Week of March 16, 2020

Important Change to Campus Access

Sent: March 20, 2020

To Dickinson Students and Parents:

I write to inform you that, due to an order by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf asking all non-life-sustaining businesses to close, we must close the campus to visitors as of 9 p.m. today. After that time, no parents or students will be permitted to return to campus to retrieve belongings. I am sorry for this change, particularly since some of you have planned to return to campus this weekend. However, the governor has said enforcement measures will begin at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, March 21, and for the health and safety of our community, we must comply.

Students who have successfully petitioned to remain on campus will be permitted to do so.

I know this COVID-19 situation has been difficult for all of you and I appreciate your understanding as we work to navigate in an environment that is changing hourly. If you can’t get back to campus by 9 p.m. today, please check dickinson.edu/spring2020moveout if you need to have essential belongings sent to you and to let us know you will not be able to come back to campus.

Students have received a survey from faculty members for each of their courses. Faculty must know what students have access to in order to plan online courses. Classes begin Monday, March 23. It is important that students respond to the course surveys quickly.

In addition, students should sign on to Gateway and update their emergency information.

We will continue to keep you informed as we move forward and manage this unprecedented experience.

Sincerely,

Margee M. Ensign
President


Wellness Message to the Community

Sent: March 20, 2020

To the Dickinson Community:

We want to acknowledge the incredible amount of stress and uncertainty that COVID-19 has brought to members of our community, as we have watched the devastating and widespread impact that this disease has had around the world in a relatively short period of time. Over the past week, our community has had to make radical changes to how we live, work and engage with each other. While these changes are necessary to protect the health and safety of our community (as well as others outside of Dickinson), the process of adjustment has not been easy. The outbreak of an infectious disease is stressful for many people, and the emotional toll it brings can take various forms.

Some common reactions can include:

  • Anxiety, fear and worry
  • Feeling helpless
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Anger and/or sadness
  • Increased use of alcohol or other drugs
  • Worsening of chronic physical or mental health conditions

Recent disruptions to our usual routines and the need to limit face-to-face contact with others can make these issues especially challenging. We implore you all to find ways to take care of yourselves emotionally as well as physically during this difficult time. Reach out to each other. Stay in touch and let people you care about know that you are thinking about them. While physical distancing is a necessity at this time, don’t let the distance between us erode our emotional bonds and lead to emotional isolation.

While it is important to stay informed and act on the most up-to-date information, it is also important to take breaks from following news about the disease when you can. Focusing on what matters most in your life and the things you have control over can help you manage the stress of this situation. Find a balance that works for you and let others around you know how they can help. You can also ask others how you can help them maintain their own sense of balance. Helping others cope with their stress can make you feel better and strengthen our community.

In addition to practicing good hygiene habits and social distancing, take time to take care of your body in other ways. Find moments during the day to focus on your breathing, stretch, move around and/or meditate. Nourish yourself with well-balanced meals, try to maintain a regular sleep schedule and limit your use of alcohol and drugs. We have included some links below to online resources to help with these efforts.

Students:

The Dickinson College Wellness Center is open from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. to consult by phone and connect you with resources to help you manage your physical and mental health going forward. We are providing limited in-person services to students who are still on campus, but we are not offering routine appointments at this time. Students should call in advance (717-245-1663) to schedule appointments for urgent issues that require immediate attention. If you think you might be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please call us and a nurse practitioner can provide recommendations. If you need health advice for a non-emergency on evenings or weekends and cannot wait until we reopen, please call our after-hours service, AccessNurse, toll-free at 877-229-4183. As always, students should call the Department of Public Safety at 717-245-1111 for any physical or mental health emergency after hours or on weekends. Off-campus emergency resources are also available, including the 24/7 Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and the Crisis Text Line (Text HELP to 741741).

