doing so. Again, our goal is to preserve as many services as possible.

There are many, many details still to be addressed, and we know you have any questions about long-term implications, finals, refunds and much more. At this time, our primary focus is on ensuring that we are ready to implement the stay-at-home order while protecting the health and safety of our community. Please know that addressing those details and related questions will be our top priority. We will answer important but less urgent questions as soon as possible in the days ahead.

Students and family members with questions can call the Office of the Dean of Students 618-453-4846 or 1-877-725-0006 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. this weekend and Monday-Friday. Questions can also be sent to the pandemicinfo@siu.edu email address at any time.

Please let me emphasize that those students who must stay at home in campus residence halls will be treated and supported as though they are part of our own family.

We have said this before, but it bears repeating: we are in an unprecedented, rapidly changing situation. We appreciate your patience and welcome your partnership as we move forward.

Sincerely,

John M. Dunn
Chancellor

SIU faculty and staff,

Today, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has directed that everyone in the state must “stay at home” through April 7. This means that unless you are in a necessary position that requires your presence on campus, you should stay at home and leave only for essential functions, such as to purchase food or visit a health care professional.

  • During the stay at home order, we will maintain as many university services and operations as possible, although most buildings will be closed and we will do as much as possible from our homes.
  • Online courses will continue, but there will be no face-to-face courses or lab sections. The provost’s office will provide additional direction to faculty.
  • Only employees who perform required functions for on-campus operations will be physically working on campus. These include but are not limited to people who support students in dining and residence halls, employees in health care and public safety, employees required to maintain the research labs and farms and others. Your supervisor will notify you if your work is required to be done on campus.
  • All employees who are required to work on campus will follow social distancing and other guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. We will encourage supervisors to adjust shifts to minimize as much contact as possible.
  • If your work can be done from home and you have the tools to work from home, you are expected to do so. We expect most offices to remain operational by phone, email and through virtual tools.
  • Some employees have on-campus functions that are not "required" but cannot be completed from home, and some do not have the tools they need to be able to work from home. If you fall into either of these categories, you are expected to be available and on-call should your services be needed.
  • All employees who work and are available to work/on call will be paid at the usual rate. There will be no change in benefits, and you will not be required to take leave.
  • Regardless of function, people who are not available or refuse to work as needed must take leave; the exception is employees affected by school closings, quarantine or COVID-19 illness, some of whom may be asked to work from home if they are able to do so.
  • We will honor current collective bargaining agreements when implementing our staffing plans.
  • You may find it helpful to review the stay-at-home message to students.

The following offices can be contacted with questions:

  • Questions related to employment, work requirements and benefits: Contact Human Resources at hrinfo@siu.edu or 618-453-6689.
  • Questions related to technology and working from home: The Office of Information Technology has developed online resources. You can also contact Saluki Tech at salukitech@siu.edu or 618-453-5155.
  • Questions about converting courses from face-to-face to online: The Center for Teaching Excellence at cte.siu.edu has online resources and can be contacted at teach@siu.edu or (618)453-2258
  • Questions from students and families about housing and student life: You may refer students to The Office of the Dean of Students at 618-453-4846 or 1-877-725-0006 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. this weekend and Monday through Friday. Questions can also be sent to the pandemicinfo@siu.edu email address.

You may also email pandemicinfo@siu.edu on any topic.

I’m sure there will be many questions related to how your unit will function. Because the types of work we do varies widely, we anticipate that unit directors will work with employees to ensure that operations continue as possible during the stay-at-home period.

There are many, many details still to be addressed. At this time, our primary focus is on ensuring that we are ready to implement the stay-at-home order while protecting the health and safety of our community. Please know that addressing those details and related questions will be our top priority. We will answer important but less urgent questions as soon as possible in the days ahead.

We have said this before, but it bears repeating: we are in an unprecedented, rapidly changing situation. We appreciate your patience and welcome your partnership as we move forward.

Please know, too, that the pandemic is a worldwide issue affecting all of humanity. We expect all members of our community to be treated with respect, regardless of ethnic or national origin or COVID-19 status.

I am deeply, deeply grateful for your work, your patience, and your flexibility. With your help, we will continue to fulfill our mission with care and respect for colleagues and students.

John M. Dunn
Chancellor

Members of the SIU Carbondale Community:

The situation with COVID-19 continues to change, often multiple times a day. We remain in close touch with state and federal agencies and update the FAQ website as new information is available and we make decisions.

This message focuses on several important topics.

