Coronavirus Update Archive

May 8, 2020

President’s Update – Planning for the Fall 2020 Semester

Dear University Community,

In 1941, just after the attack on Pearl Harbor, there was a vote on whether to proceed with plans to open a new college in Rutherford, N.J., called Fairleigh Dickinson Junior College. The country was plunged into war, and the future was filled with fear and uncertainty. Many colleges were worried about closing and yet this new college was about to put a stake in the ground, led by its visionary founder Dr. Peter Sammartino, a man relentlessly driven by his dream of innovatively serving students.

The vote was approved, FDU opened its doors in the fall of 1942, and thus began an incredible success story in higher education. Naturally, there were challenges faced over the years, but that spirit of determination and resilience was forever forged in the DNA of FDU, as was the promise to transform lives that has led to an extraordinary legacy of achievement by our graduates, now more than 130,000 strong.

Propelled by and armed with that resolute spirit and determination, FDU is planning again to fulfill its promise and mission in a world that is challenged by uncertainty. As we have done for the last 78 years, we are fully committed to welcoming students in the fall and providing the high-quality educational programs that will lead to a lifetime of success and distinction.

Our faculty and staff have been working tirelessly on preparing plans for different scenarios in the fall, depending on the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic and potential directives from governmental and public health authorities. Throughout our planning process, we have been guided by a critically important priority—the health and welfare of our community. Because of the unprecedented nature of this challenge, we have to be prepared for the possibility that there will be adjustments to our normal operations in order to safeguard our health and well-being.

Our hope and intent is that our campuses will be able to welcome students for the fall semester. To ensure the safety of our community members, we are developing scenarios in which campus housing, dining and academic facilities, and extracurricular activities and events can operate consistently with public health requirements. We are also working with local health officials to have the best protocols in place for the prevention, testing, contact tracing and treatment of COVID-19 if necessary.

However, given the difficulties of predicting the status of the pandemic for the fall semester, we are also preparing for the possibility that some or all classes and activities may need to be conducted remotely. The faculty and staff have been intently focused on developing engaging, dynamic and interactive learning experiences for our students, and enhancing our technological capabilities to facilitate these new approaches.

In short, we will be prepared to do everything within our power to provide a learning environment that stimulates and inspires students, while at the same time keeping our community healthy and safe. Moreover, we will continue to keep you informed as the situation evolves.

For parents, families, and indeed all of our community members, we want you to know how deeply we value your commitment to FDU, and we are here to provide the nurturing and supportive environment that enables learning to flourish.

In this difficult time, the need for higher education has never been more obvious. The answers to our current challenges and so many others come from investments in higher education and the knowledge it advances to benefit humanity. Throughout this pandemic, the sacrifices and efforts of so many have been informed and guided by the training they received and the education they earned while in college. Education will always be our strongest weapon for any struggle we face.

For students in particular, please maintain your focus, find strength in solidarity with your peers and mentors, and keep improving. Your investments in education and your investments in yourself will bring great rewards.

No matter what the circumstances are this fall, we are determined to do everything possible to provide our students an extraordinary experience. In that respect, nothing has changed since those days of uncertainty in 1941 and 1942. We remain inspired by dreams and determined to deliver our promises no matter what challenges lie ahead.

Please stay safe and well. I look forward to when we can be together on campus.

Yours in FDU,

Christopher A. Capuano, Ph.D.
President
Fairleigh Dickinson University

April 20, 2020

President’s Update – Important Cost-Saving Measures

Dear Faculty and Staff,

Across our country and around the globe, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused massive suffering, hardships, and the need for unprecedented changes in how we live and work. At FDU, we have come together as a community to adjust our operations, to offer our educational programs online, and to support our students as best we can. The incredible efforts of our faculty and staff to adapt to this new environment in such a short time are extraordinary and demonstrate dedication to FDU and our students like never seen before.

As we move forward, we also must respond to the significant financial impact of this crisis. Most notably, we have experienced increases in certain operational expenses, refunds to our students for room and board costs, and a decrease in revenue from a variety of sources, not the least of which will be our upcoming summer program tuition.

This new financial reality, combined with the uncertainty of when we can resume normal operations, means that we have to consider all options to address these challenges, while ensuring that we do not compromise the quality of an FDU education. Our focus for the immediate future is on those operations that directly impact the educational experience of our students.

Like many colleges, we have taken some basic steps already, such as enacting a hiring freeze and only proceeding with a limited number of capital projects. But we will have to do more to help the University overcome the financial challenges we face. Before we ask our faithful employees to make sacrifices, I think it’s important that our leadership demonstrate our commitment to the University and all of you in this struggle, and that is why I have decided to take a 20% pay cut. At the same time, the senior leadership team has unanimously agreed to reduce their salaries by 10%, and remaining members of the President’s Cabinet will reduce their salaries by 8%. These salary reductions will last as long as necessary and will be used to establish a special relief fund for students and families in need and to support the University’s budget.

Unfortunately, we have to take some other measures as well. As you know, we moved nearly all our operations remotely beginning March 16. Many employees have since continued their responsibilities, but many others cannot do all the previous work they had been doing. Additionally, the impact of COVID-19 has significantly limited the need for various University functions in at least the short term.

For these reasons, the University will be instituting a furlough program, effective April 27. A furlough is a temporary unpaid leave of absence, with the expectation that the employee will be recalled within a specific period of time. With students off campus until at least late August, we project that most employees furloughed will return on August 10, but this date may change. We have consulted with supervisors, deans, and directors to determine how best to identify employees to furlough. If you are among those who were identified, you will soon receive a notification from Vice President of Human Resources Rose D’Ambrosio.

