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Central Washington University

COVID-19 Update: Academics & Operations

Thursday, March 19, 2020

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Dear CWU Family,
 
Thank you for the amazing spirit you are demonstrating in the face of the new coronavirus emergency. You are showing professionalism and compassion as you help one another make dramatic changes to our ways of living and working. In the space of a few days, we have worked together to move finals online, to institute new working conditions, and to launch efforts to begin spring quarter with all instruction offered online. You have done all of this while coping with the stress of worrying about your loved ones, while having children home from school, and offering to help those who are most vulnerable to this new disease.
 
The coming weeks will likely bring additional changes, and we will have to continue adapting. One of Central’s strengths is our focus on values that are deeply embedded in our culture. They have quietly guided us over the years and will help us navigate the difficult conditions we face now. 
 

Ensuring the welfare of our community:  The health, safety, and welfare of our community has always been important, and the current situation is causing us to think about community in new and expanded ways. While we have always recognized that we are part of larger environments, the new viral threat we are facing requires that we join with our surrounding community to participate in a global effort to slow and stop the virus spread.
 
Academic excellence: The success of students is why we exist, and we must hold to our commitment to student success as we quickly adapt to new teaching and administrative methods. 
 
Sustainability:  Over the past decade, Central has become more financially self-reliant. Now more than ever, we must make sound financial decisions and manage our resources in order to sustain the institution in the long-term.  

Short term sustainability measures are necessary to ensure the stability of our university.
As we work to protect the health of ourselves and our students, we must simultaneously work to protect our capacity to continue operations. Until unfolding events become clearer, we must begin immediately to take the steps needed to sustain our service to students and the community. Beginning today, we will:

  • Suspend all university-sponsored travel through the end of spring quarter.
  • Freeze all hiring, including all hiring activities in which an offer has yet to be tendered.
  • Restrict purchasing to essential functions and services.

If you have questions on any of these measures, please contact your supervisor for direction.  Exceptions will need prior approval from a vice-president.    
 
Policies for Spring Quarter, 2020 
After consultation with health officials, academic leadership, faculty representatives, senior administrators, and members of our Board of Trustees, I am announcing new operating policies that will continue through the 2020 Spring Quarter.

There will be no face-to-face instruction, including labs, through Spring Quarter. Classes begin on April 8 and continue through the end of the quarter. Deans and department chairs will continue to work with faculty and with our multi-modal staff to help make the transition to online instruction. 
 
Remote Work: I am reinforcing my previous directive that all employees are to work remotely. If the nature of your work prevents you from working remotely, use appropriate safeguards: social distancing, hand washing, and cleaning surfaces.

Once again, I thank you for all that you have done and continue to do. I know that these are difficult and upsetting days. By all forecasts, coronavirus will continue to throw challenges our way for some time to come. In fact, facing down ambiguity may be our biggest challenge. Though we will grow tired or be scared, it is our agility, our resilience and our compassion for ourselves and others that will get us through this and back to better days. We are a university filled with strong and capable individuals. We are a caring community.  We are, most certainly, unafraid of hard work. I am very proud of you. Thank you for all you continue to do.
 
Sincerely,

President Gaudino's Signature

James L. Gaudino
President
 

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