In addition to calling the Wellness Center (717-245-1663) if you need help identifying off-campus medical or mental health services, students are encouraged to contact their insurance company to identify providers in their area. The Dickinson College Student insurance plan (United Healthcare) offers telehealth and teletherapy services that are free to all students insured under the plan. Many other insurance plans also offer these services, and some are waiving co-pay fees for them. The Wellness Center now has a COVID-19 Resources section of our website, which includes information about how to access free telehealth and teletherapy services if you have the Dickinson College Student Health Insurance.

Employees:

Dickinson’s Employee Assistance Program is available to all full-time and part-time employees and immediate family members who are eligible for medical benefits. Providers are available locally and telephonically.

Effective immediately, Aetna has waived co-pays for all diagnostic testing related to COVID-19. This policy will cover the test kit for patients who meet CDC guidelines for testing, which can be done in any approved laboratory location. More information is available here.

For the next 90 days, Aetna will offer zero co-pay telemedicine visits for any reason. Aetna members should use telemedicine as their first line of defense in order to limit potential exposure in physician offices. More information is available here.

There is a Financial Wellbeing: TIAA: Market Volatility Webinar on Wednesday, March 25 from 2-3 p.m. Click the link to join this webinar as a TIAA participant or as a guest. This webinar is open to everyone.

We will continue to update and add to these pages going forward, so please check back regularly and let us know if there is something you would like to see included. For now, we will leave you all with a number of online resources for coping with the stress of our present situation.

Stay well and take care of each other,

Don Domenici
Executive Director of the Wellness Center

Debra Hargrove
Associate Vice President for Human Resource Services

 

Online COVID-19 Resources:

CDC (COVID-19: Managing Stress and Anxiety):
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html

SAMHSA (Coping With Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks):
https://store.samhsa.gov/system/files/sma14-4885.pdf

Ten Percent Happier (Coronavirus Sanity Guide):
https://www.tenpercent.com/coronavirussanityguide

CALM is an app that offers a free 31-day challenge and many resources to help with stress reduction. Committing to sleep, relaxation and mindfulness can have a profound impact on your whole life.

COVID-19 | Supporting At-Home Children compliments of Health Advocate

Aetna/CVS Health is offering weekly Compassion & Relaxation calls for children and adults.

Fizikaflex Exercise Guide is a FREE resource and exercise program designed by a Dickinson alum, Martha Harris ’77. Harris (CEO and Founder of Fizikaflex) is also looking for volunteers (age 50+) to participate in a study for the Fizikaflex fitness app currently being designed and tested. To learn more about this opportunity, visit the Fizikaflex website or email devwell@dickinson.edu.


Operational Update

Sent: March 20, 2020

To the Dickinson Community:

As the college transitions to a Modified Operating Schedule, I would like to make you aware of the following changes in our operational procedures to assist you during this period.

  1. Accounts Payable:

    The preferred method for paying vendors continues to be through the use of a Dickinson purchasing card. For vendors not accepting purchasing cards, we ask departments to reach out to vendor points of contact to obtain electronic copies of invoices and to the appropriate budget officers to obtain account coding and email authorizations. Please send payment requests to accountspayable@dickinson.edu with the following information: (1) the vendor name and amount; (2) a copy of the invoice as an attachment; (3) account coding; and (4) evidence of email approvals from budget officers. Please be patient as we navigate this new way to process payments. Any questions can be directed to accountspayable@dickinson.edu.

  2. Budget Office – Information about Business Operations:

    If you need to communicate with the budget team, you may contact them through email. You may contact Margaret Stafford at stafford@dickinson.edu and Travis Lipscomb at lipscomt@dickinson.edu. Phone and/or virtual forms of communication will be used if meetings or conversations are necessary.

    FY20 (2019 - 2020) Budget Management: Due to a reduction in expected revenue for the fiscal year, it is imperative that all departments curtail non-essential spending immediately. Please limit purchases and expenditures to only essential goods and services and consult with your divisional vice president if you have questions. Upholding the college’s commitment to its employees is a top priority. To support that priority, we ask you to limit non-personnel expenses.

    If your department incurs an unbudgeted expense due to the college’s response to COVID-19:

    • Charge the expense to your departmental budget.
    • Forward all payment information to Margaret Stafford. She will transfer a credit into your budget to cover the expense.

