March 13, 2020

Dear OWU Community,

Today, Dr. Amy Acton, director of the Ohio Department of Health, announced that Ohio’s outbreak of coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) is not expected to peak until between late April and mid-May.

To the extent possible, we had hoped to preserve the residential campus and in-person class experience for our students, and so we were making decisions with that goal in mind. Now, however, the course that we must follow for the health and safety of the Bishop family is clear: Effective immediately, we are cancelling on-campus classes for the rest of the semester.

As a result, spring break will be extended through next week to enable our faculty to shift their work from creating a temporary remote-learning experience to planning for remote teaching and learning to continue throughout the semester. Classes will resume March 23.

Students who have petitioned and been approved to remain on campus for the next three weeks now will be permitted to remain through the semester should they wish to do so. Students who still need to petition must apply before 8 a.m. March 16, using our Request Approval for Remote Instruction Housing form.

Students who will be returning home are asked to move out next week between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. if possible. Only students who have petitioned and been approved to remain on campus will be able to stay overnight beyond 5 p.m. March 16. For students unable to move out next week, the following dates also will be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.: April 4-5, April 18-19, and May 8-9. More details will be available on our Move Out Information page.

We have not yet made a decision about graduation and commencement weekend activities.

We will be making a partial room, board, and student activity fee refund, and will provide more information over the coming weeks.

We will provide additional information via email to those who are completing student-teaching experiences and who may need to return to the K-12 classroom if those schools reopen after April 3. We also will provide additional information about upcoming Travel-Learning Courses and Theory-to-Practice Grant experiences.

In addition, we will provide more information next week to our staff as we work through the implications of canceling on-campus classes for the semester. We will be flexible with those who need to work off-site during the state closure of K-12 schools and encourage staff to continue their efforts to be prepared to work remotely.

With the cancellation of on-campus classes, our Early Childhood Center also will close for the semester. The New York Arts Program already has announced its closure for the semester effective March 20.

To support public health and safety, we also are suspending on-campus visits from prospective students and families until April 6, which includes canceling the April 4 Slice event. Planned Slice events for April 20 and April 25 remain tentatively scheduled. During this time, prospective students are urged to take a virtual tour of our campus and contact Admission representatives for more information.

Finally, I want to take a moment to simply ask everyone, Are you OK? It has been a difficult week to be sure, and the next few weeks promise new challenges as we deal with the COVID-19 impact not only as a university, but also as a state, nation, and world.

As we navigate these issues, I want to take a moment to make sure we’re taking time to support each other – to ensure everyone is OK as we transition to remote learning and as we separate our on-campus family for the semester to help keep everyone safe.

Fortunately, we are able to FaceTime, Skype, Google Hangout, GroupMe, Tweet, Zoom, Snap, and even make an old-fashioned telephone call to check in on those we care about.

The COVID-19 situation is unique in our lifetime and will continue to require us to be flexible, patient, and understanding. We all had hoped for a quick resolution and a return to normalcy, but that is not to be.

As always, I remain grateful for your questions and comments, as they help us to think about issues from all perspectives as we continue our work to educate the next generation of moral leaders.

Wherever you are, know that I am thinking of you and praying that you are, and remain, OK until our paths cross again.

– Rock

Rock Jones, President, Ohio Wesleyan University


March 13, 2020

The status of COVID-19 continues to evolve and impact each and every one of us. Effective Monday, March 16, Ohio Wesleyan University will cancel all spring sports and other athletics-related competitions and practices for the remainder of the academic year. This situation puts sports into perspective and challenges us to think about the greater good. On our campus, we talk about being a strong family and community. We place great priority on the health and welfare of our student-athletes and our community, and these factors have guided our decision-making process, along with guidance from health care professionals, community resources, the North Coast Athletic Conference, and the NCAA.

This decision has been both challenging and frustrating, especially as we considered the huge impact it will have on our student-athletes and specifically our seniors. It is hard to find words to describe the sadness that this decision brings. Please know that this decision is extremely difficult for us to make and that we recognize how disappointed many of you will be. Your four years of hard work, grit, sacrifice, and determination has made a significant impact on OWU athletics, our coaching staff, and our fans. For you, we are incredibly grateful and at the same time heartbroken.

At this time, it is important that all spring sport student-athletes follow the University’s housing guidelines as outlined here:

  • All student-athletes must return home or remain at home after spring break until in-person classes resume – unless you petition to remain on campus.
  • Students will have until 5 p.m. Monday, March 16, to leave their residence hall room. Access will be allowed to residence hall rooms until noon on Wednesday, March 18, in order to retrieve items, but no unapproved students may stay overnight on campus after 5 p.m. on Monday, March 16. All requests for approval to remain after this time will be processed as quickly as possible. If you will not be able to move before the deadline, please contact the Residential Life Office at reslife@owu.edu or (740) 368-3175.