Furloughed employees are individuals who cannot fully perform their job remotely, or the need for their job has been substantially reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a change in business operations. Please note that the University will continue to offer and make its normal contributions toward medical/dental coverage for furloughed employees and eligible dependents. In addition, furloughed employees may be eligible for state unemployment benefits, as well as federal pandemic unemployment benefits provided under the CARES Act. Furloughed employees are not expected to work during the furlough period—in fact, they are not permitted to engage in any University-related business, including e-mails, phone calls, or meetings, until their duties resume.

I’m sure there will be other questions concerning this program, and those who are notified will be provided with more details and support as they cope with this transition. For questions concerning furloughs, please contact Rose D’Ambrosio at dambrosi@fdu.edu. Again, it is our hope and expectation that many employees who are furloughed will be recalled on August 10, but of course we will have to re-evaluate this as the situation evolves.

I want everyone to understand how difficult a decision this is. I assure you that we evaluated all our options before coming to this decision. We deeply value all our employees, and so many of you have played such important roles at the University. And we also understand that while many of the employees furloughed haven’t had full workloads since we moved to remote business operations, they were still making contributions that now will have to be handled by others with full workloads. We are very sorry for this and continue to appreciate all the efforts that so many of you are making in this very trying time.

Despite these challenges, we remain fully committed to ensuring that the quality of education remains at the level our students have come to expect. And we will continue to do everything possible to enable our students to pursue their studies and attain their goals.

As I wrote to you earlier, I wish I could accurately predict the future and tell you when this will be over, but until then we must plan and prepare for as many scenarios as possible. With your help and sacrifices, we will continue to position ourselves in the best possible manner for today and tomorrow, and we will continue to be there for our students like we always have been.

I thank each and every one of you for your resiliency, your determination, and your resolve. Thanks to you, I know we will meet these challenges with continued courage and strength, and I know we will enjoy brighter days ahead.

With great appreciation and admiration,

Christopher A. Capuano, Ph.D.
President
Fairleigh Dickinson University

April 9, 2020

President’s Update – A Note of Appreciation

Dear University Community Members,

We are living in troubled times that few could have anticipated or imagined. We all feel the stress, anxiety, and uncertainty seemingly surrounding us on all sides. But there also are many reasons for hope and examples of inspiration, particularly in our own community, that should provide comfort and strength amid all the challenges.

I want to thank all of you for your many extraordinary efforts, from faculty creatively becoming engaged with new online tools, to students patiently adapting to online instruction and collaborating together in virtual communities, to staff members transitioning to remote operations to support us all.

I’ve been very heartened, for example, to see so many students, faculty, and staff supporting each other as we learn, teach, and work a bit differently. And then there’s efforts that have been particularly special, like our faculty, staff, and students personally reaching out to prospective students who cannot physically come to campus, to help them get a sense of what the FDU experience is all about.

I’ve been heartened as well to see what you’ve done in your local communities. So many efforts have meant so much, whether it’s shopping for someone who cannot go out because of an underlying condition, delivering food or comfort to someone, or just calling or contacting others in need of camaraderie during a time of physical isolation.

And then there’s our alumni and friends who have been serving others. Many have been in the front lines as healthcare workers and volunteers, while others have made important contributions and sacrifices in other ways. We are so proud of all of you. And many of you have also asked how you can help the University and our students who face financial struggles during this challenging period. In response, we have established emergency funds for our students that anyone can support. Please go to FDU’s Student Emergency Funds to learn more. Every donation is so appreciated, and every bit makes a difference. Your contributions not only support students today, but also provide the foundation for a better tomorrow.

We will continue working as hard as possible to anticipate next steps, and plan and prepare for how we can stay true to our mission. Please continue to be patient, understanding, and supportive of each other. And please do all you can to follow the directives of health and governmental authorities, and keep yourselves and your loved ones safe and well.

Sometimes life provides the most meaningful educational experiences possible, and we can all take some important lessons to heart. Maybe the most meaningful of all is the reality that all of humanity is deeply interconnected. The most critical challenges of our times can only be solved by cooperation and collaboration with each other, the exact kind we see every day at FDU, and the kind we are seeing now on a state, regional, national, and global level.

Thank you again for all your many efforts for our students. Many of you will hold religious and family celebrations this week that may be celebrated a little differently than usual, but I still hope everyone can take special time to be with their loved ones in some way.

Please stay well. I look forward to seeing all of you in person as soon as possible.

Yours in FDU,

Christopher A. Capuano, Ph.D.
President
Fairleigh Dickinson University

April 9, 2020

Deadline Extension for Student Withdrawal from Classes

To: The University Community

From: Gillian Small, University Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

As recently announced, in order to give students additional time in their online/remote classes before deciding whether they wish to take the pass/fail option for any or all of their classes for this semester, we extended the deadline to April 24, 2020.  For the same reasons, we are also extending the deadline for withdrawal from classes.  Thus, the last day for student withdrawal from classes is Friday, April 24, 2020.

For those celebrating holidays at this time, we wish you a safe and happy Passover or Easter.

April 7, 2020

All Summer Sessions for 2020

To: FDU Community in New Jersey

From: Gillian Small, University Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs         

With the coronavirus pandemic causing continued uncertainty regarding when we will be able to resume our normal operating procedures and in-person instruction, we have decided at this time that classes offered for all Summer Sessions (I, II and III) will be offered through remote learning (online) only. Online registration for Summer 2020 classes begins Monday, April 20

I would also remind you that we are making every effort to enable our students to continue their studies during the summer by allowing all undergraduate students to take one summer course at regular tuition cost and a second or subsequent summer course(s) at 50% tuition. In addition, we are allowing most graduate students (with exceptions outlined below) to take three credits at regular tuition cost and any subsequent summer credits at 50% tuition. 

Please note, the following programs are exempted from this policy:

PharmD, Five-year PsyD in School Psychology.