    FY21 (2020-21) Budget Development: The college will continue to develop the FY21 budget through the established shared governance system. The All-College Planning & Budget Committee (P&B) and the FY21 Financial Working Group will continue to deliberate through virtual meetings. Since all initial deadlines for budget entry have passed, budget officers and proxies have completed their work. If a department was unable to enter the budget adjustments submitted to P&B by their divisional vice president as part of the proportional divisional givebacks (all divisions, excluding Advancement and Enrollment Management), the Budget Office will complete them for you. Budget officers will be contacted if P&B approves any other adjustments to FY21 departmental budgets. Per the current schedule, all submitted one-time budget requests will be reviewed by the committee in April. Budget officers will be notified at the conclusion of that process.

  3. Mail Services:

    Dickinson Mail Services will begin modified operating on Monday, March 23, with the following operating hours

    • Monday - Friday 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (subject to change).
    • Saturday - Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. through April 5

    Mail and packages can be picked up during this time frame.

    Please understand that while we can forward letter mail both domestically and internationally, packages can only be forwarded to locations in the United States. FedEx and UPS mailings do not offer a forwarding service and therefore must be returned to sender.

    Receiving for larger deliveries at the facilities warehouse is closed, and signs have been posted instructing drivers how to proceed. If you are expecting something to arrive during this time, please contact the mail center.

    We understand that this is an inconvenience and will work with you as much as possible. Please feel free to reach out to us in the mail center at 717-245-1238.

  4. Facilities Management:

    Staffing levels in all Facilities Management units have been significantly reduced but will be adjusted as needed. Most routine services are curtailed.

    Housekeeping: Six housekeepers are scheduled to be on campus from 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. A smaller contingent will be here on the weekends. Until April 5, services are primarily focused on the residence halls and student move-out activities. Bathrooms and kitchens will be cleaned, and trash will be removed. Most academic and administrative buildings will not receive routine service. If supplies are needed, please submit a work order.

    Trades (eg. electricians, plumbers, carpenters): Until March 31, there will be four trades employees on campus Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. There will be no weekend coverage. Staff will be focusing on performing building checks and shutting down residence halls as they are vacated. Routine work orders will not be addressed. For emergencies, please call Public Safety.

    Grounds: Grounds will monitor trash and recycling. Attention to campus landscaping will be given as required.

  5. Childcare Center:

    The Dickinson Child Care Center is closed until further notice.

  6. Bookstore/Devil’s Den:

    The Bookstore and Devil’s Den are closed until further notice. If you have questions about books and other orders please contact Lori Coleman at coleman@dickinson.edu
  7. Dining:

    All dining operations are suspended, with the exception of the dining hall, which is providing grab and go meals only to students who have been approved to remain on campus.
  8. Office of Conferences and Special Events:

    All events on campus have been cancelled through May 1, 2020. If you are interested in scheduling an event beyond that date, please contact Dottie Warner at warner@dickinson.edu
  9. Human Resource Services:

    Human Resource Services (HRS) continues to offer support and assistance to the campus community through a remote operations process. Staff members are available to answer questions by email, online chat or phone as needed.

    For specific questions about compensation, remote work, and the modified staffing arrangement, please refer to the FAQ for Faculty and Staff. As this situation unfolds, we will continue to update these Q&As. If you have a concern that has not been addressed, please email employeequestions@dickinson.edu.

    Additional information regarding specific medical benefits and programs related to the COVID-19 pandemic continue to be updated.

    We understand this is a stressful time and encourage you to use these resources.

  10. Office of Student Employment:

    General information regarding student employment is maintained on the Student Employment Website. During this modified operating schedule, any active student employee who is unable to continue working and/or does not have the ability to work remotely, will continue to be paid. Details can be found here and additional questions can be sent to stuemp@dickinson.edu.

