Coronavirus Information

Here you will find the latest information on Dominican University's prevention and response efforts related to novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). 

Dominican President Mary B. Marcy issued the following statement on Thursday, March 26:

Dear Campus Community: 

It has been an intense 10 days since the first shelter in place order was issued by the county health officers of the Bay Area, and I am writing to you today with some important updates. Our decisions continue to be informed by guidance from health officials, and the health and safety of our students and community remains our highest priority. 

Based on the latest COVID-19 information, Dominican will extend remote instruction through the end of the academic year. It is poignant, and now also clearly apparent, that we also must fundamentally change our commencement ceremony in light of public health directives concerning large group gatherings.

Commencement

Our Commencement Committee, which has been responsible for so many grand celebrations, is committed to making sure that the graduates of 2020 receive recognition for their work, and a chance to celebrate with our community. With that focus, we will offer two events rather than one — a virtual celebration this spring, and, for those who are able to attend, an in-person event next fall.

The virtual celebration will be held on May 16, the original date of Commencement. It will be designed in collaboration with ASDU and student input. We will reconvene in the fall with a ceremony on campus.
More information for students will be available in the coming weeks. For Faculty, we ask that you please continue to save the date of May 16, and stay tuned for further details.

Completing the Semester Online

Faculty and students should plan for remote instruction to continue for the remainder of the spring semester. In a limited number of cases in professional programs, no remote replacement for lab hours and/or required clinical placements has yet been developed; in these cases, communication will continue between program faculty and students as we evaluate options.

A temporary revision and expansion of the University’s policy on awarding Incomplete (INC) grades is currently being drafted and will be moved rapidly through the appropriate shared governance approval process. This is to respond supportively and flexibly to any cases where we find there is no acceptable way of completing course delivery by the end of this semester, as well to cases of individual students who are unable to complete coursework for unusual and legitimate reasons.

Students should contact their instructors or the chair of their programs with questions specific to their academic progress. For further academic and personal support, contact the Student Success Center or reach out to one of our integrative coaches.

Student Success Working Group

The staff and personnel in the Student Success Center and in Student Life are working online and remotely to continue to provide support and guidance to students. In addition to academic guidance and support, we are exploring opportunities for students to engage with their peers and communities — albeit virtually — to foster interaction and promote well-being during these challenging times.

The teams have created a student resource website that lists the various support programs, engagement opportunities, and important information for students. The site is updated periodically — please do visit frequently.

Residence Halls

With the decision to complete the remainder of the spring 2020 term via remote course delivery, we will close the residence halls for the remainder of the spring term. This decision is informed, in part, by Governor Newsom’s executive order and the directives concerning University residential facilities.
We understand that this is a challenge for our student community; the loss of access to the residence halls and meal plan was not something anyone anticipated, and is also a great loss of community for the entire campus. As a result of this necessary closing, the university will be working with students and families to prorate residence hall costs in line with guidelines from the federal Department of Education’s financial aid policies.

In the coming days, the Department of Housing and Residence Life will send detailed information to students about the move-out process, including dates and times and coordination of access to facilities, while being mindful of social distancing guidelines. Additionally, we will provide details of the prorated room/board costs and how that will be handled through the University’s Business Services Office once students are officially moved out of their assigned residence hall spaces.

Virtual Town Hall for Students and Families

In order to provide students and families with more detailed information and to offer some insight into what to expect the remainder of the semester, we will be hosting virtual “Town Hall Gathering” programs for students and families within the coming weeks. Campus leaders will present essential information via the online town hall. In addition to important informational updates, students and families will have the opportunity to ask questions directly to University leadership. The shift to online instruction and support has been sudden, and email communication is often not the most effective way to facilitate communication. The Town Hall format will allow us to interact more directly, and cover a wide array of issues. It will also help us be in the same ‘room’ together, albeit virtually, something we all seek as part of our Dominican community. Once the date has been confirmed, we will send a separate email invitation for the town hall.

Resources for Faculty and Staff

As faculty and staff plan for remote instruction to continue for the remainder of the spring semester, we invite faculty and staff to use this survey to request trainings or to share expertise. To help us stay connected (and of course in alignment with our Dominican value of community), the link also offers the chance to request virtual lunch (or other) gatherings. Additionally, the Faculty Resource Site provides a number of materials, recorded trainings, and information designed to support Faculty in your online teaching and learning. If you are working remotely and need office access to retrieve materials, please coordinate with your direct supervisor to establish access. Campus Security is permitted to open campus facilities as needed once access has been confirmed. If you have questions or need support, please email jesse.andrews@dominican.edu.

