COVID-19 (coronavirus) Updates

The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is always a top concern. As international, national, state and local health officials address the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), the Administrative Council and the Pandemic Assessment Team at Nebraska Wesleyan University is monitoring the situation, discussing guidelines and implementing recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department.


Stay Strong Prairie Wolf Family
President Darrin Good offers his thoughts to the Nebraska Wesleyan community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

University Updates

Campus Message: Change to Fall Semester Calendar, May 26, 2020, 11:30 a.m.

Hello Faculty, Staff and Students.

For the past few weeks, three task forces comprised of faculty, staff and students have worked diligently to address all issues concerning a safe return to campus in August.

As I’ve said before, our mission and core values are best showcased when we are personally together. Thanks to intensive and thoughtful planning by our task forces and the Administrative Council, I’m confident we will provide a safe learning and living environment for all faculty, staff and students.

Over the next few weeks we will share detailed plans with you regarding fall classes; student experiences including housing, athletics and recreation, student activities and student support; and operational measures, specifically safety in our social spaces, labs, classrooms and offices.

I want to let you know now of our changes to the fall semester calendar. We will begin classes in person on Monday, August 17 — one week earlier than originally planned. Classes will continue on campus until the week of November 23 when the residence halls will close and students will return home for the Thanksgiving holiday. The final week of classes will be held remotely for the week of November 30-December 3 and will include activities like lectures, small group discussions and instruction of new material. Final exams will be given remotely December 7-11. Most students will not return to campus until the spring semester, which begins January 11.

Labor Day will still be a holiday for all faculty, staff and students, but no fall break is scheduled for the semester. Following many discussions with members of the Academic Task Force and the Administrative Council, we feel strongly that these adjustments will not only allow us to be together in person for nearly all of the fall semester, but they will also help us to respond effectively to a potential second wave of COVID-19 next winter. Our hope is that we protect the health of our entire campus community by significantly reducing travel to and from campus during the semester and particularly between Thanksgiving and spring semester. We can reduce exposure and the spread of infection while maintaining our deep commitment to excellence, personal attention and student success.

We realize not all students will be able to return home in November, including our international students and winter sport athletes. Winter housing contracts and accommodations will be provided to those who need to stay on campus.

As I mentioned, many more details will be shared with you over the next few weeks, but I wanted you to know about these initial changes now to help in your planning for the fall semester. Please continue to check your email.

I’m grateful for the careful, thoughtful planning made thus far that will inevitability allow us to live out our core values in person while protecting the health of every member of our campus community. We will regain our momentum and be back to thriving at Nebraska Wesleyan University very soon!

Sincerely,
Darrin

COVID-19 CARES Act Emergency Grants to Students

Nebraska Wesleyan University has received funding from the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund for expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic. No less than fifty percent of this funding ($691,376) must be disbursed as emergency grants to Title IV-eligible students for expenses incurred as a result of the disruption to campus operations.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos made clear that university presidents should distribute funds to students most in need as quickly as possible. Nebraska Wesleyan formed a committee that will steward the funds and oversee the disbursement to students according to guidance from the U.S. Department of Education.

The decision to close university housing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic was a significant disruption that resulted in immediate unforeseen expenses for students. With that in mind, the committee designed a two-phase plan that will quickly support students known to have unexpected expenses from the disruption to university housing (phase one) and preserve a remaining balance to distribute to students based on reported expenses (phase two).

Phase One Grants
All enrolled Title IV-eligible students who vacated university housing effective March 29 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic will receive a phase one grant. No action is required to receive these funds. The Business Office is working to disburse the funds on or before May 14, 2020. If the student is set up for direct deposit, the funds will be deposited into the student’s bank account. If not, the Business Office will mail a check to the address listed in the student’s account.

Unexpected Student Expense Grant Amount
Room and board $500
Room only $350
Board only $150

 

Phase Two Grants
All Title IV eligible NWU students in the spring 2020 semester (including traditional and adult undergraduate and graduate students) who incurred expenses as a result of the disruption to campus operations from the COVID-19 pandemic may apply for an emergency grant from the CARES Act Student Grant funds.

Students must apply for an emergency grant via a password-protected web form.

Access the application here.

Students should be prepared to briefly describe the details of the unexpected expenses and report the total for each expense category: food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, childcare, and other expenses. Students may submit only one application on or before the deadline of noon, May 11, 2020. Please visit the FAQ if you have questions about the application process.

The committee will review applications and make decisions as quickly as possible. Requests will be considered based on reasonableness and the number of applications received until NWU’s allocation of CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund for students is expended. The goal is to inform students of the approved grant amount by May 15, 2020, and disburse the funds on or before May 28, 2020. If the student is set up for direct deposit, the funds will be deposited into their bank account. If not, the Business Office will mail a check to the address listed on the student’s application.

