Dear Students and Colleagues:
As final exams begin this week, we are taking stock of the latest recommendations for stemming the COVID-19 coronavirus and making adjustments and changes accordingly to our plans for teaching and research going forward into the spring term.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now urging an eight-week ban on face-to-face interactions of more than 50 individuals, and state and local officials are calling for the closure of non-essential services — now to include many City of Philadelphia functions — and also working remotely whenever possible. As a result, Drexel is taking the following steps to safeguard students, faculty, professional staff and other contract employees, while still maintaining core campus operations:
The entire spring term will be taught remotely using web, video and teleconferencing tools. After a two-week break, classes will resume on Monday, April 6 and end on Friday, June 6.
After finals week, ending Saturday, March 21, all students will be required to vacate their on-campus residence. On-campus residents are defined as students living in Drexel residences or fraternity and sorority housing. Move-out support will be provided starting this weekend and into next week, with assistance from University and Student Services (USS), the company we retain each September to run our freshmen move-in program. More information will be forthcoming to all on-campus residents within the next 24 hours.
All in-person clinical experiences for medical and nursing and health professions and law students have been temporarily suspended, moved to on-line modalities or cancelled. For third- and fourth-year medical students, the suspension will be in effect at least through Sunday, March 29. Some health profession students remain in clinical sites throughout the country that continue to permit placements or internships. This is under continuous evaluation by the College of Nursing and Health Professions, and students with questions should contact their respective departments’ clinical coordinators. Kline Law is working with all external partners to move its externships and work-related clinics to a remote arrangement.
All non-critical on-campus research activities will be suspended by March 18. On-campus research activities will be limited to only critical procedures or processes that require regular attention to maintain the long-term viability of the research project, laboratory, reagents, animals, and equipment. Approval is required. Research activities that can be conducted remotely will continue (e.g. data analyses, manuscript/proposal development, or other activities). More guidance on this change can be found here.
As previously announced, faculty and professional staff are strongly encouraged to work remotely. Employees whose presence is required to support on-site operations, and who normally commute by mass transit, have the option to park at no charge at the Drexel garage at 34th and Ludlow streets or in Lot F at 31st and Ludlow streets. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements.
Our top priority remains the health and well-being of everyone in the Drexel community. We urge you to take care, to practice social distancing and remain at home if you are ill. Details on all the precautionary measures enacted so far can be found on the Drexel coronavirus website. We will continue to share regular updates as needed.
Paul E. Jensen
Interim Nina Henderson Provost