Dear members of the university community,
As we enter a new week of learning and working from home, we all have mounting questions and uncertainty about so many aspects of our lives.
Please be assured that at FIU we have the entire administration working on the issues that you are thinking about and trying to anticipate issues that will be front and center in the future. We are paying close attention to your social media posts and reading every email you send us. We are also working with colleagues around the state as we make decisions that are thoughtful, legally sound and in concert with mandates from local, state and federal authorities, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is so critical right now.
It is clear that our students have questions about how they are going to take exams online and whether they will have a pass/fail option. They want to know how we are going to tackle the summer semester. On-campus residents and meal plan participants want to discuss reimbursements. The spring graduating class is eager to understand how virtual commencement is going to work. High school seniors have many questions regarding how to be admitted and transition into college. We are working on all of these and many other issues and will have answers to you as soon as possible.
Likewise, our faculty and staff have questions about how much longer we will work remotely. Others, especially those whose jobs do not lend themselves to working remotely, have concerns about going to campus. We are working with each of these members of the FIU family to get work done while practicing social distancing and taking individual needs into account. We have also encouraged members of the team to take this time to do professional training.
Please be patient as we work through all these issues while keeping the health and safety of our community as the top priority. We are putting all the updates on our dedicated coronavirus page. Please bookmark it and visit often; we are updating daily.
Coronavirus impact on the FIU community
We are awaiting results on two tests that were performed at FIU Health last week and three additional tests performed today at the FIU Student Health Clinics.*
We are also attempting to monitor the situation with members of the FIU community who have been tested outside of the FIU clinics. We have learned that one student’s test has come back negative and therefore there is no concern for the university community. At this point we are not aware of any new positive coronavirus test results.
The staff member who tested positive last week is recovering well at home. You will remember that was likely a travel-related case and the employee has not been back to campus since returning from the trip. As such, there is no indication, thus far, that the FIU community has been exposed by this individual.
Please be reminded that faculty and staff who have been directly exposed to someone who either has tested positive for the coronavirus or to someone who has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus is required to observe the 14-day self-quarantine period. Please contact the Division of Human Resources at 305-348- 2181 for information on protocols to return to work following the quarantine period.
Because social distancing is so critical to defeating the coronavirus pandemic, the State University System Board of Governors has called for university commencements to be canceled or be delivered remotely.
At FIU we feel it is important to celebrate the accomplishments of our students and are planning a virtual commencement this spring. We will issue refunds to graduates who have already bought commencement tickets. Please look for details in the coming days.
In addition, spring graduates will have the option of walking across the stage with friends and cohort members in dedicated ceremonies that will be added to the already planned summer and fall commencements. Also, there will be an opportunity to take a photo with President Mark B. Rosenberg in academic regalia.
Please note that the College of Law commencement is being postponed until summer.
As a reminder, all on and off campus events are canceled through May 10.
Access to on campus buildings
Most students and members of the faculty and staff are learning and working from home. However, some members of the team are on campus working and taking care of a small number of students who have remained in student housing. As you know, the campus is closed to visitors and no visitors are allowed in student housing.
In an effort to assure that university buildings and facilities not in use as a result of the temporary conversion to a remote learning environment remain secure, we will transition to a schedule similar to our holiday closure schedule effective Wednesday, March 25, at 8 a.m. We have already taken steps to secure all general-purpose classrooms.
All faculty and staff who currently have card access to their respective building(s) will continue to have access during the closures. If there should be a need to add an employee who has a need to access their area but does not currently have access, a memorandum listing the name of the employee(s) and corresponding Panther ID will need to be submitted by the unit/area Vice President to Leo Caraballo in Key control at LCarabal@fiu.edu and copy to Associate Vice President John Cal at email@example.com for appropriate processing.
Individuals that have been granted access to laboratories through the approval process by ORED will continue have access to the labs, however access may be limited to the building. Should you not have access to the building (i.e., entrance doors) please contact ORED at Luis.Salas@fiu.edu, and copy Stephanie Mitjans at Stephanie.Mitjans@fiu.edu. ORED will grant the necessary access.
If you should have any questions pertaining to access or are having trouble accessing your building or unit, please contact Key Control at 305-348-4677/4553 or Facilities Work Management at 305-348-4600.
Please remain informed about university operations by visiting FIU’s coronavirus webpage. We are continuously updating the site with the latest decisions and resources.
The FIU Hotline (305-348-3481) is closed until further notice. If you have questions, please reach out to OneStop at firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 305-348-7000, or via chat https://onestop.fiu.edu/livechat/ from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday.
Stay safe and healthy!
* A previous version of this story said, "We are awaiting results on three tests that were performed at the FIU Student Health Clinics and FIU Health last week and three additional tests performed today." The post has been updated for accuracy.