Eligibility Requirements
The COVID-19 Emergency Grants to Students are available to Title IV-eligible NWU students enrolled during the spring 2020 semester who incurred unexpected expenses related to the disruption of campus operations resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. A student is Title-IV eligible if they have filed a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) with the U.S. Department of Education and been approved to receive aid. Students who do not have a FAFSA on file may complete one by May 4, 2020, to demonstrate their eligibility for an emergency grant.

Complete the FAFSA Form here. NWU’s institutional code is 002555.

International students, DACA students, and other students who are otherwise ineligible for Title IV funds are ineligible for the CARES Act Student Grants, per the U.S. Department of Education. Title IV eligibility will be confirmed by the Director of Scholarships and Financial Aid before allocating the emergency grants.

CARES Act Grant Reporting

Campus Message: Fall Semester In-Person Classes, April 28, 2020, 5:17 p.m.

Dear Students,

As you conclude your last week of the spring semester and look ahead to next week’s final exams, I want to extend my deepest appreciation for your patience, perseverance and your positivity throughout this pandemic. (sorry for that unintended alliteration)

P-Wolf Nation has shined through these past several weeks. I’ve heard stories of unique assignments to help students better learn from this crisis; I’ve heard anecdotes of work in your communities — some of you on the front lines. And throughout these challenging weeks, you’ve continued to excel as we learn of outstanding outcomes like national prestigious scholarships, future internships, and jobs and graduate school placement for our seniors.

That is the Nebraska Wesleyan way that we’re so familiar with. We have grit. We are resilient. This crisis has not changed who we are.

I want to extend my sincere appreciation for continuing to keep yourself and your loved ones safe and healthy at this unprecedented time. I know this has come at the expense of forgoing many potential lifelong memories in the classroom, on the stage, on the track, on the diamond and with each other.

I can hardly contain my excitement for returning to in-person classes in August, and that is our plan. While I am proud of how our faculty, staff and students quickly adjusted to a distance learning modality, we know that face-to-face classes and campus activities are central to a Nebraska Wesleyan University education. Our core values of excellence, personal attention and community are best showcased when we are personally together. Our synergy is amazing in P-Wolf Nation!

Throughout the summer, we will rely on a couple of task forces of faculty, staff and students who will explore and recommend various academic and student experience models to best prepare us for any adjustments that may need to be made on campus for the fall semester. My team will also work closely with the Mayor’s office and with the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department to be certain that we’re making responsible decisions that will not only impact NWU but our greater Lincoln community. The health and safety of our campus community will always remain at the forefront.

Again, thank you so much again for your willingness to meet the challenges faced this spring semester. To our returning students, I look forward to seeing you on August 24. To our graduates, no one could have ever anticipated that your final semester at NWU would play out this way. We are incredibly proud of your achievements and outcomes and I look forward to celebrating with you at a special ceremony in the near future. Be looking for an announcement next week regarding a new date for a commencement celebration. In the meantime, be sure to watch NWU’s social media platforms next week for some special tributes in your honor.

Continue to stay strong P-Wolf Nation!
With love and compassion,

President Good

Campus Message from Board of Governors Chair, March 30, 2020, 1:03 p.m.

Dear members of the Nebraska Wesleyan University community,

As our country continues to deal with COVID-19, I want to take some time to share with you the important work and decisions being made by the Nebraska Wesleyan University Board of Governors and the administration as they respond to the pandemic.

First and foremost, I want to commend President Good, the Administrative Council, faculty, staff and students for putting health and safety at the forefront. I assure you the Administrative Council did not take lightly the decision to move to a distance learning modality, move many of your operations from campus offices to your homes and move students out of the residence halls and Greek houses.

I also applaud the administration’s quick decisions. Rather than take a “wait and see” approach, they have been making the best decisions for our local environment based on lessons learned in the global pandemic and the guidance of state and local health officials. The Board of Governors has been kept fully apprised of these decisions and will continue to be engaged and supportive in developments as we move forward.

As this crisis continues to unfold, we all ask ourselves, what’s next? We don’t know those answers and we may not know them for a while. What we do know is that we will be taking a comprehensive look at the higher education landscape and we will proactively plan for Nebraska Wesleyan’s future that stays true to its mission and core values. The Board of Governors will meet virtually for its regular meeting on May 8 where we’ll review, discuss and evaluate projected enrollment data and other important benchmarks and assumptions. I will share a summary of that meeting with you in the days following.

All of us on the Board of Governors care deeply about Nebraska Wesleyan University. We come from varied backgrounds in the public and private sectors – health care, education, government, business, religious organizations just to name a few. We empathize with the uncertainties and challenges you face because we are facing them too.