I will continue to send regular updates via this newsletter, both to keep us informed in the rapidly shifting environment, and to keep us connected, albeit virtually, to our strong community. Please know that our online and remote work does not change the nature of our community, or lessen the value of our mission. I remain grateful for your good spirit and good work as we continue to adapt.

— Mary B. Marcy, President
 


Earlier COVID-19 Messaging

Please note: Some of this information has since changed. Please refer to the latest update.

Dominican President Mary B. Marcy issued the following statement on Monday, March 23:

Welcome to the last stretch of our academic year, and to the first day of online course delivery! Today's update comes in the form of a video. 

After today, I will no longer send daily messages, but I will continue to provide updates as needed. For the next few days and weeks as we adapt, let's all focus on ensuring the Dominican values and culture shine through, even as we embrace a new mode of educational delivery.

 


Dominican President Mary B. Marcy issued the following statement on Monday, March 16:

Dear Dominican Campus Community: 

Based on today’s directive from the public health officers of the Bay Area, Dominican will be delivering all courses and conducting all work online. The directive is effective at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, March 17, and is expected to last until April 7. 

Online course delivery will commence as planned on Monday, March 23. Remote work for all non-essential personnel will begin tomorrow. 

Faculty and Staff

This afternoon please gather any materials necessary to work from home or deliver courses from home. All non-essential portions of our physical campus will be closed for the duration of the shelter in place order. This means you will not have access to your office until the order has been lifted. Only essential personnel will be permitted to return to campus after today. We will notify those individuals who have been designated as essential personnel once we have more information from the public health agency about the scope of their directive. Please do not return to campus unless you have been notified to do so.

Residence Halls

Residence halls will remain open for those students who need our campus as a space to shelter in place. These students will receive pre-made take-out meals from the dining hall. Any students staying on campus must check in with their RA this afternoon, and as soon as possible. Students who wish to leave the residence halls may make arrangements to do so but will not be permitted to return upon departing.

President's Cabinet

Like the rest of campus, the President's Cabinet has been preparing for the need to work fully online. We will continue to meet and provide regular updates to our community about essential functions. I know you have many questions, as do I; I will share information as I have it. The important thing is to recognize that while this is a difficult situation, it is also temporary, and we are fortunate to have a strong campus and community as we respond. Please be patient as we implement the directives of the public health agency and continue our mission.

We will work through this unprecedented challenge together. I have tremendous confidence in the values, the integrity, and the significance of the Dominican community. Please take care of yourselves and your loved ones, and know that, although it is temporarily in a virtual space, our community and our work continues.
 

— Mary B. Marcy, President

Campus Contacts

For more specific questions or further information:

  • Students and families:
    Paul Raccanello, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
    (415) 485-3223
  • Communications/media relations:
    Sarah Gardner, Executive Director of Communications
    (415) 485-3239
  • General queries:
    safety@dominican.edu

Dominican President Mary B. Marcy issued the following statement on Friday, March 13:

Events concerning the coronavirus are moving quickly, and the University’s leadership is committed to supporting community health and to continuing our mission. This page contains further updates about changes to operations on campus after spring break.

Regular academic classes will be suspended this coming week, March 16-20. This will allow the campus to prepare for online course delivery beginning March 23, and to fully implement protocols to best support the health of our community.  

The University has been following the Marin County Health and Human Services recommended public health guidelines, which until now have encouraged schools to remain open. But events are moving rapidly, and the University must be proactive to support our community’s health. University leadership is implementing the following changes as outlined below.

    — Mary B. Marcy, President
     

    Information for Students and Families 

    Classes: Please note the following changes to academic class delivery for the spring 2020 semester:

    • March 16-20: Regular classes will be suspended this week. (Please see below for information regarding non-lecture classes, such as clinicals and fieldwork placements.)
    • Beginning March 23: Classes that can be taught remotely will move to online course delivery.  
    • March 23 through the end of the spring semester: The University will continue online classes as long as necessary. We will continue to monitor the situation and work with our public health partners to determine when it is appropriate to return to in-class instruction.

    Residence Halls: The residence halls (including Townhomes) and the dining hall remain open to those students choosing to stay on campus. There may be modifications to room arrangements and changes to dining services; the Department of Housing and Residence Life will send follow-up information to resident students in the coming week, and we ask resident students to please respond to those emails.

    Clinicals and Fieldwork Placements: Clinicals and fieldwork placements will continue to meet  as scheduled. We remind students that the requirements for clinical and fieldwork placements are set by State authorities and, as such, the loss of clinical/fieldwork hours have implications for students’ progress toward graduation. Students should stay tuned for communications from their programs. Additionally, students will be notified by their program faculty if there will be changes or disruptions to their clinical or fieldwork placements. Faculty are working closely with our healthcare partners to ensure the safety of our students.

