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Central Washington University

COVID-19 Update: Message from President Gaudino

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

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Dear CWU Community,

The spring quarter is just getting underway and it is no understatement to say it will be historic. For the first time in the university’s 129 years, our classes will be taught entirely online. But while the vehicle we use may have changed, our goal to ensure that students get the best education possible while having a truly remarkable college experience remains the same.

The most recent actions impacting our institution were Governor Inslee’s decision to extend K-12 school closures for the rest of the school year and his proclamation extending the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” emergency order. The latter order bans all gatherings and temporarily shutters non-essential businesses in Washington state. This means all CWU facilities, with the exception of residence halls and dining facilities, will remain closed to the public through the end of the academic year. University employees will continue to work remotely. We don’t yet know when we’ll be able to return to a more typical work schedule.

We continue to monitor the situation every day and closely partner with the Kittitas County Public Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how to proceed. The best way to remain current on how COVID-19 impacts CWU operations is by regularly checking out the COVID-19 Update page ( For updated information for employees of the university, please go to

None of us could have anticipated the disruptions, changes, and challenges we’ve all experienced in recent weeks. Thanks to all of you who have, amidst worry and uncertainty, continued to serve our students and each other. In particular, I would like to recognize our faculty, who have been diligently adopting new online teaching tools, as well as those individuals who are essential to the operation of the physical university and who have continued to work on site. Thank you for all you do to help keep this institution operating.

The Board of Trustees, the Cabinet, and I continue to examine our financial health. As you know the BOT approved a declaration to ensure CWU sustainability on March 24, 2020. Changes in our workforce may be needed in the near future. I can promise you we will make these decisions based on the nature of the work needed during this new online environment, the health and well-being of our employees, and the support resources being made available by state and federal legislation.

We understand the responsibility the university has for the welfare of not only our CWU family but our larger Kittitas County neighborhood. Remain safe and healthy, and continue best practices for combating the spread of the virus, including staying in place, social distancing, and frequent hand-washing. Please know that we truly understand we are in this together—#CWUtogether.


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James L. Gaudino

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