This message was sent by President Andrew T. Hsu on Sunday, March 15, 2020:
Dear Faculty and Staff:
On Sunday, March 15, in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster ordered the closure of the state’s k-12 schools and public universities from March 16 through March 31 and encouraged the use of distance education to maintain a learning environment. We had previously announced a distance education plan through March 27, and tonight we are extending that to at least April 3.
College staff are currently working with state officials in Columbia to coordinate the College’s business and academic continuity plans. For tomorrow, while we work out further details, only essential employees will report to campus. Supervisors should contact their employees to communicate which staff members are considered essential or not in this situation. All employees should monitor their email throughout the day tomorrow for further guidance about respective work schedules going forward.
Given the governor’s directive to move to virtual instruction, this week is critical in preparing for different scenarios for the rest of the spring semester, one of which is preparing for e-learning starting March 23 and another is being ready in case it is extended beyond April 3. In order to be ready for our e-learning scenarios, I encourage all faculty who need assistance to take advantage of the Division of Information Technology’s online workshops and training (https://www.eventbrite.com/o/teaching-and-learning-team-tlt-hd-18898685198 ) so that faculty members can transfer their in-person instruction to online delivery. NOTE: all in-person training workshops scheduled for this week have been moved online, and TLT will communicate directly with those faculty whose training has been changed. Based on the governor’s announcement, all College-sponsored non-essential domestic travel is suspended until further notice.
The previously announced cancellation of college events through March 29 has now been extended through Sunday, April 5.
The N.E. Miles Early Childhood Development Center is closed until at least March 31, per the governor’s order.
On behalf of the College, I want to thank you for your patience and flexibility during this rapidly evolving situation. I know anxiety is high, both for you and your families. As a community, we are taking these extraordinary steps in order to prevent the spread of the virus and protect the most vulnerable in our community.
I want to remind everyone to continue to practice good hygiene (wash hands often, cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze, stay away from others if you feel sick with headache, fever and/or have difficulty breathing).
The College will continue to provide you updates via the Cougar Alert system as well as through campus email. Please refer to the FAQs regarding COVID-19 on emergency.cofc.edu and stay tuned to local news for changing conditions.
Andrew T. Hsu
President, College of Charleston