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Message Archive

August 3, 2020

Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

As a follow-up to the Provost’s recent email outlining some of the measures we are taking to ensure a safe work environment for our community, I wanted to share some specific details as it relates to key changes we’ve made to our campus facilities and new operational processes that we look to implement at the outset of the new academic year.

Preparations to Date

Our Physical Plant department has been busy this summer in preparing our facilities for the new year in ways that you will notice right away when you first return to campus. 

  • Every space across both campuses has been modified to ensure appropriate levels of social distancing and compliance with reduced occupancy limits. 
  • We now have 137 wall-mounted hand sanitizer stations strategically installed across both campuses. 
  • We have installed 100 touchless paper towel dispensers strategically throughout campus where a disinfectant and hand sanitizer station will be set up by August 10. 
  • All our air filters throughout both campuses have been changed to ensure the highest MERV rating each unit can accommodate. Wherever possible, MERV 13 air filters are installed. Wherever appropriate, filters rated for healthcare or food service applications are installed. Wherever possible, filters with anti-microbial ratings are installed. (NOTE: Air handling units in Monroe Hall and the newer addition to the Law School have UV lighting as an added protection against bacteria). In line with CDC guidelines, filters will be changed at least every 90 days versus the “normal” best practice of 6 months. Outside fresh air intake has been set to the highest settings, maximizing air exchange. 
  • Hardware has been added to 90 bathroom doors to enable touchless entry/exit to high-traffic common restrooms across both campuses. 
  • By the time students return to campus, signage communicating new occupancy limits, directional flows of traffic in common area hallways, and 6 feet of distancing will be placed throughout both campuses. 

Joint Responsibility in Cleaning/Disinfection

As you prepare to return to campus, I’d like to remind you that the cleanliness and safety of our campus has always been a shared responsibility between LUPD, Physical Plant, Procurement, WFF, and each and every member of our community, including our students. However with COVID-19, this joint responsibility is more important than ever. 

To facilitate this partnership, a Building Manager (and alternate back-up) has been assigned for every building across campus for this coming academic year (see the full roster). They will serve as partners to Physical Plant and Procurement to ensure that your buildings are clean and that all the provisions needed to maintain a safe work environment are provided by the University. Reports and requests related to disinfectant and hand sanitizer supplies, plexiglass barriers, distancing measures and campus cleaning services must be made via your Building Manager, who will work with Physical Plant and Procurement to ensure timely fulfillment of the University’s needs in an organized, efficient manner. Your departments should expect to hear from your Building Manager by Monday, August 10, with information on where the closest disinfectant and hand sanitizer stations are to your classroom and/or office, other key changes to your building’s operations, and how to submit your reports/requests to him/her. 

In preparation for the new academic year, WFF has already begun to implement an expanded scope of cleaning and disinfection that meets CDC guidelines for institutions of higher education throughout our campus. In general, WFF will clean and disinfect with the following frequencies by type of space (includes all high-touch points):

  • Twice daily, Monday through Friday: All residential halls
  • Once daily, 7 days of the week: Common areas of all other buildings including Monroe Library, Danna Center, Sports Complex and Ignatius Chapel
  • Once daily, Monday through Friday: Classrooms
  • Once per week: Offices
  • As needed: Disinfection of contaminated (confirmed and probable) areas

To the extent that WFF will not be providing 24-7 services and we share in the responsibility to keep our campus clean, there will be at least 100 “common” disinfectant/sanitizer stations placed strategically throughout campus that will be maintained by Physical Plant in partnership with your Building Manager. Specifically for classrooms, the expectation is that students and faculty will disinfect their desk/lectern areas upon arrival to class as an additional measure to WFF’s services. 

To the extent that these disinfectant stations are unable to meet the needs of your department, requests for disinfectant wipes may be made via your Building Manager and will be given careful consideration. We estimate that our current on hand supply of both disinfectant and disinfectant wipes will meet the needs of the University through the end of the fall semester on campus and are actively continuing to source additional supply for the future. 

Hand Sanitizer

In addition to the wall-mounted hand sanitizer stations already installed to date, the University has an additional 75 stations on hand that can be installed upon request via your Building Manager. As referenced above, there will also be at least 100 “common” disinfectant/sanitizer stations placed strategically throughout campus that will be stocked with a gallon container of hand sanitizer. Furthermore, customer service oriented offices/operations (e.g., Post Office and Bursar’s Office) will be provided additional hand sanitizer supplies to be replenished as needed. We estimate that our current supply of hand sanitizer will meet the needs of the University through the end of the fall semester on campus and are actively continuing to source additional supply for the future. 

Masks

The University will be providing every employee with 3 cloth masks to ensure every employee’s compliance with the University’s current mask policy. These masks will be available for pick up by a department representative in Central Receiving starting Monday, August 3. You will be able to pick up your set of masks from your department when you return to campus, as directed by your supervisor. Please help us minimize our need to purchase and provide disposable masks but ensure that any and all visitors you receive on campus comply with our mask policy as well.

Please contact me or your Building Manager with any questions, concerns or suggestions as it relates to the University’s preparations and plans to ensure that we provide and maintain a safe working environment for our entire community. 

Thank you in advance for your partnership and support.

Gratefully,

Carol Markowitz
Chief Operating Officer

August 3, 2020

Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

As a follow-up to the Provost’s recent email outlining some of the measures we are taking to ensure a safe work environment for our community, I wanted to share some specific details as it relates to key changes we’ve made to our campus facilities and new operational processes that we look to implement at the outset of the new academic year.

Preparations to Date

Our Physical Plant department has been busy this summer in preparing our facilities for the new year in ways that you will notice right away when you first return to campus. 

  • Every space across both campuses has been modified to ensure appropriate levels of social distancing and compliance with reduced occupancy limits. 
  • We now have 137 wall-mounted hand sanitizer stations strategically installed across both campuses. 
  • We have installed 100 touchless paper towel dispensers strategically throughout campus where a disinfectant and hand sanitizer station will be set up by August 10. 
  • All our air filters throughout both campuses have been changed to ensure the highest MERV rating each unit can accommodate. Wherever possible, MERV 13 air filters are installed. Wherever appropriate, filters rated for healthcare or food service applications are installed. Wherever possible, filters with anti-microbial ratings are installed. (NOTE: Air handling units in Monroe Hall and the newer addition to the Law School have UV lighting as an added protection against bacteria). In line with CDC guidelines, filters will be changed at least every 90 days versus the “normal” best practice of 6 months. Outside fresh air intake has been set to the highest settings, maximizing air exchange. 
  • Hardware has been added to 90 bathroom doors to enable touchless entry/exit to high-traffic common restrooms across both campuses. 
  • By the time students return to campus, signage communicating new occupancy limits, directional flows of traffic in common area hallways, and 6 feet of distancing will be placed throughout both campuses. 

Joint Responsibility in Cleaning/Disinfection

As you prepare to return to campus, I’d like to remind you that the cleanliness and safety of our campus has always been a shared responsibility between LUPD, Physical Plant, Procurement, WFF, and each and every member of our community, including our students. However with COVID-19, this joint responsibility is more important than ever. 

To facilitate this partnership, a Building Manager (and alternate back-up) has been assigned for every building across campus for this coming academic year (see the full roster). They will serve as partners to Physical Plant and Procurement to ensure that your buildings are clean and that all the provisions needed to maintain a safe work environment are provided by the University. Reports and requests related to disinfectant and hand sanitizer supplies, plexiglass barriers, distancing measures and campus cleaning services must be made via your Building Manager, who will work with Physical Plant and Procurement to ensure timely fulfillment of the University’s needs in an organized, efficient manner. Your departments should expect to hear from your Building Manager by Monday, August 10, with information on where the closest disinfectant and hand sanitizer stations are to your classroom and/or office, other key changes to your building’s operations, and how to submit your reports/requests to him/her. 

In preparation for the new academic year, WFF has already begun to implement an expanded scope of cleaning and disinfection that meets CDC guidelines for institutions of higher education throughout our campus. In general, WFF will clean and disinfect with the following frequencies by type of space (includes all high-touch points):

  • Twice daily, Monday through Friday: All residential halls
  • Once daily, 7 days of the week: Common areas of all other buildings including Monroe Library, Danna Center, Sports Complex and Ignatius Chapel
  • Once daily, Monday through Friday: Classrooms
  • Once per week: Offices
  • As needed: Disinfection of contaminated (confirmed and probable) areas

To the extent that WFF will not be providing 24-7 services and we share in the responsibility to keep our campus clean, there will be at least 100 “common” disinfectant/sanitizer stations placed strategically throughout campus that will be maintained by Physical Plant in partnership with your Building Manager. Specifically for classrooms, the expectation is that students and faculty will disinfect their desk/lectern areas upon arrival to class as an additional measure to WFF’s services. 

To the extent that these disinfectant stations are unable to meet the needs of your department, requests for disinfectant wipes may be made via your Building Manager and will be given careful consideration. We estimate that our current on hand supply of both disinfectant and disinfectant wipes will meet the needs of the University through the end of the fall semester on campus and are actively continuing to source additional supply for the future. 

Hand Sanitizer

In addition to the wall-mounted hand sanitizer stations already installed to date, the University has an additional 75 stations on hand that can be installed upon request via your Building Manager. As referenced above, there will also be at least 100 “common” disinfectant/sanitizer stations placed strategically throughout campus that will be stocked with a gallon container of hand sanitizer. Furthermore, customer service oriented offices/operations (e.g., Post Office and Bursar’s Office) will be provided additional hand sanitizer supplies to be replenished as needed. We estimate that our current supply of hand sanitizer will meet the needs of the University through the end of the fall semester on campus and are actively continuing to source additional supply for the future. 

Masks

The University will be providing every employee with 3 cloth masks to ensure every employee’s compliance with the University’s current mask policy. These masks will be available for pick up by a department representative in Central Receiving starting Monday, August 3. You will be able to pick up your set of masks from your department when you return to campus, as directed by your supervisor. Please help us minimize our need to purchase and provide disposable masks but ensure that any and all visitors you receive on campus comply with our mask policy as well.

Please contact me or your Building Manager with any questions, concerns or suggestions as it relates to the University’s preparations and plans to ensure that we provide and maintain a safe working environment for our entire community. 

Thank you in advance for your partnership and support.

Gratefully,

Carol Markowitz
Chief Operating Officer

July 30, 2020

Dear Loyola Students, 

We are preparing campus for your return with determination and eagerness to see you. This question came up frequently in our recent town halls, so I want to talk to you today about COVID testing and the need to spend the two weeks before coming to campus being very careful about your exposure.

We will have testing available through Student Health Services for anyone with symptoms, or for anyone who has been exposed to someone who tests positive. The costs of those tests generally are covered by your health insurance. (For those without insurance and who cannot make use of a free testing site, we will pay for those tests from our Student Hardship Fund, which we created to support students during this pandemic.)

We are not conducting regular testing of all 4,000 of you for several reasons that I want to explain. 

  • Testing capacity locally (as with many areas nationally) is limited, and needed far more elsewhere. There are important moral issues with demanding those testing resources for baseline testing of college-age students, most of whom are among the lowest risk populations. 
  • The supply of rapid response tests is even lower. Testing asymptomatic people does not do much good unless they quarantine while waiting for results, which can take days and sometimes longer. 
  • Even if we did do a test of everyone at a particular moment, it would provide us information and assurance for a very fleeting period. It is a mere snapshot. Testing is no substitute for the fact that we all have to assume that we might be contagious and act accordingly, every day. It is not a panacea. 
  • As such, neither the CDC, nor state and local health officials are recommending baseline testing for higher education, and though we understand some universities are spending millions on testing, we respectfully disagree with that use of resources at a moment like this given the very limited safety it will purchase. See this brief video filmed by Ochsner doctors advising us on this and other campus safety issues. 
  • There is no way around the fact that our level of risk will really be defined by our behavior. For those of you choosing to come to campus rather than participate virtually, we need you to make the commitment to be careful, disciplined and concerned for our community. 

For those of you about to join us on campus, we need you to spend the two weeks leading up to the start of school isolating, reducing your risk and remembering that what you do will affect our community and ability to function on campus. And as you know once you get here, we will be requiring that of you. 

If there’s some reason you haven’t been able to be extremely careful for the 14 days before we start, I ask you to get a test before you come (if that’s possible and responsible within the capacity of your community’s testing resources.) Please do so in time to get the results before you travel. If you are positive, you can stay home a little longer and participate in the first week or two of classes virtually. There’s no need to send us your results – we just ask that you notify Student Health Services so they can notify your professors and Residential Life that you will be arriving later. You can reach them at 504-865-3326 between the hours of 8:30 a.m.–4:45 p.m., Monday–Friday. 

We are working with the City and the State to have a free community testing site on campus on August 24-29. Details to come.

