The following message was sent to the Drexel community on March 17.
Dear Students and Colleagues:
The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic continues to drive major changes in the way we conduct teaching, research and campus operations at Drexel. In addition to earlier measures designed to safeguard all of us, Drexel will close all campus facilities to the public as of the end of the day on Friday, March 20 until further notice — open only to those faculty, professional staff and other employees needed to maintain critical operations or required on campus to assist in delivering online education.
University operations will continue, but by shifting to handling most campus functions remotely, we will be in step with heightened public health recommendations from federal, state and local authorities to adhere to stricter social distancing. The University already is conducting final exams online. All spring term courses will be taught remotely. Non-critical on-campus research activities have been suspended, as have most student clinical experiences in our schools and colleges.
A key component of the campus closure is the requirement that all students vacate on-campus residences by Wednesday, March 25. The official move-out process for residential students will begin this weekend, but students who can depart sooner should do so once their finals are completed. Detailed information on the move-out has been provided in a separate message to on-campus students. Students with no alternate residence available should request special arrangements by completing the form referenced in this message by Thursday, March 19 at 5 p.m. Students who move out of on-campus residences will not be charged for housing or dining for the spring term.
Students are not permitted to return to campus after spring break for both their safety and that of the community. Students should strongly reconsider any spring break travel plans, consistent with CDC guidelines. No one is immune from the coronavirus. Indeed, several students at nearby universities have tested positive for the disease.
Moving our operations online may pose challenges at first, but we are confident that we will successfully manage the various issues and tight timelines while continuing to provide services in the best way possible under these unique circumstances. Drexel IT has provided a technology resource page for those working remotely. The W.W. Hagerty Library, although closed as of Saturday, will continue and extend online access to both electronic resources and assistance, with details available here.
The University’s existing Social Distancing Policy allows Drexel to enact unique protocols in unprecedented situations that span weeks or months, such as the coronavirus pandemic. Such protocols will supersede other policies that apply to emergency situations, such as Emergency Procedures and Essential Personnel. While we will not be implementing the compensation guidelines for Essential Personnel, we are aware that some professional staff may be in positions that cannot accommodate telecommuting. While we monitor the situation and continue updates, these individuals should utilize sick time to record unworked hours. As previously noted, a modification to the sick leave policy allows the use of future leave accruals and negative balances to ensure professional staff pay.
For hourly individuals hired as temporary, co-op, students, or on a per-diem basis, and others who do not have paid time off available, we ask managers to consider if remote work is feasible as pay will be limited to hours worked. If you have questions related to specific circumstances in your work environment and/or the resources available to you, contact your HR Business Partner.
Graduate students receiving compensation via stipend are asked to complete their work remotely. Stipends will continue during this closure period as long as work is performed.
Please continue to monitor Drexel’s Response to Coronavirus for the most current official information, including the CDC's prevention tips. For general personnel questions, please contact the Service Center, where representatives are available 24/7 at 215.703.2335.
In the event that you are feeling ill, please stay home and contact your primary care provider. Please also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, providing your name and phone number, if you believe you have come in contact with, or have COVID-19. It is imperative that we are aware of any exposure risk to the members of the Drexel community.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation during this unprecedented crisis, and please follow the recommended guidelines to keep yourself and others healthy and safe.
Helen Y. Bowman
Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Operating Officer
Paul E. Jensen
Interim Nina Henderson Provost