About Manchester

Important COVID-19 Update

March 17, 2020

From: President <President@manchester.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, March 17, 2020 3:48 PM

Dear MU community, 

I want to share new developments and decisions regarding how Manchester University is continuing to respond to the fast-changing circumstances around the COVID-19 pandemic.  These are updates and changes to some of the decisions we communicated yesterday – as I’ve said the situation is fluid – and I appreciate your understanding that we are working to make the best decisions we can each day for Manchester University with the information available.

At this time, we continue to have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at either Manchester campus, but based on public health advice we feel we need to do more to help dampen the spread of the virus.  I believe the following decisions are significant steps toward that effort.

Remote teaching and online learning extended through the end of the semester

Based on new guidelines and expectations announced Monday night, we have decided to move to remote teaching and online learning for students on both campuses through the end of the spring semester.  Faculty have been working diligently to prepare for this transition and students should expect to hear directly from their professors regarding how to access specific course materials and participate.  Students in courses with clinical components and requirements should expect to hear from academic leaders in their programs regarding how these expectations will be addressed.

Classes for the Fort Wayne campus will resume on Monday, March 23, 2020.

Classes for the North Manchester campus will resume on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. Note that this is two days later than regularly scheduled.

Residential housing will close 

Effective at 9 p.m. Sunday, March 22, 2020, our residence halls will be closed for the remainder of the semester.  Students should begin making plans to meet this deadline. The process for checking out will be communicated to students through email by the hall directors. Any questions can be sent to health@manchester.edu.

Also, we recognize that there might be some circumstances that are highly exceptional where students may not have safe or suitable alternative housing options.  For these cases, students may ask to continue living on campus by completing this form.

Athletics, events, and Commencement

All campus activities for the remainder of the semester have been canceled or postponed.  This includes the cancellation of all athletic competitions, music concerts and performances, and student activities.  We are working to identify alternative ways to deliver scheduled VIAs. More information will follow in future updates.

Additionally, we have made the decision to cancel all spring Commencement related ceremonies and activities.  We will explore alternative options to celebrate our 2020 graduates.

Faculty and staff

In our commitment to continuing University operations, we are moving to having essential personnel only on both campuses through April 1. All other colleagues should work remotely. Those whose work is determined to be essential will be notified by their area vice president.

We plan to return to campus April 2 unless circumstances justify an extension.

Colleagues who cannot do their work from home will be paid for their regularly scheduled hours and not be required to use PTO during this period.  Colleagues should expect additional communication from human resources and their area vice president regarding this decision and expectations. Each of us should be ready, if available, to help in areas outside our normal job descriptions if called upon.

Continuing forward 

Thank you for your continuing patience and grace as we navigate uncharted waters. The decisions we’ve made today are done with the health of our campuses and communities in mind. In a recent meeting, someone shared this observation from a school superintendent: “In the end, it will be impossible to know if we overreacted or did too much, but it will be quite apparent if we underreacted or did too little.”

There will be more updates and decisions as we continue to receive new guidance and directives from government and health officials.  Please continue to send questions to health@manchester.edu and visit our website at Manchester.edu/coronavirus for further updates.

Thank you all for your hard work and patience. 

Dave McFadden
Manchester University