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March 12, 2020   |  Campus Communication

PRESIDENTIAL MESSAGE: "Virtual Campus" Period to Follow Spring Break


Dear Benedictine University Community,

I am writing to update you on the steps the University has taken to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak that is currently gripping the nation and the world. While there are currently no known cases of COVID-19 within the Benedictine community, we must do our part to combat the spread of this coronavirus. As such, we have decided to take the following steps to keep our students, faculty, staff and the greater community safe:

Virtual Classes

Following the University’s Spring Break (March 16-20), classes for students at all levels and all campuses will be conducted virtually starting Monday, March 23. In-person classes are expected to resume Monday, April 6. Graduate and adult undergraduate classes scheduled for March 16-20 will also be held virtually.

Students who can leave campus, should leave campus by Sunday, March 22. Those departing for spring break should take with them any items essential to carrying on their education from home. This includes laptops, textbooks, notebooks, important documents, etc.

Resident students who need to remain on campus, must fill out a Petition to Stay form via the Benedictine website, to be reviewed by the Dean of Students. Petitions must be received by Monday, March 16 at 3:00 p.m. Those who need to remain on campus are encouraged to practice social distancing as described by the CDC.

Students will receive additional information concerning the transition to virtual classes from academic leadership and their faculty members in the days ahead. Those engaged in non-standard educational experiences (student teaching, clinicals, internships, etc.) will also receive further guidance from their instructors.

Should you need assistance regarding online and computer access, please contact the Dean of Students in Lisle or mesasuccesscenter@ben.edu in Mesa.

“Virtual Campus”

From Monday, March 16-Sunday, April 5, non-essential faculty and staff will work from home. Our goal is to ensure day-to-day operations continue to run as smoothly as possible while doing what we can to mitigate the likelihood of the virus being spread among our community. Should you need to contact any on-campus resources, please do so via email or over the phone. The campus will continue to be monitored by Benedictine University Police 24/7. They will be able to give access to campus buildings as needed.

On-Campus Events

Any large-scale on-campus events or events that are open to the public are cancelled for the Virtual Campus period of Monday, March 23-Sunday, April 5. When possible, these events will be rescheduled for after April 6. We will re-evaluate these guidelines as that date nears to determine whether additional precautions are necessary depending on the spread of the virus.

Athletics

Intercollegiate athletic competitions, practices and training will be suspended effective immediately until further notice. Lisle Baseball and Softball teams will complete their Spring Break trips as planned.

University Travel

All university-sponsored air travel will be suspended immediately until further notice. If you have any questions, please contact your supervisor.

We urge those of you who are travelling for personal reasons during Spring Break to exercise extreme caution and check the health department websites for the states where you are headed for the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 in those locations.

Please continue to monitor your Benedictine email and the ben.edu website for any updates regarding COVID-19. In the event that a longer Virtual Campus period is needed, alerts will also be sent via the University’s BEN ALERT system. We continue to closely monitor the situation and are following all recommendations from the DuPage (Lisle) and Maricopa (Mesa) County Health Departments and the CDC.

I understand that these actions are unprecedented and many questions will emerge in the coming days. Know that we will be working to provide additional guidance and support to ensure a smooth transition during these uncertain times.

The Benedictine Hallmarks upon which our University was founded urge us to do all we can to take care of each other, our communities and our world. By taking these guiding principles to heart, and following the measures listed above, we will all be better able to respond to this outbreak.

I look forward to seeing you in April.

Sincerely,

Charles Gregory
President
Benedictine University