Coronavirus Information

April 3, 2020 Statement from the president

Students, Faculty and Staff,

In a recent update from state health officials and Governor Stitt, we were all informed that the
executive order closing non-essential businesses had been extended from April 15 through April 30. I
understand this extension may cause some additional stress, however, we must acknowledge this
amendment will assist the NSU Family and Oklahomans with social distancing and slow the spread of
COVID-19. Therefore, out of an abundance of caution to further protect the health and well-being of our NSU community, the following measures will be implemented:

  • NSU will continue to close down as many buildings as possible through April 30 to eliminate the need for regular custodial services.
  • Computer Labs are available for students between 8 am and 8 pm Monday through Friday in the following locations:
    • Tahlequah – Webb Tower 307
    • Broken Arrow – B&T 137
  • A WiFi hotspot covering the parking lot of the Webb Tower is now available. Students can access the internet in this location by connecting to the network labeled ‘NSU-ParkingLot’.
  • All Summer courses will move to an online learning environment. If conditions improve and NSU can safely offer face-to-face or blended courses during the summer session, course options will be communicated by May 15.
  • A commencement ceremony will take place virtually on May 9 at 10 am. Students will also have an opportunity to participate in a December commencement ceremony. Students graduating this Spring will receive further information.

I am encouraged by the commitment to learning demonstrated by our students and the adaptability of our faculty and staff. Your efforts have kept our institution nimble and well-positioned to provide a high-quality education while protecting the health and well-being of our NSU community. Thank you for your support and the kindness you have shown to one another. With all of us working together, we will get through this!

For the latest CDC update, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

Update to Lab Access Effective March 26, 2020

NSU Students: Please note the following labs will be open between 8 am and 8 pm Monday through Friday, starting Friday, March 27:

Tahlequah – Web Tower 307

Broken Arrow – B&T 137

Additionally, the university has set up an online resource center for technology and online learning assistance. If you have questions or need assistance, please access the resource center website at service.nsuok.edu. When visiting these labs, it is important to practice social distancing. 

march 25, 2020 statement from the president

Students, Faculty and Staff:

First, let me thank you for your cooperation as we adjust to the recent announcements from our local and state governments. I assure you that the health and well-being of our campus community is our highest priority. We believe the adjustments made yesterday and the following changes to our contingency measures are necessary to continue to protect our community. 

  • NSU remains closed to the public.
  • Essential employees that are required to continue to be on campus to perform their duties will do so. These individuals have been notified by their supervisor.
  • Employees who can complete their duties by teleworking will do so.
  • Employees with no ability to telework, who have "been deemed not critical to agency services and can't be redeployed to critical services" (state's language), will stay at home and use leave.
  • The library on the Tahlequah and Broken Arrow campuses will close. Library staff will provide assistance to students via telework.
  • We will close down as many buildings as possible during this 21-day period to eliminate the need for regular custodial services. 
  • All computer labs will close.
  • A process to refund students for unused housing and meal plans will be implemented and shared via email to the affected students.
  • Student housing will be provided only to those students with no other place to stay. All students who can go home should.
  • The University Center will have limited access for grab and go meals for those students who are cleared to stay in housing.
  • The Bookstore will remain closed.
  • Commencement and convocation ceremonies are postponed.

As a reminder, all classes will remain online for the rest of the Spring 2020 semester.  We know there may be bumps along the way. However, we are here to support one another as we adjust. Thank you for your cooperation and for the concern you have shown for the NSU community during this challenging period.     

For the latest CDC update, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

-Steve Turner, President

March 24, 2020 Statement from the President

Students, Faculty and Staff:

Good Evening!

I know that many of you listened to Governor Stitt’s news conference today and are worried about the growing number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma.  Like you, I am also concerned about Oklahomans and our NSU family. As we work through the guidance provided by our governor, I want to provide our campus community with an update to our contingency measures below:

  • All classes will remain online for the rest of the Spring 2020 semester.
  • All public events have been postponed or canceled through April 30.
  • Operationalized plans will be communicated internally within 24 hours.

