Sent to all students, faculty and staff, March 20, 2020

To our students, faculty, staff and community members,

I write to you all again with another important update for how University of the Arts is responding to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. We are amidst a global crisis that continues to impact our lives in unprecedented ways. Last night, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf strengthened his order for all non-life-sustaining businesses in the state to close their physical locations. In compliance with this new order from the governor, University of the Arts will implement a stricter enforcement around the University’s remote operations guidelines.

To continue to protect the safety and health of both the university and larger community, we will take the following actions:

  • All in-person class meetings at University of the Arts will be suspended for the spring semester and replaced by alternate modes of remote learning. Faculty and students should plan to complete and assess all assignments, projects, final showings and work of any description through online, virtual and/or alternate remote modes of learning and evaluation. Faculty will continue to communicate with their students how course schedules, assignments and expectations will change for the remainder of the semester. Please carefully monitor your UArts email to stay informed of course expectations.
  • All in-person campus events and programs will be suspended through the end of the semester. In light of the recent CDC guidance to reduce community spread of the novel coronavirus, all in-person UArts events and programs will be postponed, canceled or moved to a virtual format. This includes Commencement. Planning for how we will hold commencement is now underway, and will be shared at a later date.  
  • Effective Immediately, all residence halls will close for the remainder of the spring semester, remaining available only to those residents from Level 2 and 3 countries and those with housing insecurities who truly have no alternative. Residential students who are currently out of town should not return to campus for the spring semester. When it is safe and feasible to do so, we will announce plans for residential students to return to collect their belongings. Residents’ belongings will be stored in their room, just as they are during the five week Winter Break session. A separate email will be sent to all residential students with information shortly. Any residential student facing extraordinary hardship who absolutely cannot return home will be supported. Please contact reslife@uarts.edu.
  • Campus-wide remote working remains in effect until at least April 13, 2020. We are currently requiring that University faculty and staff – whose positions enable them to do so and who have the approval of their supervisors – work remotely so we can do our part to optimize social distancing recommendations. We will continue to monitor the situation and update this time frame accordingly to the guidance of the CDC, local government and public health organizations.
  • All university buildings will be closed to students and non-essential faculty and staff until further notice. As such, only staff specifically designated by a vice president will continue to have any on-campus presence.

Looking Ahead:

Please know these decisions have not been made lightly. We recognize that extending alternate modes of instruction for the spring semester comes with realities of canceled events, showings, performances and informal gatherings, meet-ups, and café conversations that are heartbreaking for all of us, but none more so than our students. While we work together to establish the magic of the UArts community in alternate modes of engagement, we too mourn the loss of what must be suspended for the semester.

Despite the uncertainty of our times, I am overwhelmed by the ethic of care I have witnessed from our community. Faculty and staff continue to work tirelessly to prepare and support our students through this time. And our students and families are radically shifting their learning and residential environments with grace and understanding. I could not be more proud of how we as a community are responding to the challenges, and know that our actions will help the collective efforts across the globe to “flatten the curve” and preserve life.

As we look ahead, I return to my prior invitation:

How can you, a community of creatives, establish a virtual environment like no other? What opportunities exist online and through alternate modes of engagement – including the analog - that may not have existed in your classroom? Rather than seeing the limits of what we cannot do, I challenge you – what are the possibilities that we haven’t even considered yet? And what can you do from where you sit as a student, faculty or staff member, to engage as a member of our community and help others to thrive during this time?

I remain confident that with our collective efforts, we will emerge from this and our community will be stronger than before.

A reminder to please bookmark and return to the website we have established, uarts.edu/covid19, for important resources and FAQs. We are continually updating this website throughout the outbreak. 

To each of you, and your families – please adhere to the social distancing and health practices that the government is requiring of us. Stay safe, and stay healthy, and we look forward to welcoming you back to campus as soon as we are able.

Sincerely, 

DY Signature

David Yager
President & CEO

______

    Recent Communications to the UArts Community: 

    Covid-19 Update for Residential Students (March 20) (sent to all residential students)

    Update: COVID-19 follow-up (March 16) (sent to all students)

    UArts COVID-19 Remote Working (March 16) (sent to all faculty & staff)

    Residential Student Update (March 13) (Sent to all residential students)

    UArts Response to Covid-19 (March 13) (sent to all students, faculty, staff & community members)

    Residential Living Update: COVID-19 (March 13) (sent to all residential students)

    Message to Parents: Extension of Spring Break (March 11) (sent to parents & families)

    Announcement: Updated Information about Spring Break (March 11) (sent to students)

    Message to Students: Extension of Spring Break (March 10; updated March 11) (sent to students)

    Update: UArts COVID-19 Response (March 10) (sent to all faculty & staff)

    Campus Safety Update: Coronavirus (March 2) (sent to all faculty & staff)

    Remote Learning Resources


    Remote Learning Resources for Students 


    Remote Resources for Faculty/Staff 

     

    UArts Contact Information

    For academic questions: Office of the Provost: provost@uarts.edu
    For financial aid questions: Student Financial Services: finaid@uarts.edu 
    For health-related questions: Student Health Services: healthservices@uarts.edu 
    For housing-related questions: Office of Residence Life & Conduct: reslife@uarts.edu
    For international student questions: Office of Student Affairs: studentaffairs@uarts.edu
    For any other student life questions: Office of Student Affairs: studentaffairs@uarts.edu 
     

    For information about COVID-19

    Visit the CDC’s COVID-19 online hub. 

    Visit the CDC’s FAQ. 

    The CDC has also issued a series of anti-stigma guidelines.

    UArts’ Response to Coronavirus FAQs

    General FAQ

    FAQ: Residential Students

    FAQ: Counseling

    FAQ: Academic Support Services

    FAQ: Health Services

     

    Remote Learning Resources

    Remote Learning Resources for Students

    Remote Resources for Faculty/Staff 


    Questions?
    For academic questions: Office of the Provost: provost@uarts.edu
    For financial aid questions: Student Financial Services: finaid@uarts.edu 
    For health-related questions: Student Health Services: healthservices@uarts.edu 
    For housing-related questions: Office of Residence Life & Conduct: reslife@uarts.edu
    For international student questions: Office of Student Affairs: studentaffairs@uarts.edu
    For any other student life questions: Office of Student Affairs: studentaffairs@uarts.edu