Update: New Information re. Campus Response to Coronavirus

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Thank you for your patience as we continue to develop a comprehensive plan for the coming weeks based on the UNC System guidance received late this afternoon. We felt it was important to convey the update from the System, including the new information regarding the extension of spring break, before you heard it via the media or elsewhere; this forced us to communicate with you before we had a chance to create a more comprehensive message, regrettably. 
We are working hard to interpret the UNC System guidance as it applies to our campus. For now, we can provide the information you see below. We know there are many additional questions regarding specific travel situations, academic impacts, international students, and other areas. We are developing answers as quickly as possible and will share as many updates as possible over the next 24 hours. We will also be introducing a website that curates all available information to date, health and campus resources, and tools and support for instructors as they prepare to deliver instruction via alternate means. Thank you for your continued patience and understanding during these very challenging circumstances.
What does the extension of spring break mean?
Spring break has been extended through next week. Instruction will resume on March 23. Nearly all classes will be conducted through alternative means. This may include online instruction or alternative assignments, at the discretion of instructors. Instructors will provide more information as soon as it is available. Very few courses, if any, will be held face-to-face. Instructors of classes that will resume in person will notify students as soon as possible. Again, this will be a very small number of classes.
Will spring break also be extended for OAP students?
OAP students should adhere to their typical schedule, with classes resuming on Monday, March 16.
If students don’t have a reliable internet connection from off campus and are expected to participate in online instruction, will they be penalized by instructors?
Instructors will be as flexible as possible in managing these unprecedented circumstances. No student will be penalized for an inability to participate in coursework as a direct result of this situation, but students must communicate with their instructors to discuss alternate means of completing coursework if they are unable to do so for any reason, as they would in any situation.
When can resident students return to campus?
Residence halls that were closed for spring break will reopen Sunday, March 15, at 10 a.m. Students won’t be permitted to enter residence halls that had been closed before that time. (Seahawk Landing, Crossing and Village along with University Suites did not close for break.) However, we encourage resident students to wait to return to their residence halls until next weekend (March 21-22), just before instruction resumes on March 23.
When should RA or residence hall desk assistants return to work?
RA and residence hall desk assistants will receive an email from supervisors regarding their return to work. If those employees have not received an email before Thursday, March 12, at 12 p.m., they should contact their supervisors.
Will students be able to attend classes in person beginning March 23?
Very few, if any, classes will be held face to face. We expect the vast majority of instruction to be converted to alternative means, which may include online instruction or alternative assignments. Instructors will be in touch with students as soon as their plans are complete. Students in classes that will resume in person will be notified as soon as possible.
Can students remain off campus, even if they normally live on campus, and attend classes online?
Yes, if instructors are offering instruction online. Many instructors will be providing alternate means of instruction. A small number of specialized classes may occur in person. Instructors will send updates to students regarding plans for individual classes as soon as plans are final. Please be patient as instructors consider these decisions and prepare their materials for alternative course delivery. If students have questions about how they can complete coursework after they have received updates from their instructors, they should respond to their instructors with those questions.
Should student employees report to work as previously scheduled?
Student employees should contact their supervisors for information about returning to work. Residence hall employees will receive an email from their supervisors regarding their return to work.
Are campus services going to be affected by the extension of spring break (campus dining, Randall Library, the Student Recreation Center, etc.)?
The university is still determining the potential impact of this situation on campus services. Each campus service will feature relevant updates on their website. Please check websites before setting out for any campus service location.
What is the latest travel information?
Employees and students can travel to events within NC if there will be fewer than 100 attendees. Employee travel to events expected to include 100 or more attendees is prohibited without the explicit authorization of the chancellor or provost. Students who wish to travel to events within NC that are expected to include 100 or more people should contact their advisors, who will present the request to Student Affairs leadership. 
No employee travel outside NC will be funded, sponsored or supported by the university, unless explicitly authorized by the chancellor or provost. Employees should speak to their supervisors if they believe travel outside NC requires special consideration.
No students will be permitted to travel outside NC for university-related business.
How long will travel restrictions be in place?
These restrictions are in place until further notice. The university will update the campus community if the restrictions are lifted or adjusted.
Can people outside of UNCW come to campus events?
The university will not be hosting any events with 100 or more attendees, unless the chancellor or provost authorizes an exception. Individual event websites will feature updates on potential impacts on their events.
Are employees supposed to begin teleworking?
At this point, employees are expected to report for work as previously scheduled. Teleworking has not been mandated. Supervisors will determine if positions will be considered for teleworking. Employees should direct questions to their supervisors. Our campus remains fully open and operational, and therefore an Emergency Condition is not in place. 
What impact will this situation have on summer travel-abroad programs?
We do not yet know the long-term impact of this situation. As soon as more information is available, it will be shared with the university community.
Are athletic events being canceled?
Please visit for the latest information on potential impacts on upcoming athletic events.
Where should international students direct questions?
International students can email and the Office of International Programs will respond as quickly as possible.