April 2, 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 Faculty, Staff, and Students,
As East Central University takes a series of aggressive measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, it is very encouraging to see that this situation is bringing out the best in our community. A couple of amazing philanthropy efforts are highlighted on our news page.
In fact, our faculty and staff have embraced this challenge with unwavering dedication. And our students have worked creatively with their instructors to continue their learning. This extraordinary response reaffirms that we go the extra mile to provide an exceptional experience for students and those we serve.
In March, we replaced in-person classes with virtual instruction and other alternative learning options for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. We plan to offer May intersession and summer 2020 classes via virtual instruction as well. If the virus dissipates and it becomes safe to congregate once more, we will look at the possibility of adding in-person sections to the schedule for summer. We will update you as the summer session draws nearer.
At this time in a typical year, we would look forward to May Commencement. Although COVID-19 forced us to cancel our traditional ceremonies, we are committed to celebrating the achievements of our May 2020 graduates. To share your ideas, please take the Spring 2020 Commencement Survey.
Students, rest assured, those who are on-track to graduate in May will continue to be May 2020 graduates. The degree is conferred with the completion of courses and will be posted as May 12, 2020, on the transcript and diploma. The ceremony is a celebration of success and does not interfere with the conferral of the degree.
In March, we paid student workers for a full month even though they were not able to work, and I am happy to report that we will be able to pay student workers through April 30 based on the average spring work schedule they had.
On April 1, 2020, Governor Stitt extended the state’s “Safer at Home” order until April 30, which means the campus remains closed until then. To protect our employees, only essential personnel should be on campus. Employees able to telework and/or on a flexible schedule should continue with this practice until further notice.
We recognize several of our employees will also become “teachers” next week as K-12 will be going back to school virtually. The Office of Employment Services will provide additional information on leave policies through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, or employees may contact their supervisor to develop a work schedule that allows for both project completion and interaction with their children.
It is important that we track COVID-19 related expenses which includes personnel leave for reimbursement purposes. Employment Services will be providing additional information in a separate email to campus about tracking leave.
Help A Tiger
We understand that students may still need extra help. The SHARE fund exists to aid and assist students experiencing a financial crisis that substantially affects the ability of the student to attend ECU and progress in his or her studies. The application does require a faculty or staff recommendation. Please let us know if you hear of a student in need.
To the generous supporters or new donors who are considering giving today, please know that these funds are used to help students who need immediate assistance. The ECU Foundation has paid rent, utility bills, car repairs, and medical expenses as assistance grants to our students. Being there when “life happens” helps students stay enrolled at ECU.
We will continue to monitor COVID-19 in our area and the state. To keep our university community and neighbors informed, we have established a webpage, ECU’s COVID-19 Response, and will post updates as the situation evolves. We are doing everything we possibly can to mitigate the spread of the virus.
We want to do our share to keep everyone safe because our students are the heart of the institution and our employees are the soul.
Stay safe and healthy.
Katricia G. Pierson, Ph.D.