While Cherokee County does not have a confirmed case as of today, NSU has branch campuses in counties with confirmed COVID-19 cases. Please keep the county leadership and citizens of Muskogee and Wagoner counties as well the other 17 counties, listed below, with confirmed cases in your thoughts.

Canadian – Cleveland – Custer – Garvin – Grady – Jackson – Kay – Logan – Mayes – McClain – Noble – Oklahoma – Pawnee – Payne – Pontotoc – Tulsa - Washington   

The health and well-being of our NSU family is my greatest concern. Thank you for your cooperation as we work together and move forward with the best interests of our NSU community in mind. 

For the latest CDC update, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

-Steve Turner, President

March 24, 2020 Statement from the Provost's Office

Students, Faculty and Staff,

In a unanimous vote by Northeastern State University’s Academic Deans, NSU has implemented the following policies for spring 2020 grading options that allow students to choose between the standard letter grades and a pass/no pass option. I believe this change is a positive approach to students transitioning to the online learning format.

NSU’s policies will follow the recent guidelines established by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and applies to courses that are currently in progress. Courses that ended before March 13 will be graded following previously established grading policies.  

1. NSU faculty will assign letter grades for the Spring 2020 courses in progress. A grade of W will not be assigned unless a student has withdrawn from a course.

2. After grades are posted, students can elect to change from a standard letter grade for a Spring 2020 course to P/NP grading options. 

Undergraduate students: 

-Grades of A, B, C or D may be changed to a P

-Grade of F may be changed to an NP

Graduate students:

-Grades of A, B, C may be changed to a P

-Grades of D and F may be changed to an NP

*College of Optometry will adapt its grading policies appropriate to its programs

1.     Once a student elects to change from a standard letter grade to P/NP, the student cannot later request the grade to be reversed to the original standard letter grade.

2.     Students must submit the request for each class using the Grade Mode Change Request form no later than 11:59 P.M. on May 19, 2020.  Requests submitted after the deadline cannot be considered due to state reporting requirements.

Please note the following:

Students should consider the possible implications of changing a grade to P/NP on graduate school applications or ongoing continuing education.

  • Grades of “P”, “NP”, “W”, and “AW” are grade neutral, but the credit hours associated with the course will count in hours attempted for retention. A grade of P will count in earned hours for graduation.
  • A letter grade of “F” is calculated into the GPA.
  • Before you decide to change to a pass/no pass option, we urge you to contact Financial Aid at FinancialAid@nsuok.edu. Financial aid calculations for satisfactory academic progress (SAP) may result in a different outcome than your academic GPA.  For questions concerning the impact of changing to P/NP on financial aid, please email FinancialAid@nsuok.edu.

The NSU’s faculty and staff are committed to providing a quality educational experience and the services our students need to be successful in the online learning format. We believe the new grading policies give students some flexibility as they adjust to today’s new normal.

Dr. Debbie Landry

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs 

March 22, 2020 Statement from the President

March 22, 2020

Students, Faculty and Staff:

Good Morning!

First, I want to thank you for your patience and kindness during the difficult, unprecedented and uncertain time we find ourselves in. Personally, I appreciate the kind words of encouragement that many of you have sent my way. Your health and safety has been and continues to be our top priority as we move forward in the coming weeks. Your willingness to be flexible and to adapt to our ever-changing circumstances is appreciated and critical to our mission to provide high quality, high value higher education. 

