President's Message: Course Delivery Changes due to Safer at Home Order

Dear Campus Community,

In the interest of our Woodbury community’s safety and security, I want to express my appreciation for your understanding as we respond to the coronavirus emergency. About 10 days ago we started planning different responses for different scenarios with the Deans of the three Schools and the College, the University Librarian, and the Dean of Faculty. We have also interacted with members of the Board of Trustees, including having a meeting with the Chair of the Board yesterday; plus we have been

collectively monitoring what other universities are doing. Yesterday, the President’s Cabinet made a unanimous decision to temporarily shift to an online teaching format. We expect the policies below to be in place for two weeks, through April 3, but possibly longer. Clearly, our intent is to balance the impact on our students’ and other stakeholders’ experiences, both on campus and at home, with the need to take decisive action given that yesterday the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic.

In order to ensure an orderly transition, the week following Spring Break (March 16-20) will be non- instructional for traditional courses to give faculty time to convert courses to an online format. Business courses in the second 7-week (BU) session that started during the spring break will be offered without interruption in online format. Starting March 23, all courses will be taught through a distance learning format. In order to prepare courses for distance learning, faculty will be spending next week translating their coursework onto a distance learning platform. Please note that all online courses will occur at their regularly scheduled time.

Separate letters are being sent to students, faculty, and chairs to ensure we cover individual members of our community.

Importantly, we are asking all students to pick up any belongings necessary to work off campus before the end of Tuesday, March 17. If it is not necessary for a student to pick up any personal items or materials from campus in order to participate in online learning, we are urging them not to come to campus and to check their woodbury.edu email account daily to receive further instructions. If they are having trouble accessing their WU email, they should contact the WU Helpdesk or call 818-252-5295.

Advising and registration will continue as planned but instead of meeting face-to-face, each student will meet with their advisor using the phone or email and is being asked to schedule a phone appointment with the administrative assistant of their school:

College of Liberal Arts (CoLA): Isaacs Faculty Center (818) 394-3379
School of Architecture (ARCH): Isaacs Faculty Center (818) 252-5121
School of Business (BUS): School of Business (818) 252-5231
School of Media, Culture & Design (MCD): Isaacs Faculty Center (818) 252-5215

 

If a student lives in the residence hall, they should reach out to housing@woodbury.edu. A separate communication will be sent soon.

There are no known cases of COVID-19 on our campuses but it is clear that one of the best strategies to prevent the spread of the virus is through social distancing—a practice that temporarily minimizes the circumstances in which individuals interact (this chart shows why these measures are important). For further updates on COVID-19 see Woodbury University’s Safety and Security webpage.

I can assure you that this has been, arguably, the most important challenge of my four-plus-year tenure as President and wish to take this opportunity to thank you for your support, resilience, and understanding. While we have no information that we have, or have had, on our campus any individual infected with COVID-19, I again want to reiterate our concern for the well-being of all members of our tightly knit community, which is one of the distinguishing strengths of our institution for over 135 years.

Sincerely,

David Steele-Figueredo, Ph.D.
President