COMMENCEMENT

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, it is has become clear that it is not possible to hold a traditional, in-person commencement ceremony in May. We make this decision with regret because we know that commencement is the highlight of the college experience for students and families. It is a celebration of our students’ accomplishments, and it is a day of pride for the university. But we must be responsible in the face of the uncertain timeline for COVID-19 and important restrictions of large gatherings.

This decision does not affect the conferring of degrees and a student’s ability to graduate. Students who are qualified to graduate will still do so, and degrees will be mailed as usual.

I want to stress that this is not necessarily a cancellation. We are exploring alternatives to celebrate graduation virtually or possibly to be held in the future. We have a lot of ideas and welcome your input. Please stay tuned for more information.

Refund information for students who have already rented caps and gowns will be posted at commencement.siu.edu shortly.

HOUSING

Students who are not planning to be on campus for the semester and elect to continue their studies at home may retrieve their belongings at any time. On weekdays, staff will be on hand to check out students who move out of their rooms. On the weekends, signage is posted with the name and number of the hall director on duty who will assist with this process. Students who want to wait until later in the semester to come for their belongings are welcome to do so.

REIMBURSEMENTS

We are receiving many questions about possible reimbursement for room, board and student fees from students who will not be completing the semester on campus. We are exploring options now. It’s complicated and may take some time, so we appreciate your patience. Our goal is to be as fair and responsible as possible, recognizing that we must coordinate with other agencies. Please know that we are looking at all of our options and will let the community know what we decide as soon as possible.

STUDENT EMPLOYMENT AND COMPENSATION

We know our students depend on their campus jobs and we believe that it is important that we continue to support them during this unprecedented time. All students will be paid through the end of the spring semester regardless of whether their jobs are no longer needed due to a closure of a service or they are not returning to campus. We are working through details about how this will work now, and we will be providing detailed information to supervisors with guidance on how to move forward paying students in the next few days. We continue to need and value the efforts of students who are able and available to work.

MORRIS LIBRARY

We have made the decision, along with many other university libraries nationally, to reduce the scope and size of library services and limit them to students, faculty and staff. We will preserve access to some services by email and phone as noted below. The first-floor computer lab, room 139, will remain open and will be reconfigured to accommodate social distancing. The first-floor study around Delyte’s will remain open with access to WiFi for those with laptops who do not have WiFi at home. (Students who do not have laptops should contact Saluki Cares for assistance.)

The library will continue to deliver the following services:

  • We are scanning parts of books for faculty and students on demand. Current Fair Use best practices allow us to scan entire books if necessary.
  • Reference services will be delivered virtually through Ask a Librarian at or by phone at 618-453-1455. Special Collections is closed to the public but available at 618-453-2516 or speccoll@lib.siu.edu.
  • We have a means to check out books to people on request. Our major ebook service is offering unlimited access. Please consult our Morris Library Covid-19 FAQ for more information.

OTHER UPDATES

Our FAQ website includes a number of additional updates related to:

  • Cancellation of admissions-related events in favor of virtual outreach
  • Reducing the number of individuals allowed to gather from 25 to 10
  • Updates to self-quarantine requirements for students, faculty and staff

Students and family members can call the Office of the Dean of Students 618-453-4846 or 1-877-725-0006 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday. Questions can also be sent to the pandemicinfo@siu.edu email address at any time.

Thank you for all you are doing to be responsible and caring in these challenging times.

John M. Dunn
Chancellor

Members of the university community,

Thank you to everyone who follows our Frequently Asked Questions related to COVID-19. As you know, guidelines and directives regarding the pandemic are changing regularly due its rapid spread across the country, and we continue to adjust our course accordingly. Our primary goals remain the same: protect the health and safety of our community while continuing to fulfill our mission. We are encouraging all students, faculty and staff to respect and follow the concept of social distancing, which can mean staying at least 6 feet apart from others, eliminating unnecessary travel and avoiding crowds.

We continue to update our frequently asked questions. Following are a few new additions or updates. See the full website for details.

Here are a few of the latest additions or changes:

  • Given the uncertainty around the timeline for COVID-19, we have decided to continue using alternative formats for the remainder of the semester.
  • Students and family members with questions can call the Office of the Dean of Students at 618-453-4846 between 8 am and 4:30 pm, Monday - Friday. Questions can also be sent to the pandemicinfo@siu.edu email address at any time, including evenings and weekends.
  • Due to the importance of social distancing and concerns related to potential transfer of a virus via equipment, the Student Recreation Center will close starting tomorrow.
  • Due to a gubernatorial directive, food services will no longer be available in the Student Center, and services in the dining halls will be available only to students and dining staff.
  • Many staff will be allowed to work from home or work flexible schedules based on the nature of their responsibilities; see the chancellor’s message to faculty and staff.
  • Self-quarantine expectations continue to change and now include travelers returning from four states — California, Massachusetts, New York and Washington — as well as all international travelers, whether they are students, faculty or staff members.