April 3, 2020

Update on Pass/Fail Option for Spring Semester 2020

To: The University Community

From: Gillian Small, University Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

In order to give students additional time in their online/remote classes before deciding whether they wish to take the Pass/Fail option for any or all of their classes for this semester, we are extending the deadline by which they need to make this decision.

Students now have until April 24 to switch some or all of their spring courses to a Pass/Fail grading system or remain with the traditional grading system. This includes all undergraduates, and those graduate students who are not in programs exempted from this policy. Students must inform the respective instructor in writing by this deadline for each course they decide to elect the Pass/Fail option, otherwise they will continue to be graded by the traditional system.

April 2, 2020

Graduate Summer Sessions 2020

To: FDU Community in New Jersey

From: Gillian Small, University Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

As you are aware, we recently made the decision that all classes for Summer Sessions I and II will be offered through remote learning (online) only. A decision regarding Summer Session III will be made at a later date. Online registration for Summer 2020 classes begins Monday, April 20.

We also recognize that the current situation is causing financial hardships for many people. Therefore, in an effort to enable graduate students in many programs to continue their studies during the summer and enhance their efforts to graduate in a timely fashion, we are allowing graduate students in most programs (see below for exceptions) on our New Jersey campuses to take three credits at regular tuition cost and any subsequent summer credits at 50% tuition. This will apply to any of the summer 2020 sessions.

Please note, the following programs are exempted from this policy:

PharmD, Five-year PsyD in School Psychology.

March 30, 2020

Undergraduate Summer Sessions 2020

To:   FDU Community in New Jersey

From: Gillian Small, University Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

As you are well aware, we continue to face unprecedented challenges related to the Coronavirus pandemic and thus have adjusted several dates and policies in order to provide flexibility and support for our students. With continued uncertainty as to when we will be able to resume our normal operating procedures, including in-person instruction, we have decided at this time that all classes for Summer Sessions I and II will be offered through remote learning (online) only. A decision regarding Summer Session III will be made at a later date. Online registration for Summer 2020 classes begins Monday, April 20

We also understand that for many the current situation is causing some financial hardship. Therefore, in an effort to enable undergraduate students to continue their studies during the summer and enhance their efforts to graduate in a timely fashion, we are allowing all undergraduate students currently enrolled at one of our New Jersey campuses to take one summer course at regular tuition cost and a second or subsequent summer course(s) at 50% tuition. This will apply to any of the summer 2020 sessions.

March 25, 2020

President’s Update – Commencement

Last week, I wrote to all of you that unfortunately we must cancel the May 18 Commencement ceremony at MetLife Stadium due to ongoing health concerns related to the COVID-19 global pandemic. These are unprecedented times and unfortunately huge sacrifices are necessary. As I wrote, this was one of the most painful decisions we have had to make thus far because we know how hard our graduates have worked and we know how much this day means to them and their families.

While we are very disappointed that commencement at MetLife Stadium cannot go forward as planned, rest assured that all students will receive their diplomas on time and that we are considering alternative ways that we can celebrate together and recognize the amazing achievements of our graduates. We are currently considering a brief virtual ceremony for the May 18 date, during which I will confer degrees upon our graduates. This is an important ritual, and we want to mark the occasion in the traditional and timely manner we have always done for our graduates. Keep an eye out for more details on how you can tune in and participate in the virtual ceremony. 

In addition, I have listened to your comments and suggestions and we will indeed plan for a full in-person ceremony at a later date, as circumstances permit. If we can have an in-person ceremony soon after the originally scheduled date, then perhaps we will not need to confer degrees virtually on May 18. However, if we are not able to schedule something soon after May 18, then we will consider other dates in 2020, and certainly we also have the option of inviting all 2020 graduates to join next year’s commencement ceremony in May 2021 if necessary.

While we know these alternatives may not be desirable to all, we are doing the best we can to honor and applaud our graduates’ efforts and accomplishments, while keeping our community safe and healthy.

Details on specific plans for May 18 will be provided as soon as possible, and the possibility of a future event will be determined based on evolving state and national health guidelines and with input from our graduates themselves.

Thank you all for your patience and understanding as we consider the best plan possible, and please know there is nothing I look forward to more than actually seeing in person all of our graduates walking across the stage.

Sincerely,

Christopher A. Capuano, Ph.D.
President
Fairleigh Dickinson University

March 25, 2020

Pass/Fail Option for Graduate Students for Spring Semester 2020

To: The University Community

From: Gillian Small, University Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Given the unprecedented challenges that COVID-19 (coronavirus) has created in our community, and specifically in causing the University to move to fully remote learning in an accelerated fashion, we have decided it is appropriate to allow graduate students in many programs (see below for exceptions) to elect whether any or all of their classes for this current semester will be graded on a pass/fail scale, or on the regular graduate grading scale (A-C or F). Whatever the choice, all classes will still count for their respective requirements. We need to emphasize that a “P” grade does not affect a student’s GPA, but any grade of “F” will be calculated into a GPA.

Please note, the following programs are exempted from this policy:

Doctor of Nursing Practice, Master’s of Science in Nursing, Ph.D in Clinical Psychology, Psy.D. in School Psychology.

Students have until April 10 to switch some or all of their spring courses to a Pass/Fail grading system or remain with the traditional grading system. Students must inform the respective instructor in writing by this deadline for each course they decide to elect the Pass/Fail option, otherwise they will continue to be graded by the regular graduate grading system.

Faculty will indicate on their rosters for each class whether the student has elected the Pass/Fail option or the traditional A-F grading system. In the Pass/Fail option, any work deemed worthy of any pass grade (A-D) will be given a “P” and only work deemed worthy of a failing grade will be given an “F”.

Students who are trying to improve their current GPA, or who need a certain grade in order to move forward in their program, should strongly consider electing the traditional graduate grading. If a student is unsure, they should seek the guidance of an academic advisor, department chair or director to help make their decision.