But please remember this. Those negative tests that the vast majority of you will receive mean nothing more than that you weren’t contagious the day you got the test. I need you to resist the temptation to take a negative test as proof that whatever risks you took beforehand were therefore okay. While it is possible to crowd into parties and not pick up the disease, your luck will run out. You will be making it more likely that you will infect someone – like a classmate with a health vulnerability or a beloved faculty member – who might in fact get seriously ill or worse. The stakes are that high, both on our campus and anywhere else you may be.     

If there’s any community capable of putting each other first, it’s this one. I have faith in you.  

All my best, 

Tania Tetlow
President

P.S. - We have updated a number of our FAQs following the recent town halls, particularly the Coronavirus and Student Residential Life sections. We will continue to address remaining topics from the town halls, but also, please contact us at letters@loyno.edu with any questions that you have. 

July 28, 2020

Dear Students,

I hope that you are doing well and have remained safe and healthy through this crisis. First, let me introduce myself. My name is Tanuja Singh and I am the new Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs at Loyola. I arrived in the beautiful city of New Orleans in the middle of June. Even though I began my official role as Provost on July 1, the wonderful welcome extended to me by the campus community makes me feel that I have been here much longer. I love our beautiful campus, our commitment to academic excellence, and our Jesuit values of caring for each other and the community in which we live and work.

A major part of this care, especially under these challenging times, requires all of us to ensure that we do our best to create and maintain a safe and healthy environment for each other. If we are to be successful in mitigating the effects of Coronavirus on our community, we each need to do our part.  We need to model the behavior that we want others to follow. Based upon what I know about our students, I have no doubt that you will do your part in keeping our community safe and secure.

Therefore, I am personally asking for your assistance in keeping our promise to our community.  To ensure that each of you understands your obligations to others in the campus community and to ensure that we have accurate information on your plans in the event of a COVID-19 diagnosis (or a hurricane), we are requiring you to complete a brief training. We are also requiring you to complete and submit some important forms. You will not be allowed to return to campus until these forms are complete. So, please complete them as soon as possible and speak with a family member or loved one if you need to. The deadline to complete the training and submit your forms is August 10. If you haven’t already done so, please let your advisor or Associate Dean know if you plan to work all online by that date as well.     

This training takes place in our new learning management system Canvas and we are really excited to introduce you to this state-of-the-art system that I am sure you will love. Soon you will receive an invitation to “Streetcar to Canvas,” our self-paced orientation to Canvas that will help you prepare for your fall courses, but this Health and Wellness training will give you an opportunity to get some experience with the platform.

To log on go to Single Sign On ( sso.loyno.edu) and enter your credentials. If you are a new student who has not yet set up your SSO you can find more information here or watch this short video

Once inside Canvas you will see a course in your Dashboard called “COVID-19 and Emergency Preparedness” in this training you will:

-   Watch short videos and read the COVID Student Code of Conduct to help you understand what you need to do to keep the campus safe

-   Take a quick quiz to show us that you understand your obligations

-   Sign a commitment to caring for our community

-   Submit a plan for how you would like to be supported through a COVID+ diagnosis (this is especially important for residential students for whom we need to know if you will stay on campus in isolation or return home). We ask all students to do this even if they are not in residence.

-   Submit a plan that details your hurricane evacuation plans

-   Review the information on student health and health insurance

I am looking forward to seeing you back on campus and wish you continued health and well-being.

If you have any questions during the course of your training you may contact Student Health at studenthealth@loyno.edu.

Tanuja Singh, D.B.A.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

July 27, 2020 - Faculty and Staff Return to Work Training

Dear Colleagues,

We are now scheduling faculty and staff Return to Work training to review the expectations and changes you’ll be experiencing as we move forward with a thoughtful, phased reopening. We expect that many of our faculty and staff will continue to work remotely during the Fall 2020 semester. 

Whether it’s teaching, providing student services, or any of the myriad things we do across our campus to serve our students and make our Loyola a truly exceptional and life-changing experience, we succeeded in delivering that during the spring and over the summer. We have been and will continue to provide a safe and healthy workplace for our community. 

Many of the things you will see in the training may be familiar to you, but how we are integrating them into our workplace is important for you to know and understand. This will help to keep all of us safe and healthy during these uncertain times. While nothing is 100% guaranteed in life, we are taking prudent and necessary steps to comply with all federal, state, and local requirements. 

Some of the information provided in this training will specifically address the information requirements that the City of New Orleans has mandated for employees –that is, our faculty, staff, and student workers. First, we are going to talk about some very important requirements for on-campus, workplace expectations. Then we will discuss in more detail about how we are maintaining a healthy workplace.

We will also share information about CampusClear, an app developed by our fellow Jesuit institution, Creighton University. This is an easy-to-use symptom checker that you will use every day prior to coming to campus. Watch this video to learn more prior to training.

We have scheduled ten one-hour training sessions over the next two weeks. If necessary, we will schedule additional sessions to accommodate all of our faculty and staff.

In compliance with the requirements of the City of New Orleans regulations, please use this link to sign up for the required return to work training. You will need to use your loyno.edu email to complete the form and sign in to the Google meet training at the scheduled time you choose.

Rachel Dirmann
Director of Human Resources

July 16, 2020: Message from President Tetlow 

Dear Loyola students,

As we prepare to come together as a campus community, I need you to know that you, collectively, will be the drivers of our fate. We are working furiously to prepare the campus, to establish guidelines and rules, to create more space and protection.  (For details, look here.) But we will be relying on your care for Loyola to make it work.  

Our local and state governments have used data-driven responses and made available massive testing to “flatten the curve.”  It worked.  New Orleans made dramatic progress this spring and has been able to carefully and gradually reopen.  But I’m afraid that in recent weeks we, like many parts of the country, are seeing a new spike of infections – particularly in the rest of the state, but also here in New Orleans.  

This time, that spike is driven most notably by young people, which is why I want to reach out to you today.  That fact isn’t surprising. Younger people are lucky enough to have some of the lowest levels of risk and often feel less vulnerable.  You miss your friends. You want to be free. 

But even if you think you are at lower risk (which is not always true), you can be the drivers of the infection to others at higher risk. For most of you, I know I’m preaching to the choir. Some of you have lost loved ones and are well aware of the danger of this deadly disease.  You know that it hits those made vulnerable by age or health conditions.  You know that it has dramatically revealed the health disparities that make African-Americans and Latinx populations far more likely to be infected and to die.

My hope for Loyola is that the values that drive us – that attracted each of you to us – will help sustain us.  We are different here.  Even our chosen name – the Wolf Pack – symbolizes how fiercely we care about each other. 

By wearing a mask, we practice compassion. By staying home if we are ill, we embody the Magis. By thanking our friends for washing their hands, we show a deep abiding gratitude and our respect for others.

But also, to put it in self-interested terms, the only way we can function in person on campus is if we are careful. Some people are making this moment about politics, but the reality is we are all players in a global pandemic and there is math to this. The more the cases, the higher the risk. (Not to mention, the tighter the community restrictions.) We need to remember that six feet apart is much better than entirely apart.  I can only imagine how hard that will be and how unfair it all feels (and is). But I also know how strong you all are.

If anyone can do it, it is us.  We care about each other.  We are a creative people who will find new ways to engage with each other (and make remarkable fashion statements out of masks – I can’t wait to see what you come up with). We desperately want to be together, and will do what it takes to make it work.

Each generation of students decides again what kind of community Loyola will be. But in our century-old history, few Loyola students have faced the kind of dramatic stakes that you do.   

I believe in you.

Tania Tetlow

President

July 10, 2020: Our Commitment to Our International Students

Dear Loyola community,

More than 30 years ago, I arrived in the US as an international student. My dreams were no different than those of many like me--I wanted to be in a country that offered me an opportunity to grow, learn, and become part of something bigger than myself. I can still remember the excitement combined with a bit of trepidation as I embarked upon this journey to get to know the country that I now call home. So, this message I send on behalf of Loyola to the community and especially to our international students is personal. 

We at Loyola are committed to our international students because we are members of the same global community. International students enrich us by sharing their passion, their talent and their dedication to making this world a better place. Our commitment to our international students is deeply rooted in our values.  Our spirit of cura personalis extends beyond just the classroom, it includes caring for the whole person. 

I want to assure you that at Loyola we are committed to helping every one of our international students continue and complete their education. Here is how we are addressing the guidance set forth by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) administered by the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  We have approximately 90 international students in F-1 student status at Loyola. All of these students will be able to continue their education at Loyola this fall through in-person or HyFlex courses if they want to be here in New Orleans or remotely from their home countries if that's what they prefer. 

While we are confident that our HyFlex course offerings will allow every student to complete their current program of study in a way that complies with the new SEVP guidance, we are also prepared to offer additional courses that meet the requirement of in-person instruction. I am particularly grateful to the many faculty who have written to us offering to deliver a free, in-person course for international students should one be needed. This is yet another testament to how deeply Loyola's faculty care for our students. 

At a national level, the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) issued a formal statement on Monday, July 6, urging the U.S. Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, Hon. Chad Wolf, on behalf of the 27 Jesuit universities and colleges including Loyola New Orleans, to withdraw the current guidance. I am encouraged by many other institutions around the country joining hands in this effort. 

Tanuja Singh, D.B.A.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

July 8, 2020: Update for International Students

Dear International Students,

I am sure that you have been following the recent US federal guidance on international students enrolled in US universities. This guidance specifying which accommodations will be available for F-1 international students taking online classes continues to evolve and we have been following it closely. We also know that you have questions about how these guidelines apply to you and what Loyola is doing to ensure that your educational experience remains what you have come to expect from us—excellent in every respect.

You can rest assured that you will be able to carry out your Loyola studies this coming fall semester, whether through in-person and HyFlex classes on campus or through online classes from abroad. Loyola and our Center of International Education (CIE) will be working with you to determine the exact format that will work best for you and your class schedule for the fall. We remain committed to supporting you academically and personally through every step of your Loyola education.

I want to also assure you that we are closely following the continuing updates on this new guidance. As with any federal guidance, it is important that we look at it carefully and put it into context with Loyola's Fall 2020 Reopening Plan. We expect that over the next few days there will be a clearer understanding of the exact implications of this guidance for your course requirements this fall semester. We will work with each of you to ensure that you are able to continue your education at Loyola to achieve your professional and personal goals.

We will be updating our COVID-19 FAQs on the Loyola website accordingly next week with an overview of what these new accommodations and requirements mean for you as an F-1 international student at Loyola.

We are committed to supporting you by developing course schedules that meet the federal guidance while ensuring that your academic experience remains rigorous, fulfilling and transformative.

With my very best wishes, 

Tanuja Singh, D.B.A.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

June 24, 2020: Update on Fall Health and Safety Planning

Dear Faculty and Staff,

Today, we sent the communication below to students, sharing further details on what to expect in the fall. 

As you read through this email, you will see general guidelines for our campus community -- we will be masking, social distancing and implementing other practices to keep our community safe. Further details can be found in our COVID-19 Guide for Returning to Campus.

We have done a tremendous amount of work to ensure our students receive the best of a Loyola education, as we strive to keep our community healthy and safe. Every individual will need to do their part to learn and follow these policies designed to prevent community spread and keep one another safe. We will be counting on you to help lead the way.

We are grateful for your cooperation and commitment to Loyola.

Dear Loyola students,  

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the safety of our campus and Loyola community has driven and will always drive our decisions. This summer, our facilities crew, faculty, staff, and administration are working diligently to put in place plans and practices to ensure an outstanding academic year despite any restrictions. Your health and safety are of paramount importance - and if we want not only to return to campus, but to stay on campus, and to keep everyone safe, it’s essential that everyone do their part.

Here is a look ahead:

Expert Health Guidance

Planning for the safety and protection of 5,000 people is no simple task. To ensure we are implementing best practices and safety measures, we have engaged Ochsner Health Care, one of the finest hospital systems in the country, to help us prepare for a safe return to campus.

In addition to the 24/7 telehealth services for students implemented this spring, and the on-call healthcare support provided by Student Health Services for the last 10 years, Ochsner will now also provide an employee hotline, priority access to medical care, and public health guidance throughout the year.

This spring, a public health and policy team from Ochsner visited both the Broadway and main campuses and conducted an environmental assessment of work spaces, classrooms, common areas, public spaces, and dining halls to name a few. The Ochsner team made recommendations on how we can go about the business of campus and academic life, while taking essential measures to protect our community.

New directional and capacity signs are going up all over campus, furniture is being removed or decommissioned, and we have reduced density in residence halls. We are making plans for testing and contact tracing, where needed. Our facilities staff are working to organize classrooms so we can social distance while learning and engaging meaningfully with one another. 

Learn more about our partnership with Ocshner and Safe Return to Campus plans on our FAQ website.

