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OPSU Campus Update on Coronavirus

Panhandle State Communications on 03/20/2020

Statement from Dr. Tim Faltyn, President of Oklahoma Panhandle State University

In our continued effort to comply with the Centers for Disease Control (full recommendation here) and Oklahoma State Department of Health measures, as well as the executive orders issued by Oklahoma Governor, Kevin Stitt, effective immediately OPSU is implementing a recommendation of avoiding social interactions of 10 or more people, a mandatory screening protocol for all students on campus, and a telework policy for all non-essential OPSU employees.

As of now, all students are advised to remain away from campus as their circumstances allow until face-to face classes resume on April 6, 2020, and to participate in virtual instruction. All OPSU offices will remain accessible virtually. Contact information can be found at the OPSU directory.

OPSU has been providing all students who are not able to leave campus with grab and go meals at our University cafeteria since Saturday, and continue to look for ways that make their stay on campus during these unprecedented times as comfortable as possible.

Looking into the future, I am going to have to consider extending virtual instruction through the end of the semester. This is not a decision that I take lightly. In keeping with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control guidance to avoid groups of 10 or more for the next eight weeks, we are limited on what we can do on campus until May 12.

This decision will affect many areas on campus, including our 2020 Commencement Program. In the very near future, I will be seeking input on what options we have for commencement, including postponement, virtual commencement, or December commencement exercises. Right now, we are not considering canceling commencement.

Additionally, recommendations about adjustments to some fees, housing, and meal plan charges will also be considered.

We are actively working to make the best decisions we can in this unprecedented situation. We will communicate all decisions to our campus community as quickly and effectively as we can.

Currently, here are the steps that we have implemented:

Again, under the current plan, OPSU will provide virtual instruction for the next two weeks and resume face-to-face instruction on April 6, 2020. All students are advised to remain off campus until then, as their situation allows. Students who must return to campus are welcome. We will do everything we can to make sure we provide the best possible experience in housing and food service, given the circumstances.

In accordance with the latest Centers for Disease Control guidance, OPSU community members are advised to avoid all social gatherings of 10 or more people. More information can be found here.

OPSU is implementing a mandatory screening protocol for all students currently on or returning to campus. Students must contact the OPSU School Nurse or the statewide hotline upon arrival. Information on mandatory screening can be found here and at the bottom of this email.

 

A Telework Policy and Temporary Telecommuting Procedure are now in place for essential offices as part of our COVID-19 containment practices. Telework is an alternative work arrangement that allows an employee to work outside of the traditional on-site work environment for all or part of the regular workweek during this period of ever-changing uncertainty. Please direct questions about eligibility for telework to the area-specific director.

With telework, all OPSU core functions will be accessible virtually, and a directory of personnel and offices can be found here.

All Spring semester athletic programs and events have been canceled for the 2020 season. This decision is based on the guidance of the NAIA and the recommendation of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

As of today, NIRA Rodeo is still in competition. We will update the OPSU community if and when any other decisions are made regarding college rodeo events.

Please check our OPSU website regularly at https://opsu.edu/coronavirus for the most updated information as we progress through this rapidly changing situation. We thank you for your continued support of the OPSU community. Please understand that our primary concern is the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and community.