Sincerely,

Bronte Burleigh-Jones, Ph.D.
Vice President for Finance and Administration


Employee Update

Sent: March 19, 2020

To the Dickinson Community:

I write to inform you I have just learned that the Wellness Center is testing one of our students, who returned to campus yesterday afternoon, for COVID-19. We will, of course, share the results of that test when we receive them. We are sharing this information now out of an abundance of caution and it is important to note that we do not yet know the nature of the student’s illness. We are providing support to the student, who is in isolation pending results.

The student was not living in the residence halls currently being vacated by students. However, if students or parents are unable to return or uncomfortable with returning to campus to move their belongings, they can make arrangements with student life by filling out forms at dickinson.edu/spring2020moveout.

Again, we are sharing news of the testing out of an abundance of caution. We want to be transparent with our community as we work through this evolving situation.

Sincerely,

Margee M. Ensign
President


Employee Update

Sent: March 19, 2020

To all Dickinson employees:

Many of you have been worried about being paid as you also worry about your health and the health of your loved ones. Let me reassure you: all full- and part-time staff will be paid through June 30, the end of our fiscal year. We will do our very best to keep everyone as informed as possible as we adjust to new information and new challenges.

Here are some details about how this will work:

Staffing Arrangements

  • Beginning Sunday, March 22, the college will be operating in a Modified Staffing Arrangement and classes will be moved online. Some staff will be required to work on campus to support core services for our students who have been approved to remain in residence, and those staff will receive premium pay. Premium pay means that nonexempt staff who are required to work on campus during this time will be compensated at an overtime rate of one and one-half times their regular pay for the hours worked on campus during the arrangement.
  • Only those employees identified by their senior officer should report to work on campus on a regular basis. Intermittent trips to campus which have received approval will not receive premium pay.
  • Other staff who are not required to be on campus should continue to be in touch with their supervisors to discuss their specific work assignments, if applicable.

Using Leave

  • Beginning April 1, full- and part-time staff (exempt and nonexempt) who are not approved to work remotely and who are not required to work on campus will be asked to use their paid leave (vacation, floating holiday, sick). Once all paid leave is exhausted, employees will be compensated according to their regular schedules. Part-time employees will be paid based on their average hours worked this semester prior to spring break.
  • Full- and part-time staff (exempt and nonexempt) who are approved to work remotely on a part-time, as-needed basis, will utilize available paid leave to cover the time which is not being worked each week. Once all paid leave is exhausted, they will be compensated according to their regular schedules.
  • Full- and part-time staff (exempt and nonexempt) who are approved to work their regular schedule remotely should also use available paid leave as appropriate. For example, vacation which was scheduled for the Easter holiday would still be used.

Other Items

  • Nonexempt employees who use Banner Self-Service to submit their timesheets will continue to do so according to the established payroll schedule. Supervisors will continue to approve timesheets in the regular manner. Payroll deadlines remain unchanged.
  • Casual staff will be paid for actual hours worked, and work must be pre-approved by departmental leadership.
  • Call-in pay does not apply during this period.

It has been inspiring to see how you have worked to support the college during this stressful time. Thank you for your dedication to our students and our mission.

Be sure you are taking care of yourself, your loved ones and your neighbors. Please follow CDC guidelines and wash your hands frequently and thoroughly and practice social distancing.

We are a resilient community working every day to educate students to work for the common good. That goal is more important than ever during this unprecedented crisis. My sincere thanks to all of you for your efforts and your support.

Sincerely,

Margee M. Ensign
President


Virtual Meeting for Students and Parents Tomorrow

Sent: March 18, 2020

To Dickinson Students and Parents:

These are very challenging, difficult and disruptive times for us all. On behalf of your college, I want to remind you that our first concern is that you and your loved ones stay safe and stay well. The spread of COVID-19 and the actions being taken to mitigate its effects have led to unprecedented actions both here in Carlisle and across the world. We are, all of us, finding our way through these uncharted waters. Here at the college, we appreciate your thoughtful support and your patience as our very resilient and courageous community continues to respond in a responsible and timely manner.