In my efforts to keep you informed of critical changes coming our way, I think the amount of information provided may have complicated the fundamental message. Some of the responses and questions to my earlier messages indicate that some clarification of our plan moving forward would be helpful. I want to thank Dr. Renee Cambiano, Faculty Council Chair, and Sara Barnett, Staff Council President, for their efforts to clarify key points. We will get through these trying times together. It may be bumpy in the beginning. Based on our discussions, I want to briefly reiterate that starting Monday, March 23, 2020:

  • Faculty who can telework should do so. All NSU classes will be offered online at least until April 5, 2020. The decision whether or not to continue online instruction through the end of the semester will be made on or before April 1. 
  • Faculty are expected to be available online for office hours and to assist students. Our students depend on you for guidance and support. Thank you!
  • Students, all courses have been moved online at least until April 5, 2020. You are not required to be on campus and we recommend that you stay at home and keep up with your coursework. We want you to be successful in the online format.
  • Staff members and administrators who can telework should do so. The Cabinet will continue their efforts to move as many of our employees to telework as soon as possible. Please be patient. This is a large task.
  • Staff members and administrators who perform essential functions that cannot be completed by telework have been advised to report to campus and to follow CDC protocols and university instructions.

Thank you for your dedication to NSU. We will continue to evaluate the situation as it evolves and provide updates to you. Please contact your immediate supervisor if you have any questions or concerns. All of us at NSU care about our community and your safety is paramount to us. I want to sincerely thank the Cabinet for their work throughout Spring Break. Rest assured they are working with your best interests in mind. Stay safe and well.

For the latest CDC update please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

-Steve Turner, President

March 21, 2020 Statement from President Turner

March 21, 2020

Dear NSU Community,

Upon the review of information gathered to date regarding hundreds of NSU required travel forms recently filed by students reporting travel over Spring Break, we must modify our student housing strategy. In spite of ever-changing CDC reports, it is apparent that many traveled to destinations frequented by Spring Breakers. Like you, I have watched news footage of young people in Florida who not only ignored warnings about COVID-19; many scoffed at them.

In a perfect world, I understand why most young people, or perhaps most of us, would want to spend time enjoying the sand, sun, water and warmer temperatures. However, we do not live in a perfect world. College students are not invincible. And as I said in a previous update, I am concerned that they have been unknowingly exposed to the coronavirus.

Earlier today, I read what WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said about exposure to COVID-19. “The choices made by the young can be the difference between life and death for someone else.”

Given the seriousness and uncertainty of the coronavirus, I have made the decision that NSU will keep Student Housing closed for two weeks. Students who stayed in the Residence Halls over Spring Break because they had nowhere else to stay, and they, in fact, did not travel out of the state, can continue to stay and use take out meal services.

This is a difficult decision to make but one that must be made. A slight disruption to some, will likely add another level of protection to countless others. Because all coursework has been moved online through at least April 5, we know most of our students did not plan to return to campus at this time.

A request for limited exceptions is being developed. On a case by case basis, we may consider requests from students who stayed in the area with family and friends over Spring Break, did not travel out of the state and do not have reliable internet away from campus to return to student housing. Student Affairs will provide additional information in a separate email to students. All exceptions will be reviewed by Dr. Jerrid Freeman, Vice President for Student Affairs.

-Steve Turner, President

March 20, 2020 Statement from President Turner

March 20, 2020

Students, Faculty and Staff,

Responding to COVID-19 is a balancing act between protecting the NSU family and continuing to meet the educational needs of our students. NSU is constantly monitoring information and guidance coming in from health and government officials and adjusting our sails as we navigate the situation. While we are uncertain how long the COVID-19 outbreak will last, we must continue to work together to maximize the overall health and well-being of students, faculty and staff. I expect that by now, you are practicing social distancing and regular hand washing as a part of the guidance provided by the Oklahoma State Department of Health and CDC. Thank you!