We are in uncharted waters, and I am very grateful that we are standing together as a community.

John M. Dunn
Chancellor

SIU faculty and staff:

As we continue to wade through uncharted waters, I have expressed my gratitude for your patience and resilience on the chancellor’s blog. I am also grateful to all of the health care workers and others on the front lines addressing this very challenging situation. Every day brings new or changing guidance, and we are working carefully to be responsive and to do our part to flattening the curve of the coronavirus.

We are now making key changes in operations to support the social distancing that is so important to minimizing the spread of COVID-19. All of these changes are intended to protect the health and safety of our employees at the same time we continue to fulfill our responsibilities. Please see new information below.

Changing how we operate

Effective tomorrow and until further notice, we will be allowing supervisors to change where and how employees work based upon the nature of their responsibilities. I have asked each of the vice chancellors to assess which functions can be completed off-site. Our goal is to allow as many people as possible to work from home while still fulfilling their responsibilities by email, computer and phone.

In cases where work can be completed from home but employees are not set up to telecommute, supervisors may work to fill equipment needs, although this may not always be possible.

Of course, many functions require a physical presence on campus. We are asking supervisors to identify ways to ensure appropriate social distancing when employees have work that requires them to be on campus. We are also allowing supervisor-approved flexible schedules when possible.

Regardless of where they work, employees who are available to work are expected to do so based upon guidance from their supervisors (see additional information below related specifically to those affected by school closings or self-quarantine). Employees who are not available to work will be expected to take sick or vacation leave. Supervisors are encouraged to work with employees who have concerns related to the coronavirus that relate to their responsibilities and to accommodate those concerns whenever possible.

Requirements of graduate assistants will relate to the nature of their work. For example, research assistants who maintain laboratories should continue to do so, but administrative assistants who can work off-site will be allowed to do so with supervisory approval. Student employees may also work as appropriate based on their responsibilities and the needs of the office.

All students and staff who work on-site should follow social distancing practices.

Approved changes will be effective tomorrow, March 17, and continue until further notice. We are working through details of implementation and will post them on the Frequently Asked Questions page as they are finalized. Questions may be directed to your supervisor, Human Resources or pandemicinfo@siu.edu.

Employees impacted by COVID-19

School closings and self-quarantine due to international travel have affected a number of SIU employees. Starting tomorrow, March 17, employees who need to be away from work for COVID-19-related reasons such as illness, quarantine or child care, will continue to be paid for up to two work weeks without having to use their personal benefit time. These employees may be asked to work from home, if able.

Staying healthy

We encourage all faculty, staff and students to minimize their risk by following CDC recommendations.

  • Put distance between yourself and other people.
  • Avoid others who are sick if possible.
  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer multiple times a day.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Finally, if you or a member of your household are experiencing flu-like symptoms or are not feeling well, stay home and seek appropriate medical care. Call your health care provider for instructions before going to a medical facility.

Thank you for doing all you can to support the health of our community.

John M. Dunn
Chancellor

Members of the SIU Carbondale Community,

We have updated our FAQ on the impact of the coronavirus and COVID-19 thanks to your many thoughtful questions. You will find new information for students, faculty and staff about the following:

  • Restrictions for and cancellation of events.
  • The shift to online and other alternative formats for most courses.
  • Expectations of graduate assistants.
  • Student employment.
  • Housing and dining.
  • Faculty and staff expectations and policies.
  • Updated travel restrictions that include self-quarantine expectations for returning international travelers.

We will continue to update this site as we receive additional common questions and have new information. Please visit regularly. We appreciate your patience and input as we navigate this unprecedented situation. As always, our primary goal is the health and safety of the SIU community.

John M. Dunn
Chancellor

Due to ongoing efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus in Illinois and beyond, SIU Carbondale will be extending spring break for students through March 22. Effective Monday, March 23, classes will be offered in online or other alternative formats until further notice.

While no cases of COVID-19 have been identified on our campus, our primary concern is the health and safety of our community. We are joining other Illinois public institutions in taking precautionary measures.

The situation is evolving quickly, and we have many details to work through. We will be sending updated information and posting it to our coronavirus response website within the next 48 hours.