I will be holding a virtual meeting for all parents and students who would like to join me tomorrow, Thursday, March 19, at noon (EDT). You can see the meeting by going to this page at that time. Neil Weissman, provost and dean of the college, and George Stroud, vice president and dean of student life, will join me. Please send any questions you would like us to address during that time to ask@dickinson.edu.

I also want to share updates regarding two important areas:

Student Refunds

  • Students will receive a credit for room and board charges during the portion of the semester when they will not be occupying their residence halls or using their meal plans, starting Monday, March 16. Financial aid will not be affected for those students with need-based aid unless the students are or later become no longer enrolled.
  • Credits will be processed after all March charges and adjustments have been posted to student accounts. Returning students will receive a credit toward their fall 2020 semester charges. Graduating seniors with credit balances can expect to receive refunds beginning in April.
  • We request students’ patience as staff in Financial Operations work to process these adjustments. Please direct any question to stuaccts@dickinson.edu.
  • Because we will continue to offer our academic program, we will not be refunding tuition.

Student Employment

As an employer of both Federal Work Study and Institutional Work Study students on campus, the college has decided that compensation for student employees will continue as outlined below:

  • Any student that has received permission to remain on campus should contact their supervisor to discuss options regarding their work assignment. Hours worked will continue to be reported and approved bi-weekly according to the Student Payroll Schedule.
  • Some students may have the ability to work remotely. Remote work will be determined by your supervisor(s) and will be coordinated directly between the supervisor(s)/department(s) and student employees. Students working remotely will be paid for any hours worked. Hours will continue to be reported and approved bi-weekly according to the Student Payroll Schedule.
  • Any active student employee who is unable to continue working and/or does not have the ability to work remotely will continue to be paid. Payment will be based on the average of actual historical hours worked during the 2019-20 academic year. Students will be paid at their current hourly rate in accordance with the Student Payroll Schedule from Monday, March 16, 2020, through Friday, May 1, 2020.Please note: An active student employee is defined as a student who has actively worked during the spring semester and who has an active job record.
  • Nonresident alien students who have already returned home and/or who have requested to work remotely: We ask for your patience as we explore specific employment implications. Further communication will be provided as soon as possible.

We have provided answers to many questions in our FAQ for students. We also have a coronavirus webpage that we are updating regularly.

Please join us tomorrow at noon. I know this is a difficult situation. It is certainly not what any of us would have hoped, but it is the best way we can balance the health and safety of our community while fulfilling our educational mission.

Sincerely,

Margee M. Ensign
President


Campus Update

Sent: March 17, 2020

To the Dickinson Community:

As we shared yesterday, Dickinson classes are going online for the remainder of the semester. While we are diligently working through this evolving situation, I want to direct you to the Coronavirus webpage, as well as the Student Frequently Asked Questions pageand the Employee FAQ page. We have anticipated many questions, which are answered there.

I hope you are all taking the time to care for yourselves, your loved ones and your neighbors. Please also follow the CDC guidelines to keep yourself safe.

I want to reiterate and clarify several issues about which I have received questions.

Students and Parents

  • No student is required to come back to campus to retrieve their belongings. We are happy to send a student’s essential belongings, such as books and computers, to them. Information on how to arrange that, as well as information on storage options, is covered in the student FAQ.
  • We will not charge students for room and board for the portion of the semester when they will not be occupying their residence halls or utilizing their meal plans, following March 16. In the coming weeks, continuing students who vacate campus should expect to receive a prorated credit on their student accounts. For those who received need-based financial aid, it is not yet clear whether credits for room and board will affect financial aid eligibility. Institutions are currently being encouraged to wait for further guidance from the Department of Education before making any changes to aid eligibility based on cost of attendance. We request students’ patience as Financial Operations and Office of Financial Aid work to process and communicate the impact of prorated reimbursements on students’ aid packages. Seniors, once this financial aid analysis is completed, if you are due a refund, we will send one to you.
  • Please log into the Gateway as soon as you can to add or update your Emergency Information. Upon logging into Gateway, you will be prompted to provide important contact information. Dickinson College will be using the cell phone and time zone information collected from this form to stay in contact with you throughout the remainder of the spring 2020 semester.
  • If you are a student worker, we will have more information for you in the coming days.
  • In order to provide faculty and students additional time for advising, the Fall 2020 Course Request Period has been postponed and extended. It will now take place at 9 a.m. EDT, Monday, March 30, through 4 p.m. EDT, Friday, April 3, 2020. Advising sessions with faculty and advising staff will be available online and by phone.
  • Department of Public Safety officers will continue to respond to all emergency calls and calls for service for which a response is determined to be necessary. However, non-emergency matters should be handled with telephone calls to limit exposure between officers and members of the public when appropriate. Instead of automatically sending out an officer to take reports, many will now be taken over the phone or by email. Calls will be screened to determine if they meet criteria for a phone/email report. Contact Public Safety at 717-245-1349 or security@dickinson.edu.