Community has long been a core value here. That has been apparent for decades but possibly more evident now than ever. I am grateful to be part of this community; everyone on the Board of Governors is proud to be part of this community. Please continue to take good care of yourselves and each other.

If you have comments or questions, please feel free to let me know. My email is jgerrard [at] nebrwesleyan.edu.

Sincerely,
John M. Gerrard ’76, H’13
Chair, Board of Governors

Campus Message: Campus Buildings Close (Students), March 21, 2020, 7:50 p.m.

As we continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made the difficult decision to close our physical campus more completely, effective Monday, March 23.

This decision means all but essential university functions will be conducted virtually and buildings will be closed. We are moving to close student housing (including Greek housing). We ask all students currently living in university housing or in Greek chapter housing to make plans to move off campus.

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise, we feel it’s necessary to further protect the health and safety of our students and employees. On Friday, the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Lancaster County. We believe it’s only a matter of time before a member of our campus community is impacted. Taking these measures now means we are being responsible citizens in helping to slow the spread. It also means we are more prepared should the state issue a “shelter in place” or “stay at home” order similar to what other states across the country are doing.

Residential students who planned to live on campus for the remainder of the semester are now asked to return to your permanent residence or another safe housing option off campus. Students with extenuating circumstances that prevent them from moving off campus may petition to remain on-campus. Petitions are due by 5 p.m., Sunday, March 22 and will be evaluated by noon on Monday, March 23. Please be aware that these will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and very few exceptions will be granted. Students who plan to move out have until Sunday, March 29; however, we highly recommend you move out by 5 p.m. Monday, March 23. If you are not able to move out by Monday, you are asked to request an extension by 5 pm on Sunday, March 22.

Distance learning begins on Monday. Please be assured that campus resources are still available to you virtually for your personal and academic needs. This includes Cochrane Woods Library, Cooper Center, Career Center and Counseling Services, as well as your advisors, professors, supervisors and staff. Our commitment to our core values of excellence, community and personal attention to students will continue even though we are not together in person.

At this time, all student employment is paused until March 28 as we determine what positions can be continued remotely. Students who participate in the Federal Work Study program will have first priority as the campus works to realign student employment.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. Most importantly, thank you for doing all you can to keep yourself and your loved ones safe and healthy at this unprecedented time. The strength of our community has been demonstrated through your response to challenges posed by this ongoing global crisis. We know we will all continue to support one another through this difficult time.

Please continue to check the COVID-19 Updates webpage for further updates and to see what information is being shared with all of our constituents.

Campus Message: Campus Buildings Close (Employees), March 21, 2020, 7:50 p.m.

Dear Staff and Faculty,

As we continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made the difficult decision to close our physical campus more completely, effective Monday.

This decision means all but essential university functions will be conducted virtually and buildings will be closed. We are moving to close student housing including Greek housing.

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise, we feel it’s necessary to further protect the health and safety of our employees and students. On Friday, the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Lancaster County. We believe it’s only a matter of time before a member of our campus community is impacted. Taking these measures now means we are being responsible citizens in helping to slow the spread. It also means we are more prepared should the state issue a “shelter in place” or “stay at home” order similar to what other states across the country are doing.

All employees are asked to work from home, if possible. Please know it is ok to take your desktop computer home. Let Steve Dow know if you do so. Employees who work from home should forward their office phones or plan to check voicemail regularly. We realize not all jobs can be conducted remotely. We know some of you need to use your office for other essential functions like internet connectivity. Please work out these details with your supervisor.

Distance learning begins on Monday. As you visit with students, please reassure them that campus resources are still available to them virtually including Cochrane Woods Library, Cooper Center, Career Center and Counseling Services.

At this time, all student employment is paused until March 28 as we determine what positions can be continued remotely. We anticipate significant reductions in available student employment. Students who participate in the Federal Work Study program will have first priority as the campus works to realign student employment.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. Most importantly, thank you for doing all you can to keep yourself and your loved ones safe and healthy at this unprecedented time. The strength of our community has been demonstrated through your response to challenges posed by this ongoing global crisis. We know we will all continue to support one another through this difficult time.

Please continue to check the COVID-19 Updates webpage for further updates and to see what information is being shared with all of our constituents.

Parent Message from the President, March 20, 2020, 12:13 p.m.

Dear NWU Families,

Just over a week ago we made the difficult decision to change our classes to a distance learning format in response to the growing COVID-19 pandemic.

When you and your student made the decision to accept our invitation to earn a Nebraska Wesleyan education, you expected us to deliver excellent academics, personalized attention to students and rich experiences that make this campus community so special.

What you didn’t expect — what none of us expected — was such a cataclysmic global event that is would profoundly disrupt nearly every aspect of our normal everyday lives.