Masks

My mask protects you, your mask protects me. In keeping with city, state and federal health guidelines, we will be both physically distancing and wearing masks in classroom and public settings to keep one another safe. And in true Loyola New Orleans fashion, I fully expect your creativity to be on full display. (I am wearing my glitter mask while writing this).

To keep things fun, the parents of a Loyola student have generously donated Loyola-branded masks, so we can show our Wolf Pack pride. Students, faculty and staff will each receive one of these masks – and Loyola alumni and friends will have the opportunity to receive one if they make a gift at a particular level.

We expect these Loyola-branded masks to arrive on campus by late July. Division heads will hand them out to employees, and Student Affairs will provide one per student, just in time for Move-In and the first day of classes.

(You will want to have a handful of masks on hand as you head back to campus. Show us your style, Loyola!)

Cura Apostolica  

Our core values as a university call on us to care for the whole person – mind, body and soul – and to live and work as men and women for and with others. Those values also ask us to care for the institution – Loyola, a place that we all love.  To return to and remain on campus safely and successfully, we all must make significant changes to the way we live, study and work – and success will only be achieved if all members of the Loyola community each do their parts. 

We are continually updating our FAQ website with protocols for campus life during COVID-19. 

Like other universities, we are committing as a community to doing what we can to ensure the health and safety of all those who live and work on our campus.

We expect every member of our campus to follow these practices:   

  • All members of the Loyola community—faculty, students, staff, visitors—will be required to wear masks in classroom and public settings and practice physical distancing as mandated by local law and university policy.
  • All students will complete daily health checks and report concerning symptoms to the Student Health Services.
  • All students living in on-campus or off-campus housing will be expected to remain in the New Orleans area during the semester, refraining from unnecessary travel until we go home at Thanksgiving.
  • All students who report symptoms will have to follow the testing, contact tracing and quarantine protocols established by Loyola and the State of Louisiana should they become ill or exposed to COVID-19.
  • While many co-curricular and extra-curricular activities (lectures, performances, club activities, events) will be held virtually, there will be opportunities for in-person gatherings that meet university and public health guidelines.
  • On-campus dining will provide expanded take-out options.
  • Directional signage will guide our use of stairwells and hallways.
  • Access to campus facilities by students, faculty, staff and visitors will be restricted and new guidelines on space configuration, capacity, traffic flow, cleaning and sanitation protocols will be in place.
  • Anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 during their daily wellness check needs to report potential illness immediately and through the proper channels – HR for faculty and staff, Student Health Services for students. Those who have been exposed or confirmed with illness will be asked to self-isolate.   

See the complete COVID-19 Guide for Returning to Campus on our website for a comprehensive look.

More than ever before, the actions of one member of our community can have catastrophic implications for everyone. It will be incumbent on each and every one of us to adhere to health and safety guidelines so that we can safely remain on our beautiful campus. We will take these new health policies seriously, and if necessary will pursue disciplinary and other actions to protect the health and safety of the Loyola community.

Finally, this is a highly fluid and ever-changing situation. We will continue to adapt as needed based on public health guidance, medical advice, local conditions and laws, and variables that may not even be known to us today.

We will get through this – and we will do it with grace. 

Lesli D. Harris
Chief of Staff

June 23, 2020: Academic Planning Update

Our faculty, staff and administration have been working diligently all summer to adapt course work, make needed changes and ready our campus for a safe return this fall. We are determined not to let the global pandemic gravely interrupt your dreams or plans for the future.

Many of you have had questions about what the fall semester will look like. Let me address your questions about academics here. 

Class Schedules

Reorganizing academic schedules to ensure as much flexibility and safety as possible in the face of a global pandemic is truly challenging work — and I could not be more grateful to the team in student records, college office staff, deans and our faculty. This summer, we have meticulously reconfigured class options so that, as much as possible, students will be able to continue in courses they chose during registration.

We understand that many of you are eager for a schedule that is final -- and what you see on LORA today reflects our best effort to accurately represent for you the fall schedule as you will live it. (There may still be some changes as we stay up to date with the best state and CDC guidance, but by and large we expect your schedules to look as they do now unless you request changes.) 

In a small number of classes, we are still scheduling first-year students or are hiring an instructor, but for the most part, the information you see on LORA reflects the fact that we have found a way to schedule over 1,000 course sections in classrooms and other spaces that still allow people to socially distance. 

The vast majority of courses this fall (nearly 65 percent) will be held fully in person or designed as HyFlex courses, which means the majority of courses are on ground, in full or in part, but with enough flexibility for those who need to stay off campus to do so.  This will also help us in the event we need to go online for an extended period due to concerns about the coronavirus. 

HyFlex Learning 

We have a new term in our vocabulary at Loyola — “HyFlex,” which stands for hybrid/flexible learning. This format is the best of both worlds — it allows for an on-campus component for those of you who are physically present, while also keeping the community safe by allowing for social distancing in smaller classrooms and allowing for virtual participation for those who need to work from elsewhere. Universities around the world have adopted this approach, and many of our undergraduate courses are designed this way for the fall semester.

A Monday-Wednesday-Friday lecture class may have one-third of the students on each day with students who need accommodations or otherwise need to work remotely participating synchronously from a distance, for example. In another class, the lecture material may be provided online while the class meets in smaller in-person groups to work on projects, have rich discussion with their peers, or otherwise apply their learning in context. These are just two examples of the “HyFlex” design which will ensure we are maintaining required social distancing rules to keep our community healthy while providing excellent instruction.

Virtual Learning

This spring, we loaned many of you hotspots and laptop computers in our efforts to bridge digital inequalities. As we move into the fall semester, we plan for our on-campus computer facilities to remain open with social distancing and we are working to provide even more laptops to loan to students with financial need. If you have the resources, please return to campus with a working laptop. 

We are asking all students to complete a brief survey to tell us more about your technology needs, at home and at school, and about your experience with virtual learning in the spring. We are already upgrading our technology, but the survey asks you to share with us your hopes for your fall semester college experience.

We have scheduled other classes online for two reasons.  First, social distancing means we have had to spread out classes into bigger rooms, which is only possible if we move other courses fully online.  Second, some of our faculty have underlying health conditions that make online teaching far safer as we work to reduce risk and keep our campus open.  

These online courses will come in two formats — asynchronous with no set meeting time (about 10 percent) and synchronous or “live” with a standard meeting time (about 20 percent).  

We have altered the information presented on LORA to make more clear which format a course is offered in. You will be able to see if a course is Online, Online with Standard Meeting Time (Live), HyFlex, or Fully In Person. In addition, more details of how the class will function will be provided in the course syllabus and by your professors. If you have any questions or concerns, you can reach out to your course instructor for more information.

Caring for Our Community

We are ideally striving for our students to have a mix of course selections that provides them a balance between campus life and virtual work. We also must be flexible in providing a safe working environment for faculty and staff who are at increased risk for COVID-19. 

If you are dissatisfied with your schedule as it is, you should work with your academic advisor to ensure one that optimizes your preferred form of learning and takes into account any special constraints you may be facing as a result of the pandemic. Some of you may be looking to move online, others will be wanting more on-ground opportunities. We will do our very best to help you find the schedule that works for you. 

Some of you have inquired — for health reasons and other concerns — whether you may complete the fall semester fully online. We would of course prefer to have each and every one of you back on campus and partaking in our community. But if you believe it most appropriate for you to study from home for the fall semester, we encourage you to work with your academic advisor and the associate dean of your college to construct a schedule that is optimized to ensure you are having the best possible learning experience. We can help you work through any issues you are facing. Your education and wellbeing are our top priority.

Canvas

Our faculty and staff are working hard this summer to design courses in Canvas, our significantly upgraded learning platform, which will replace Blackboard in the fall.  This is a time to make sure we have the best technology. 

Students will be hearing more about the move to Canvas in the coming weeks and we will be providing training and resources to ensure this experience is smooth for you. If you are taking the free Understanding COVID-19 course this summer, you will get a sneak peak at learning in Canvas. Two weeks into implementation, I have heard great reports from faculty on this significant university investment.

Academic Calendar

The semester is not shorter, but on-ground classes will move online after Thanksgiving, with the exam period to follow. This will reduce the risk of transmission in our community that might come from holiday travel and make it more affordable for students to return home once and not twice. Make sure to look at our revised fall calendar. The regular spring semester starts January 15.  

This is a lot of information to digest. This website has been redesigned to share these details and more. We are constantly updating it and hope you will refer to it often. And stay tuned for a message from Chief of Staff Lesli Harris, who will write tomorrow to share more about what we are doing in terms of protecting everyone’s health and safety. 

May 20, 2020: Fall 2020 Plans

This is a moment of hopefulness. Our city and state have worked very hard to “flatten the curve” and reduce the rates of infection and hospitalization to a point where we can start to cautiously move forward. The sacrifices we made have mattered.

How does that affect Loyola? Right now, we are in our own Phase 1. Those who can work from home should continue to do so, which means most of us right now. For faculty and staff, I know that some of you are desperate for the comfort of your offices and to escape the mayhem of your home (I certainly am), but we need to wait. We will reopen some critical research activities on campus, but otherwise we will focus the university’s resources on planning and preparing for the fall semester.

For students, summer school will remain online (as most of it was intended to be anyway). Summer school registration is up, probably in part because you are all more experienced at online. Faculty and staff will remain committed to being there for you, wherever you are. We ask that you continue to stay safe and be careful.

Let me describe our plans for Phase 2, the fall semester. These plans will continue to be made more specific as we work through every logistical detail. And our plans will remain flexible, as we make sure we can react to the changes that will inevitably come our way. We are working closely with Ochsner Health System, one of the best in the country, to help us with our planning and to continue to run our student health clinic. Through them, we also will have better access to testing.

Fundamentally, the more we do to limit the risk to our community, the more likely we are both to stay safe and to continue to function on campus. Here’s a thought experiment that has helped us in our planning. Imagine, once classes begin, that you had to make a contact tracing list of everyone you had potentially exposed. How long would your list be and how many people would then have to also isolate for two weeks? The shorter we can keep those lists, the more cautious and disciplined we are, the better we’ll be able to continue.

Here is what our new world will look like.

Learning: 
Students will need to sit six feet apart in the classroom. Some classes will move into larger classrooms to spread out seating. Other classes will be divided into cohorts between virtual days and in-person days. Faculty who have health vulnerabilities and those over 65 will be encouraged to teach entirely online so we can protect them while reducing crowds on campus in general. And we will work to protect our most vulnerable students.

We will teach in hybrid, flexible ways using the opportunities that technology has to offer. And we will be installing more technology in as many classrooms as possible. Students, please know that means that faculty are working very hard this summer to find the very best ways to teach under entirely new circumstances. You saw how well they did with a few days notice this spring. Because they are (as they often tell me) obsessed with teaching you well and mattering to your lives, they will be finding new and creative ways to do more.

After Thanksgiving, we will move to online operations for the remainder of the semester. For students, that saves many of you the expense of two trips home and it protects our community from the exposures of travel.

In January, the University’s spring semester now begins later, on January 19 for all but the College of Law, which will start on January 11. This later start gives us additional flexibility to handle any disruption in the fall. And we will be launching a new two-week (entirely optional) January term for undergraduates, with exciting courses. More details to follow for undergraduates, graduate students, and the College of Law.

Common Spaces: 
We will work on ways to stagger travel between classes. Elevator capacity will be limited to avoid crowding, so those of us who can take the stairs are going to get into better shape. Stairways will have clear directions.

We have been working with Ochsner to walk the campus, thinking through the configuration of our residence halls, dining areas, libraries, common areas, offices and classrooms. We will be moving out lots of chairs into storage to make sure we stay farther apart. In good weather, we will do more outdoors – from teaching to eating. We will be wearing masks in most settings, and, I hope, using the opportunity to create new forms of individual expression and make the best of it.

Constant cleaning: 
We will focus our cleaning efforts on bathrooms, common areas, doorknobs, elevator buttons, and the surfaces that need them most. And we will have cleaning supplies everywhere so we can all help spray surfaces before we touch them.

Student life: 
We will have less density in our residence halls and particular public health efforts aimed at students who live on campus, including regular temperature checks. Students, we will be relying on your tight-knit community and fierce loyalty to Loyola to help us keep the virus off of our campus.

We will continue our intensive support of students through everything from the Student Success Center to Campus Ministry, from academic advising to student counseling.

We will avoid large gatherings -- student performances and athletics will have far more virtual audiences, which will include family and friends around the world. We will be more creative about creating community without our usual hugs and crowds. And despite the logistical obstacles, or because of them, those experiences will bond students together in friendships like nothing before.

Offices: 
For faculty and staff, those of us who can do our work from home will continue to do so, possibly coming in with staggered shifts. We have created a Returning to Work website with some information and will continue to update and refine it as our plans evolve. I know we’ll get through this together. Because here is the thing -- Loyola survived the last pandemic a century ago, and since then, two world wars and Katrina. To be a Jesuit institution means to be innovative, to solve problems with duct tape and ingenuity. To be Jesuit means to be ambitious on behalf of mission and determined beyond measure. And it means to create community regardless of distance, because our values and our passion get through any obstacle.

