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Campus Messages

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