When students and faculty “return to class” on Monday, things will be different. We recognize there will be some uncertainty about how courses might look. There will be sadness that students are not sharing the remainder of the semester alongside their friends, in class, in the dining hall, in sports, rehearsals, and other social interactions that help to create the special environment of people to live and learn in community. Yes, these are unknowns shared by peers at every campus in the nation — but please know that we’re facing those unknowns together as a community… as a Prairie Wolf family.

What we DO know is we will continue to stand on our core values that form the foundation of our transformative education — excellence, community, and personal attention to students. Our commitment to these values is bigger than a pandemic.

Please understand we made the difficult decision to move to distance learning to help keep our students, faculty and staff safe. We want exactly what you want — safety for your student.

Our faculty spent the week redesigning their courses so they can still offer impactful learning through virtual classrooms. Yes, they too had some questions about their new way of delivery, but I am incredibly impressed to see them rally together. They’re sharing best practices, successes, and creative solutions so they can learn from each other and national leaders on teaching strategies. Beyond the technicalities of distance learning, our faculty have prioritized compassion, empathy and support for each student as the most important principles in this unprecedented time. Please encourage your student to respond to outreach from our faculty and the university’s CARE Team.

At Nebraska Wesleyan, we talk often about resilience and grit. We see it in the every-day lives of our students, faculty, staff and alumni. This “can do attitude” will continue to define our character through this crisis, as individuals and as a community that lifts up one another.

I want to thank you again for your continued understanding and patience. Know that we care deeply for your student. I wish you well as you care for yourself and those around you.

With compassionate solidarity,
President Darrin Good

P.S. For parents of graduates, please know that we are exploring ways to honor the Class of 2020. While we’re not able to hold a commencement ceremony on May 9, we will most certainly honor our graduates at an appropriate time when the health and safety of our community can be assured.

Campus Message: Commencement, March 17, 2020, 12:38 p.m.

Note: This message was updated on March 18 to reflect the university's decision to postpone commencement — not cancel commencement.

Dear Colleagues,

On Monday the Ad Council made the difficult decision to postpone commencement scheduled for Saturday, May 9.

This decision was made based on the most recent social distancing guidelines set by the CDC and Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts. The new guidelines limit gatherings to less than 10 people for the next eight weeks in an effort to slow the transmission of COVID-19. Commencement falls within the eight-week window.

I think we can all agree that commencement is one of the greatest days of the academic year for our graduates, their families, and for the faculty and staff who have had the honor of teaching and mentoring them.

While this decision was extremely difficult, our first priority is to ensure the safety of our students, faculty, staff and their families during this unprecedented time.

With commencement now postponed, staff who signed up for a work shift on Saturday, May 9 are no longer expected to work that day. Monday, May 11 — which was originally scheduled as a university holiday — is now a regular work day.

We know this news is disappointing to our graduates who were notified of this decision late yesterday. We remain deeply committed to assuring they have all of the necessary resources needed to finish their degree. Because commencement is a monumental event for graduates, we are considering various options to honor them at another time. Students remain at the center of every decision we make, therefore our commencement ceremony is postponed and potentially modified, but not canceled.

In the meantime, please continue to celebrate the achievements of our soon-to-be graduates and all students as you visit with them virtually over the next seven weeks.

Many thanks for your continued patience and understanding.

Graciela Caneiro-Livingston
Provost

Campus Message: Staff Policies, March 16, 2020, 11:11 a.m.

This message was updated on March 17, 2020

Dear NWU Employees,

Coronavirus Guidance for NWU Staff effective as of March 18, 2020 until further notice. This guidance will be updated as needed.

We appreciate your patience as we try to meet the many challenges during this time.

As previously communicated, NWU will remain in operation through this period. Operations will continue using online technology and telecommunications as much as possible, to reduce risk of transmission. In accordance with CDC guidelines, this guidance is to help you navigate this fluidsituation to prioritize care for individuals and the community.

Staff who are Able to work from home:

  • Staff who are able to work remotely from home may do so in consultation with their supervisor and will not need to use sick leave. Supervisors must report alternative working locations to their Vice President.

Staff who are Unable to work from home:

  • If your regular job duties cannot support working from a distance, please contact your supervisor to discuss options. Supervisors must discuss and document options with their Vice President. Human Resources will coordinate reassignment of job duties as needed.

Staff who are Unable to work from home due to personal illness or an ill family member:

  • Staff who are unable to work while at home are required to report absences to their supervisor, as well as record sick leave in WebAdvisor.
  • Staff will use paid sick leave first. Once sick leave is exhausted, additional administrative paid leave (AL) up to 14 days will be provided until the employee is able to return to work. CDC is askingthose who are ill to self-quarantine for 14 days. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/faqs.html
  • If an employee is unable to return to work after 14 days, they should contact the Human Resource department.
  • It is important to communicate regularly with supervisors concerning work attendance.
  • No Vacation Leave is required to be used.