Employees

  • Our commitment to our employees is one of our key priorities at this moment. As a reminder, all full and part-time employees are not required to use leave for absences due to issues involving COVID-19, including school closures, through this month.
  • Please log into the Gateway as soon as you can to add or update your Emergency Information. Upon logging into Gateway, you will be prompted to provide important contact information. Dickinson College will be using the cell phone and time zone information collected from this form to stay in contact with you throughout the remainder of the spring 2020 semester.

While this is an unprecedented situation and it will take us some time to work through all scenarios, we are dedicated to protecting the health and safety of our community while continuing with our educational mission. We will be sharing opportunities for virtual gatherings in the coming days. We also will be providing information on our admissions efforts. While our campus is closed to visitors, we continue our work of recruiting the class of 2024, and we have a strong virtual visit page with options for admitted students to connect with Dickinsonians.

This is a resilient and courageous community. We will meet these challenges and become stronger.

Sincerely,

Margee M. Ensign
President


Campus Update

Sent: March 16, 2020

To the Dickinson Community:

We have made the difficult decision to complete this semester online.

We are all living through extraordinary times. While there are no presumed or confirmed cases of COVID-19 on campus, five cases of coronavirus have now been confirmed in Cumberland County, the county Dickinson has called home for more than two centuries. As cases multiply across the state, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has closed all K-12 schools for two weeks and has ordered all non-essential businesses to close. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced last night that all gatherings of 50 or more be suspended for eight weeks. In addition, the CDC has said that closing schools for eight weeks or more may have a greater impact on mitigating the spread of virus than the shorter times currently planned.

This is not a decision we take lightly, and it is certainly not the decision we would prefer. Seniors, I know how difficult this must be for all of you. I truly am sorry that you will not be able to finish your Dickinson journey in the way you had hoped. However, this decision is one that we must make to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of our students, faculty, staff and community.

Dickinson is proud of its long history of educating leaders who will work for the common good. We are proud of the close relationship that exists between faculty and students. Our skill in innovating, our nimbleness in adjusting as the world changes, our comfort with ambiguity and our concern for one another—these will allow us to meet these difficult times. We will work through them together, emerging an even stronger community.

Students, you will be hearing from your faculty members this week as they work diligently to create remote learning options. To my wonderful faculty colleagues, thank you for all of your hard work under these taxing, unprecedented circumstances. To staff members, I am grateful for your loyal service and mindful of protecting your health and safety in the days ahead.

We will begin holding virtual meetings with various groups later this week.

Listed below are some impacts of this decision. We have created a website with Frequently Asked Questions. Please check this webpage for more complete information.

Students

Housing

  • We ask that all students try to get their belongings and move out of your campus housing between March 18 and April 5. You will need to schedule your return through Housing Self-Service (Housing icon in Gateway).
  • Students with a compelling reason to stay on campus, including those who were approved for this week, must apply to remain on campus. Please submit theapplication found here by noon on Thursday, March 19 , in order to receive an answer by Friday at 4 p.m.
  • If you are unable to retrieve your belongings, please see the options available to you. If none of these options work for you, please contact reslife@dickinson.edu.
  • For additional questions, please take a look at this FAQ document.