We got this.

May 5, 2020: CARES Act Funds Distribution
To Students from the Senior Vice President for Enrollment, Marketing and Student Affairs 
 
(Update on July 23 2020: an updated Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Report is now available.)

In response to the unprecedented economic and social impacts of COVID-19, the United States Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The largest relief act in American history, the CARES Act makes provisions for institutions of higher education and stipulates that at least 50 percent of institutional relief funds must be used to provide students emergency financial aid grants to help cover expenses related to the disruption of on-campus operations due to the coronavirus. Eligible student expenses include: food, housing, course materials, travel expenses, technology, health care and child care. Recipients of the funds must be eligible to receive federal grants or loans, and only students in on-ground programs as of March 13 are eligible.  

Last week, Loyola University New Orleans received $2,913,258 total, and half of that ($1,456,629) is being dispersed to our neediest students who have been impacted by the disruption caused by COVID-19, many of whom are facing financial challenges and struggling to make ends meet.  

Working with deliberate speed, Loyola has developed a two-phase system and process for dispersing these funds.  

  • In the first phase, Loyola will distribute $1,243,800 of the funds immediately to students with the highest demonstrated need.  
  • All Loyola students who filed a FAFSA this academic year and who had an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) of $0 - $5,500 will receive a CARES Act grant from Loyola in the amount of $900. Approximately 1,100 undergraduate students and 300 law and graduate students are eligible for the grant under these criteria. Students will receive notification from the Student Financial Services office notifying them of their eligibility and the process for receiving their grant.   
  • Loyola has set aside the remaining 17 percent (approximately $213,000) to provide CARES Act grants to students who do not meet initial eligibility requirements but have incurred expenses as a result of COVID-19.  We created an online form to request funds.  A committee will review requests weekly until the remaining funds have been depleted.  

We realize that the financial needs of our community are likely greater than these funds can cover.  If you are not sure whether you qualify for funding under the CARES Act, we strongly encourage you to fill out the form.  If you do not meet the qualifications for the federal aid, there may be other emergency funding or institutional aid available to help you. We will filter every application through every option available to best meet as much need as possible.

We have set up an FAQ page that will hopefully address your questions.  As always, we are here to help.  Please email sfscenter@loyno.edu or call us at 504-865-3337.  Good luck with finals and stay healthy and safe.  


May 1, 2020: Making an Impact
To the Loyola Community from President Tetlow

We’ve almost made it.  We’re almost through exams and the academic year.  And I know I keep saying it, but I need to tell you yet again how proud I am of all of you and how grateful.   

And I want to brag about what a difference Loyola men and women for others are making.  Here are just a few examples.

  • Loyola’s science, art and design departments made two large donations of personal protective gear to local healthcare systems.
  • The Facilities Department cleaned and sterilized empty residence halls to provide housing for healthcare workers and first responders in the battle against COVID-19, extending the offer to local healthcare systems and the City of New Orleans.  The city has flattened the curve enough not to need the housing, but we stand ready to help. 
  • Loyola biophysics senior Baasel Syed is spearheading Project Wolf Shield, a plan to manufacture 300 face shields using Loyola’s state-of-the-art 3-D printing equipment.  Baasel and Art and Design Chair John Seefeldt secured $4,000 in grants from the Community Catholic Foundation and the Almar Foundation to help them buy supplies.
  • Countless of our nurses are working on the front lines saving lives.  Our own Kate Kemplin, MSN, DNP, launched the Ryan Larkin Field Hospital in New York. The incoming president of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, is Loyola alum Sophia Thomas, DNP, who is helping set policy and fight for workplace safety. 
  • The law school’s Workplace Justice Project is helping area residents cope with workforce impacts caused by COVID-19, including drafting unemployment legislation, working to secure paid leave and relief funds from the public money generated by workers in hospitality, service and tourism industries, and serving as an essential communication and resource hub.
  • Before leaving campus in March, many students used their Wolf Bucks to make last-minute donations to Iggy’s Cupboard (because that’s how Loyola students roll) and it continues to provide food to students remaining on campus and in the area. 
  • Loyola’s Community Mental Health Clinic, launched last year by the Counseling Department, continues to serve its existing client base and is working on additional capacity to counsel first responders.  
  • The Recirculating Farms Coalition, led by Marianne Cufone, director of the Center for Environmental Law at Loyola, assembles low-cost fresh food bags and delivers them door-to-door to residents in low-income neighborhoods.
  • Alumni Affairs launched “Check in with the Pack”, a virtual opportunity to connect with older “Golden Wolves” keeping safe at home.
  • The Jesuit community continues to livestream Sunday 10:30 a.m. Mass with help from Student Life and Ministry, which has created vast online resources available to students, faculty, staff and residents.
  • Two Loyola professors – Dr. Simone Rambotti and Tavell Kindall, RN, APRN, DNP – recently joined the state’s COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force.
  • The College of Law is now partnering with the United Way of Southeast Louisiana to provide legal guidance to help child care providers seeking relief funding to navigate the crisis.
  • Graduate students in the teacher education program quickly pivoted to teaching online while learning to be teachers at the same time. Many of them work in schools that serve children from impoverished backgrounds or those who have special needs.

Whether members of the Wolf Pack are making masks at home, teaching and learning in virtual classrooms or serving daily on the front lines, we bring a passion and spirit to anything we do.


April 28, 2020: An Update on Fall Planning
To Students from President Tetlow

I can’t tell you how much I wish I could eliminate all uncertainty right now and tell you exactly what the next several months hold. Or how eager we all are to give you back every opportunity the world has put on hold for you.  What is within our power -- and what we are working tirelessly to do -- is to make careful plans to maximize our chances of being together in person, and to handle whatever life may throw at us.   If state and local officials allow it, we will  reopen on campus for the fall semester on time, prepared for any further periods of disruption.  

 

1. Health and safety.   Careful reopening will require new realities for us -- a campus in which we protect the most vulnerable in our community by allowing them to work and learn from home, while the rest of us are able to return to campus precisely because we will be very careful.  

We have partnered with Ochsner Health System, a national industry leader and one of the largest hospital systems in the country, to help us develop safety protocols.  We will have access to far more testing, including antibody testing.  We will obsessively clean and facilitate your ability to wipe down surfaces.  We will spread ourselves out in classrooms and common spaces to avoid large gatherings.  We will give each other lots of love and respect, but without hugs and physical contact.  

2. Flexibility in forms of teaching.  We are also preparing for the possibility of disruption, and praying hard that it will not happen again.  Faculty will put enormous effort this summer into ensuring their classes can be taught effectively and creatively both in person or on-line.  Providing the highest quality Loyola education will be their guiding principle. This time they will have far more time to maximize what technology can achieve, to share their best ideas, and to help those colleagues who may have struggled with the online format.  Faculty will be working very hard this summer to make sure you get the excellence you deserve.  Course teaching evaluations are now open and students can communicate with their faculty what works and what they think needs improvement in the courses. And we will be asking you soon what worked well, including ways we should keep using technology permanently to improve our teaching, and what needs improvement. 

3. Flexibility in schedule.   We still plan to start classes on August 24th, but if waiting a little longer helps us to reopen in person, we will wait a little longer.  We are also discussing the possibility of finishing in-person instruction at Thanksgiving, with the last week of class and exams online.  This would allow those of you who need to travel to head home and stay there through the Christmas holiday.  We understand that this requires a balance of the notice you need to make plans versus maximizing our ability to bring you back to campus.   We will make decisions as quickly as the fog of uncertainty clears, but no later than early July.  

4. Focus on your future.  Loyola prides itself on giving you the skills, the strategy and the contacts to get jobs after you graduate.  We know from our job placement data that we succeed.   Now, as the economy has shifted so dramatically under the feet of graduating students, we are even more determined to help you start your career.  Loyola’s career services programs have been working tirelessly to help students adjust to new realities and to help foresee where opportunities will shift.  We also offered many graduating seniors admission and scholarships to our graduate programs, and for those who are seeking jobs, our career services will be available to them after they graduate.  Know that we are determined to get you across the finish line of graduation, but also beyond.   Cura personalis means that we care enormously about you and the rest of your life, long after you achieve your degree.

Know that Loyola has overcome serious obstacles in our century-old history, including Katrina, and we will do it again now.  Because we are not a huge bureaucracy, we have the ability to be nimble and creative.  Because we are utterly obsessed with your futures, we will be working incredibly hard -- planning and preparing for every possibility.   What drives us is how eager we are to see your faces again, even if it will be a while before we can give you the big hugs we know you need right now.  


April 17, 2020: A Video Message from President Tetlow

 


April 8, 2020: Commencement
To Graduating Students from the President

We know how deeply important it is to you and your families to celebrate all of your hard work, and to honor your achievements with due pomp and circumstance.  We need to come together in New Orleans, to give you the opportunity to hear your name and walk across the stage to receive your diploma, just as you’ve planned since your first day at Loyola. 

We plan to hold our formal 2020 Commencement ceremony the weekend of August 7-8, at one of the most beautiful venues in the city - Loyola University New Orleans. 

We will make this into a super-spectacular commencement/homecoming weekend with as many of our traditional events as possible. While some of the details are still being worked out, we have created these FAQs to address some of your questions and concerns, and we will be reaching out to you again soon to gather some information that will help us plan.

In the meantime, we will have far more certainty as the weeks and months progress, so please don’t buy nonrefundable plane tickets or hotel rooms. As we get closer, we’ll release a schedule of events, compressed to make it easier for those of you coming from afar. We will also livestream the ceremonies for those who cannot make it in person, so your families can celebrate you properly.

I can’t wait until we can be together again to celebrate all your wonderful accomplishments, but in the meantime, we can have a little fun online. As I mentioned in my email Monday, we will hold a virtual celebration on May 9th to mark the original commencement date.  The May 9th broadcast will be a celebration, not a virtual graduation ceremony.  We want a chance for you to connect with your friends and professors, and a moment to turn to your loved ones at home, and say: “I did it!”

We continue to hope and pray for the safety of our communities, and for the opportunity to come together in August.


April 6, 2020: Portal to Select Pass/Fail Grading Is Now Open
To Students from the Interim Provost

I am writing to let you know that the portal in LORA to select Pass/Fail grading is now open. It is important that before you make your selections you consult with an academic advisor and/or your course instructors and review the FAQs we have put together for P/F as there may be special circumstances related to your major or to your financial aid situation that you will want to carefully consider. The deadline for making this choice is April 26th so you have plenty of time to consider your options.

This short video put together by Dr. Paul Buehler, Director of Academic Advising in the PanAmerican Life Student Success Center will guide you through the mechanics of making the choice.

https://app.vidgrid.com/view/QJ8GHCMyMlfE/?sr=SgUrFM

I know that whatever grading scale you choose, that you are committed to the Jesuit ideal of the pursuit of excellence. Even in these trying times, we know that you are doing your very best and we are here to support you.


April 3, 2020: We Made It Through Week Three
To Students from the President

We made it through week three, though it seems like month three. I’ve heard from so many of you about the obstacles you have overcome, and I can’t tell you how humbled I am by you. All of you are dealing with disruption, anxiety and the absence of your friends and community. Many of you are scrambling to find internet and laptops (please let us help you with that!) and struggling to find a quiet and safe spot to study. Many of you are losing jobs you needed and comforting your families through their own financial hardship. And some of you work in health care and other essential industries and are on the front lines, risking your lives for the rest of us.

As I talk to the faculty and staff, who are doing their own similar juggling, I can’t quite describe how proud they are of you. We have always bragged about how fiercely determined Loyola students are – now you take our breath away. We are determined too, working as hard as we can to give you the opportunity you deserve.

Know that we will spend time next year making sense of all of this, of thinking through what the crisis has revealed about the cracks that exist in our society. From criminal justice, to education, to the widening disparities of wealth, this has given us a stark reminder of where we need to do better. And at Loyola, we have even more motivation to hone your skills to go out into the world, solve complicated problems, and make your lives and career matter.

For those of you graduating, I sent this by a separate email to you, but I cannot wait for the chance to celebrate your achievement in person. We will come together virtually on May 9th, but as soon as the fog of uncertainty lifts, we will also come together in person as soon as possible. I am determined to hand you your diploma, to hear the cheers of your supporters and to hug every one of you.

Please keep sending me your questions, your thoughts, your stories and pictures of your new “classmates” at home.


April 3, 2020: Update for Graduating Students
To Graduating Students from the President

After incredible amounts of hard work, and now utter heroics to get to the finish line, you are the cusp of achieving your dreams. And I am determined to hand you a diploma in person.

