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Dear Members of the Nicholls Community,
On Wednesday, March 11, Governor John Bel Edwards announced the first presumptive positive case of COVID-19 Coronavirus in Lafourche Parish. This first case raises considerable concern in our community. With that news and guidance from state officials, Nicholls State University has decided we will move to teaching lecture-based classes online beginning Monday, March 16 for the foreseeable future. Labs will continue to meet as scheduled. The university will remain open and operational during this time period, and faculty and staff members should continue to work normal schedules.
Faculty will be available to assist you in this process, and technology labs will be available for students without access to a computer or internet.
We realize some students living on campus may choose to return home, but we understand this isn’t possible for everyone. Our residential life housing and dining services will remain open and other campus services will be available.
University officials continue to focus on decisions that prioritize your health and safety while trying to maintain your student experience. As of this afternoon, the Southland Conference has suspended all sporting events through March 30 in order to protect the players, general student population and fans. Considering this decision as a member of the Southland Conference, Nicholls State University is postponing all sports-related activities and events, including intramurals and other events that incorporate sports/physical activity. The Rec Center remains open for individual usage; however, no guest passes will be sold until further notice.
Look for an announcement about campus events soon, as we are considering all the factors involved in either canceling, postponing or conducting them virtually.
The University Counseling Center will be available to anyone in the Nicholls community who needs help coping with stress. It is important during this outbreak that people remain calm and not panic.
Just as the safety and well-being of our students are a priority, so is the safety and health of our faculty and staff. At this time, the University remains open, and all faculty and staff are expected to be on campus as scheduled during the normal operational hours of the University. Any employees who feel they are in a high-risk category should consider how they can mitigate their risk, and submit a proposal in writing to your respective vice president. All requests, where appropriate, must be approved by the president, per human resources guidelines. Employees feeling ill or showing flu-like symptoms should stay home, but contact your immediate supervisor to notify them. The immediate supervisor will, in turn, notify the division vice president.
All applicable policies and procedures for the utilization of leave remain in place. Any request for leave needs to be reviewed and approved by the appropriate administrative supervisors, taking into consideration the needs of the department as well as the university to maintain a continuation of all campus services.
Please understand that this remains fluid and further recommendations and decisions will reflect what the daily situation and guidance present. As always, the health, safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff remains at the forefront of all conversations and decisions.
Jay Clune, President
Nicholls State University
Louisiana’s Coastal University