Academics

  • Our goal is for all students to complete the semester on time.
  • Faculty will be reaching out to you as we move to remote classes. We know that all students will not be available to be online at the same time, and faculty understand this. We also know that not all students have equal access, and we will be working to meet every student’s needs.
  • Students, in consultation with their faculty, will have the option to take a grade for classes or take credit/non-credit for the course. Some faculty may choose to move the entire course to credit/no credit.
  • For other questions please consult this FAQ.

Health

  • The Wellness Center will remain open 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. to provide limited services to students who are still on campus and will work with all other students to find referrals at home. Routine appointments will not be offered at this time, and in lieu of coming in to schedule appointments (or for Open Hours), all students should instead call the Wellness Center if they need assistance. Students should call the Department of Public Safety at 717-245-1111 if there is a physical or mental health emergency after hours or on weekends.

Employees

  • You make Dickinson the world-class institution it is, and I am grateful to all of you for your efforts and support during this challenging time. All full-time and part-time employees (who are scheduled to work and not already planning to be on leave) will receive their regular pay through March 31 and will not be required to take paid leave during this time.
  • We are committed to developing a scheduling and compensation strategy for our full-time staff for the rest of the semester and will be providing additional information in the days ahead.
  • The campus will transition to a modified staffing arrangement beginning Monday. Those who are able to work remotely should be in contact with their supervisors who will work with you to ensure you can start doing so as soon as feasible. If you have health concerns, please contact your medical provider and do what is best for you. Please follow up with your supervisor.
  • The library is closed to students and the public.
  • The Kline Center is closed to everyone except athletic staff, housekeeping and officers from the Department of Public Safety.
  • For other questions please consult this FAQ.

Dickinson prides itself on being a different sort of college. We have been a college, since our very founding more than two hundred years ago, that has sought to provide a useful education, an education to foster the common good. This is an attitude, an orientation, now indispensable in our college, our nation and the world. We must all of us be prepared to make the sacrifices necessary to do our part. I have every confidence that we will look back at this difficult time with pride in what we have done, how we have helped and how we have lived up to our ideals and principles.

Sincerely,

Margee M. Ensign
President


Dickinson in Australia health and safety update

Sent: March 16, 2020

Dear students and families, 

We know you have been anxiously awaiting an update from us that we promised today. We appreciate your patience with us as things have been changing very quickly and we have been gathering the most relevant and up-to-date information to share with you. 

In response to the expanding global disruption caused by the spread of COVID-19, Dickinson’s  emergency team has been continuously assessing and reassessing risk at all Dickinson programs worldwide.  As you know, last week we made the decision to suspend all study abroad programs, including the Dickinson in Australia program. 

Uncertainty around travel restrictions has increased significantly across the globe in the last 48 hours. As of today, the University of Queensland has also confirmed that three students have tested positive for COVID-19.  Since the response to the global pandemic has become increasingly unpredictable, AT THIS TIME WE ARE REQUIRING ALL STUDENTS TO RETURN HOME FROM AUSTRALIA WITH NO OPTION TO SIGN A WAIVER TO STAY. 

We realize for many of you that this is disappointing news and not what you imagined from your semester abroad. However, at this point in time, as the Australian government is taking more and more steps to curtail the spread of the virus, the semester you had envisioned in Australia is no longer possible.   

When do I need to leave Australia and return home? 

We are extending the date students must depart for home to March 25th. Please send Ann Wadsworth your flight information by March 20th

Can I return to campus instead of going home? 

If there are extenuating circumstances and you cannot return home, please let us know.  There will be an option to petition Residence Life to return to Dickinson’s campus. 

Will I get a refund for room and board? 

Yes, you will be receiving a pro-rated room and board refund.  We will be communicating with all of you individually about this as it depends on your financial aid. 

How will I get credits for the semester? 

We are expecting that the University of Queensland (UQ) will be allowing students to complete their courses online. UQ has suspended courses for this week, and after that, most things will likely move online. We are awaiting confirmation from UQ regarding if students could finish courses remotely online.  We will accept all of these courses. 

