COVID-19 Update: Doane cancels classes March 16-22, transitions to online learning
A message from Dr. Jacque Carter, Doane University President:
The health, wellbeing, and safety of our students, faculty, staff and guests are our highest priority. Doane University has continually been monitoring the situation with the Coronavirus (COVID-19), officially declared a pandemic yesterday by the World Health Organization. As the threat of COVID-19 spreading into our communities continues to increase, higher education institutions are facing difficult decisions with how to proceed, given that colleges and universities are communities in itself, home to thousands of students with hundreds of faculty and staff.
Alongside our prevention efforts that are already being carried out, it is necessary to take further steps to keep the Doane community safe. Below are decisions that have been made regarding the intermediate future of learning at Doane University:
Crete Campus: Doane University has made the decision to cancel all in-person, face-to-face classes next week (March 16-22) and is extending the current Spring Break of its Crete residential students one additional week. All Crete classes will resume on Monday, March 23 in an online/virtual format and they will be taught online for the remainder of the semester/term (ends May 8).
Lincoln, Omaha, Grand Island Campuses: All non-residential, adult, and graduate in-person, face-to-face programs will not have class next week (March 16-22). Classes for these campuses will resume on Monday, March 23 in an online/virtual format and they will be taught online for the remainder of the semester/term (ends May 8).
Online Courses: All current online courses for the spring semester/term will continue uninterrupted.
*Faculty and staff will continue to work on their respective campuses until further notice as the university will remain open.
Communication will be sent to faculty and students to ensure steps are being taken in order to prepare them for online/virtual learning. Faculty will have next week to prepare for the transition of their materials from on-ground to online. This is a decision made in the best interest of the health of our students, faculty, and staff.
We are in unprecedented times. We will be using this break time to allow our faculty to convert their courses to online and to develop the many details required to be able to answer questions from our community. First and foremost, the health and wellbeing of our students, faculty, and staff is our top priority and we believe it is in everyone’s best interest to take these actions now.
The university will remain open, as will the residence halls, but students are being encouraged to stay home instead of returning from spring break. This will help create social distancing, a course of action recommended by the CDC. Students who cannot leave campus will continue to receive support in the residence halls and dining facilities. Doane’s library and other campus facilities will remain open as well.
The NAIA has canceled all winter championship events and the status of future athletic events is yet to be determined. The Great Plains Athletic Conference plans to hold a meeting with the Commissioner and school Presidents tomorrow to further discuss how spring athletic events will be handled.
Additionally, all non-essential university student and employee travel has been suspended until further notice. Any changes in campus events will be announced at a further time through the appropriate channel.
We appreciate your patience and attention to this important matter. COVID-19 is a global pandemic that is drastically reshaping what we consider to be “normal” for the foreseeable future. We will provide more details as they become available. Please refer to Doane’s COVID-19 repository webpage for the most current information on this ongoing and developing issue.
Students, faculty, or staff members who have special concerns because of COVID-19 risk factors, such as underlying health conditions or age, should contact Student Affairs, the Dean’s Office, or Human Resources, respectively so that they can assist you in making a plan that will lower your chance of infection.