Bucknell and Bloom U reacting: Break extended, no classes

UNDATED – Two Valley universities are taking big steps in responding to growing coronavirus concerns sweep across PA and the country. In a letter to students, faculty, and staff, Bucknell University President John Bravman says the university is transitioning to a remote education mode for the remainder of the semester. To prepare for that transition, classes are cancelled Monday, March 16, through Wednesday, March 18. Classes will resume Thursday, March 19.
The university says because of the move to remote education, students will need to move out of on-campus housing by 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 17. Understanding that many students will nonetheless have to remain on campus, Bravman says the university will be setting up an online petition form for those that need to remain. Bucknell’s Division l student-athletes will be hearing from AD Jermaine Truax soon.
Bravman says campus will remain open, and all staff and faculty should report as normal. Faculty and staff will be updated tomorrow regarding academic matters, and will update students in the days ahead. Bucknell is also considering limiting other on-campus activities and events, and will be making those decisions in the coming days. In general, we expect many planned activities to be canceled or postponed. See the full letter below.
In addition, Bloomsburg University is extending its spring break by one week, with classes scheduled to resume Monday, March 23…but faculty  will be provided training specific to online course delivery methods. All University-sponsored travel is cancelled, and until further ntoice, all university-sponsored non-athletic events and gatherings are suspended. BU is also restricting vistiors to campus during this period. See their full statement below as well.
Letter from Bucknell University President John Bravman: 
Dear Students, Faculty, Staff and Families,
As I have shared with you in my previous emails, we continue to monitor the evolving public health situation related to coronavirus (COVID-19). Like you, I have seen the reports of the virus spreading across the globe and the US, including Pennsylvania. And like you, I have been concerned about the potential impact it will have on the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff.
To that end, University leadership and I have made the decision to transition to a remote education mode for the remainder of the semester. To prepare for that, classes are cancelled Monday, March 16, through Wednesday, March 18, so that faculty and staff can plan for delivering remote educational activities. Classes will resume on Thursday, March 19.
While I realize this decision will immediately raise a large number of questions and concerns, including those related to Commencement, I would respectfully ask you to hold your individual inquiries as we continue to navigate this complex situation. Decisions on a range of issues are pending and will be addressed serially.
As the situation and our response to it continues to unfold, you will receive regular updates from me and/or other University leaders with more specific details.
This has not been an easy decision to make, and I understand how challenging it will be for our campus community. However, I strongly believe that faced with such uncertainty, we have no choice but to pursue these actions. Bucknell has always been a community that comes together in the face of adversity. This is one of those times, and I am counting on your patience and assistance as we work through it together.
My best,
John C. Bravman
Statement from Bloomsburg University: 

Bloomsburg University doesn’t have any reported or confirmed cases of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus at this time.

Because the health and safety of our campus community remains our highest priority, we must continue to prepare for this possibility. Below are additional updates, effective immediately:

  • Students’ Spring Break Extended — Out of an abundance of concern for all members of the BU family, we are extending the spring break for our students by one week, with classes anticipated to resume on Monday, March 23. During this extension, faculty will be provided training, both locally and remotely, specific to online course delivery methods. This will enable continuity of instruction if further delays of our students’ return to campus become warranted.
  • All University-Sponsored Travel Cancelled — Further, we are cancelling all University-sponsored travel for faculty, staff, and students, including (but not limited to) professional development and other non-essential business activities. Non-essential travel includes regional, state-wide, national, and international travel. We are basing this decision on current social distancing best practices to limit and prevent disease transmission. Through technology, we will seek opportunities to host certain events remotely.
  • Events on Campus — Until further notice, we are suspending all University-sponsored non-Athletics events and gatherings, including those planned by registered student organizations, conference travel, club or intramural sports, and other non-credit experiences. As part of this change, BU will be restricting visitors to campus during this period.
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