It is clear now that it won’t yet be safe to do that on May 9th. We have been busy working on an alternative plan, studying the public health research to choose a date with the most opportunity of sticking. Ideally, the situation will have lifted and we can move forward later this summer, with enough lead time to give you proper notice and ability to plan. But we do not yet know if that will be possible.

On May 9th, we will do something together virtually to mark the occasion, and for purposes of your resume and future plans, you will be official by then. But that will not be a substitute for coming together in person.

I can’t quite describe how much I wish I could offer you certainty, so you can continue to imagine that lovely moment when we can be together again to celebrate, with even more joy than usual. Right now, the world has denied me that power. Know that it is an enormous priority for us, and we will stay in constant contact with you. I know you have many other questions about Commencement. We are preparing FAQs and will share them with you next week.


April 3, 2020: Important Information About Room, Board and Parking Credits/Refunds
To Students from the Senior Vice President of Enrollment, Marketing, and Student Affairs

As promised, I am writing with an update about room, board and parking credits/refunds due to Loyola’s move to online classes and reduction in campus programs and services. Thank you for your patience as we worked through the details of this unprecedented event.

If you lived in campus housing, we are in the process of posting prorated room credits to your student accounts. Your individual credit amount is based on the last day of the week you officially checked out of campus housing; whether it was the week ending March 16th or the week ending March 23rd. Students who left campus housing after March 23rd will receive further prorated room credits based on weekly increments. The amount will appear on your student account as a credit that will be applied to any remaining balance owed to Loyola for the 2019-20 academic year. If you do not owe a balance, the credit will be applied to your Fall 2020 semester bill. If you are a senior who has applied for graduation and does not owe a balance, you will automatically receive a refund to the address we have on record. If you would prefer to receive a refund rather than a credit, please use this link to make the request.

We are also in the process of posting prorated meal plan credits to your accounts. For residential students, the credit is based on the last day of the week you officially checked out of campus housing. For commuter students the prorated credit is based on your remaining balance as of March16, 2020. Any remaining Wolfbucks will automatically roll over to the fall semester and will need to be used by December 31, 2020. Only graduating seniors with remaining Wolfbucks are eligible for refunds on declining balances.

Finally, we are issuing prorated credits for parking fees based on the week ending March 16, 2020. This credit will also post to your student account, if applicable.

Each of these credits will appear separately on your student account and will be named:

  • 20S Covid-19 Refund - Housing
  • 20S Covid-19 Refund - Meal Plan
  • 20S Covid-19 Refund - Parking

We are proceeding this way to ensure as much accuracy and transparency as possible. Please note: Due to our information systems, credits will appear as they are posted over the next two weeks and may not appear all at once.

We realize that many of you may have questions. The teams in Financial Aid, Student Financial Services, Residential Life and Information Technology are working as quickly as possible to apply these credits. More information can be found on the FAQ website.

Please contact Student Financial Services at sfscenter@loyno.edu or 504-865-3337 for help with your specific questions. If you choose to call, remember that folks are working remotely and please be ready to leave a voicemail. Your message will be returned by the next business day.


March 30, 2020: Extension of the Last Date to Withdraw
To Students from the Interim Provost

I hope that you are adjusting to your online classes. The deans and I know that the faculty are working very hard to help you continue on your paths to your degrees, but we also realize that this is a very stressful time for everyone and that many of you may be juggling your studies with family obligations. The deans and I have approved an extension of the last day to withdraw for many undergraduate students this spring. All undergraduate students, except for RN-BSN students, are eligible to withdraw up until the last day of classes--April 29th. This is true for students who were online-only students before the COVID-19 situation and for students who were on-campus students. We hope that you will continue to do your best in your courses, but want to give you this flexibility in these unprecedented times.

Loyola’s faculty and staff want to offer you as much support as they can while our community is spread out all over the country. Now, more than ever, It is very important that Loyola has up-to-date contact information for you so we can get in touch to see how you are doing and how we can help. Please log into LORA and make sure we have the correct information on file by Friday, April 3. Follow these steps to check and update your record.

  1. Sign into your LORA account
  2. Select Personal Info
  3. Select Personal Phone Numbers

There are several options:

cell phone (your cell phone #),
parent's cell #,
emergency notification (this number receives alerts about immediate threats on campus including severe weather and active shooters - in almost all cases, this should be your cell phone #)

LORA screenshot phone numbers


March 27, 2020: Observing the Easter Holidays
To the Loyola Community From President Tetlow

So much has happened to all of us over the past few weeks, it feels like we’ve lived a year in the span of 14 days. All of you have been working so hard: from adjusting to teaching or learning online, to moving home, to managing your teams remotely. You’ve achieved it all at a moment when you and your families are dealing with great difficulty. I am so proud of each and every one of you, and I know that when we look back on this time, we will be amazed by what we have accomplished together.

I also know that we are all tired, and for that reason, I want to be sure that we all take a break for the Easter holidays as scheduled. I am asking all faculty to suspend synchronous classes on Thursday, April 9, Friday, April 10, and Monday, April 13. And I am asking supervisors to let their employees enjoy those days off unless they are providing essential services. It is important for all of us to take some time to reflect, refresh and recharge before we finish this strange semester.

We also need this time to observe Easter week and Passover. I hope that many of you will join me in watching our live-streamed Masses on Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter from Ignatius Chapel, with some added solos from our world-class music faculty. (Details to follow). I’ll also be joining friends, this time online, for our usual Seder meal. This year, we will listen to the stories of sacrifice, suffering and redemption with new ears and open hearts. We will continue the work of finding spiritual meaning in this disruption -- finding the lessons that will make us better people at the end of it all.


March 24, 2020: A Video Message From President Tetlow

Our beautiful campus feels empty without you. I stopped by today to check on some of our essential workers and recorded this video message to you.

Wolf Pack, we got this!


March 22, 2020: La. Gov. Issues Stay at Home Orders
To Students from the Director of University Police & Emergency Management

Today, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards issued a statewide stay-at-home order that will go into effect at 5 p.m. on Monday, March 15 until April 12.This order comes on the heels of guidance from New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell on Friday, March 20, advising residents to stay home except for essential needs. While we have been encouraging social distancing and city officials have been asking residents to stay home as much as possible, the governor’s order underscores the importance of staying inside and physical distancing as a means to prevent continued spread of COVID-19.

Allowable activities:

  • Shopping at grocery stores, convenience stores and pharmacies
  • Medical appointments, although many providers are offering virtual visits
  • Picking up food at restaurants (either take-out or drive-thru)
  • Delivering food
  • Personal exercise outdoors, including walking pets

We realize that these restrictions are hard on most of you. A number of local grocery stores are now offering delivery, Grubhub and DoorDash drivers are still delivering food, and many restaurants now offer curbside pickup. And while playgrounds may be closed, some parks are still open for general recreation for small groups of ten or less, providing everyone maintains a distance of 6 feet from one another.

Louisiana currently has the fastest growth rate of confirmed cases in the world, and it is important that we all do our parts to avoid contact with others to slow the spread of the virus. There are a lot of plans for ways to keep our community connected during this time. Keep checking your email and watch our social media.


March 19, 2020: Online Town Hall with President Tetlow


March 19, 2020: Extension of the Tenure Clock
To Faculty from the Interim Provost

I hope everyone continues to adjust to our new reality of teaching online and other methods of social distancing and I hope everyone remains healthy.

I wanted to give you a few updates and reminders:

  1. In recognition of disruptions to research projects and other professional responsibilities, the deans and I have approved an optional extension of the tenure clock by one year for all tenure-track faculty. Keep in mind that the decision to delay the tenure review for a year rests on the individual tenure-track faculty member. Some may decide that they are ready for the tenure review in their original timeline, which is perfectly fine. If you have any questions, please consult with your chair and dean.
  2. This is a reminder of the Q&A Zoom meeting for faculty with me and the deans scheduled for today at 3 p.m. The purpose of this meeting is to informally connect and to address any questions you may have that have not been addressed already.
  3. The president has also scheduled a town hall meeting for today at 7 p.m. This event is open to faculty, staff, and students.
  4. In recognition of the disruption that the Coronavirus has placed and will continue to place on our students, the University Courses and Curriculum Committee and university leadership have decided to provide undergraduate students with expanded access to the Pass/Fail grading option for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester. The first eight-week session ended before the current crisis and therefore is not eligible for the P/F option. Many students have contacted me thanking me for this decision and telling me they plan on working very hard to achieve A’s in their courses. The uncertainty of whether they or someone in their families will fall sick and that their studies will suffer makes this option one that they are very happy to have. Some courses will not be eligible for the P/F option, depending on accreditation or major requirements. We are working on identifying these courses with the deans. We are also developing a process through LORA for students to select into this option and Q&As on how this will proceed and will inform everyone as soon as we can.

The anonymous survey is still available to report issues and concerns. We received several reports with the following trends:

  1. Some of you are still uncomfortable with Zoom or other technologies. Since the survey was anonymous, we cannot follow up to help. Erin Dupuis and the online learning team are available for one-on-one support, as are a number of your colleagues. If you would like help, I encourage you to reach out. The OLT can even “observe” a Bb course and give you quick tips or add you as a guest to an existing online course so you can get ideas for your own courses.
  2. People are concerned about digital equity for students and faculty. We are too, which is why the library loaned laptops to students for the duration of the semester, IT purchased additional iPads that will be distributed to those in need when they arrive, and deans are lending equipment to faculty and students. If you know of a student with a particular hardship please submit a BIT report so that we can respond systematically to requests and document needs. If BIT receives reports that indicate that the demand is higher than what is available through the library and IT we may seek donations of older equipment from members of the community who want to help. If a faculty member has a particular hardship they can reach out to their deans or to me. Many internet providers are expanding access to their clients. Please check with your internet and/or cell providers to learn if this is available to you. Deborah Poole, Dean of University Libraries, put together this hot spot guide.
  3. Some raised a concern about the administration not reaching out enough to off-campus students. Rest assured that we continue to communicate with off-campus students about the situation and that we have made available to them the possibility of borrowing technology and access to Iggy’s Cupboard. We will keep assessing what more we can do for off-campus students in light of current events.
  4. Faculty report that students in 8-week online courses, including online program students, have raised concerns about expectations in these courses. While instruction “was always online” in these courses, we ask that you please keep in mind that students enrolled in online-only courses are also facing great difficulties. They may be sharing technology with siblings or with their own children, facing economic hardship, or trying to work from home while also homeschooling. It may make sense to waive deadline/late penalties in these courses or to make other course adjustments in order to allow our students to succeed in this unusually difficult situation.

I continue to be inspired by the work of our community. Today I will recognize and thank two librarians: Laurie Philips and Susan Brower. Laurie continues to work tirelessly to acquire free textbooks and materials for our students. Just recently her proposal to the Louisiana Library Network (LOUIS) to provide expanded materials was fully funded. Susan’s hard work was instrumental for Loyola to get Zoom! Thanks Laurie and Susan for your selfless service. Please note that while the library building is closed, the team in the library continues to provide many of the supports we have come to rely on. For example, you can continue to use this form to request streaming video be added to your courses.


March 18, 2020: Expanded Access to Pass/Fail Grading Option for Undergraduates
To Undergraduates from the Interim Provost

It is Day Three of Loyola-from-a-Distance and we are so proud of the way you and your faculty have shown your resilience during this time. Many of you are quickly hitting your online stride and are on track to have a great semester. Others are worried about what online learning will be like and still others, many of our students with learning differences, know that the move to online learning poses particular challenges. We still have students in the transition of leaving campus and know that this is a stressful time. In our Jesuit tradition of cura personalis, it is important that we support you not just as learners but as people.

In light of Loyola’s decision to transition temporarily to an online delivery model and in recognition of the challenges this may pose to students and the seriousness of the national situation, the University Courses and Curriculum Committee and university leadership have decided to provide students with expanded access to the Pass/Fail grading option for the Spring 2020 semester.

In early April, undergraduate students, with the exception of RN-BSN students, may elect to switch some or all of their Spring 2020 courses to P/F. This includes students in programs that were fully online before the COVID-19-related move to online instruction. The deadline to switch to the P/F option will be April 26th. You will have ample time to think carefully about the decision. It is important to stress that this is an option. If you do not switch to the P/F option for one or more of your courses, you will receive a letter grade. As the system to indicate your preference opens up, we will be back in touch with more details including FAQs.

We strongly recommend students consult with an advisor before making this choice and the pre-registration advising period is an excellent time to do so. In addition, there are circumstances that Loyola cannot control including the future admissions requirements of graduate and professional programs, the information requested by employers, and the documentation needed to maintain good academic standing for certain scholarships.

Moving to Pass/Fail does not change the course requirements but a Pass/Fail grade allows you to focus on successfully completing a class without worrying about how a letter grade would impact your GPA. Expanded access to the P/F grade mode aims to fulfill our mission of cura personalis or “care for the whole person”, while still providing a pathway to fulfill program and degree requirements. Students may decide to continue to pursue a letter grade (A-F) as we continue to offer a high quality online experience and work to ensure students have the resources they need to be successful.