Please note that the last day for student withdrawal from classes has also been extended to April 10, 2020.

Graduate Repeat Policy

If a student is repeating a course, it is strongly recommended that they do not select the pass-fail option, as the repeated course grade will not replace the first course grade issued to the student. If a student has been found guilty of academic dishonesty, an F grade for this course is not to be removed from the student’s transcript or from the cumulative grade point ratio calculation when the course is repeated, as per the graduate academic integrity policy.

March 20, 2020

President’s Update — Remote Learning Extended for Remainder of Spring Semester

Dear University Community,

As you know, we have been working hard to plan and respond to all the challenges posed by the outbreak of COVID-19. Our switch to remote learning was the most significant step taken, and I want to thank all the faculty, staff and students for their devotion, understanding and cooperation as we made the transition. While I know this was a difficult and unexpected change, I understand that the vast majority of courses are proceeding well. At the same time, we have moved nearly all of our business operations remotely, and staff are doing as much as possible to support students. It’s true that campuses remain open for some resident students and some essential operations, but we have asked students, faculty and most staff to not come to campus. All campus events have been cancelled or postponed and social distancing measures need to be followed for those remaining on campus.

When we implemented these measures we did so based on the best guidance from health and government authorities, and of course with the hope that this would be temporary and that we could resume operations soon. Unfortunately, it has become clear that we need to maintain these measures for some time. On March 15, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that all events with 50 or more people scheduled in the next 8 weeks be canceled or postponed. And national and state authorities have gone even further since then urging that even fewer numbers congregate.

Due to the extended nature of the outbreak and with such guidance in mind, we have made the difficult decision to continue the suspension of campus activities and all face-to-face instruction for the remainder of the spring semester. We are extremely sorry for this inconvenience and we know how much everyone will miss the campus experiences we all cherish. We regret this disruption but we have no choice but to continue to do all that we can to reduce the risk to our community members. We will continue remote (online) learning and remote business operations, and I can assure you that students will have the opportunity to continue earning their credits and proceeding with their degree plans.

While students have adjusted well to courses being delivered remotely, we understand the need for flexibility and so we are expanding our grading policy for the spring semester to include a pass/fail option, which will allow undergraduate students more latitude in how they are evaluated this semester. More information concerning this option will be provided by the University Provost shortly.

Now that we know we won’t have students returning for courses on campus this semester, we again ask that those students remaining in the residence halls please move to other locations if possible. However, those who do not have an alternative housing accommodation may remain for the duration of the spring semester. For those who still have their belongings in the residence halls, we will lock your rooms and secure your belongings until social distancing measures are relaxed and it is safe to return to campus to collect your belongings and move out of your rooms fully. I also want to assure everyone that we are committed to providing prorated refunds for spring semester room and board. We still need to determine the details and will share more information concerning refunds as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, the continuing nature of this outbreak means that our University Commencement cannot take place as scheduled. This is a particularly painful decision for me. I know very well how much this event means to all our graduates who have worked so hard to fulfill their goals and dreams. At the same time, considering the situation and considering the need for people to plan accordingly, we must make a decision based on what we know now and so, unfortunately, we will have to cancel the live Commencement event scheduled to take place at MetLife Stadium on May 18. However, this doesn’t mean we will not celebrate our graduates. We are considering various options now for a virtual ceremony that will feature the appropriate pomp and circumstance and recognize all graduates individually.

To our graduates, I know the ceremony may not be exactly the same and, again, we regret that you have been hurt by this situation. At the same time, I want you to remember that nothing can take away from your incredible accomplishment, and we remain ready and able to confer your degrees. You will graduate and you will receive your diplomas on time. The ceremony is indeed an important symbol and, while the applause won’t be heard by all, rest assured we will applaud you. More details on the ceremony will be available soon.

Given the seriousness of the pandemic at this time and the likelihood that international travel will continue to be restricted for the foreseeable future, we are also canceling all study abroad trips through the end of July 2020. We regret having to make this decision now but believe this decision is in the best interests of our community.

I know our students and parents will have some questions, and we promise to try to continue to update you as best as possible. We will continue to offer summer programs and, if those have to be online as well, we are prepared to do that. Our fall registration will take place soon and all selections and advising can be done online. The thought of fall and a new academic year with students busily engaged and active on campus brings with it great promise, and we continue to work toward that end with hope and courage.

My sincere heartfelt thanks to our students for your positive approach amid all the challenges you’re facing, and my deepest appreciation to the entire University community for all your incredible efforts on behalf of our students and each other. I am very proud and thankful to be a part of this incredible community, and I want to continue to express my deepest wish that all of you remain healthy and well.

Sincerely,

Christopher A. Capuano, Ph.D.
President
Fairleigh Dickinson University

March 20, 2020

Pass/Fail Option for Undergraduate Students for Spring Semester 2020

To: The University Community

From: Gillian Small, University Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Given the unprecedented circumstances that COVID-19 (coronavirus) has created in our community, and specifically in causing the University to move to fully remote learning in an accelerated fashion, we have decided it is appropriate to allow undergraduate students to elect whether any or all of their classes for this current semester will be graded on a pass/fail scale, or on the regular A-F grading scale. Whatever the choice, all classes will still count for their respective requirements. We need to emphasize that a ‘P’ grade does not affect a student’s GPA, but any grade of ‘F’ will be calculated into a GPA, except for grades excluded by the Undergraduate Repeat Policy (included below).

Students have until April 10 to switch some or all of their spring courses to a Pass/Fail grading system or remain with the traditional A-F grading system. Students must inform the respective instructor in writing by this deadline for each course they decide to elect the Pass/Fail option, otherwise they will continue to be graded by the A-F system.