Ohio Wesleyan athletics is working with the NCAA and the NCAC regarding questions around student-athlete participation and eligibility. Student-athletes will receive updates and information as it becomes available.

We would like to thank everyone for your resiliency, patience, and understanding during these tremendously challenging times. Everyone touched by OWU athletics is deeply saddened and frustrated by this pandemic and how it has and will continue to impact our lives. We are all part of an amazing community and you are truly showing us what it means to be a Battling Bishop.

Sincerely,

Doug Zipp, Director of Athletics


March 12, 2020

Please read the following message carefully. Based on continuing changes in the spread and impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Ohio Wesleyan is implementing the following policies effective immediately. These policies override all previously announced COVID-19 protocols.

  • From March 18 through April 5, all classes will be taught utilizing remote teaching and learning. (This time period will be continuously reassessed during the next three weeks and revised, if needed, with as much notice as possible.)
  • Unless you petition for and receive permission to remain on campus, all students must return home or remain at home after spring break until in-person classes resume. If you want to petition to remain on campus, you must complete this revised Request Approval for Remote Instruction Housing form by 8 a.m. Monday, March 16, based on the criteria below. (We apologize for the inconvenience, but even if you completed the previous housing registration form, you must complete this new form to petition to remain on campus.) We will provide a response to each petition as quickly as possible.
  • To be eligible to remain on campus, students must meet one of the following criteria:
    • You are an international student and don’t have another option for housing.
    • You currently are without a safe home environment.
    • You currently are without a permanent home.
    • You have exceptional circumstances.
  • All student-athletes must return home or remain at home after spring break until in-person classes resume – unless you petition to remain on campus for one of the four reasons above and your petition is approved. As of March 15, all spring sports are suspended at least until on-campus classes resume.
  • Students will have until 5 p.m. Monday, March 16, to leave their residence hall room. We will allow access to residence hall rooms until noon on Wednesday, March 18, in order to retrieve items, but no unapproved students may stay overnight on campus after 5 p.m. on Monday, March 16. All requests for approval to remain after this time will be processed as quickly as possible. If you will not be able to move before the deadline, please contact the Residential Life Office at reslife@owu.edu or (740) 368-3175. 

In addition, our New York Arts Program is suspending all classes effective March 20, and we will be closing our Early Childhood Center at day’s end March 13.

For OWU staff, the University plans to allow you to work at home as much as possible through April 5, which coincides with Governor Mike DeWine’s announcement today that K-12 secondary schools will be on extended spring break through April 3. Please consult with your supervisor to ensure that essential duties are covered on campus and while working remotely.

Staff members who have a home computer or laptop should ensure it is configured to access your OWU files remotely. Please complete this process before March 16. To assist you, please view these Resources for Working Remotely/Off Campus and contact the Information Services Help Desk as needed.

Again, I would like to thank everyone for your patience, assistance, flexibility, and care for one another throughout this unique situation. Our primary concern is the health and well-being of all people related to OWU and, by extension, of the larger communities in which we each make our homes. Your patience, understanding, support and efforts to find creative solutions in this challenging time are greatly appreciated. 

We will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available. We also encourage you to visit our COVID-19 webpage for more information and resources.

– Rock

Rock Jones, President, Ohio Wesleyan University


March 11, 2020

Thank you for all of your questions and insights as we navigate the COVID-19 situation together.

Today, Governor Mike DeWine shared additional guidelines for the state, including that no spectators attend indoor or outdoor athletic events. In addition, an additional case of the virus was confirmed in Ohio, bringing the total to four. (Still, there are no confirmed cases in our county or city, or on our campus.)

Our COVID-19 response team met today to continue to plan for this situation and to help keep us all informed. In response, we would like to share some Frequently Asked Questions for students and families as we begin to prepare for remote-learning classes to begin Wednesday, March 18. (Additional information will be forthcoming for employees, especially with regard to working remotely.)

I realize this is a fluid situation that is changing rapidly. I am grateful to the entire OWU community for your understanding and support of one another as we respond with care for the health and well being of the entire OWU community. I am grateful to our faculty who are working diligently to prepare to provide remote teaching and learning, to our staff who are supporting these efforts, and to our students whose patience and perseverance is exemplary. This is a difficult time, and you are showing the best of OWU in every way. Thank you.

If you have additional questions, please continue to share them with us at deansoffice@owu.edu or (740) 368-3135. For previous communications and more information, visit our COVID-19 webpage. Thank you for your time and attention.

