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March 13, 2020 - WSCUC
March 6, 2020
The coronavirus outbreak is a concern to the entire WSCUC community. We have received inquiries for Commission advice about a variety of topics, including continuing academic operations, WSCUC institutional visits and reviews, and ARC2020. We are monitoring new information and developments and will post updates to our website.
The WSCUC membership includes institutions across the globe, in areas with different levels of health alerts relating to the COVID-19 situation. At this time, each institution is making its own determination about how to proceed in light of national, local, and institutional circumstances as the situation develops. The Commission does not provide specific guidelines on whether or how to continue operations beyond the principles set forth in our Standards. However, you are encouraged to contact your staff liaison if you have particular questions.
Human welfare comes first. Follow the advice and guidelines of federal, state, and local health organizations or those of your campus health center. As a matter of reference, here is a link to the CDC’s advice to Institutions of Higher Education: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-ihe-response.html.
We know you will honor the achievement of expected learning outcomes insofar as it is reasonable for your institution, and we recognize that you are in the best position to make accommodations so that students and employees can be as safe as possible. The Commission leaves these important decisions to individual campuses, believing that each will adhere to its learning objectives/goals as they can reasonably be achieved in the climate in which you are operating. We refer you to the Department of Education’s 3/4/20 letter dealing with interruptions of study, flexibility, and Title IV and Veteran’s benefits issues: https://ifap.ed.gov/electronic-nnouncements/030520Guidance4interruptionsrelated2CoronavirusCOVID19
The Commission will continue to conduct WSCUC business, including institutional visits/reviews and Commission meetings, while carefully following new developments and the situation at each institution or location and for team members and providing updates as necessary. We will make accommodations in schedules, offer online participation, and provide other options when possible if, for example, a team member is unable to travel or an institution needs to close.
At this moment, we are aware of no federal or state guidance about restricting travel within the United States or limiting or canceling public gatherings. The 2020 ARC remains on schedule to be held April 21-24. We will monitor the situation closely, and will notify the WSCUC community and presenters and registrants with new information as swiftly as we can if there are changes in schedule or policies or if it becomes necessary to modify or make alternate arrangements for the ARC. Please watch the WSCUC website: www.wscuc.org/covid-19 and ARC website for any changes: https://www.arc.wscuc.org/
Again, if you have specific questions related to your institution, please contact your staff liaison directly. We encourage you to log into the WSCUC website, where updates will be posted. Thank you for your patience and cooperation.