I am grateful to the faculty members who suggested this move to best support their students and grateful to be part of a community that is committed to putting students first.

Keep up the good work and make us proud, Wolf Pack!


March 18, 2020: Answers to Some of Your Questions
To Faculty and Staff from President Tetlow

I have such an overwhelming desire to hug each of you, so when this is all over, get ready. In the meantime, I’ve gotten a few questions about how this will impact us as an institution that I want to address.

Given that we just regained our financial footing, how is Loyola doing? The financial impact of this has hit us with lost conference revenue, filming, and prorated refunds we felt compelled to make on housing (and probably meal plan as we negotiate with Sodexo.) Thus far, knock on wood, the impact should be within our current cash flow. For those of you who speak accounting, while we won’t have a balanced budget under generally accepted accounting principles -- which require us to budget millions for depreciation -- we should still have an operating cash surplus.

How does this affect jobs? We have no intention of making layoffs and need all of you more than ever.

What do we face in the future? Right now, we face uncertainty about the potential impact of the crisis on next year’s retention rate and admissions. I am happy to tell you that we are at least starting from a position of strength. Our undergraduate retention rate from fall to spring was 95% -- our highest ever. (Law and graduate also remain high.) Initial undergraduate admissions results were up over last year’s good year, and law is holding even despite fewer LSAT test takers.

What we can’t yet know is how this will impact the future choices of students around the country, and indeed the world. Will students want to stay closer to home? Will they end up preferring online, or will they get a massive reminder of how precious a campus community really is? Will students take time off in the fall rather than deal with any ongoing uncertainty? Your thoughts on these subjects are very welcome. The institutions that best predict the future and adjust will be in a far better place.

Some of you have asked me what you can do. We are working on ways you will be able to help us recruit admitted students once things calm down. Meanwhile, each and every one of you affects retention. My hope is that Loyola students will understand the value of being in a place where they are known -- surrounded by warmth and kindness. So while this is a very trying moment for all of us (I’m typing this as Lucy keeps insisting that she wants to add emoticons), it is crucial that we communicate well and frequently. Whether you teach, or advise, or work in student finance, you’ll have to deal with displaced anger, heightened anxiety and general angst. (Face it, many of us have that in our households right now.) Let’s lead with empathy. Let’s summon stores of patience we never knew we had. Let’s overwhelm them with our Loyola-ness.

Whatever comes, all of higher ed is in much the same boat. We will continue to scurry and adjust in the short term, but also turn our eyes towards the future. We will use our Jesuit training to see beyond the noise and find the best strategy to go forward. After all, we’ve had any traces of denial or complacency stripped from us years ago, replaced with creativity and gumption. We are Katrina-trained. We are determined. We can do this.


March 16, 2020: Additional Information as You Prepare to Leave Campus
To Students from the Chief Communications Officer

I am sure you are tired of getting so many emails, but there is much to communicate with you in this rapidly-evolving situation. Here is some additional information you need to know as you prepare to leave campus.

In keeping with guidance from the city of New Orleans, the University Sports Complex has closed indefinitely. We will freeze all community memberships until we reopen. For personal training clients, unused personal training sessions will remain on your respective accounts until we restart training sessions. Members with locker rentals, please contact Assistant Athletic Director Jordan Gabriel ( jngabrie@loyno.edu) or Facility Coordinator Tim Kettenring ( toketten@loyno.edu) to set up appointments to retrieve the contents of your lockers. We hope that everyone remains safe and healthy and look forward to seeing all of you again when we resume business operations.

LUPD will be doing our “Check My Ride” program to help students assure their vehicle is safe and roadworthy as they depart campus. Students are encouraged to stop by LUPD on their way out to have an officer accompany them to check their vehicle.

The following services will be provided:

  • Check of engine oil and other fluids
  • Check of tire condition and tire pressure (including spare)
  • Check of wiper blades
  • Window cleaning
  • Air Freshener
  • Instruction on how to conduct their own safety check of their vehicles (if desired)
  • Checklist of items checked and notes of any concerns for future reference

The J. Edgar and Monroe S. Library hours are now reduced to:
Monday-Thursday: 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Friday: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Thank you for your cooperation - and please continue to check your email. We will continue to provide timely information.

Take care, and stay healthy.


March 16, 2020: Campus Availability to Pick Up Materials
To Faculty and Staff from the Interim Provost

The situation related to COVID-19 is changing very rapidly. We have indications that it is possible that Mayor Cantrell may impose significant restrictions in the City of New Orleans. For that reason I am asking all faculty to come to campus to get any and all materials they may need to teach for the remaining of the semester.

To that end, our main campus buildings will be available Tuesday and Wednesday between 8 am and 4 pm for faculty to retrieve all needed materials. After these times we cannot provide access to offices as LUPD will be concentrating their efforts on the safety and wellbeing of our remaining students on campus. If this provides an undue hardship for you, please let me know.

As with other campus evacuations, our Continuity of Operations Plan contemplates the need of allowing certain science faculty access to campus to take care of labs (for example the rat lab). This access will be available through card access with their ID cards. To the extent allowed by city and state authorities this is still possible with an authorized access card to Monroe Hall.

I appreciate your support and hard work during these uncertain times.


March 16, 2020: An Important Message to Students Still in New Orleans
To Students from President Tetlow

COVID-19 is spreading more quickly in New Orleans than in other areas and we suspect (although we do not have any insider information) that travel restrictions and stricter bans on public gatherings may be imminent. For students off campus, be aware that if you intend to head to a home farther away, you should make those plans quickly.

For students on campus: we currently have more than 400 students who have elected to remain in the residence halls. We are concerned that the state may soon ask us to empty our campus of all but those who absolutely cannot go anywhere else. We are aware, for example, that some of you cannot return to families currently infected or isolating, or to countries with border closures. We know that some of you may literally not have another home to go to. But for the rest of you, we worry that our ability to provide emergency services for so many of you is not adequate to the potential situation.

We are asking you to leave the residence halls quickly unless you have an emergency reason to ask to remain. (You can apply for that permission here by tomorrow at 9 a.m.) For anyone who goes, we will issue a pro-rated refund as previously announced. Our current deadline for you to pack up and make it home is this Friday, March 20th, but if travel restrictions are issued before then, you may effectively get less time.

We know it may be more difficult for many of you to get all of your belongings home, so we will be working on storage options and will communicate directly with you about those. And we will continue to offer shuttles to the airport and all the help we can.

I’m really sorry that this is hitting you on the first day of online classes. We made sure that those classes would be recorded, so you can always catch up if events get in the way. Faculty are working to be entirely flexible and we will let them know about this change in events. And I’m sorry about the changing rules. We had hoped that this wouldn’t be necessary and that keeping the campus more open was the best way to serve our students. Like you, we are working with constantly changing circumstances and a new reality that has been hard to fathom. Thank you for your patience. Right now, we all need to focus on safety.


March 15, 2020: Keeping Our Communities Safe
To Students from President Tetlow

Whether you’re living in New Orleans right now or elsewhere, we need your help in keeping our communities safe. There was a St. Patrick’s Day party on Magazine Street yesterday that made national news. People gathered in dangerous crowds and some loudly bragged about spreading the virus. I cannot imagine that Loyola students would act that way, but I want to reach out and ask you to live up to our values.

We are relieved that this disease seems to have much less impact on the young. But remember that COVID-19 could have a devastating impact on some of your classmates who have health conditions, as well as all of us older people. I remember feeling immortal at your age, but we have never had a stronger reminder that the risks we choose affect other people.

I can only imagine how eager you are to gather in groups and comfort each other. This is a bewildering situation when we cannot reach out to each other in a crisis – we can’t even hug. But the reality we face is that being there for each other means doing it at a distance. (New Orleans has issued the following guidance to bars and restaurants and we have a social distancing plan on our website.)

Wolf Pack – some day you will tell your grandchildren about this. ave a story that you will be proud of. Remember who we are.


March 15, 2020: Moving to Online Teaching and Learning Tomorrow
To Students from the Interim Provost

Tomorrow, the Loyola community starts a new challenge: online teaching and learning. I know the spirit, work ethics and determination of our students, so I know you will rise to the occasion. Please know that your faculty are here for you. If you encounter difficulties, raise your hand (electronically) and let them know. Also, know the Pan-American Life Student Success Center is here for you with coaching, advising, accommodations, and tutoring.

As we make the move to online teaching, we will inevitably experience some technical glitches. Our providers (Blackboard, Zoom, etc.) are working with many institutions across the country simultaneously going online, so they may also face some difficulties. Be patient with us, and we will sort it all out.

If you encounter difficulty logging into Single Sign On, you can email helpdesk@loyno.edu, and Blackboard Support is available through our Online Learning Team. Visit this page, which covers some of the basics of Blackboard and has the contact information of people who can help.

We have assembled a set of FAQs on our website and are updating them frequently. We are also posting information about the hours when various services and buildings will be open for students remaining on campus, and how to access services online. If you still have questions, please submit them to letters@loyno.edu.

Please keep checking your Loyno email and the website, as we continue to communicate as quickly as possible.

Above all, take good care of yourselves and each other.


March 14, 2020: Answers to Some of Your Questions
To Students from President Tetlow

You’ve had a great many questions that we are eager to answer.

Commencement

For graduating seniors, graduate students and 3Ls, I can’t tell you how much my heart breaks that this crisis has robbed you of your last months on campus. I spoke to a senior yesterday who wanted me to know that as a first generation student (like so many of our students), her family must see her walk across that stage and achieve their collective dream. I want you to know that we are determined, whatever the world throws at us, to have Commencement. We also want to host as many of the activities leading up to it as possible, with added student performances if we can. My hope is that this will happen as scheduled in May, but if events force our hand, we will delay rather than cancel.

Online

I have no doubt there will be hiccups on Monday, so thank you for having patience. As hard as our faculty have prepared, there will be inevitable struggles for them. Our technical providers also face an unprecedented increase in traffic as much of higher education, and now K-12, move online.

We also quickly purchased more computers to lend to students at the library and are trying to think of ways we can help make sure all of you have the ability to make this sudden transition.

I want you to know that our faculty have been remarkably creative. Music ensembles will perform on video meeting software. We have found ways to teach science labs online. And we have all been learning new tricks. Former Loyola president Fr. Jim Carter, 92 years old, is eagerly learning how to edit lecture videos for his physics class.

Residence Halls

While we strongly recommend students go to the greater safety of home if they can, we realize that for some of you leaving the residence halls is very difficult, particularly on short notice. For that reason, we have kept the campus open for these remaining students and are making some facilities available to them, including the library and the health clinic. We will do everything within our power to keep students on campus safe, though we continue to urge those who can to head home.

For those of you who made the decision to move out from the residence halls (or will be doing so by next week) we have made the decision to offer a prorated housing refund. This represents a financial loss for us – our costs do not go down during this period because we will not be laying off any staff. But we have decided that we need to make the offer to help you at a time of real financial uncertainty. We are also asking those families who can afford it to donate towards the students who most need it right now.

(Here are the logistical details – the credit will appear on students’ accounts and be put toward balances owed, if any, and reduce the balances of monthly payment plans, if used. For those accounts with no balances, students can opt to receive a refund or put the credit toward their fall bill. Graduating students without account balances will automatically receive a refund. We will be designing a system to communicate with you efficiently about this.)

Meal Plans

We are also in negotiations with Sodexo, with whom we contract for food service, about meal plans and Wolf Bucks. At a minimum, there will be lower food costs we expect to pass back to you. We will get back to you as quickly as we can.

And for all of the students who rushed to the campus store this weekend to donate food to Iggy’s Cupboard, you blow me away!

Creating Community

We are busily working on ideas to stay together across this isolation we all now face – watch our website for updates. We want to use our Loyola YouTube channels to communicate regularly and to broadcast your thoughts and your talents. So be thinking of ways we can do that well because we are going to need your help to create as much virtual Loyola as we can.


March 13, 2020: A Video Message from President Tania Tetlow


March 12, 2020: Answers to Some Questions We're Hearing
To Students from the Senior Vice President of Enrollment, Marketing, and Student Affairs

I want to applaud you for rallying to solve problems, get things done, and show up for one another despite any shock following yesterday’s announcement. As you know, things are rapidly evolving, and it’s important that we all continue to work together as a community.

We are responding first to primary concerns regarding the health and safety of our campus, while continuing our teaching mission. Our top priorities include moving all classes online as we help students to make contingency plans, and in many cases, to leave campus. All decisions are being made with the greater good and our entire campus community in mind.

Questions are popping up all the time, and we have noticed some consistent themes. This email is meant to provide more information so you and your families can more easily make better decisions. I also encourage you to continue to look closely at the Student FAQs at loyno.edu/coronavirus, where we are housing all messages and information.

