Radford University, Virginia Tech moving to online-classes due to coronavirus concerns

Coronavirus

(Photo: courtesy MGN)

RADFORD, Va. (WFXR) –Virginia Tech and Radford University are moving to online teaching as a precautionary measure to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Students, who are currently on spring break, will have another week off, while teaching and research faculty prepare to transition from working in-person to an online format.

Radford University will transition to an all online-teaching until April 17. Virginia Tech has not indicated how long the online-teaching format will be in place.

Radford University strongly encourages students to return or remain at their permanent residence during this time. On-campus residence halls and off-campus apartments will remain closed.

Online classes will begin on March 23.

Here is Virginia Tech’s statement:

“Dear members of the Virginia Tech community:

Whilte there are currently no confirmed cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Southwest Virginia, it is our obligation to do all we can to limit the spread of the disease and protect the members of our extended community, particularly those who are most vulnerable.

Based on the trajectory of the COVID-19 coronavirus disease in communities around the world, it is very likely that cases of COVID-19 will appear in population centers throughout the U.S. There are confirmed cases in the vicinity of other Virginia Tech facilities, and we expect that the disease will continue to spread to our many communities.

Our campus administrators, public health experts, and community leaders have been continuously engaged in monitoring the situation in Blacksburg, across Virginia, and around the world.

In consultation with our partners in the Virginia Department of Health, we are adopting a range of principle-based actions, effective immediately. We are confident that these actions will lower the risk to our communities. In this update, I will focus on our preparation and plans for the coming weeks.

Following guidance from the CDC, the Virginia Department of Health, and our own public health and safety experts to limit the spread of the disease, we are transitioning to online and remote instruction (Zoom, video, and other forms of delivery) for all undergraduate and graduate students at all Virginia Tech locations for the remainder of the spring semester. In order to provide time for students and faculty to make this transition, spring break will be extended to Sunday, March 22, and classes will resume on Monday, March 23. The Blacksburg campus remains open now and will remain open after spring break ends. However, starting March 23, students will take their courses online.”

Virginia Tech

Click here for the full statement.

Here is Radford University’s full statement:

“Radford University has announced a modification to its campus operations following Spring Break, which is occurring this week (March 9 through 13, 2020). Classified staff and administrative and professional faculty will continue to follow a regular schedule in order to ensure the availability and delivery of campus programs and services.

Teaching and research faculty will return to campus for the week of March 16, 2020 with the purpose of transitioning all in-person course content to an online format. The Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning and the Division of Information Technology will provide enhanced outreach and expanded service to support faculty during this dedicated, week-long effort. This level of support will continue as needed and requested.

For students, Spring Break will be continued for next week (March 16 through 20, 2020), and online classes will begin on March 23, 2020. The online delivery of course material will continue through April 17, 2020, at which time this evolving matter will be evaluated. Throughout this period, teaching and research faculty should report to campus. All faculty should contact their respective department chair or school director to advise regarding their work plans.

From March 16, 2020 through April 17, 2020, students are strongly encouraged to return to and/or remain at their permanent residence. On-campus residence halls and offcampus apartments will remain closed. A follow-up communication will be distributed by the Office of Housing and Residential Life to students living in campus housing.

Students currently engaged in clinical rotations and teaching placements will receive direct communication from their respective program leads regarding next steps as these will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Work study assignments will be waived during this time, and student workers should contact their supervisors before reporting to their specific assignments.

Beginning on March 16, 2020, the University will not permit any large-scale gatherings and/or meetings with more than 75 attendees. Cancellations and modifications for individual activities will be distributed by event sponsors. The Student Recreation and Wellness Center will be closed. Also, dining operations will be modified with up-to-date information available at www.dineoncampus.com/radford/.

Effective immediately, all non-essential travel to domestic and international locations will not be permitted through April 17, 2020. Faculty and staff should proceed in canceling travel arrangements that are in place and/or pending. This travel restriction will be reevaluated, and a follow-up communication will be provided.

Students, faculty, and staff, who traveled over Spring Break, will be encouraged to complete a voluntary travel declaration form, which will be forthcoming. This information will be held as part of an educational record for students and a personnel record for faculty and staff. The information will be shared with local health officials as needed on a caseby-case basis. For those who traveled, the University may ask individuals to self-monitor or self-isolate for two weeks depending upon the locations that were visited and the activities that were engaged in.

The University continues to monitor this evolving situation and will provide regular updates to the campus community. For COVID-19 information and updates, visit www.radford.edu/coronavirus. In sharing this information with various groups, Radford University President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D. said, “The actions taken by the University are out of an abundance of caution for our campus and our community. The health, well-being, and safety of all members of the Radford family are of the utmost importance.”

Radford University

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