COVID-19 Update, Antioch Seattle, 3/8/20

Dear Antioch Community:

I want to thank you for your collaborative and positive response to our institutional approach to the covid-19 situation in the Seattle area. Faculty have been responsive and supportive, focused on student learning, community safety, and the continuity of instruction. Students have been accepting and no less supportive despite the inconveniences posed by a short-term shift to online learning. Our outstanding staff have stepped up to provide support to students and faculty however possible. Finally, Antioch University has had our backs the whole way, supporting our choices with attention to the health and safety of our community and our friends.

I wanted to offer a few notes about the current circumstances:

  • All face-to-face instruction has moved online for the remainder of the quarter. Some faculty have asked to hold special classes on campus. This is permitted ONLY IF students are provided an alternative mode of engagement, AND ONLY IF students cannot be penalized for choosing that alternative. Some students are reasonably concerned about their health status or the health status of a client or dependent. Antioch supports these students and we want to provide as much continuity as we can while they navigate a difficult time.
  • Faculty, if you would like to hold a meeting on campus, please document that you’ve met the conditions above and then reach out to Scott Titus to reserve a room. ALL ROOMS MUST BE RESERVED. The classroom schedule prior to Monday will no longer be in effect and rooms will need to be requested. This is so we can do an effective job of sanitizing before and after every meeting while minimizing distractions for our staff who have a lot to attend to.
  • Students, same goes for you: If you are meeting on campus, please send a notification to Scott Titus ([email protected]) to reserve a room.
  • Our campus clinic will remain open to support clients through a difficult period. Should a shortage of staff require closure, the clinic will send a note via email. With stepped-up sanitation (frequent disinfecting and cleaning of all surfaces and furniture by both the clinic staff and building management), the clinic should remain a safe environment. We ask of all community members and guests that they observe protocols with respect to cleanliness (frequent and thorough hand-washing, guarding coughs and sneezes with the elbow, practice social distancing, etc.).
  • Scott Titus and I are engaged with King County Health and they are supporting the efforts that we and other local universities take to slow the spread of the covid-19 virus. They have been extremely responsive with emails, conference calls, and website updates. Reports are that our county health professionals are not getting any sleep these days, so if you know someone who works there, give them a little encouragement.
  • All faculty should remain in touch with chairs about measures you are taking to support students, and about any difficulties you encounter as you try to maintain continuity.
  • All chairs should check in with all faculty, including adjunct faculty, to ensure that they are receiving all messages from me and from the University, and to ensure they have the support they need. We can work together to resolve problems and devise solutions.
  • All employees should remain in close contact with supervisors if they find it necessary at any point to seek accommodations. Remote work will be approved (and remote-work policies enforced) on a case-by-case basis. Please check with your supervisor to make arrangements and to ensure that you are prepared to remain in close contact throughout disruption.

That’s all for now. Again, thank you for your understanding and patience as we all learn more about the virus and our ability to cope with it. I am hopeful about a relatively normal start in the spring, and I will stay in touch with the University and Seattle’s facuty, staff and students about next steps. Remember to stay home if you are not well, be careful if you are, and stay as healthy as you can. Let me know what Antioch can do to support you.

Best,

Ben


Benjamin S. Pryor, Ph.D.
Provost
Antioch University Seattle

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