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COVID Protocol for Newman University Students: From the Office of the President

Information about classes and using online course tools.

From the President, March 17, 2020

Dear Newman Students, Faculty and Staff,

As you have undoubtedly witnessed, we are experiencing extraordinary times right now. The pace of changing developments regarding the COVID-19 virus is unsettling. We can draw comfort in knowing there is calm in the chaos -- thanks to our God, who tells us “Be not afraid.”

Despite this unprecedented situation, I am confident that our community will remain strong through the challenges and our best will shine through, as we will help one another along the way. We are all in this together.

Our team, led by Provost Kim Long, Dean Christine Schneikart-Luebbe and others, has been working around the clock to stay on top of the news and guidelines issued by local and national organizations. With their input, and that of presidents of other private Kansas universities, I want you to know that Newman University has made a decision NOT to return to in-person instruction this spring semester. As of March 30, all face-to-face classes will resume in online delivery ONLY.

This approach to reduce in-person exposure to the virus is being implemented to help reduce the potential spread within the Newman community and beyond. It also aligns with direction from Sedgwick County health professionals and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mandate to limit gatherings for a minimum of eight weeks. 

Additionally, officials of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) met Monday afternoon and decided to cancel the spring sports season. The league will also continue the suspension of all related athletic activities, such as practice, weights, conditioning, etc. indefinitely. Director of Athletics Joanna Pryor and the coaches will reach out to the student-athletes impacted by the decision.

With the plans noted above, students currently staying in the residence halls will be permitted to remain on campus should they choose to do so. For those students who elect to move off campus, you will receive notification from the Office of Residence Life regarding the amended checkout process and information about prorated housing and board credits to student accounts.

As we continue to monitor the situation, please remember all of this is subject to change given the fluid nature of this situation. Remember, for updates and the latest COVID-19 information and resources, including tips on taking online courses, you can visit https://newmanu.edu/covid19-updates .

Regrettably, a number of spring events have been canceled or postponed. We will follow up in the coming days with additional information as more decisions are made.

Our hearts go out to all of our students impacted by these difficult decisions, especially our seniors.

As St. John Henry Newman reminds us, “Learn to do thy part and leave the rest to Heaven.”

God bless you and your family. Stay safe and healthy and may St. Maria De Mattias and St. John Henry Newman watch over and intercede for us.

“Have no anxiety at all…in everything, by prayer and petition,

With thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.

Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding

Will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

-Phillipians 4:6-7

Newman University & COVID-19

From the Office of President Hall Bartels:

Dear Members of the Newman University Community,

Since the initial news of COVID-19 became public, Newman University officials under the direction and leadership of Provost Kim Long and Dean of Students Christine Schneikart-Luebbe have been monitoring information regarding the spread of the coronavirus. Over the past few days, the developing situation has been changing at a rapid pace.

Given the growing COVID-19 concerns, the university administration, with input from various internal and external stakeholders, has been focusing on how to best protect the health and safety of Newman community members, while also considering the greater good of the communities we serve.

Although there are no reported cases of coronavirus at Newman and just a few cases in Kansas, I am writing now to let you know that we have made a decision to extend the upcoming spring break - for students taking face-to-face classes – by one week. The recess, which starts upon completion of classes Friday, March 13, will now extend through Sunday, March 29 for in-person classes.

Students currently enrolled in online programs will not be affected by the break extension and are expected to attend their scheduled courses during the week of March 23.

Students in the School of Nursing will be receiving an additional notice from Associate Dean Jane Weilert regarding labs and clinicals, which may continue during the extend break.

At this time, our plan is to resume face-to-face offerings on March 30, although there is a possibility that some, if not all, of our courses could be adapted to an online or an alternate mode of delivery. Faculty will be working during the extended break to prepare for this possibility. This approach limits in-person exposure after spring break to align with the estimated COVID-19 incubation period, and allows faculty members a modest amount of time to prepare and begin the transition to online instruction. It also keeps the university functioning and helps students continue toward their educational goals.

In the coming days, please monitor your email and Canvas for further updates.

To recap: 

    Spring break has been extended by one week for students taking in-person classes. The recess will run from March 14th to March 29th.

    Students in online classes ARE EXPECTED to attend courses as scheduled the week of March 23-28.

    All university staff and administrators will report to campus offices as usual until further notice. Note campus is closed March 20.

      If you are experiencing symptoms tied to COVID-19 you are encouraged to reach out to medical professionals. Click HERE for more information about COVID-19.

With the exceptions noted above the university will continue to operate business as usual until further notice.