As we move forward and deal with the situation in front of us, NSU must remain diligent with contingency planning so that we can provide a healthy educational environment for our NSU Community. We feel the best way to serve our students is to remain open, provide the critical services our students need for success and limit guests visiting campus. There are also many essential functions that must be provided to support our fellow employees (payroll, IT, Human Resources, maintenance, custodial, public safety, etc.). To do this, we must have our healthy dedicated faculty and staff working at our campuses. As a result, we have updated NSU’s contingency plan to immediately include the following measures:

  • All NSU campuses will reopen for students, faculty and staff as scheduled on March 23.
  • Guests wishing to visit one of our campuses for any reason  must call the campus number provided below  prior to the visit and follow all guidelines issued. Exterior doors to all buildings will remain locked throughout the day. Signs will be posted on each door with information on how to arrange a meeting. Unapproved guests will be asked to leave campus immediately. Community members needing to seek shelter due to the immediate threat of tornado are still welcome to utilize the campus shelter, at their own risk, as needed and without prior approval. We cannot guarantee social distancing in such an event.
    • Tahlequah – 918-444-2577
    • Broken Arrow - 918-449-6136
    • Muskogee - 918-683-0040
  • Students are required to make an appointment directly with the faculty member, department, or service area to ensure access and efficiency. You may access the directory at  https://www.nsuok.edu/directory/Directory.aspx
  • When returning to campus for work or school, please do not congregate in groups larger than 10, practice social distancing, and good hygiene.
  • All courses have been moved online through Zoom and/or Blackboard through April 5.
  • Students with practicum, internships, student teaching, or clinicals should contact their respective college dean for guidance.
  • Students requesting reasonable accommodations related to a disability should work with their faculty member to continue those services. If the online format creates other needs due to a disability, please contact the Office of Disability Services, 918-444-2042 or sdstah@nsuok.edu, for assistance.
  • It continues to be our intention to resume classes to their previous format of delivery on April 6. If necessary, we will adjust accordingly.
  • Academic Advising and other student services will be available through Zoom and in person.
  • Computer Labs are available for student use at all three campuses. Labs will open at 8 am and close at 10 pm M-F to ensure deep cleaning, they will also be disinfected regularly during hours of operation.
    • Tahlequah - WEB 307
    • Broken Arrow - B&T 137
    • Muskogee - Administration 116 will be open 8-5 M-F
  • Food Service will be available at the Tahlequah campus in the Market Café for take-out/grab and go service only. The Underground in Tahlequah and Hawks Nest in BA will remain closed.
  • NSU libraries will open at 8 am and close at 10 pm M-F for deep cleaning.
  • Residence Halls will remain open. Students who are in a safe environment and who do not desire to return to campus during this time frame are encouraged to remain where they are best served and practice CDC guidelines for social distancing.
  • Student workers should contact their supervisor regarding their ability to work. Students feeling ill should not come to work and should self-monitor and seek medical care if needed.
  • The FIT will not open until the CDC advises resuming normal operations.
  • The MIAA conference has suspended athletic competitions indefinitely. Student Athletes are encouraged to stay home if they have reliable internet capability and are in a safe environment.
  • All other public events are either postponed or canceled through April 5. Communication with event organizers will take place through their respective Vice President.
  • Any student, faculty or staff member traveling out-of-state during Spring Break must inform the institution by completing a travel form  here. Travelers may have to complete an additional screening before returning to work (employees) or students who return to campus after Spring Break.
    • For those who traveled during Spring Break, we recommend constant monitoring of health symptoms for the next 14 days, including taking your temperature twice daily as recommended by the CDC to detect any sign of fever. If fever is detected, please stay at home and contact your personal health professional for assistance.
    • If you traveled to New York, Boston, California, the state of Washington, Florida or other locations frequented by large groups of Spring Breakers or took a cruise, I implore you to self-quarantine for 14 days upon your return. There is a significant risk that you may have been unknowingly exposed to COVID-19. Please do not come to campus and put others at risk. We can only maintain essential services to our students and employees by staying healthy. Honesty about your travel and health is paramount in the days, weeks and perhaps months ahead. Let’s be clear, this is the single most significant health crisis facing our nation in recent history and we have a responsibility to ourselves, our families and coworkers.
  • If you are ill, self-isolate and contact a health professional for assistance.  
  • All non-essential out-of-state student, faculty or staff travel remains suspended.
    • “Essential” travel is travel that is necessary to the ongoing operations of the University’s core academic, research or operational functions.
    • Only “essential” out-of-state travel on behalf of NSU will be considered for approval by your respective Vice President or President. There will be heightened scrutiny in the approval process of any out-of-state travel until further notice.
    • No one should register for a conference until further notice, regardless of the conference date or location. This does not include online webinars or conferences. 
    • Please refrain from purchasing airline tickets personally. The institution cannot, due to state rules and regulations, reimburse an individual for a flight not used.
    • Individuals who believe domestic air travel is “essential” will need to contact their Dean or Director, who will make a recommendation to the appropriate Vice President.
    • Planned or approved in-state travel will continue without interruption at this time. However, this could change without much notice due the rising number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state.        

