Coronavirus’ (COVID-19) impact on Norwich University update. Watch President Richard W. Schneider address the Norwich University community March 31, 2020, with the latest update on commencement, commissioning, and the university's refund policy.
Also, harking back to an armed forces tradition from World War II, Schneider asks Norwich’s community, students and alumni, to write in with accounts and pictures of how they’re helping themselves, their families and their communities respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. These stories will be collected and archived, so generations of future students can see Norwich’s traditions of service and leadership in action.
Toward the end of the video, President Schneider invites all of the Norwich family, students and alumni alike, to write to us:
Norwich University Archives, Attention K. Nolin
158 Harmon Drive
Northfield, VT 05663
Coronavirus’ (COVID-19) impact on Norwich University update.
Today Vermont Governor Phil Scott added new restrictions to last week's Stay Home/Stay Safe executive order, backing up federal efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus from known hot spots. Governor Scott ordered Vermont residents and non-residents coming from outside Vermont for anything other than essential purposes, and to home-quarantine for 14 days. These new restrictions come after President Trump announced an advisory that targeted travelers from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut over this past weekend.
Please be advised that Norwich students who have yet to remove their belongings from their barracks or dormitory rooms should not plan to do so in the immediate future for their health and well-being, as well as the health and well-being of students currently on campus. Governor Scott’s Stay Home/Stay Safe executive order is currently in effect until April 15, 2020.
I want to take a moment to express my deep appreciation for the incredible work, dedication and resilience you have all displayed over the past week. Adjusting to the many challenges being posed by the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) has not been easy and I could not be more proud of our remarkable students and employees as would our founder, Captain Partridge.
To our students, we recognize this is a time of great disappointment and uncertainty. Your spring semester would typically include time with your friends and a shared camaraderie that comes with in-person classes, experiential learning, leadership training, athletics and intramural sports, shared living and dining, and campus activities.
As a rite of passage, Commencement is a time for celebration, giving students the opportunity to be recognized for their many accomplishments by their families, friends and the university community. Graduation ceremonies mark the start of an important new chapter in life, which is why we have rescheduled our Commencement for Saturday, May 30th. It is my sincere hope that we will come together to honor and celebrate all of our students who have earned their degree from Norwich University. I will immediately apprise you if we need to adjust this decision.
I know that many of you do not feel personally at risk for COVID-19. Seniors are missing a final semester on The Hill, juniors who have eagerly awaited Junior Ring Weekend are disappointed and student-athletes faced sober moments of truth with the end of winter and spring season sports. That’s why your response to this situation deserves special recognition as we work together in Partridge tradition to protect the vulnerable members of our global community. The difficult decisions we are making and your response are emblematic of our Guiding Values and selfless service to others.
We are well aware that there are many issues that we will need to address when it comes to the remainder of the spring semester’s academic program. We ask for your patience, flexibility and understanding as we strive to address these issues specifically and comprehensively.
We are committed to student success and while the delivery mechanism will be different this semester, you will still receive the instruction, guidance and mentorship from faculty and academic advisors who care deeply. Norwich University will remain open and all employees will be working to continue our support of student services and administrative functions. Services, such as tutoring, advising, and career counseling, remain available to all students no matter where you are—watch for more detailed information on the website and from your faculty to include FAQs for students, faculty and staff that will be updated routinely as information becomes available.
Change is a constant these days, yet keeping you informed and providing you with as much information and support as possible is our goal. It is equally as important that you remain in close contact with us as well. While it is not ‘business as usual’ you can expect that if you call or email Norwich faculty and staff members, you will receive a timely response. We may not have all the answers but we will endeavor to address your concerns as best we can, or provide you answers to your questions. Please remember your physical and emotional well-being is paramount which is why it is critical that you follow the CDC guidelines.
