UofL will finish the semester online; spring commencement ceremony postponed
An update from President Neeli Bendapudi regarding the coronavirus outbreak:
Dear Cardinal Family,
What a time of unpredictable and rapid change we are facing today, as individuals, as families, as businesses, as organizations, and as communities. Each day seems to bring with it new issues and new complications. And yet each day also brings some hope and confidence and resilience because it is clear we are working together, and working with one singular purpose: to keep everyone healthy and informed as we move forward.
To that end, and in response to updated recommendations from leading health experts and from local and state government leaders, we are moving forward with the next phase of our emergency response to the COVID-19 situation.
- We are extending remote and online instruction through April 28, the end of the semester. Professional colleges are making decisions at the unit level to ensure the timely graduation of their students. Those students will receive additional guidance from their dean.
- Finals will be conducted remotely. You will receive more information from your professor on this in the coming weeks.
Housing and Dining
- By March 29, all students are asked to move out of our campus traditional and suite-style residence halls (Threlkeld, Miller, Unitas, Community Park, Kurz, Louisville and Billy Minardi). This is extremely important to increase social distance for health and safety. Students must complete the cancellation form (also located on the housing portal). Campus Housing will send you an email with further instructions.
- We understand that some students will have to stay on campus, because we are your home. If you are in this category and need an exception, please log into the UofL housing portal at louisville.edu/housing and complete the “Housing exception form for Spring 2020” located on the home page immediately, and we will work to accommodate your need before the March 29 deadline, pending space availability. For those students who do stay on campus, we will make sure there will be grab-and-go dining options and other services through the semester.
- Students who do move out of our campus residence halls and have no outstanding balances may have a pro-rated portion of their housing costs and meal plan dining dollars credited to the fall semester in the 2020-2021 school year. The credit may go toward housing, dining, or tuition and fees. Final credit amounts will be dependent upon the individual student’s financial aid situation and compliance.
- Students who are graduating this semester and have no outstanding balances will be refunded a pro-rated portion of their housing and unused dining dollars. We do sincerely request any student who is able to do so to waive their refund and donate it to UofL to help manage the significant financial impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the University.
A particularly difficult decision is to postpone the Spring Commencement ceremony. We will invite all Spring graduates to our December 2020 Commencement ceremony to be honored for your achievements. We know this is a tremendous disappointment to our graduates and their families. And we share that disappointment as well. Nonetheless we hope you understand the complexities we face now. We will also be thinking of alternative ways to celebrate the tremendous accomplishments of students who will be graduating this semester. Professional schools with separate graduation celebrations will be also be exploring creative alternatives such as virtual events. Please note: the date for spring degree conferral remains May 9, 2020, and students approved to graduate this spring will be awarded the degrees and certificates they have earned then.
The Health Sciences Fitness Center and the Student Recreational Center facilities have closed.
FOR FACULTY AND STAFF
- The remote work program will continue through the end of the semester, April 28th. Please go to our Working Remotely site for any help getting adjusted to working using our various virtual tools. If you have questions about your particular remote work situation, please speak to your vice president, dean, vice provost or their designee.
- International and domestic university-sponsored travel is suspended through the end of the fiscal year, June 30.
- Events hosted by any University of Louisville entity or at any University of Louisville facility are to be postponed or cancelled through at least April 28.
I know that you have been receiving numerous updates and messages from me and from our campus leadership on this topic. I understand that the pace of messaging might feel overwhelming to some, and not enough to others. Please know that we are constantly working to keep all of your needs top of mind and to pivot as quickly, and as thoughtfully, as we can when new information becomes available.
Meanwhile I hope each of you takes care of your own physical and mental health. Despite all the busy-ness, I hope you will take a moment to pause. Slow down. Anchor yourself in what matters most to you. Reach out to someone for help. Whether it is your dean, supervisor or another leader on campus, let us know how we can support you best at this time. Reach out to see if someone else needs help. Let us be patient with one another. Together we will persevere through this tumultuous time and come out the other side a stronger, more unified university community.