Graduate Student employees, Faculty and Staff(employees) we must continue to provide high-quality services to our students. To do so, our offices will remain open and  we will not implement a blanketed telework plan at this time. However, cabinet members are reviewing all positions to determine if some could be moved temporarily to telework status. If a telework solution becomes applicable to you, your Vice President will communicate through your departmental leadership. Office hours and services will remain intact. All healthy employees, including graduate assistants, are expected to report to work as scheduled and are asked to practice social distancing. If you have a chronic health issue, compromised immune system, have been directly exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19, diagnosed with COVID-19 or have someone living in your home that has been diagnosed with COVID-19, please contact Human Resources at 918-444-2230, and discuss the utilization of personal leave. For those interested in donating to NSU’s Leave Share Program, please visit  https://offices.nsuok.edu/humanresources/Benefits/Leave-Share-Program and complete the form provided. 

Additionally, with the delay in reopening Oklahoma public schools until April 6, we understand there may be a temptation to bring children to the office with you. However, this is not a time to bring children to work. We understand the challenge and burden this may place on some of you. Please work directly with your supervisor if this challenge is too great. Our institutional leadership team is committed to assisting those with small children by providing a more liberal application of leave benefits through April 3. NSU’s standard leave benefits can be found in the employee handbook by clicking  here.   

COVID-19 is presenting our institution and community with unprecedented challenges and an undetermined timeline. We will continue to adjust our response to the outbreak as necessary and remain in close contact with the governor’s office, health officials and the Center for Disease Control for further guidance. We will continue to communicate any updates to the campus community as they arise through your NSU email and website. If you know a student or coworker who does not have access to NSU email away from work, please share this information with them by phone or text. We must get the word out through all possible means!

Practicing social distancing and good hygiene are keys to flattening the curve of the COVID-19 outbreak. If you are experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms, do not come to work, please seek medical assistance, refrain from attending group activities and practice self-isolation. For further information or assistance, you may contact the Oklahoma State Department of Health Coronavirus call center at 877-215-8336 or visit  coronavirus.health.ok.gov.

I thank you for your cooperation and assistance as we move forward with the best interest of students, faculty and staff. Together we will get through these difficult times.

 -Steve Turner, President

 

March 13, 2020 Statement from President Turner

March 13, 2020 - Statement from President Turner:

Students, Faculty and Staff,

Information regarding COVID-19 is coming in at a rapid pace, and institutions across Oklahoma are working hard to examine and re-examine the appropriate plan of action for the reality of the situation we face. In an abundance of caution and with the best interest of students, faculty and staff, we have determined in order to maximize our NSU family’s overall health and well-being, we will implement the following measures immediately:

