Information about refunds, grade policy changes and support resources: A message from the President
Dear Ohio State Community:
I write to provide you with a number of important end-of-week updates related to the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19). First, however, I want to express my deep gratitude and pride for how our entire university has pulled together in true Buckeye spirit during this first week of virtual classes.
Hundreds of our faculty and staff have spent countless hours preparing for this unprecedented transition. On behalf of the entire university community, thank you. While I know there have been challenges, your efforts have been nothing short of extraordinary. And thank you to our students, who have demonstrated a dedication to academics and the patience and perseverance needed in what has been a time of great uncertainty.
If you are on the front lines fighting COVID-19, thank you. Your contributions are critical to ensuring the safety of our communities. Everyone else is fighting the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home, practicing social distancing and maintaining exemplary hygiene. This is critical, and is the only way we will defeat COVID-19.
Following are several updates on the university’s response:
Refunds for housing, dining and recreational fees
The university is processing refunds for students who have moved out of the residence halls. Housing and dining refunds will be issued starting Friday, April 3. In addition, we will provide a prorated refund of recreational fees to students, faculty and staff members starting on Friday, April 3.
Members of our community to whom these refunds apply will receive details via a separate email shortly.
Grade policy changes
This week, University Senate voted to approve pass/no pass grading for general education and elective courses. This measure allows individual students to opt-in for pass/no pass grading rather than letter grades. Many colleges have also extended this flexibility for required courses. A second measure approved by the senate allows students who are granted an incomplete grade to have more time — 10 weeks from the start of the next term, instead of six weeks — to complete work and receive a grade. Read more about these flexibility measures.
University state of emergency
We continue to follow up on last week’s declaration of a state of emergency. As a reminder, this declaration enables university leaders to utilize Disaster Leave (Policy 6.28) and is essential to give us flexibility in making a variety of financial decisions over an extended period if necessary. Per the policy, we will reevaluate the declaration on a weekly basis. Facilities previously announced as closed will remain so until further notice.
We will also continue to follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about events and gatherings. Until further notice, no university events will be scheduled until at least May 9. We will continue to evaluate events and will share plans to either end the restrictions early or, if needed, extend them.
The university remains committed to resources that support the mental health and wellness of our community. For students, these include: the Office of Student Life’s Counseling and Consultation Service and the Buckeye Peer Access Line (PAL), which operates Monday through Friday from 8 p.m. to midnight when classes are in session. Resources for faculty and staff are available through the Office of Human Resources’ new Keep Well website, the Health and Wellness page and Your Plan For Health. Additionally, the Ohio State: Wellness app is designed for students but offers tips and guidance useful for all members of our community.
We as Buckeyes derive great strength from bringing together outstanding individuals from across a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. Now, more than ever, it is vital for us to sustain the sense of inclusion and support that has been key to our community.
In this time of constant change, I am reminded of our “Carmen Ohio” which speaks to the unity and resilience of Ohio State and our people.
Thank you, and we will continue to communicate and share updates with you regularly.
Michael V. Drake, MD