Faculty will indicate on their rosters for each class whether the student has elected the Pass/Fail option or the traditional A-F grading system. In the Pass/Fail option, any work deemed worthy of any pass grade (A-D) will be given a ‘P’ and only work deemed worthy of a failing grade will be given an ‘F’.

Students who are trying to improve their current GPA, or who need a certain grade in order to move forward in their program, should strongly consider electing the A-F grading. If a student is unsure, they should seek the guidance of an academic advisor, department chair or director to help make their decision.

Please note that the last day for student withdrawal from classes has also been extended to April 10, 2020.

Undergraduate Repeat Policy

If a student repeats a course, both the first and second (third, etc.) grades will remain on the transcript, but only the last earned grade will be computed in the cumulative grade point ratio (CGPR). (Note: weighted NC, W, I and AU are not considered earned grades.) Any repeated course taken to remove the credits attempted and any grade points earned from a lesser previous grade must originally have been taken at Fairleigh Dickinson University and must also be repeated at Fairleigh Dickinson University. If a student has been found guilty of academic dishonesty, the F grade for this course is not to be removed from the student’s transcript or from the cumulative grade point ratio calculation when the course is repeated.

 

March 15, 2020

President’s Update – Latest Actions Related to COVID-19 Pandemic – March 15, 2020

Dear University Community,

I am writing to summarize some of the actions we are taking at FDU to protect our students, faculty, staff and neighbors in response to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.

To date, there remains no confirmed case of COVID-19 at FDU. However, we are mindful of the seriousness of this pandemic and are acting accordingly. Since this outbreak began, we have continuously monitored guidance from health authorities and government officials, and we have worked closely with peer institutions and, of course, with those within our own community to ensure that we are doing all we can to protect the health and welfare of our community while staying true to our mission and purpose.

Our key actions include the following:

  • As previously communicated, tomorrow (March 16) we will begin offering courses remotely (online). We ask that our students and faculty understand that this is an ambitious undertaking, and that there may be difficulties as we transition to a virtual classroom environment. We are providing training resources for faculty. [Please see the link for faculty resources on our coronavirus website (www.fdu.edu/coronavirus) and note that the Provost will be providing more information and updates on that site as we move forward.] Students, please work closely with your professors for support and contact the University Technical Assistance Center at 973-443-8822 for any technical help you might need.
  • As also communicated previously, we strongly recommend that residence students return home if possible and as soon as possible. Students with special circumstances will be permitted to remain on campus (for example, students with no alternative housing). However, students who remain on campus should be aware that campus services will be limited, and that their freedom of movement will be limited as well. Students remaining on campus must exercise “social distancing” and may not gather in groups. There will be a computer lab open on each campus that will have very limited hours. The main dining hall will be open, but food will be grab and go only. Other specific instructions will be provided by campus executives.
  • The University remains open. However, to mitigate the risk of virus transmission, supervisors are directed to implement their business continuity plans to enable employees to work at home to the fullest extent practical. We will continue to take steps to assure a safe working environment for those employees who work on campus. We understand that questions may arise given that we are operating under unique and extraordinary circumstances. Supervisors should reach out to Rose D’Ambrosio, Vice President for Human Resources, if they have questions or concerns.
  • As you know, we expanded our travel restrictions and no University-related travel can take place without permission from a senior officer of the University. We also urge everyone to reconsider any personal travel plans they may have. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued a new Travel Notice elevating almost all countries in Europe to a Warning Level 3 – Avoid Non-Essential Travel Designation. As a reminder, faculty, students, staff and other visitors to FDU who have traveled to a country with a Level 3 Warning may not come to campus until 14 days from the date of departure from that country, and only then if they are symptom-free since their return.

The University needs to be informed should you or someone close to you become ill or potentially exposed. Those who do so may be required to self-isolate. Students should contact the following health services:

  • Metropolitan Campus Department of Student Health Services – 201-692-2437. After hours, call Metropolitan Campus Public Safety – 201-692-2222.
  • Florham Campus Department of Student Health Services – 973-443-8535. After hours, call Florham Public Safety – 973-443-8888.
  • Vancouver Campus: Call your health-care provider or the provincial health line 8-1-1 to discuss any need for testing and follow up. FDU Vancouver student services can be reached at 604-682-8112.
  • Wroxton College: The Wroxton College Reception Office, which is staffed 24/7, will coordinate with local medical services and can be reached at 011-44-1295-730551.

If you are a faculty or staff member who is worried that you have come in contact with someone with the virus or you are feeling ill, seek medical assistance through your primary care physician. Please also notify Rose D’Ambrosio at 201-692-2706 or via email at dambrosi@fdu.edu. Remember to call ahead to your healthcare provider if you suspect that you have COVID-19 so that they can advise you on appropriate steps before you arrive at the office.

The COVID-19 crisis is unlike any we have seen in our lifetimes, and we need to remain nimble and responsive as conditions evolve. Just this weekend, Teaneck officials asked residents to self-quarantine to help reduce the spread of the virus within the community. Things may continue to change and so we continue preparing and planning to protect you and contribute as best we can to society’s response to this worldwide pandemic.

As things develop, we will continue to keep you closely informed. Please also continue to keep an eye on www.fdu.edu/coronavirus for future updates.

I wish I could tell you when we can resume our routine lives, but no one knows how long this will last. I do know the more everyone does their part, the more quickly the crisis will subside. In the meantime, I again ask everyone for your patience and consideration. While we want to continue to pursue our normal goals, this situation is a crucial reminder to all of us about what matters most. While we aspire to prepare our students for tomorrow, sometimes we need to make adjustments to deal with challenges we face today, and so we all must learn from this life lesson and take care of each other the best way we can. I have no doubt we will and that we will emerge more united as a community and stronger as a University.

Thank you and be well.