– Rock

Rock Jones, President, Ohio Wesleyan University


March 10, 2020

Following the recommendations of the Ohio Department of Health and Governor DeWine, Ohio Wesleyan University is implementing the following protocols to help stem the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus):

  • All classes are canceled Monday and Tuesday, March 16 and 17, as faculty prepare to offer all classes remotely.
  • All classes will be taught utilizing remote teaching and learning from Wednesday, March 18, through Sunday, March 29. (This time frame will be reassessed as needed in response to changing COVID-19 conditions. Currently, there are confirmed cases in Ohio, but none in Delaware County, the City of Delaware, or the OWU campus.) Students will receive further instructions soon on how to participate in remote learning.
  • All students are strongly encouraged to return or remain at home after spring break until in-person classes resume. Students who need to remain on campus must register for housing using this form. Food service (in Hamilton-Williams Campus Center) will begin at 4:30 p.m. Sunday as scheduled for those who must stay on campus. The Simpson Querrey Fitness Center, Morrill Family Strength & Conditioning Room, and Meek Aquatics and Recreation Center all will be closed.
  • All events, except athletic events, through March 29, are canceled. No spectators will be admitted at indoor athletics events; spectators will be permitted at outdoor events. Athletes participating in in-season sports will receive more information soon from the Athletics Department.
  • OWU campus offices will remain open for business, and we will continue to welcome prospective students and their families. Staff are expected to continue to report to campus and should work with their direct supervisor as decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis regarding alternate work locations.
  • Students, faculty, and staff who traveled during spring break are asked to complete this travel registry form. This will help us know who may need additional follow-up related to risk exposure. Per information from the Delaware General Health District and Centers for Disease Control (CDC), we also are asking travelers to monitor their health for 14 days after returning to campus. This includes taking and recording their temperature twice a day and following good health guidelines including not going to class or other public areas if they are running a fever.
  • Anyone scheduled to participate in University-sponsored travel must get approval for their trip. Students should contact the Office of International & Off-Campus Programs; faculty should contact the Provost’s Office; and staff should contact their vice president. (Please note: University travel continues to be restricted to countries with an elevated coronavirus risk including those with Centers for Disease Control Watch (Level 1), Alert (Level 2), or Warning (Level 3) designations and/or countries with U.S. Department of State Level 3 or Level 4 travel alerts/warnings.)
  • Spring Semester classes for the Lifelong Learning Institute have been canceled.

As of this writing, Ohio Wesleyan will continue to operate the Early Childhood Center. In all instances, including ECC attendance, we ask people not to come to campus if they are feeling sick, running a fever, have a compromised immune system, or have other health concerns.

The COVID-19 situation is changing rapidly, and Ohio Wesleyan will continue to monitor the situation and collaborate with public health officials to determine whether changes are needed to these protocols.


March 10, 2020

As of this posting Ohio now has confirmed cases of COVID-19, but no cases have been reported in our county, in our city, or on our campus. We continue to monitor the situation and to review Governor DeWine's recommendations for colleges and universities. We will share more information about OWU protocols soon. Please continue to follow good-health guidelines.


March 3, 2020

Currently, the Ohio Wesleyan University campus and the State of Ohio have no known cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

In addition, no OWU students currently are abroad in University-sponsored travel or study in any country with an elevated risk of exposure to COVID-19, and no OWU-supported travel is planned to these areas through May.

That said, we encourage all members of the campus community who plan to travel internationally, especially over spring break, to closely monitor travel advisories from both the U.S. Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control. Anyone who travels to an area of concern may be asked to self-isolate for up to 14 days upon return. Please consult with the OWU Student Health Center or Delaware General Health District for advice before traveling.

As of this writing, countries with an elevated coronavirus risk include those with Centers for Disease Control Watch (Level 1), Alert (Level 2), or Warning (Level 3) designations. University-sponsored travel to these countries is restricted, as is travel to countries with U.S. Department of State Level 3 or Level 4 travel alerts/warnings.

Students planning to study off-campus in the fall are advised to keep their applications open but also to register for on-campus classes. The Office of International & Off-Campus Programs will stay in regular contact with these students. The IOCP staff also is available to answer questions and provide assistance as needed on policies and services for OWU-sponsored international travel.

Ohio Wesleyan continues to monitor the global situation closely, including CDC guidance that higher education institutions “consider asking students participating in study abroad programs to return to the United States.” As noted, we have no one in elevated risk areas, and we are constantly in touch with multiple partner and professional organizations that support student international travel and safety. (At the earliest outbreak of the coronavirus, for example, one of our students studying in Shanghai, China, was relocated by her program to London, England.)