    Osher Life Long Learning Institute (OLLI): Classes will not be held in the coming week. Updates will be provided to members later in the week regarding the upcoming spring term. (Update: spring quarter classes canceled.)

    Student Employees: Student employees may return to work beginning March 16. Students not returning to work should communicate with their supervisor ASAP.

    Athletics and Conlan Recreation Center: The PacWest has discontinued athletics competitions  through April 3. All athletics practices and events are cancelled for the week of March 16-20. The Department of Athletics will provide additional information to student athletes and coaches in the coming week. The Conlan Recreation Center will be closed March 14-22. All classes and events in Conlan are cancelled for the week. 

    Information for Faculty and Staff 

    Professional Development: Faculty and staff, additional information regarding resources and training for remote teaching and work will be available next week.

     

    Faculty Training: IT Services and Academic Affairs are developing a series of training workshops (Google Hangouts, Zoom, and Moodle, VPN) to prepare faculty for remote instruction and access. Academic Affairs will distribute information about sessions and locations. Please contact mojgan.behmand@dominican.edu with questions regarding the training offerings. Adjunct faculty currently teaching this semester will be paid for the time they spend training as per the CBA. Adjunct faculty may contact yuti.huang@dominican.edu with questions. 

    Staff: Campus offices will remain open. Department supervisors should designate one employee to serve as the primary contact with IT; that individual can also assist colleagues with technology-related questions. Supervisors should determine how best to use March 16-20 in order to prepare for the possibility of many employees working from home. Some departments may want to practice remote work for those days, while others may want to team-train. Staff are welcome to attend the faculty training if it is relevant to their work.

    Workday: All employees can now access Workday from any location, including off-campus:

    If you have problems accessing Workday, email workdaysupport@dominican.edu

    Accessing dataworker shares via the VPN: Please review the video for instructions on how to access dataworker shares via the VPN. If you do not know the path or location for your dataworker share, please email helpdesk@dominican.edu.

    Sick Leave/Caring for Family Members: Dominican will provide work-at-home flexibility to employees who are at high-risk (i.e., chronically ill or immuno-compromised prior to this outbreak), have a need to work remotely due to personal matters related to COVID-19, or have extenuating circumstances. Employees should consult with their direct supervisor and HR.

    Supervisors are asked to please remain flexible with your staff needing to care for family members. If they can work at home, this would be the first option. If this is not possible, then they would need to contact HR.

    Any member of the Dominican community who exhibits signs of the flu should self-quarantine and seek medical attention as directed by their provider.

    Current sick leave eligibility and policies remain in place as defined in the Employee Handbook. In addition, the California EDD has made Disability, Paid Family Leave and Unemployment Insurance available for those impacted by COVID-19. HR is available to support these claims.

    Information for the Campus Community 

    Large Events: Marin HHS' Public Health Division is recommending the cancellation or postponement of nonessential indoor gatherings of more than 100 people. Marin HHS is not making the same recommendation for outdoor events at this time because the risk for transmission outdoors is low. The Events Management Office is working with all internal and external clients to cancel or reschedule any affected events.

    Travel: Following guidance from the Marin HHS’ Public Health Division, we are canceling all nonessential University travel until further notice. This includes student travel to conferences and select events. Those students, faculty, and staff currently away from campus on Dominican travel need not be recalled, but we do ask that they complete the University’s Travel Form. We are asking those who had planned to travel on behalf of the University to make every effort to secure refunds; many vendors are being more flexible than their normal policies allow.

    Campus Cleaning: Expanded, frequent, and intensive disinfection of high contact surfaces and shared spaces on campus continues. Custodial staff have been instructed to follow health guidelines and are equipped with nitrile gloves for their own safety. Hand sanitizer has been made available in public areas.

    Prevention: No matter where you are on campus or off, please take robust preventative public health and hygiene measures. These include washing your hands thoroughly five or six times each day, sneezing into a tissue or sleeved arm, and distancing yourself from others at the first sign of flu-like symptoms. 

    The campus community will continue to be updated via email as more information is available. In addition, we have established the coronavirus information page on our website where you will find the latest information on the University’s prevention and response efforts related to COVID-19. If you have any questions related to the University’s response and plans for COVID-19, please contact safety@dominican.edu.

    Campus Contacts

    For more specific questions or further information:

    • Students and families:
      Paul Raccanello, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
      (415) 485-3223
    • Communications/media relations:
      Sarah Gardner, Executive Director of Communications
      (415) 485-3239
    • General queries:
      safety@dominican.edu

    Recent Updates: Campus Health and Safety