Sincerely,

Christopher A. Capuano, Ph.D.
President

March 13, 2020

Wroxton College – Students to Return Home – March 13, 2020

In light of increasing concerns surrounding COVID-19 throughout the world, the University has suspended on-site instruction at Wroxton College and students will return to the United States where they will continue their Wroxton courses remotely. Although there are no known cases of COVID-19 at Wroxton College, we believe taking this proactive measure is in the best interests of the Wroxton campus community.
 
Faculty and staff at Wroxton College will work with students as they make the transition back home and to ensure that students will be able to complete the Spring semester through remote platforms.
 
We appreciate that this is a difficult and disappointing situation, but our students’ safety is paramount. Thank you for your support and understanding.

March 10, 2020

President’s Update — Moving Courses Online — March 10, 2020

Dear University Community,

As the coronavirus has spread, so too have concerns and anxiety among all who could be potentially impacted. As of today, there are no known cases of any individual with coronavirus on any FDU campus. However, we understand the concerns and continue to do all that we can to support our students and our entire community during this challenging time. At FDU, based on guidance from federal, state and local health authorities, we have taken measures to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus, such as restricting travel.

To further reduce the risk, we have decided to suspend face-to-face instruction on our New Jersey and Vancouver campuses and switch to remote (online) learning for all classes, effective Monday, March 16, which is the scheduled resumption of classes following spring break for our New Jersey students. We are closely monitoring conditions at FDU’s Wroxton College in England, where students are studying abroad, but until otherwise announced, in-person classes can continue there.

In addition, as many FDU events and meetings as possible will be conducted through virtual means, and most campus events will be postponed until we are more confident that the spread of the virus is contained in our region. Potential exceptions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. At this time, athletic events may continue to be held.

I want to emphasize that the University is open and many operations will continue uninterrupted during this period. All employees should continue to report to work as usual and most operations and support services will continue on campus as needed. Some services will continue remotely and, in certain cases, staff may be permitted to work remotely, with their supervisor’s approval. As previously communicated, employees who are ill or could have been potentially exposed to the virus must remain off-campus.

While there have been no known confirmed cases of coronavirus at Fairleigh Dickinson University and while we believe the risk to our population remains low, the number of cases in our neighboring regions has risen, and we are taking this step out of an abundance of caution to help reduce the risk of the spread of the virus on campus.

All classes will be led by professors online. Faculty members are asked to reach out to their students as soon as possible to describe the procedures and requirements. We want to assure students that this temporary transition to online classes will have no effect on their credits or their path to graduation. If students have particular questions about their courses, they should contact their professors or advisors. If they require any technical assistance, please contact the UTAC Help Desk at 973-443-8822.

Those students who are studying in New Jersey and are away on spring break should remain off campus if possible. Those residential students who are on campus are encouraged to return home. Those who cannot return home may inform the University and remain in the residential halls. Dining operations will continue for students remaining on campus, although other campus activities may not be held.

At the same time, we are expanding our travel restrictions. University-sponsored travel (both international and domestic) will only be permitted with the approval of the provost or other senior officer of the University. Anyone taking personal trips is advised to use caution during this time period and note that if they visit an area with high risk for exposure they may be required to remain off-campus or in self-isolation in accordance with earlier communications.

While we certainly hope and plan to resume all classes in person as soon as possible, we do not know yet how long these measures will remain in effect. We will provide more updates as new information becomes available.  

We continue to need everyone to keep us informed should they become ill or potentially exposed to the virus. Students who are concerned about their health or have reason to believe they may have come in contact with an infected individual should contact the appropriate health service:

  • Metropolitan Campus Department of Student Health Services – 201-692-2437. After hours, call Metropolitan Campus Public Safety – 201-692-2222.
  • Florham Campus Department of Student Health Services – 973-443-8535. After hours, call Florham Public Safety – 973-443-8888.
  • Vancouver Campus: Call your health-care provider or the provincial health line 8-1-1 to discuss any need for testing and follow up. FDU Vancouver student services can be reached at 604-682-8112.
  • Wroxton College: The Wroxton College Reception Office, which is staffed 24/7, will coordinate with local medical services and can be reached at 011-44-1295-730551.

If you are a faculty or staff member who is worried that you have come in contact with someone with the virus or you are feeling ill, seek medical assistance through your primary care physician. Please also notify Rose D’Ambrosio at 201-692-2706 or via email at dambrosi@fdu.edu.

We know this is a very challenging and stressful situation, and we thank the FDU community for being flexible, patient and understanding throughout this process. I especially want to thank all those who have been planning and preparing for such contingency plans since news of the spread of the virus began. I am always proud of our dedicated and hard-working team, but during difficult times, we especially see how devoted and compassionate our community is. I know everyone will continue to do everything possible to support and prepare our students for a world that offers extraordinary opportunities but indeed sometimes difficult challenges. I can promise that we will do all we can to resume regular operations as soon as possible, while ensuring that our campuses are as safe as possible for our community.

For the most up-to-date information, please continue to visit FDU’s Coronavirus Updates Website.

Thank you,

Christopher A. Capuano

President

March 9, 2020

To: The University Community

From: Hania Ferrara, Senior Vice President for Finance & Administration

Subject: Caring for Each Other

As the University keeps track of the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), we are planning and  preparing for as many contingencies as possible, with one dominant concern far above all others: the health and welfare of our FDU community. FDU has long been known as a community that takes care of each other and, while that is illustrated each and every day, it’s especially on display when challenges arise.

We have already restricted FDU-related travel and advised the community that those who are ill should stay home, but we need to go several steps further. We all need to work together to protect the FDU community.