Following are a few important points:

  • The university’s operations, including teaching and research, will continue. We will remain open, and staff will report to work as usual.
  • Students will have options for returning to campus either to study or retrieve materials. We will share additional information regarding campus services, including housing and dining, in the next 48 hours.
  • We are extending the week of spring break to give faculty time to convert courses for delivery in alternative formats. There will be challenges for some students with accessing online or alternative platforms; we are currently reviewing various options that may work for instructors and students. Our goal is to ensure that students have the tools they need to continue their coursework.
  • We will be evaluating on- and off-campus events on a case-by-case basis based on the risk they present for the spread of the virus. Many if not all may be canceled. We will work with the units that are sponsoring events and post cancellations on the coronavirus website.
  • International business travel is restricted. Domestic business travel will require approval of the appropriate vice chancellor.

Again, we will provide much more detailed information in the next 48 hours. If you have questions you want to be sure we address in our planning, please email them to pandemicinfo@siu.edu. We will do our best to post responses to commonly asked questions so that everyone will benefit from the information.

There are many unknowns related to the virus and its spread. We will continue to monitor recommendations from state and national health agencies and adjust course as needed. We appreciate your patience and collaboration as we work through these challenges together.

Sincerely,

John M. Dunn
Chancellor

SIU Carbondale students, faculty and staff:

As focus on the coronavirus, formally called COVID-19, grows and more cases are diagnosed in the United States, you may have questions about what it means for SIU and what we are doing to prepare. We have developed a list of frequently asked questions to answer many of the questions we have received to date. We will add new information as the situation develops or as we receive additional questions that may be of broad interest.

SIU’s emergency preparedness “all-hazards” team has been activated to evaluate and plan for multiple scenarios should the virus come to or impact southern Illinois. This cross-functional team will address plans for how classes will be handled, how residence halls will be managed, related personnel policies and more. The team includes representatives from student health, counseling, housing, academic affairs, student affairs, university communications, procurement, public safety, plant and service operations, environmental health and safety and other areas. University personnel are working in collaboration with local and state health officials.

Even as we plan, we are closely monitoring the reports and recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and other global and state agencies. Decisions we make going forward will be informed by agencies and experts who have access to the latest knowledge and best practices.

We urge everyone who leaves campus for spring break to pay attention to the CDC’s recommended precautions to avoid exposure to the virus. If you believe you have been exposed to or may have the coronavirus, please consult with your local health care provider before returning to campus. If you are a student on campus, please follow the steps outlined in the FAQ. Faculty and staff should work with their local health care providers.

Our primary goal is to ensure that we are doing everything possible to protect the health, safety and welfare of our campus community. Thank you for doing your part.

Sincerely,

John M. Dunn
Chancellor

SIU Faculty, Staff and Students,

Southern Illinois University Carbondale has been closely monitoring the worldwide 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak. In addition to the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Level 3 warning to “avoid non-essential travel,” both the U.S. State Department and the World Health Organization (WHO) have now issued Level 4 “do not travel” advisories for China. These warnings have been issued to help contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Given these travel warnings and our desire to maintain the health of our university community, all university travel to China is being restricted at this time. No institution-related travel to China, such as study abroad or other academic program visits, will be authorized or approved by the university. We will continue to monitor the CDC and Illinois Department of Public Health advisories for further updates.

The university also does not recommend non-essential personal travel for its faculty, staff or students to Novel Coronavirus-affected areas that are under travel advisories. Individuals may monitor the CDC travel notices website.

Please also see additional information about the university’s response to the coronavirius.

John M. Dunn
Interim Chancellor

SIU students, faculty and staff:

We share the following information about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

University officials continue to monitor reports on the outbreak of pneumonia caused by a new coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. While many questions remain unanswered about this infection — and we have no reported cases at SIU Carbondale — we want the members of the campus community to know that we are closely following the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Illinois Department of Public Health, and Jackson County Health Department to protect the health of our faculty, staff, students, and visitors. Policies are in place at the Student Health Center to rapidly identify, test, isolate and treat suspected patients while minimizing the risk of exposure to health providers and other contacts.

Symptoms of this illness include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Reports indicate that virus is spreading person-to-person, although it’s unclear how easily it spreads between people. Preliminary information suggests that older adults and people with underlying health conditions may be at increased risk for severe disease from this virus. There is no current vaccine for this or other coronaviruses.

For those people returning from Wuhan or central China, or who have been in close contact with a suspected case of 2019-nCoV:

Travelers from Wuhan to U.S. international airports may undergo health screenings and be asked questions about their travel history to identify possible new cases of novel coronavirus infection.

If you feel sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing, you should seek medical attention immediately. Let your doctor know that you have traveled to Wuhan.

For more information, visit the CDC information page or the World Health Organization guidance page.

Please contact Student Health Services, 618-453-3311, if you have additional questions.

Sincerely,

Dr. Paul Bennett, Medical Chief of Staff
Student Health Services