March 12, 2020
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
Danley Hall, Suite 204
1100 E. 14th Street, PMB P-8 • Ada, OK 74820-6999
580-559-5213 office • 580-559-5788 fax • www.ecok.edu
Dear East Central University Stakeholders,
I write to inform you of additional steps our University is taking to respond to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), which the World Health Organization has identified as a pandemic. According to the Pontotoc County Health Department, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county, in Ada or at ECU. However, there is a possibility the virus will spread to our community. As we continue to monitor this rapidly evolving situation, I recommend we take the following steps to help protect all members of our campus community and to prevent further spread of the virus. We have set up a section of our website to keep you up-to-date at www.ecok.edu/covid-19info.
SPRING BREAK & CLASSES
- The University will be closed as scheduled, March 16-20, 2020, for Spring Break.
- Students (only) will have an extended break by one week, March 23-27, 2020. No classes are in session this week and students are not required to report to campus or to online classes. Assignment deadlines during this week will be moved by instructors to a time after classes resume.
- Online/virtual classes will commence on Monday, March 30, 2020. This means classes may be taught online or through a variety of instructional arrangements. The University is working with departments to provide access to, and training on, alternative instructional delivery methods. Right now, the intent is to have instructors reschedule in-class activities once courses on campus resume. More details will be communicated in the coming days via your University email.
- All healthy employees are to report to campus on Monday, March 23, 2020.
- Student employees should check with their direct supervisors for availability.
- Faculty, staff and student employees will use the week of March 23-27, 2020, to assist transition to online/virtual instruction.
- Faculty may receive instruction from the Center of Teaching and Learning on resources available to assist them as they move classes online. Online resources will become available at www.ecok.edu/covid-19info.
- The Linscheid Library will continue to have services available.
- Deans will communicate with faculty and students in their respective colleges and schools about labs, clinical and field experiences, and internships.
- We will monitor the situation to determine if/when we resume on-campus instruction for the Spring 2020 semester.
- The ECU campus in Ada will be open and operational on Monday, March 23, 2020.
- University housing will remain open for residents.
- All services will be available and some offices may have alternative hours.
- IT will increase HelpDesk hours to accommodate an anticipated increase in online usage.
EVENTS (including Athletics)
- We are suspending all University-sponsored events until further notice. This includes, but is not limited to, recruitment events, tours, student programs, reunions, performances, conferences, and club and social events.
- If an event organizer believes a particular event is essential to fulfilling our mission, that organizer may request an exception from the appropriate vice president. Exceptions will be based on the best interests of our campus community.
- At this point, we hope to host Commencement ceremonies in May, but we will make a final decision on this at a later date.
- For events that are presently scheduled to be held on our campus and that are not University-sponsored/funded, we will consult with outside organizations to determine whether we will permit them to use ECU facilities, and, if so, under what conditions. Every effort will be made to reschedule events for later dates.
- Athletic activities are suspended. The University is working in coordination with the commissioner of the Great American Conference, the NCAA, and other member institutions on when to resume practice and play.
FOR FACULTY, STAFF AND OPERATIONS
Our employees are essential to ensuring ECU is able to maintain operations in a safe and responsible manner.
- We will continue to monitor conditions and make decisions about alternative work arrangements.
- We have suspended all University-sponsored/funded travel outside the state of Oklahoma until further notice.
- An employee may request an exception from the appropriate vice president should the travel be mission-critical.
- Should you travel during Spring Break, it is recommended you contact the Oklahoma State Department of Health to determine if self-quarantine is warranted.
- The OSDH Call Center number is 877-215-8336.
- The OSDH regularly updates the Oklahoma-specific COVID-19 website: https://coronavirus.health.ok.gov
I provide this guidance to our campus community in order to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We understand these steps may cause disruption, but we must act in a responsible manner consistent with ECU values. To stay informed, visit the ECU Coronavirus Response Plan webpage at www.ecok.edu/covid-19info.
I appreciate your understanding, patience and flexibility during this time. Together, we will manage the challenges posed by COVID-19.
Katricia G. Pierson, Ph.D.