Open letter from Humboldt State University President Tom Jackson:
Dear Campus Community:
Over the last week, I have had the privilege of observing the amazing work of so many people in their efforts to assist others. The work by all of you to not only protect yourself, but to care for your family and our students is beyond remarkable. We are a very caring Lumberjack Family and I thank you. Things are changing rapidly and these updates are subject to change based on the fluidity of this situation. Every day, nearly every hour it seems, we are asked to pivot and address a new challenge in our efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Our guiding light remains the health and safety of our Lumberjack Family while also helping our students to progress in their education. At times these efforts may appear in conflict, but they are not. At the root of all we do is our humanity and our underlying willingness to do what must be done. The time has come for HSU to implement a number of additional contingency plans and bolster our COVID-19 precautions. While there are no known active COVID-19 cases in our County at this time, and there have been none on campus, these additional precautions are consistent with recent federal and state health directives. In short, we must now do more to protect the health and safety of our campus and local communities. HSU will operate virtually through the end of the semester.
Beginning today, we will shift as quickly as possible to virtual operations. Non-essential employees, including student staff, are to work remotely (telecommute) once they have received direction from their supervisor. Please continue to work with your supervisor on your work assignments and technology support needs.
It is important we reduce the number of people on campus. We encourage students who can return to a home off-campus to do so. We will not displace students who are facing housing insecurities or homelessness. More information will follow.
From Monday to Wednesday, March 23-25, the faculty will prepare for a complete shift to virtual instruction by Thursday, March 26. All professional development and preparation activities will now occur remotely. For the remainder of Spring 2020, all instruction is to be virtual and the primary operational state of campus is to be virtual. There will be no face to face meetings, events, instruction, exams, instructional labs, field trips, live performances, or small group seminars.
We have closed all access to campus facilities to the general public.
Most campus facilities will be closed to the campus community, including all sports and recreation facilities. We have also suspended all intramural and recreational activities for students. Any services remaining open for students - such as the library, student health center, and university center - will be operating with reduced staffing and must implement social distancing.
As a campus we must continue to carefully practice social distancing techniques for those essential individuals who remain on campus, including students in our residence halls who truly have no other place to reside, and the food services and other staff who are supporting those students.
Lastly, and sadly, we must review other ways to celebrate degree recipients instead of the traditional Commencement. We are a very creative campus and we will find alternative ways to celebrate our students’ success.
There are many questions to be answered, and we will do our best to answer them in a timely way. We will share more information soon as we prepare campus to shift to virtual operations. We are resilient. From the Marching Lumberjacks doing what they do, to alumni making a difference in the world, to hiking in the Redwoods, to kayaking in the great Pacific ocean, we are Humboldt. This pandemic is challenging us but it will not break us. We are Humboldt, and while we may be socially distant for now we remain close at heart. Thank you for all that you are doing. I ask you to be flexible and understanding as we work together to protect the health and safety of the campus community. You are appreciated.