Faculty, staff or students who have been in contact with persons who are known to have the coronavirus should isolate themselves in their homes or other off-campus locations for 14 days from the date of exposure. For example, if you are living in the same household or suite with an individual who is self-isolating because of potential exposure to the coronavirus, you also should self-isolate for 14 days from the other person’s first possible exposure to the virus. These precautions also apply to travelers who have been to locations (e.g., arenas, restaurants) that are identified by governmental authorities as being a source of infection. 

We need everyone to keep us informed should they become ill or potentially exposed to the virus. Faculty and staff need to contact Human Resources immediately if this occurs (call or write Rose D’Ambrosio at 201-692-2706 or Dambrosi@fdu.edu). And, if supervisors or managers learn first of employees who are ill or potentially exposed, please notify Human Resources and please help our employees to fulfill their responsibilities remotely if possible.

Students who suspect they may have been exposed must notify the appropriate campus health services (Florham Campus at 973-443-8535, Metropolitan Campus at 201-692-2437, Vancouver Campus at 604-682-8112 and Wroxton College at 011-44-1295-730551).

Business continuity plans are in place and being updated to help operations continue remotely if necessary. In the same way, faculty are working to plan to hold classes remotely should that need arise. We must be as vigilant as possible, plan for as much as possible, and err on the side of caution to protect the entire community. Please make preparations for remotely serving our students should the need arise.

We can further help protect each other by taking the usual measures against viruses, as we’ve advised before. Washing hands often with soap and water goes a long way. And keeping our work spaces as clean as possible is crucial. Remember to clean and disinfect those objects and surfaces that are touched frequently.

Finally, we all have heard of cases where people place blame for problems on a particular group or region. At FDU, though, we take great pride in being a close and welcoming community that is dedicated to diversity and global awareness. Having students from throughout the world strengthens our community and complements our mission. Our international community members are an essential part of the fabric of our community, bringing global perspectives and vibrant customs and cultures to our campuses. I know all members of the FDU community will continue to ensure that our actions always reinforce these core values of diversity, openness, compassion and, most of all, collaboration with and commitment to each other.

We appreciate your cooperation and understanding as we continue to work together during this challenging situation. For more information and updates, please visit www.fdu.edu/coronavirus.

Thank you.

March 6, 2020

To: The University Community

From: Hania Ferrara, Senior Vice President for Finance & Administration

Subject: Travel Restrictions and Recommendations

As you know, the University is carefully monitoring the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), and taking as many precautions as possible to keep our community safe. A number of travel restrictions have been imposed on University-related activities, and we are recommending that those considering personal travel closely monitor government advisories and act accordingly. In a rapidly changing environment, there is a significant risk that a country or region could be classified as high-risk with little warning.

The University needs to know what FDU-related travel plans faculty and staff are making so we can support individuals accordingly. All faculty and staff traveling for FDU-sponsored activities must notify the Office of Risk Management (lemaire@fdu.edu). Please provide the following information:

  • First and Last Name
  • Email Address
  • FDU ID #
  • Home Campus/College/Department
  • Department
  • Supervisor’s Name
  • Best phone number to contact you
  • FDU Status (faculty or staff, full- or part-time)
  • List of country/countries and city/cities you plan to visit through August 31, 2020 and the corresponding travel dates
  • Business Purpose

Faculty, staff or students who become ill while traveling should consult their health care providers and avoid contact with other persons, whether or not the illness is suspected to be related to the coronavirus. If community members become ill or come in contact with persons known to have the coronavirus, please notify the University. Students should inform the appropriate FDU health services office immediately. Faculty and staff should inform the Office of Human Resources immediately. (See contact information below.)

Depending on the circumstances, travelers may be required to isolate themselves in their homes or other off-campus locations for 14 days. These precautions also apply to travelers who have visited locations (e.g., arenas, restaurants) that are identified by governmental authorities as being a source of infection. 

To reduce the possibility of spreading or catching any virus, we urge everyone to continue to employ preemptive actions. These recommendations are even more critical when traveling and using public transportation.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick (regardless of whether or not related to coronavirus).
  • Adhere to public health exclusion recommendations. For acute respiratory illness, individuals should be fever free for 24 hours without fever reducing medication.
  • Cover coughs/sneezes in your elbow/sleeve or with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

If a student comes in contact with an infected individual (as described above) or exhibits a fever, shortness of breath or a cough, please have the student contact the appropriate health service:

  • Metropolitan Campus Department of Student Health Services – 201-692-2437. After hours, call Metropolitan Campus Public Safety – 201-692-2222.
  • Florham Campus Department of Student Health Services – 973-443-8535. After hours, call Florham Public Safety – 973-443-8888.
  • Vancouver Campus: Call your health-care provider or the provincial health line 8-1-1 to discuss any need for testing and follow up. FDU Vancouver student services can be reached at 604-682-8112.
  • Wroxton College: The Wroxton College Reception Office, which is staffed 24/7, will coordinate with local medical services and can be reached at 011-44-1295-730551.

Our faculty and staff members should seek medical assistance through their primary-care physicians, and inform Rose D’Ambrosio in the Office of Human Resources at 201-692-2706 or dambrosi@fdu.edu

Please travel safely.

March 2, 2020

To: The University Community

From: Hania Ferrara, Senior Vice President for Finance & Administration

Following up on Friday’s memo, we want to further update the community on the rapidly changing situation concerning COVID-19, the coronavirus. The CDC has extended the Level 3 Warning (Avoid nonessential travel) to Italy and Iran, bringing the number of countries with Level 3 Warnings to four (China and South Korea are the other two).

FDU faculty, staff, and students may not travel to those countries with a Level 3 Warning for study abroad, research, internships, service, conferences, presentations, teaching, performances, recruiting or athletic competitions. Considering the potential for warnings in other countries, FDU has decided to further suspend all University-sponsored international student trips for the remainder of this semester.