Additional Guidance

  • Staff may be assigned duties that are different than those for which they were hired or that are listed in current job descriptions.
  • If you or an immediate family member is immunocompromised, consider working remotely, if possible.
  • If you have any symptoms, please stay home and follow CDC guidelines.

Social Distancing

  • Try to maintain 6 feet of separation between you and others. If your workspace is not configured to allow this, work with your supervisor to determine whether your workspace could be modified.
  • Wash hands throughout the day and avoid touching your face.
  • Avoid sharing work equipment when possible; wash hands or use hand sanitizer after using shared equipment. Wipe down shared surfaces regularly with appropriate cleaning products.
  • Avoid group gatherings: hold meetings remotely when possible or maintain 6-foot separation between individuals when meeting in person.

This guidance will be updated as needed.

Maria Harder, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Assistant VP of Human Resources &
Director of Title IX Services

Campus Message: Spring Semester Housing, March 14, 2020, 11:49 a.m.

This message is being sent on behalf of Brandi Sestak, Assistant Dean for Student Success and Residential Education.

Dear Residential Students,

With classes moving to a distance learning format, you should feel free to stay home for the remainder of the semester. We know this option is not available to everyone.

The residence halls will reopen at noon tomorrow (Sunday, March 15). However, you will have until Friday, March 20 to indicate to the Residential Education Office your plans for remaining on campus or moving out.

Below you will find updated policies and procedures for spring semester housing including processes for living on campus and for moving out.

Please continue to follow all CDC guidelines including good hygiene and social distancing recommendations. You are an important and valued member of our campus community.

Take care.

Brandi Sestak
Assistant Dean for Student Success and Residential Education

Campus Message: Spring Sports Season, March 13, 2020, 4:25 p.m.

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

The Administrative Council and the university’s Pandemic Assessment Team continue to monitor the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis.

Today the American Rivers Conference canceled the spring sports season. In addition to athletic competitions, all university events including lectures, concerts, theatre performances and student organization activities are canceled for the semester.

We thank you for your patience as we continue to work through many logistics surrounding this situation. We highly recommend you regularly check our COVID-19 Updates webpage. New information is shared on this page as soon as we receive it.

Thank you again for your understanding and for all you are doing to keep yourselves and our campus community safe.

-Sara Olson

Campus Message: Change to Distance Learning, March 12, 2020, 1:09 p.m.

Dear Students,

The World Health Organization has declared a global pandemic as the coronavirus rapidly spreads throughout the world. To date, Nebraska has 10 confirmed cases. None of those are in Lancaster County.

On Wednesday we asked faculty to develop contingency plans in the event that the university needs to realign for a distance learning delivery of classes. Now we are acting on those plans with a one-week pause to realign classes. Nebraska Wesleyan will extend spring break next week (March 16-20) on our Lincoln campus and at our Omaha site to allow the faculty necessary preparation time. At this point we plan to move to distance learning, beginning Monday, March 23 and continue through the end of the semester. The start of the second eight-week session has also been moved to March 23.

We realize there will be many questions around what distance learning entails. We will keep you updated throughout this transition. When possible, faculty and supervisors will work with you to complete internship, clinical, practicum, student teaching, work study and other credit-bearing activities. Distance learning will be different for different classes. Faculty members will spend the coming week planning for the transition as appropriate for each class. Please be patient with your professors. They will be in touch with you.

You should feel free to stay home or off campus next week, although we understand that option is not available to everyone. The residence halls will reopen at noon on Sunday as planned. All university offices will remain open throughout the semester so that you have access to resources. This also includes Prairie Point Dining Center, the Weary Center, Cooper Center, Counseling Services and the library. Limited numbers of laptops are available to check out at the library. Call 402.465.2400 to check on availability.

Whether you choose to return to campus or stay home, it is highly recommended that you avoid large gatherings. If you are on campus and start to exhibit symptoms, you are asked to call Student Health Services at 402.465.2375 or 402.465.2377. Walk-in appointments are no longer available to prevent possible exposure. CHI Health also offers an online questionnaire to quickly assess symptoms. If the online assessment indicates you might have the coronavirus then a health care professional will call you with further instructions. That link is https://www.chihealth.com.

We are taking these preventative measures to protect our campus community. We want to reiterate that we currently have no known cases on campus. We hope that these social distancing measures as guided by public health recommendations help everyone in our community to stay healthy.

Please understand this is a very fluid situation with new information coming out hourly. Be sure to monitor our COVID-19 Updates webpage at https://www.nebrwesleyan.edu/about-nwu/covid-19-coronavirus-updates for the latest information. We continue to work closely with the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department and follow the recommendations made by the CDC.

