COVID-19 Response Updates

March 23, 2020

From: President <>
Sent: Monday, March 23, 2020 4:43 PM
Subject: COVID-19 response update - March 23

Dear MU Community,

You may have heard that Gov. Eric Holcomb has issued a stay-at-home order for Indiana, which takes effect at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, March 24. This means we will tighten up somewhat who is able to work on campus. Manchester employees who are considered essential should continue reporting to our campuses to work. Other colleagues who want to work on campus will need to make a compelling case for why that is necessary. In all cases, vice presidents must approve your status to work on campus. Human Resources will provide essential employees with a letter verifying that status should they need one and it will be emailed to them by 8 a.m. tomorrow (Tuesday).

If you are essential and continue to work on campus, please remember to practice the recommended social distancing guidelines.

The reason for the stay-at-home order is to help curb the spread of COVID-19. Manchester wants to do everything it can to help in that effort – it will help save lives. The governor’s office has posted a Frequently Asked Questions document here, which can help answer many of your questions about what you can and cannot do during the stay-at-home order.

Amid these challenges, I am heartened by the positive, can-do attitude of colleagues and students alike as we find new ways to adapt, solve problems and support each other. Thank you for your contribution to that spirit!

Residential students

As of this morning, 630 students have moved out of their residence halls. Many did so over the weekend and they were, says Abby Van Vlerah, in good spirits considering the situation. Another 40 will move out this week or, if they can’t return, we will pack and store their belongings for them.

Approximately 35 students will be living in East Street Apartments and Helman Hall and can spread out in private spaces. Manchester will support their needs and Sodexo will provide them with meals.

Success advisors for all undergraduates

Every undergraduate student has been assigned to a success advisor. The advisors will check on their students regularly regarding academic progress and other issues or needs that may arise.  Faculty and staff should continue to reach out to students and contact with information about any student in need of help.

Federal relief

I participated with five other Indiana presidents today in a phone call with six members of our Indiana Congressional delegation. We shared the financial impact of the virus, current and projected, on us and our students and made a strong case for federal relief for students, families and our colleges and universities.

MU and the broader community

Parkview Wabash Hospital is running low on supplies such as facemasks, so we will share with them whatever we don’t need. We also are planning to allow the public to use MU’s public Wi-Fi and will have more details on that in the coming days.

Finally, thank you again for all that you’ve done to make this quick transition. I know our work lives and personal lives feel unsettled. If you need help or encouragement, please ask.

Dave McFadden
Manchester University


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