What if UQ does not move courses online or I cannot complete my credits in that way? 

You will have the option to take a leave of absence for this semester, if you cannot complete courses through UQ.  You will get a full tuition refund in that case. 

What might Dickinson do to help me make up missing credits, if needed? 

If you do not end up with a full semester of credits, the college will continue to work with you, on an individual basis, to try and make up any lost credits over the remainder of your time at Dickinson so you can graduate on time. 

What if I want to stay in Australia?  

As there is no waiver option for you to stay in Australia, if you do not leave, you could be deemed in violation of the college policies and you may not be able to receive any credits for your courses. Failure to leave the country also means you would not have access to any support from Dickinson. Please note that students in violation of college policies may be subject to being involuntarily withdrawn from the college.  More information about the withdrawal process is available in the College Bulletin

I know this has been such a challenging time and that your semester did not go as planned.  Please know that we are here for you as you make plans to return home and transition from your abroad experience. 

Sincerely,

Katie DeGuzman
Dean and Director, Education Abroad
Center for Global Study and Engagement


New Zealand study abroad - Dickinson health and safety update

Sent: March 16, 2020

Dear students and families, 

We know you have been anxiously awaiting an update from us that we promised today. We appreciate your patience with us as things have been changing very quickly and we have been gathering the most relevant and up-to-date information to share with you. 

In response to the expanding global disruption caused by the spread of COVID-19, Dickinson’s  emergency team has been continuously assessing and reassessing risk at all Dickinson programs worldwide.  As you know, last week we made the decision to suspend all study abroad programs, including the University of Otago program in New Zealand. 

Uncertainty around travel restrictions has increased significantly across the globe in the last 48 hours. Air New Zealand announced today that they are reducing their international flights by 85% from March 30th-June 30th..  Since the response to the global pandemic has become increasingly unpredictable, AT THIS TIME WE ARE REQUIRING ALL STUDENTS TO RETURN HOME FROM NEW ZEALAND WITH NO OPTION TO SIGN A WAIVER TO STAY. 

We realize for many of you that this is disappointing news and not what you imagined from your semester abroad. However, at this point in time, as the New Zealand government is taking more and more steps to curtail the spread of the virus, the semester you had envisioned in New Zealand is no longer possible.   

When do I need to leave New Zealand and return home? 

We are extending the date students must depart for home to March 25th. Please send Stephanie Gulden your flight information by March 20th

Can I return to campus instead of going home? 

If there are extenuating circumstances and you cannot return home, please let us know.  There will be an option to petition Residence Life to return to Dickinson’s campus. 

Will I get a refund for room and board? 

Yes, you will be receiving a pro-rated room and board refund.  We will be communicating with all of you individually about this as it depends on your financial aid. 

How will I get credits for the semester? 

The University of Otago is preparing for the possibility of delivering courses online. We are working with our colleagues at Otago and are awaiting their confirmation regarding if students could finish courses remotely online. We would accept all of these courses.  

What if the University of Otago does not move courses online or I cannot complete my credits in that way? 

You will have the option to take a leave of absence for this semester, if you cannot complete courses through the University of Otago.  You will get a full tuition refund in that case. 

What might Dickinson do to help me make up missing credits, if needed? 

If you do not end up with a full semester of credits, the college will continue to work with you, on an individual basis, to try and make up any lost credits over the remainder of your time at Dickinson so you can graduate on time. 

What if I want to stay in New Zealand?  

As there is no waiver option for you to stay in New Zealand, if you do not leave, you could be deemed in violation of the college policies and you may not be able to receive any credits for your courses. Failure to leave the country also means you would not have would not have access to any support from Dickinson. Please note that students in violation of college policies may be subject to being involuntarily withdrawn from the college.  More information about the withdrawal process is available in the College Bulletin

I know this has been such a challenging time and that your semester did not go as planned.  Please know that we are here for you as you make plans to return home and transition from your abroad experience. 

Best regards,

Katie DeGuzman
Dean and Director, Education Abroad
Center for Global Study and Engagement