03/26/2020 4:37 pm
March 26, 2020 Campus Update
Online instruction will take place for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester; Changes to Residence Hall Occupancy; May Commencement Ceremony canceled.
Dear Rockford University Community,
We are closely monitoring the effects that the COVID-19 crisis is creating for higher education. Following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control, the Winnebago County Health Department, the Illinois Department of Health, and the State of Illinois, we have made several decisions to protect our students and employees. Simultaneously, we also are working diligently to find new ways to deliver instruction so that our students can maintain their studies. As such, the following changes will take effect immediately for the remainder of the spring semester.
Online Learning Extended
Remote learning will be in place for the rest of the semester. I am confident that faculty and students will continue to find new ways to innovate and learn together. Our sense of community remains a hallmark of our institution, and not even a pandemic can alter that bond.
Residence Halls Closing
This decision impacts our remaining residential students. Up until this point, we allowed students who wished to live on campus to continue to do so. We were able to accommodate those needs within the state’s Stay At-home order. Now that we will not return to in-person learning, we are asking all students to return to their permanent residence by April 4. If there are extenuating circumstances that prevent this, students will be able to appeal to remain on campus. Appeals will be reviewed on a case-by-case.
We are developing a plan to provide a prorated credit for room and board charges. We will provide the specifics on this as soon as possible, and information will be sent directly to students. Students should be watching their Rockford.edu emails closely.
These decisions also directly affect how we will close out the semester and celebrate our graduating class. It is with sadness that we now must cancel our commencement ceremony scheduled for Sunday, May 17. We recognize the unique importance this day holds for our graduating seniors and their families and friends, along with our faculty and staff who find such joy in celebrating the accomplishments of our students. We are moving forward with plans for a virtual ceremony to take place in May, and diplomas will be mailed when available. We are also working on plans for an in-person ceremony this fall once we can safely gather together again. More details will be shared regarding this as soon as possible.
Most other events scheduled on campus for the remainder of the spring term are also canceled.
These are unprecedented times, and we are making challenging decisions that are in the best interests of the health and safety of our Rockford University community. Please continue to be patient with one another and to extend grace whenever you can – knowing that everyone is forced to deal with new realities and to give up things that they never imagined having to do. We will come through this time as a stronger campus community.
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