PLEASE NOTE: In the abundance of caution and for the health and safety of the Norwich and central Vermont community, the Norwich campus is closed to the public for the foreseeable future to include all buildings, fields and tracks. Thank you for your understanding.
We are in the final weeks of in-person instruction on campus. What we have accomplished this Fall is nothing short of remarkable, and I thank each of you for your role in keeping us all safe and supporting our in-person college experience. Students will soon be departing for the Thanksgiving holiday, the online conclusion of the fall semester, and winter break.
Our faculty have delivered their courses at an exceptional level of excellence this semester, something we should all applaud. In-person academic instruction, in addition to other residential training and learning opportunities, was possible only because we have treated the current public health threat seriously. As your President, I must continue to ensure the safety of our students, faculty, staff, and entire community. It is in this spirit, and for the reasons cited below, we must return to a more restrictive environment for the remainder of the fall term.
We are so pleased in how your commitment to an on-campus experience allowed to us to remain residential for the majority of the fall semester. As you know, all students will leave campus by Nov 25th and not return again until January. In order to maintain the safety of all, the departure process will be a bit more complex than it has been in years past. We are providing this communication with all the information you need to plan your departure.
Emergency Leave: Emergency leave is still authorized as we prepare for winter break, but students who must leave campus and travel to a quarantine required area and do not return to campus by November 6th, will not be allowed to return to campus this semester and must complete the check-out process prior to leaving.
On March 27, 2020 the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) was signed into federal law. Included in the Act was the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) to support college students whose education was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic with financial grants. These emergency grants are intended to assist students with unanticipated expenses for food, housing, academic course materials, technology, health care and childcare.
As with so many other aspects of college life, the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic have changed how we must approach and plan for the remainder of this academic year. Together with the entire university leadership team, we have evaluated factors that have contributed to our university’s low prevalence of COVID-19 cases, the experiences of other colleges and universities, state of Vermont guidance, and the realities of the upcoming winter season in Vermont to formulate our Spring semester operational plan.
Norwich University’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been exceptional. Our commitment to our core values and our collaboration in support of protecting the health and safety of all members of our community has made all the difference. Every student, faculty member, and staff member has had to make changes to routines and learn new ways of accomplishing goals, and I am so grateful to each of you. To remain ahead of the pandemic, the University has appointed a COVID Response and Action Team who has taken on the additional duties inherent with the pandemic. While I am certain most of you will already know the team members, I am delighted to introduce their new roles to the community.