Thank you for your patience during this unprecedented time. Please know that despite these changes to the semester, personal attention, excellence and a deep commitment to your success remain at the forefront, and we will work through this together as a campus community.

We will continue to send you regular email updates. As always, university email is our official means of communication.

Sincerely,
Darrin


Dear Faculty and Staff,

The World Health Organization has declared a global pandemic as the coronavirus rapidly spreads throughout the world. To date, Nebraska has 10 confirmed cases. None of those are in Lancaster County.

On Wednesday we asked faculty to develop contingency plans in the event that the university needs to realign for a distance learning delivery of classes. Now we are acting on those plans with a one-week pause to realign classes. Nebraska Wesleyan will extend spring break next week (March 16-20) on our Lincoln campus and at our Omaha site to allow the faculty necessary preparation time. At this point we plan to move to distance learning, beginning Monday, March 23 and will continue through the remainder of the semester. The start of the second eight-week session has also been moved to March 23.

While we are encouraging students to stay home next week, we know that option is not available to everyone. The residence halls will reopen at noon on Sunday for those who wish to return and the dining hall will be available for meals.

All university offices will remain open so that students, faculty and staff have access to resources. That being said, employees should stay home if you feel sick. CHI Health offers an online questionnaire to quickly assess symptoms. If the online assessment indicates you might have the coronavirus then a health care professional will call you with further instructions. That link is https://www.chihealth.com. You are also encouraged to contact your health care provider. Those with chronic health conditions that put you at greater risk for coronavirus should consider staying home. Please visit with your supervisor about any necessary arrangements.

We ask that you refrain from university-related non-essential domestic travel now through the end of the academic year. International travel for NWU business is prohibited. Those who have already booked trips should use extreme discretion. Contact the Business Office for questions about changes to already paid travel expenses.

Please understand this is a very fluid situation with new information coming out hourly. Be sure to monitor our COVID-19 Updates webpage at https://www.nebrwesleyan.edu/about-nwu/covid-19-coronavirus-updates for the latest information. We continue to work closely with the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department and follow the recommendations made by the CDC.

Thank you for your patience during this unprecedented time. Please know that despite these changes to the semester, personal attention, excellence and a deep commitment to student success remains at the forefront. Let’s work through this together with patience, compassion and care for all students, faculty and staff.

We will continue to use university email as our official means of communication.

Sincerely,
Darrin

Campus Message: Contingency Plans, March 11, 2020, 12:06 p.m.

Dear Students,

You are likely well aware that COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to spread throughout the U.S. To date, there are five confirmed cases in Nebraska — four in Douglas County and one in Knox County. There are no confirmed cases in Lancaster County.

Classes at Nebraska Wesleyan will resume on Monday. It is important for you to know that the Administrative Council and the university’s Pandemic Assessment Team are closely monitoring the situation. We continue to follow the recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department.

This week the faculty as well as many offices on campus have been asked to develop contingency plans in the event that the university needs to close. This includes plans for distance learning and advising.

As you prepare to return to campus, we ask that any students who have special concerns because of COVID-19 risk factors such as underlying health conditions, to contact your health care provider to help assist you in making a decision about your return. Faculty have been asked to accommodate students with such underlying conditions as well as those who feel ill or need to self-isolate due to possible exposure.

It is especially important that you remain focused on prevention. This includes:

  • Frequent and thorough handwashing for at least 20 seconds;
  • Use of hand sanitizer if soap and water isn’t immediately available. Our maintenance staff is stocking hand sanitizer in high traffic areas on campus and in the residence halls;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth;
  • Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue or your arm;
  • Use sanitation wipes on high-touch areas in your living and studying areas;
  • Avoid unnecessary social gatherings and avoid travel to areas with confirmed cases of COVID-19;
  • Stay informed. The CDC website offers the most up-to-date information on the spread of the coronavirus: https://www.cdc.gov
  • If you exhibit flu-like symptoms, visit Student Health Services, located in Burt Hall. Do not go to class or activities if you have symptoms.
  • If you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, contact the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department hotline at 402.441.8006.

Those of you who live on campus and have a food plan should expect to see some changes in food service in the Prairie Point Dining Center and Archway Café. We will follow best practices in reducing the spread of germs by offering more pre-made items while some foods may not be offered at all.

Your health is extremely important to us. This situation is evolving and instructions are subject to change. We realize you will have lots of questions and we appreciate your patience. We are developing a webpage that will serve as a hub for all campus updates regarding the coronavirus. We will share that link with you later this week. Please continue to check your email as it is our official communication channel. We will share another update with you later this week.

Thank you.


Dear Faculty and Staff,

You are likely well aware that COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to spread through the U.S. To date, there are five confirmed cases in Nebraska — four in Douglas County and one in Knox County. There are no confirmed cases in Lancaster County.

