COVID-19 Response Update

March 18, 2020

From: McFadden, David F. <>
Sent: Wednesday, March 18, 2020 4:15 PM

Dear MU community,

To those of you who were able to join the video conference this afternoon, thank you for participating and your good questions. For those of you who could not join us, you can watch the video meeting from today and Monday click here. Remember that you can always use the email address for additional questions and we will respond to them as quickly as we can.

Here are some updates and reminders about our response to COVID-19.


We announced yesterday that we are canceling the in-person Commencement exercises in May. We know that is a great disappointment to many graduates and, I’m sure, their families. We are, though, exploring other ways to celebrate the Class of 2020. We’ve seen some good ideas coming from other schools and welcome your ideas as well. You can share them with Julie Knuth at

Access to buildings in North Manchester

During the next couple of weeks, through April 2, we’ve designated colleagues who must be on campus as essential employees. This doesn’t mean that campus is closed to others. If you want to or can best do your work on campus, you certainly may. We are asking everyone who is on campus to clean your own spaces, using the cleaning kits we will provide. Our custodial staff will continue to clean common areas. There were several questions today about what we do after April 2. We will continue to monitor public health guidelines, and anticipate having all colleagues back on our campuses as soon as it is considered appropriate to do so.

The following buildings will remain open to the general MU community: Science Center, Academic Center, The Switzer Center (including Haist Commons), the Chinworth Center and Physical Plant. Lounge 12 and the computer lab in Funderburg Library will be open as well, though access to other parts of the library may be restricted. Calvin Ulrey will be closed except for Human Resources and the Center for Health and Sports Medicine, both on the first floor.

Buildings closed to the general community will include the PERC, Winger, Petersime and Cordier. Those who work in these buildings will still have access.

Mail and purchase orders

Mail will continue to be processed, though on a more limited schedule, and we will establish a time when people can go pick up their mail. Also, Quentin Moudy will continue to process purchase orders from home.

Student finances

We have received questions from students regarding room and board and we are working on a communication that will go to all students by the end of the week. As I said in the video meeting, we will do the right thing for students. It’s just a matter of navigating what we are allowed to do under Federal and State rules.

Be supportive

These are frightening times for many people, for a variety of reasons. Please remember that we do not all react to challenges in the same way and that some people feel more vulnerable and isolated than others do. Be kind, compassionate and patient with those around you. I have attached information to this email regarding our Employee Assistance Program. In addition, I encourage you to download the app for OC24health, which gives you access to health care providers 24/7 if you are on the MU health plan.


As I will tell alumni and friends in my next communication with them, we may be able to find a silver lining in almost everything, if we look. This experience can teach us valuable lessons about our shared humanity and help us realize what we truly value.

I am especially grateful for Megan Flinn, our custodial supervisor, and her amazing team. They are working very hard to keep our North Manchester campus as clean as possible. I’m also very grateful for Jordan McIntyre, assistant director of residential life, and his residential life staff as they prepare to have students move out and others relocate across campus. They serve our students well under normal circumstances and have really stepped up these past few weeks.

Thanks for all you are doing during these challenging times.

Dave McFadden
Manchester University