Tuition Refunds
There are no plans for any adjustments to tuition. The University has put significant time and resources into planning and preparation for this sort of scenario. It’s a wonderful development in the digital age to know we can move to teaching online swiftly and continue our academics with minimal disruption to students’ academic progress. You will have the same faculty member teaching the same course but in online format, which pedagogically has been shown to be as effective as classroom instruction for student learning. We realize that there may be a perception that there could be a loss of community feel in moving to online, but our instructional design experts are working to make sure that our students will continue to benefit from the same small class size; personal attention and community feel that are the hallmarks of a Loyola education.

Room and Board Refunds
We have received many questions related to room and board and whether there will be any refunds. Unfortunately, we are not able to refund housing or meal plans. However, we hear your concerns and are considering other alternatives. This is a rapidly evolving situation. We will continue to communicate as decisions are made.

Student Employment
Student employment at Loyola will continue. All student workers will be paid, whether they participate in the Federal Work Study program or work directly for Loyola. They will also have work to do. That work may look different - students who stay on campus may be moved to a new department and students who go home may be assigned new work online. We are getting creative so we can provide opportunities and fulfill our promise of employment to you. Be on the lookout for more information in the coming days.

Computers
If you have a significant financial hardship and do not have a computer at home, we have a limited number of computers available for checkout at the library.

Residential Life
All students have been asked to complete a form indicating their housing plans for the semester. The deadline to complete the form is 5 p.m. on Friday, March 13.

Move Out
Students are encouraged to return home for the rest of the semester - and handle their academics remotely. Those who leave campus are asked to pack up their rooms and move out their belongings before they go. Vacated rooms will likely be used to rearrange occupancy in the most ideal way for safety, health and comfort and the semester progresses.

We ask that students leaving campus make every effort to depart by Sunday evening, however, departure dates remain flexible and at the discretion of the student’s and family’s needs. All students returning home must turn in their keys - if you need to return later this semester you may do so, by appointment. Please call Residential Life at 504.865.2445.

Storage
If you are not able to bring your belongings with you, you may work with a local storage company for your needs. University and Student Services (USS) is the new preferred vendor of Residential Life and will assist in arranging boxes, pick up and storage, or shipment home. Personal items may not be stored in your room. If you have general questions about storage, please call Residential Life at 504.865.2445.

Media outlets are also reporting that U-Haul is offering 30 days of free storage for students returning home for reasons related to coronavirus. This is something you should explore on your own.

Shuttles to the Airport
In partnership with Tulane, Loyola is offering free shuttles to the Louis Armstrong International Airport.

I hope you find this information helpful. Loyola will continue to communicate with you regularly as this situation evolves.


March 11, 2020: Message From the Interim Provost About Moving to Online Instruction
To Students from the Interim Provost

As President Tetlow just announced, like many universities around the country dealing with the Coronavirus situation, we will transition to online teaching starting on Monday, March 16th, 2020. The remainder of the spring semester 2020 will be completed online. To help everyone in the transition to online teaching, classes will be cancelled on Thursday, March 12th and Friday, March 13th.

Faculty will contact you on Monday, March 16th with instructions, materials, assignments, and other communications regarding how to proceed with your courses. Check your my.loyno.edu email often, log into Blackboard, and follow your professors’ instructions. As many of you are digital natives, I am confident that you will step up to the challenge of online learning and will find it an enjoyable and engaging experience but your professors are also here to support you with this transition. Please be open with them if you are having difficulty navigating the course or have questions about how to do something you have not done before. If you have had success in online courses in the past, we hope you will help your friends and fellow students who are newer to this.

We will inevitably experience some technical glitches as we move online. Our providers are working with many institutions across the country simultaneously, so they may also face some hurdles. Be patient with us and we will sort it all out.

If you encounter difficulty logging into Single Sign On you can email helpdesk@loyno.edu and Blackboard Support is available through our Online Learning Team. Visit this page which covers some of the basics of Blackboard and has the contact information of people who can help.

I expect that many of you will go home and continue your spring semester from there. Some students will need to remain in New Orleans. The Monroe Library, the Danna Center, the Rec Plex, Monroe Hall and the Communication Music Complex will be available for student use, unless further communication states otherwise. The team in the Pan-American Life Student Success Center will be able to support you with success coaching and advising, tutoring, and career development from wherever you are this semester.

I am sure you have many questions about internships, independent studies, service learning, undergraduate research, etc. Your first point of reference is the faculty member teaching your course. We also have assembled a set of FAQs here. If you still have questions please submit them to letters@loyno.edu.

Please know that our number one priority in Academic Affairs is working with your professors to do everything within our power to ensure that you finish the semester strong and that you remain on the path to timely graduation.

Above all, take good care of yourselves and each other.


March 11, 2020: Additional information about the move to online instruction
To Faculty from the Interim Provost

President Tetlow just announced that we are suspending on-campus courses effective Thursday, March 12th and Friday, March 13th, in order to give all of us time to prepare to go to full online teaching starting Monday, March 16th, 2020. The remainder of the spring semester 2020 will be completed online.

As a campus community, we have been preparing for online teaching for quite some time and most of you are fully prepared for the transition. Here are additional resources we are making available to help you with the transition:

  1. The online learning team (Jim Dugan, Dan Guo, and Eric Wiltz) and Erin Dupuis (Associate Provost and Director of the Center for Faculty Innovation) will be available virtually and for in-person sessions for one-on-one training. Please fill out this form if you need one of us to contact you for a session.
  2. We will host a series of webinars with topics ranging from the very basics of Blackboard to mastering more complex features. These webinars will allow ample time for individual questions. We are also opening up the self-paced Blackboard 101 training we offer to faculty before they start teaching online and have made some adjustments to allow faculty to complete only those modules that they need. For those who want the most crucial content, we recommend starting with the third module on creating a course in Blackboard. Please contact Dan ( dguo@loyno.edu) if you would like to be added to this course. For all information related to these options, please see this document
  3. Please check the CFI website for more information and for links to tutorials. This page is a work-in-progress and will continue to be updated with new information, including resources and webinar schedules.
  4. All faculty currently teaching courses were added to Zoom as licensed users. You need to accept the invitation received via email for the system to add you. More information about Zoom integration into Blackboard is coming soon.

At a time like this, it is important that we come together and help those in our community who may struggle with this transition. If you are a faculty member with experience teaching online or using Blackboard and you would like to volunteer to assist other faculty, please fill out this volunteer form. Depending on the volume of requests for assistance, we may need your additional expertise to help all of Loyola’s courses run smoothly.

It is likely that many students will return home and continue with the online courses there. The Danna Student Center, the Monroe Library, Monroe Hall, SportsPlex, and the Music and Communications Complex and many Student Affairs offices will remain open in order to meet the needs of students who are not able to travel or have no place to go. Some students will remain in the residence halls. WFF will concentrate their efforts in keeping these areas clean. The Law dean will have specific information about law student access in the Broadway campus.

Faculty are encouraged to work from home, but if you need to access your offices to prepare courses, you will be able to do so. Let us know through this Google form if you will need access to campus facilities. If you are a staff member who teaches you will get additional guidance from HR as it relates to your staff responsibilities.

Make contact with your classes on Monday, March 16th with instructions, materials, assignments, and communications regarding how to proceed with the courses. We would like to remind you that you are not expected to have a fully functioning online course and to recreate your classroom within a matter of days. Start by assessing your syllabus. What do you need to adjust? What needs to be prioritized? Develop an immediate presence on your Blackboard course and communicate with students what the new expectations are. Post your “new” syllabus for students to review. Work on getting up the basics - readings, PowerPoint presentations, etc. The Online Learning Team and CFI can help you make your course more engaging (and help you post assignments, quizzes, and exams) once we get the basics finished. (Law faculty should await instructions from your dean.)

There will inevitably be challenges as we work to move online. As you know many universities nationally are moving to online teaching, which will add pressure to systems like Blackboard, Zoom etc and system crashes beyond Loyola’s immediate control are possible. Please be patient and try to remain creative and positive through this. We have developed FAQs. Check there first and if your question is not answered submit it to letters@loyno.edu.

Above all, take good care of yourselves and your families. We are incredibly grateful for flexibility, creativity and effort.


March 11, 2020: Additional Information About the Move to Online Instruction
To Students from the Senior Vice President of Enrollment, Marketing, and Student Affairs

As President Tetlow mentioned in her email to campus, I am writing to provide more information about campus operations in the coming days as we prepare to finish the semester online.

Classes are suspended Thursday and Friday to allow faculty members time to prepare for online teaching and to allow those of you who can to head home. Undergraduate students will be receiving a form asking you to let us know your plans so that we can best support you throughout the rest of the semester. For those living farther away, several airlines have reduced ticket prices in order to fill empty seats and enacted extra safety and cleanliness protocols. If you already had a ticket for Easter break or to go home at the end of the semester, airlines are being far more flexible about change fees. We are asking that all students who do leave campus housing, at whatever point, pack up their belongings as you would at the end of the semester.

Please know we will accommodate any students who need to remain on campus, but you are likely to be more comfortable at home. We anticipate the need to move students who are staying on campus to different rooms, perhaps even different residence halls, so that we can ensure the safety and comfort of our residential students in light of the possibility of a smaller staff presence.

While many University offices will remain open, we anticipate services will be modified, with reduced hours or changes to normal operating procedures. We will keep this information updated on our website. For example, beginning, Monday, March 16th, the Orleans Room will be the only on-campus dining option and will change to a grab-and-go format. That is important to create “social distancing.” The Monroe Library and the University Sports Complex will remain open.

Student health remains a primary concern regardless of where you are located. Student Health Services is available for phone consultation by calling 504-865-3326. Office hours are 8:30 am --4:45 pm, M--F. For virtual healthcare, please use the Ochsner Anywhere app. The Ochsner On Call nurse consultation line is also available 24/7 at 1.800.231.5257. The University Counseling Center remains open for the duration of this week and will be moving to online operations on March 16th.

We realize that this is a significant disruption to the semester but in light of the most recent guidance we’ve received from local, state and national outlets we feel compelled to take these steps. Our Loyola community remains strong.


March 11, 2020: Moving to Online Instruction on Monday
To the Loyola Community from the President

In consultation with state and city government, we are going to move to online instruction beginning Monday, March 16th, for the rest of the spring semester. In the last few days, it has become clear that there now exists community spread of COVID-19 in New Orleans.

We will cancel classes tomorrow and Friday to give faculty time to finalize their preparations, and to give students time to pack and move out if they plan to leave. Faculty will begin teaching online on Monday.

The campus will remain open , but we will now avoid gatherings in classes and we will begin canceling public events (more on that soon.) We will continue to keep campus housing open because we recognize that it will prove difficult for some of you to get home. But we encourage those who can to head home and work from there.

Academic and Student Affairs will follow up shortly with many more details and our webpage should answer many of the questions you may have. We appreciate your patience with us as we try to communicate as efficiently as possible.

For staff , those of you who can do your jobs from home without affecting the ability of the campus to care for students and function, and anyone with particular health concerns, should work from home beginning Monday. (Supervisors will have those conversations immediately and we will all use these next two days to prepare). Faculty should teach from home. For now, Whelan Child Care Center remains open.

This is not the basis for our decision, but I also want to inform you that a faculty member and two of our undergraduate students had lunch this weekend, at a downtown conference, with someone who was subsequently diagnosed with COVID-19. They discovered and reported this last night. The professor and these two students, who all live off-campus, are self-isolating and do not have any symptoms. I have spoken to the director of state public health, who tells me that there is not a reason to broaden that circle more widely -- those who later interacted with the faculty and students do not also need to self-isolate. We will continue to update you on all such information.

I cannot tell you how proud I am of our community for remaining calm, quickly solving problems and being there for each other. We are living through history here, and reacting in a way we’ll be proud of later. However it is that you pray, please do. Pray for those who are sick around the world. Pray for all of us to get through the impacts of the disruption, particularly the most vulnerable among us. And pray for the health care workers and all of those who bravely care for us.


March 10, 2020: Clarification of Travel Guidance Related to COVID-19
To Faculty and Staff from the President

To give a little more clarity to the travel guidance:

  • All University-related international travel is prohibited.
  • All personal international travel is strongly discouraged.
  • All official non-crucial domestic air travel is prohibited. If you have questions about that, talk to your supervisor, department head or dean.
  • We strongly urge extreme caution and judgment for your personal domestic travel.

Academic classes and dining operations will continue as normal with heightened cleaning protocols and great flexibility about sick leave, attendance policies, and any individual who has heightened personal risk.

Anyone who returns to campus from a location with community spread (this is very hard for me to define given constantly changing circumstances, but I am asking you to be on your honor about where there is risk), must fill out this form to see whether you must self-isolate first. The form should be open to anyone, but if you have trouble accessing it, be sure you are logged into your Loyola gmail account in the web browser you are using.