As previously communicated, those considering any international travel for personal reasons should be familiar with the CDC recommendations and advisories. Travel for personal reasons to countries under CDC warnings is strongly discouraged. We also strongly recommend postponing hosting visitors from affected countries until the CDC travel warnings are lifted.

Faculty, students, staff and other visitors to FDU who have traveled to a country with a Level 3 Warning may not come to campus until 14 days from the date of departure from that country, and only then if they are symptom free since their return. Faculty, students and staff must isolate themselves in their homes or other off-campus locations during that 14-day period. Faculty and staff should notify the Office of Human Resources. Students should notify the appropriate campus health services (Florham Campus at 973-443-8535, Metropolitan Campus at 201-692-2437, and Vancouver Campus, 604-682-8112).

The University will post all updates and other links and resources on a dedicated webpage, www.fdu.edu/coronavirus. Please refer to the site for more information.

Thank you.

February 28, 2020

To: The University Community

From: Hania Ferrara, Senior Vice President for Finance & Administration

Subject: Coronavirus Update

FDU continues to closely monitor the rapidly evolving situation concerning COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus. While the threat to the FDU community currently is considered low — and there are no reported cases on any of FDU’s campuses — we are taking this situation very seriously and planning in line with recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Department of State and the State of New Jersey Department of Health, as well as Canadian federal and British Columbia health authorities for our Vancouver Campus, and the Department of Health and Social Care in the United Kingdom for Wroxton College.

International Travel

As previously announced, the University has implemented a restriction on travel for University business purposes to China following the decision by the CDC to issue a Level 3 Warning (Avoid nonessential travel). The CDC’s Level 3 Warning has been extended to South Korea so the University’s travel restriction is likewise extended to that country. FDU faculty, staff, and students may not travel for study abroad, research, internships, service, conferences, presentations, teaching, performances, recruiting or athletic competitions in China and South Korea.

If you are a student who has recently been to these countries or who has possibly come in contact with an infected individual AND you exhibit a fever, shortness of breath or a cough, please contact the appropriate health services as follows: 

  • Metropolitan Campus Department of Student Health Services – 201-692-2437. After hours, call  Metropolitan Campus Public Safety – 201-692-2222.
  • Florham Campus Department of Student Health Services – 973-443-8535.  After hours, call Florham Public Safety – 973-443-8888.
  • Vancouver Campus: Call your health-care provider or the provincial health line 8-1-1 to discuss any need for testing and follow up. FDU Vancouver student services can be reached at 604-682-8112.
  • Wroxton College: The Wroxton College Reception Office, which is staffed 24/7, will coordinate with local medical services.

Similarly, if you are a faculty or staff member with these symptoms — and you have traveled to China or South Korea or may have come in contact with an infected individual — you should seek medical assistance through your primary care physician. Impacted employees are encouraged to reach out to Human Resources. Please contact Rose D’Ambrosio at 201-692-2706 or via email at dambrosi@fdu.edu.

Before engaging in any international travel, please familiarize yourself with the CDC recommendations for prevention found here. And, if you have a compromised immune system, we highly recommend consulting with your personal physician for any added precautions.

If you are planning travel to international locations, be mindful of the potential disruption when returning to your home FDU campus. Rapidly-shifting conditions may lead the University to issue further guidance on short notice requiring self-isolation during the known virus incubation period, before being allowed back on campus.

Study Abroad

FDU’s Study Abroad Office is monitoring carefully news and third-party updates regarding study abroad destinations. Students enrolled in study abroad programs are being contacted directly concerning the status of their programs.

As a general rule, FDU will cancel any trip to a destination designated with a Level 3 Warning by the CDC. However, students should be aware that trips could be cancelled on very short notice, given the day-to-day changes in country-specific warnings, as well as disruptions to travel in a particular region.

Students should familiarize themselves with FDU’s study abroad cancellation policies, available here. Inquiries regarding the status of specific trips and/or the cancellation policies may be directed to the Study Abroad Office: studyabroad@fdu.edu.  

Wroxton College, England

We are closely monitoring the situation on our Wroxton campus, as well as considering guidelines for travel programs emanating from Wroxton. For questions specific to Wroxton, please reach out to Brian Swanzey, Director, at brian_swanzey@fdu.edu (201-692-7218).

Vancouver Campus, Canada

FDU is also closely monitoring the situation on our Vancouver Campus. If you are a student, faculty member or staff located on our Vancouver Campus and are planning on traveling for personal reasons, please take necessary precautions and ensure that you abide by travel advisories posted on the government of Canada website. Travel for University purposes requires the approval of the Vancouver Campus Executive and will follow FDU policy.

There have been a small number of cases of COVID-19 in British Columbia, which are being very closely managed. Please visit the BC Centre for Disease Control for more information along with information about signs and symptoms. Updates regarding the status of this disease can also be found on the following websites:

Students who require immediate assistance should contact their health provider. If you have any additional questions, please contact the Vancouver Campus’ student services department at 604-682-8112.

Necessary Precautions

This certainly is a serious global health situation but we want everyone to keep in mind that the risk remains low and most cases are mild or even without symptoms. To reduce the possibility of spreading or catching any virus, we urge everyone to continue to employ preemptive actions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover coughs/sneezes in your elbow/sleeve or with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

If you do become ill, seek medical attention within the first 48 hours of symptoms. Call ahead before going to a health care provider or emergency room so that they can prepare for your visit or advise on other immediate measures.

The University will continue to monitor the situation closely, and take precautions and planning steps necessary should the situation worsen. We are committed to supporting our students in all their programs and will work as hard as possible to assist them should this situation interfere with any study plans. We will continue to provide regular updates as new details emerge.

Thank you.

Postscript

Note: After the release of this update, the CDC raised Italy to a Level 3 Warning. Therefore University-related travel to Italy is now prohibited.