It is important for you to know that the Administrative Council and the university’s Pandemic Assessment Team are closely monitoring the situation. We continue to follow the recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department. We have participated in a tabletop exercise with the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department and we have met with local government officials and other area colleges and universities.

Classes are expected to resume on Monday. This week the faculty as well as many offices on campus have been asked to develop contingency plans in the event that the university needs to close. These contingency plans include distance learning. Staff should visit with your supervisors to discuss options and needs for working from home if the university would close. Employees who have special concerns because of COVID-19 risk factors such as underlying health conditions or age should contact your health care provider to help assist you in making a decision about your work environment. If other accommodations are recommended, please contact Human Resources to make necessary arrangements.

It is especially important that you remain focused on prevention. This includes:

  • Frequent and thorough handwashing for at least 20 seconds;
  • Use of hand sanitizer if soap and water isn’t immediately available. Our maintenance staff is stocking hand sanitizer in high traffic areas on campus and in the residence halls;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth;
  • Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue or your arm;
  • Use sanitation wipes on high-touch areas in your work areas;
  • Avoid unnecessary social gatherings and avoid travel to areas with confirmed cases of COVID-19;
  • Stay informed. The CDC website offers the most up-to-date information on the spread of the coronavirus: https://www.cdc.gov
  • If you exhibit flu-like symptoms, contact your health care provider. Please do not come to work.
  • If you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, contact the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department hotline at 402.441.8006.

Your health is extremely important to us. This situation is evolving and instructions are subject to change. We realize you will have lots of questions and we appreciate your patience. Please continue to check your email as it is our official communication channel. We are developing a webpage that will serve as a hub for all campus updates regarding the coronavirus. We will share that link with you later this week.

Thank you.

Campus Message: CDC Travel Guidelines, March 5, 2020, 2:52 p.m.

March 5, 2020

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

With many people traveling over spring break, we want to make you aware of the most recent travel recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

To slow the spread of COVID-19 (the disease caused by the coronavirus) into the U.S., the CDC is working with state and local public health partners to implement after-travel health precautions.

If you are traveling to widespread areas such as China, Iran, Italy and South Korea, the CDC asks you to take these steps upon your return:

  1. Self-report to the Nebraska public health on-line tracking system (https://cip-dhhs.ne.gov/redcap/surveys/?s=JKHEPR4DPR)
  2. Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.
  3. Stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school for this 14-day period. Discuss your work situation with your employer before returning to work.
  4. Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares during the time you are practicing social distancing.
  5. Avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public.
  6. Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).

If you are traveling to non-widespread areas and get sick with fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher), cough, or have trouble breathing, the CDC is asking you to:

  1. Seek medical care. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room.
  2. Tell your doctor about your recent travel and your symptoms.
  3. Avoid contact with others.

As President Good shared in his email earlier this week, the immediate health risk here is low right now. However, we ask you to be responsible members of the NWU community and remain focused on prevention, which includes frequent and thorough handwashing for at least 20 seconds and covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or using your upper sleeve or elbow if you don’t have a tissue.

The CDC offers the most up-to-date and reliable information on the spread of the coronavirus: https://www.cdc.gov

Please continue to monitor your NWU email. It is our official communication channel that will be used for ongoing updates on this situation.

Thank you.
Sara Olson

Campus Message: Pandemic Assessment Team, March 3, 2020, 8:53 a.m.

March 3, 2020

Hello NWU Community,

As has been widely reported in the news, we are all paying special attention to the unfortunate outbreak of the Coronavirus, COVID-19.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the risk to the general public in the United States is considered low at this time. However, I want to reassure you that we at Nebraska Wesleyan are monitoring this virus.

Nebraska Wesleyan has a Pandemic Assessment Team — made up of administrators, faculty and staff — who have been meeting to monitor the situation, discuss guidelines and implement recommendations from the CDC and the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department. This team will continue to meet regularly for as long as needed. On Wednesday, some members of the team will participate in a tabletop exercise with the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department. The university’s Pandemic Response Plan can be found at https://www.nebrwesleyan.edu/inside-nwu/pandemic-influenza-response-plan.

In addition, we are communicating with the students and programs in countries where our students are studying abroad. We will also evaluate upcoming international travel plans per CDC recommendations.

Spring break is upon us and for some, that means travel. While the immediate health risk right now is low, I ask that all members of our campus community remain focused on prevention. That includes:

  • Frequent and thorough handwashing for at least 20 seconds;
  • Use of hand sanitizer if soap and water isn’t immediately available. Our maintenance staff is stocking hand sanitizer in high traffic areas on campus and in the residence halls;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth;
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze; if you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands;
  • Stay informed. The CDC website offers the most up-to-date information on the spread of the coronavirus: https://www.cdc.gov;
  • If you exhibit flu-like symptoms, please avoid going to class or coming to work. Students with flu-like symptoms should visit Student Health Services. Faculty and staff should contact your health care provider.