  • All courses will be moved online through Zoom and/or Blackboard from March 23 through April 5.
  • Students are encouraged to take home all course materials, textbooks and devices when they leave campus for Spring Break unless you plan to return.
  • It is our intention to resume classes to their previous format of delivery on April 6. If necessary, we will adjust our plan accordingly.
  • All NSU campuses will reopen as scheduled on March 23.
  • Computer Labs are available for student use at all three campuses.
    • Tahlequah - WEB 212, 213 and 304
    • Broken Arrow - B&T 137, COE 113 and BALA 118
    • Muskogee - Administration 116 and Synar 205
  • Student Housing, Food Service and NSU libraries will remain open after Spring Break.
  • The FIT will reopen with limited services after Spring Break.
  • All healthy employees are expected to report to work as scheduled.
  • Academic Advising and other student services will be available through Zoom.
  • The MIAA conference has suspended athletic competitions indefinitely.
  • All other public events are either postponed or canceled through April 5. Communication with event organizers will take place through their respective Vice President.
  • Any student or employee traveling out-of-state during Spring Break must inform the institution by completing a travel form here. Travelers may have to complete an additional screening before returning to work (employees) or students who return to campus after Spring Break.
  • All non-essential out-of-state student, faculty or staff travel is suspended.
    • "Essential” travel is travel that is necessary to the ongoing operations of the University’s core academic, research or operational functions.
    • Only “essential” out-of-state travel on behalf of NSU will be considered for approval by your respective Vice President or President. There will be heightened scrutiny in the approval process of any out-of-state travel until further notice.
    • No one should register for a conference until further notice, regardless of the conference date or location. This does not include online webinars or conferences.
    • Please refrain from purchasing airline tickets personally. The institution cannot, due to state rules and regulations, reimburse an individual for a flight not used.
    • Individuals who believe domestic air travel is “essential” will need to contact their Dean or Director, who will make a recommendation to the appropriate Vice President.
    • Planned or approved in-state travel will continue without interruption at this time.        

COVID-19 is challenging institutions and communities everywhere and requires constant monitoring and thoughtful action. NSU will continue to monitor the situation in partnership with health officials and the Center for Disease Control and communicate any updates and next steps to the campus community as they arise through your NSU email and website. We would like to emphasize that NSU has not had any cases of COVID-19 on campus.

Please do your part! If you are experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms, I urge you to consider seeking medical assistance and refrain from attending group activities. You can contact the Oklahoma State Department of Health Coronavirus call center at 877-215-8336 or visit coronavirus.health.ok.gov.

I thank you for your cooperation and assistance with keeping our NSU family healthy as we continue to provide a high-quality educational experience for our students.

-Steve Turner, President



 

 

Staying Healthy

Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) is a flu-like illness caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2.  The best current medical knowledge indicates that around 80–85% of those affected experience only mild illness, with cough and fever. Around 14% (generally senior citizens or those with underlying medical issues) can suffer from more severe symptoms. Fewer still, about 5%, can become critically ill. 

The threat of this illness can generate very real anxiety with its own set of symptoms. That’s why, on this site, we’re providing information from trusted experts and resources and contacts to help students, faculty, and staff continue to be safe, comfortable, and productive.  Please visit the Center for Disease Control website frequently for the most up to date and accurate information.

Public health officials recommend everyone follow basic prevention guidelines to avoid spreading and contracting respiratory illnesses:

  • Try to get sufficient sleep, exercise regularly, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious foods.
  • Keep your hands clean and wash them frequently with soap and water. Carry alcohol-based hand sanitizer and use it when you cannot wash your hands.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or sleeve. When you use a tissue, throw it in the trash immediately. Do not use a handkerchief.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Do not share cups, straws, or anything else you put in your mouth (especially vaping devices).
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Disinfect surfaces that can be contaminated such as desks, phones, doorknobs, keyboards, etc.

Feeling Sick or Have Questions?

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please let us know by completing this form. We will make sure an appropriate response gets back to you as soon as possible.

keep-americans-connected-page-2In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the challenges that many Americans will face in the coming months, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai recently announced the Keep Americans Connected Initiative. In order to ensure that Americans do not lose their broadband or telephone connectivity as a result of these exceptional circumstances, he specifically asked broadband and telephone service providers, and trade associations, to take the Keep Americans Connected Pledge. So far, more than 550 companies and associations have signed the Chairman's pledge to Keep Americans Connected.  You can see Oklahoma Resources here.

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