March 9, 2020: Travel Advisory
To Faculty and Staff from the President

This is an update on travel, both personal and professional. As the virus spreads domestically, it becomes much harder to create categorical protections.

1. If you return from a place where there is community spread of coronavirus, we will need for you to tell us via this form. It will probably be necessary for you to self-isolate upon your return to be sure that you do not unwittingly spread the virus to our community. You can find a constantly updated map of all reported cases here.

2. For official travel, we do not travel as frequently as many bigger institutions, so we have the capacity to make case-by-case decisions about what it is prudent and crucial. For those of you who have already booked travel through Concur, we will be in touch if we have questions about whether your trip is necessary. If you booked outside of Concur, please use the form to discuss it with us.

For future travel, please speak to your supervisor or department chair or dean about whether it is important enough to go forward right now.

Thank you for your patience, your honesty, and your concern for the people around you.


March 9, 2020: Coronavirus Update
To Students from the President

There was an announcement today of the first presumptive diagnosis of coronavirus in Louisiana, a person who lives in Jefferson Parish and is currently at a hospital here in New Orleans.

At this point, we are NOT yet moving to online teaching, but I want to begin talking about that possibility and what it might look like. We are in close touch with state and city public health officials and will react very quickly to any guidance they might give us about the need to create social distancing.

We have invested a great deal of time, for more than a year now, in preparing our faculty to teach online in case of an emergency. (I never thought I would be so grateful for the obligation to do hurricane planning.) Some classes will be easier to move online than others, but we will be creative and flexible and make it work. And I pray that it does not become necessary.

In the meantime, this is a moment for us to continue to up our game on health and safety. We have been focusing our campus cleaning more on bathrooms, doorknobs, and high-traffic areas. We are thinking through every contingency.

Many of you have asked us what you need to be doing right now. Here is what we ─ really all of us around the country right now ─ need to be doing.

  1. Most obviously, washing hands ─ thoroughly and constantly. Remind each other. Take pride in it. Make up silly songs that last the recommended 20 seconds so it won’t seem like such an eternity. Havoc has some tips to help you stay healthy.
  2. This is now a moment for “social distancing.” We at Loyola are affectionate people ─ we have a hard time with the awkwardness of not reaching out for a hug. Let’s collectively transition to elbow bumps or foot greetings and calling each other “boo.” We are getting to the point where it is very hard to predict where the virus may be across the country. It is time we create some physical distance from each other, as hard as that is in practice.
  3. If you have symptoms including fever, cough, or shortness of breath, contact the Student Health Services at (504) 865-3326 or your own doctor. Loyola has also partnered with Ochsner Health to provide a new virtual clinic to give us increased access to medical care.
  4. Stay home if you are sick. I want you to know that we have asked faculty to be very flexible about mandatory attendance policies so that any student who is sick understands that they can and should stay home (which by the way, is always the case and we have reminded them of that too.) Student Health Services continues to work with the students in our community who have particular health concerns. If you have particular health issues that put you at greater risk and have not yet reached out to them, please do so.
  5. I can only imagine how anxious this is making most of you feel. I struggle ─ I think we all do right now ─ to put the risks in context without minimizing the suffering the virus (and our necessary reaction to its danger) is causing. Please feel free to reach out to the Counseling Center when you need help, as well as to faculty, staff and all of us.
  6. Avoid travel in general. We are lucky that we have already completed Mardi Gras break safely, but we ask that you think twice about traveling at all during these next months, including Easter break. I don’t ask that lightly and want you to know that airlines are being fairly flexible about change fees right now.

We particularly ask that you avoid personal travel to any place where there is community spread of coronavirus, including in the U.S., because if you do so, it may become necessary for you to self-isolate before returning to campus to avoid unwittingly spreading the virus to our community. You can find a constantly updated map of all reported cases here. If you have engaged in such travel anyway, you must tell us via this form before you can return to campus. We may get to a point where such travel restrictions become moot, but right now it is important for us to support the attempts by public health officials to isolate the virus.

If you have questions not answered here, or on our webpage, you can email letters@loyno.edu.

While we may be forgoing hugs for the time being, this is the time to come together in spirit and support each other.


March 5, 2020: Coronavirus and Care for the Whole Person
To the Loyola Community from the President

As we return from spring break, I want to assure you that Loyola remains vigilant in preparing for coronavirus, or COVID-2019. We are in constant touch with healthcare officials to make our plans with their guidance. We will continue to communicate frequently with all of you and to update our website with need-to-know information.

As we struggle with uncertainty and vulnerability ─ two of my least favorite emotions ─ I want to take a moment to reflect on what we might learn from this strange experience. Because ultimately, the moral challenges presented by this crisis are actually the same ones we face every day in less dramatic circumstances.

As we make decisions about our own health and safety, we now have a visceral reminder that what we do affects others. We do not act alone in the risks we choose to take.

As we begin to look askance at every friend who sneezes, we are reminded that the opposite of love isn’t hate; it’s fear.

I worry that we might make pariahs out of those exposed in our community, or someday, those actually infected. It would be ironic to behave that way at exactly the moment we all understand that we might find ourselves in the same situation as those we shun. And yet, it is all too human to preserve our own sense of safety by wanting to blame those who suffer. It’s human, but irrational and mean.

Here is the thing. If there is any community capable of resisting those temptations, it is Loyola. You take such pride in being there for each other. You have such courage, rooted in faith and values.

I pray (hard) that we will not face dramatic moral tests in the days ahead and that our Loyola community will remain safe. But I think it’s worth remembering that these are the same moral decisions that will challenge us for the rest of our lives. Some of them come labeled as a crisis and a clear test, but most of them don’t.

Let’s use this moment to double down on being men and women for others. Let’s remember that our very vulnerability and uncertainty makes us human ─ capable of great love and courage.


February 28, 2020: Important Information Regarding COVID-19 (Corona) Virus and Mardi Gras Break Travel
To Students from the Senior Vice President for Enrollment, Marketing, and Student Affairs

Loyola University New Orleans is closely monitoring the COVID-19 (Corona) virus and working with local, state, national and international partners to keep our campus safe and healthy. As of today, there are no known cases in New Orleans or Louisiana. As we return from the break, we need to take steps to protect our community.

If you traveled to one of the countries listed on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Level 2 watch list (currently, Italy, Iran and Japan), it is crucial that you respond to this email letting us know. We can then decide whether you will need to delay your return to campus, or self-isolate, to ensure that you ─ and our community ─ are ok. We will work with your professors to make sure you can continue in your courses. This applies to all students, whether or not you live in University housing. We are also requiring the same of our faculty and staff members who traveled to these countries over the break.

Loyola has set up a website with the most up-to-date information and FAQs about COVID-19 (Corona) virus. Again, if you traveled to Italy, Iran, Japan or any affected area over the break, please respond directly to this email and we will help you.


February 28, 2020: Returning From Travel in Light of COVID-19
To Faculty and Staff from the President

We are going to err on the side of over-communication right now, but I have a few things to tell you right away.

First and foremost, if you are sick, please stay home. It’s cold and flu season, and we need to keep our community healthy right now. (And this is a radical idea that I’m just starting to learn myself, but you actually get better faster when you rest.) If you have concerns about your amount of sick leave, contact your supervisor so that we can be flexible.

Very importantly, if you have traveled to any of the countries where the CDC recommends avoiding nonessential travel or where the virus has begun to spread, contact a supervisor or dean to discuss whether it’s safer for you to self-isolate for two weeks to make sure you’re OK. This is mandatory, and we will be sending the same message to students before they return from spring break. We would find ways that you could work from home or teach online.

On campus, we will be asking WFF to focus on better cleaning of bathrooms, doorknobs, etc. Feel free to become obsessive about wiping surfaces. We should model for the students and each other washing hands thoroughly and constantly.

We have gathered together a group for emergency response and have been busy planning and preparing, consulting with health officials and our own School of Nursing. We will also, all of us, pray hard that our community and the rest of the world will be spared the worst impacts of the virus.

In the meantime, let’s be vigilant, remain calm for our students and stay aware.


February 28, 2020: From the Interim Provost on the Coronavirus...
To Faculty from the Interim Provost

In keeping with our monitoring of the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), I am seeking your help.

When they come back from break, students will range from being oblivious to being incredibly anxious about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Please try to signal appropriate awareness and calm to reassure them.

If this disease spreads in pockets of the U.S., as now seems likely, the CDC guidance warns of a real possibility of bans on social gatherings, which would explicitly include schools. Many schools in China have moved to fully online teaching in a matter of three weeks, as covered here. My expectation is that we are well prepared to teach online given all our hurricane evacuation planning, but let’s take a moment to reflect and prepare.

As part of our ongoing Blackboard support and Continuity of Operations Plan, please take a moment to complete this year’s new Annual Blackboard Readiness CheckThe deadline for completion of this check is Wednesday, March 4th. If you do not fill in the survey by this date, your dean or department head will be in touch with you. I estimate that this will take you less than five minutes to complete, so please complete it as soon as possible. We cannot over prepare for interruptions to our normal operations, and this exercise can only serve to keep us vigilant and ready for any situation. Here is the link to the survey: https://bit.ly/2wTHm7a

Over the last three years as part of our efforts to develop online programs, we have been able to train more than 150 faculty in best practices for online teaching through a rigorous five-week training course. For those of you who have not had the opportunity to participate in this training, we can now provide the opportunity to enroll in a self-paced online training course. Please email Carol Ann MacGregor to find out how to register for this training. The Online Learning Team also offers one-one consultations for those faculty interested in further support.

Keep in mind that the decision to move courses online may come sooner to individual faculty. For example, if you are sick, you should avoid coming to campus so as to prevent the spread of your illness. Or, if you have traveled to one of the countries where the CDC recommends avoiding nonessential travel or where they are experiencing sustained community transmission of respiratory illness caused by COVID-19, you should self-isolate for 14 days. In that case you may be able to teach your courses online, as appropriate.

Additionally, I ask that you provide accommodations to sick students in your courses. There may also be a few students who may be asked to quarantine at their homes because they may have been exposed to COVID-19 due to travel or through contact with infected people. Please make all efforts to provide these students with ways to make up missed materials and assignments. Faculty may be able to use Collaborate, FaceTime or Google Hangouts to connect with students. Please contact your Associate Dean or Carol Ann MacGregor with related questions.

I take this opportunity to remind you that all international travel has to be approved by your dean and by me, particularly travel to places where the CDC recommends avoiding nonessential travel. In addition, I ask that you stay abreast of the latest information from Loyola regarding COVID-19 on this website, which includes FAQs.

Finally, I also ask that you take some time to once again familiarize yourself with our Continuity of Operations Plan over the next week or so. I’m asking Department Chairs and Deans to check in with you to make sure everyone is ready. In the meantime, we are busily preparing for all of the other logistical challenges we might face.


February 27, 2020: Continuing to Monitor Coronavirus (COVID-19)
To the Loyola Community from the President

We are all watching the impact of the coronavirus in an increasing number of countries around the world and praying for those who are affected. We are in close contact with Loyola students studying abroad. And I want you to know that we are making thorough preparations in case the virus spreads closer to home, preparations that we hope will prove unnecessary. You can check this website for updates and information about the virus.

For now, we require that any travel to areas where the CDC recommends avoiding nonessential travel by faculty, staff or students be approved by the Provost.

In the meantime, I hope you will exercise the kind of caution that is a good idea through every regular flu season. Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly. Stay home if you are sick. This is a good time for us to take good care of ourselves and each other.

Each of you will have your own response to the onslaught of news surrounding coronavirus. Some of you may feel invulnerable and need to be reminded to pay attention. Others may be expending valuable emotional energy worrying in a way that doesn’t actually help. This is a moment to be aware, and to recognize the interconnectedness of our world as a source of empathy, and not just fear.


January 23, 2020: Recent Travel to China
To Faculty and Staff from the Director of University Police & Emergency Management

Please be aware that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring a new coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. The CDC is closely monitoring the situation and working with the World Health Organization.

From the CDC:
“Chinese authorities identified the new coronavirus, which has resulted in close to 300 confirmed cases in China, including cases outside Wuhan, with additional cases being identified in a growing number of countries internationally. The first case in the United States was announced on January 21, 2020. There are ongoing investigations to learn more.”

Anyone traveling to Wuhan should follow the CDC’s enhanced precautions. The CDC has begun entry screening of passengers on direct and connecting flights from Wuhan, China, to the three main points of entry in the United States and will expand that screening to Atlanta and Chicago in the coming days.

While the CDC considers this a serious public health concern, they consider the immediate health risk to the general American public to be low at this time. They will update information on the CDC website as the situation evolves. We will provide further updates if the illness presents a more direct risk to the Loyola community.