As always, the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is a top concern.

During Spring Break, we ask that students, faculty and staff continue to monitor your NWU email. It is our official communication channel for sharing important updates and information related to the health of our campus and the Lincoln community, and we want everyone here to remain informed.

Sincerely,
Darrin Good

Latest Updates

Academics

  • All summer classes will be held via distance learning.
  • The fall semester will begin on Monday, August 17 — one week earlier than planned. Classes will continue on campus until the week of November 23 when the residence halls will close and students will return home for the Thanksgiving holiday. 
  • The final week of classes will be held remotely for the week of November 30-December 3 and will include activities like lectures, small group discussions and instruction of new material. 
  • Final exams will be given remotely December 7-11. Most students will not return to campus until the spring semester, which begins Monday, January 11. Accommodations will be made for residential students — including winter sport athletes — who need to remain on campus.
  • Labor Day will be a holiday for all faculty, staff and students.
  • No fall break will be scheduled for the fall semester.

Students

  • Effective Monday, March 23, all campus buildings are closed. 
  • Prairie Wolf Pantry is available through June via curbside delivery. Contact nwupantry [at] nebrwesleyan.edu to submit your request and a member of the pantry team will follow up to make arrangements for pick up.

  • Students who need access to academic buildings can contact Security at 402.432.9238.

  • Prairie Wolves Bookstore is closed to in-person business. The bookstore is available online and fulfilling orders within 24 hours wherever possible with free shipping and no minimum purchase. You can also call the bookstore at 402.465.2490. 

  • A limited number of laptops are available for checkout at the library. Email library [at] nebrwesleyan.edu to check on availability.
  • If you need tech support, Wesleyan IT students can help. Call the helpline at 402.465.7777 or email wits [at] nebrwesleyan.edu.

Faculty

  • Effective Monday, March 23, all campus buildings are closed. 
  • Those who have an essential need to work in their office are to follow social distancing guidelines. Although buildings are locked, faculty can access their individual office building with their fob. If you need additional fob access beyond your office building, contact gmaschma [at] nebrwesleyan.edu (Greg Maschman).
  • Summer mail center hours are 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mail is picked up at 11:30 a.m.
  • The centrality of attention to all students will continue while online. Faculty may continue to use your office. Whether you are on campus or not, you should establish regular times when you will be available to students by phone or email.
  • International travel for NWU business is prohibited. 
  • Faculty who need tech support can call the helpline at 402.465.7777 or email wits [at] nebrwesleyan.edu.

Staff

  • Effective Monday, March 23, all campus buildings are closed. 
  • Those who have an essential need to work in their office are to make arrangements with your supervisor, otherwise you are expected to work remotely. 
  • Although buildings are locked, employees can access their individual office building with a fob. If you need additional fob access beyond your office building, contact gmaschma [at] nebrwesleyan.edu (Greg Maschman).
  • Employees who work from home should forward their office phones or plan to check voicemail regularly. 
  • Summer mail center hours are 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mail is picked up at 11:30 a.m.
  • Staff are asked to abide by social distancing guidelines, spacing six feet away from each other.
  • If you are someone with a weakened immune system/immunocompromised, it is important that you talk to your health care provider about your work environment. If special accommodations are needed, contact Human Resources.
  • Employees should stay home if you feel sick or have been around someone who is sick. It is recommended that employees who come to work take their temperature twice a day.
  • International travel for NWU business is prohibited. 
  • Staff should refer to the campus message dated for March 16 with further staffing policies and guidelines.

Stay Informed

Practice Proper Hygiene

  • Use frequent and thorough handwashing for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use alcohol-based (40-60%) hand sanitizer if soap and water isn’t immediately available. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. 
  • Wear a face mask.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze; if you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
  • Use sanitation wipes on high-touch items in your work, living and study areas.
  • Stay home if you have symptoms (cough, fever of 100.4 and higher, shortness of breath).
  • Avoid unnecessary social gatherings. 
  • If you feel sick, contact your healthcare provider or if you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, contact your health care provider.

Events

  • Commencement has been postponed to Saturday, August 8. The university will continue to follow all social distance guidelines imposed by state and local officials. 
  • All camps scheduled in June are canceled. All residential camps scheduled for the summer have been canceled.
  • Outside groups and organizations will not be allowed to use NWU facilities for activities and events at this time.
  • The American Rivers Conference has announced its intention to conduct intercollegiate athletics programs this fall and for the entirety of the 2020-21 academic year.State and local guidelines will be primary considerations for the conference's nine schools as the summer leads into preseason practice and then into competition. 

Messages from President Good

Campus Resources