— President Richard W. Schneider
LATEST UPDATES: For all the latest details, please go to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page here: https://www.norwich.edu/news-faqs
STUDENTS: For information regarding residency halls, spring academics, ITS, commencement and commissioning, Junior Ring, campus services, Counseling and Wellness, refunds and work study, please visit the Student FAQ section found here: https://www.norwich.edu/news-faqs/258-faqs-for-students
EMPLOYEES: For information about navigating employee policies while public schools are closed, please go to the Employee FAQ section found here: https://www.norwich.edu/news-faqs/261-faqs-for-all-employees
EVERYONE: Please read the note from our Chief Information Security Officer George Silowash about how to keep your systems safe during this time, found here: https://www.norwich.edu/news/psa/2299-a-note-from-our-chief-information-security-officer-george-silowash
In light of COVID-19 and its impact across all sectors, we have put together this contact sheet so you may have all important Norwich University telephone numbers conveniently in one place.
|Academic Achievement Center||(802) 485-2130|
|Registrar’s Office||(802) 485-2035|
|Provost’s Office||(802) 485-2025|
|College of Liberal Arts||(802) 485-2410|
|College of Science and Math||(802) 485-2310|
|College of Professional Schools||(802) 485-2276|
|College of National Services|
|—Army ROTC||(802) 485-2480|
|—Air Force ROTC||(802) 485-2460|
|—Navy and Marines ROTC||(802) 485-2185|
|Norwich Public Safety (Emergencies)||(802) 485-2525|
|Counseling and Wellness Center||(802) 485-2134|
|Campus Ministries (Reverend Wick)||(802) 485-2128|
|Norwich Title IX Coordinator||(802) 485-2144|
|Bursar’s Office||(802) 485-2055|
|Financial Aid Office||(802) 485-2850|
|Commandant’s Office (Corps issues)||(802) 485-2135|
|Dean of Student’s Office (civilian issues)||(802) 485-2640|
|Facilities Operations||(802) 485-2149|
|Center for Student Success||(802) 485-2355|
|VP Student Affairs||(802) 485-2135|
|Information Technology Help Desk||(802) 485-2456|
|International Center||(802) 485-2934|
|Uniform Store||(802) 485-2206|
|Ambulance, Police, Fire (Emergencies)||911|
|Norwich Public Safety (Emergencies)||(802) 485-2525|
|Northfield Police Department||(802) 485-9181|
|Northfield Fire Department (Non-emergency)||(802) 485-6121|
|Central Vermont Medical Center (Emergency)||(802) 371-4263|
|National Suicide Prevention||(800) 273-8255|
|Poison Control||(802) 658-3456|
Working from home can present its own unique challenges and security vulnerabilities. The bad guys are counting on us to lower our guard and have lax information security practices while we work from home. While more and more Norwich faculty and staff, and even students, will be teleworking, we need to ensure that we do not lax our information security practices.
As an educational institution, we have three overarching obligations to our community: to provide the educational opportunities Norwich is known for, to do so in a safe, healthy environment, and to live up to our social responsibility by doing all we can to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
The rapidly developing circumstances of the novel coronavirus now require extraordinary changes to our usual practices to fulfill those commitments. We are announcing these changes today to enable our students, faculty and staff to fully prepare for classes on March 23 using digital technologies. All your academic studies will be online through the entire spring semester.
We know that this news is disappointing, and that you were looking forward to the many spring events and activities scheduled. That is why we will consult with health authorities at the end of March to thoughtfully and appropriately refine our response plan to include a decision whether to resume a residential campus-based spring semester of activities effective April 5. Please note that if we do so, your academic studies will remain online.
The university will remain open and all employees will be expected to report to work to continue our support of critically important services and activities, such as our student support and administrative functions, etc.
University services and facilities including the Wise Campus Center Dining Hall, Kreitzberg Library, Sullivan Museum and History Center, Uniform Store, Plumley Armory, Kreitzberg Arena and Shapiro Fieldhouse will be available only to the Norwich community. These facilities will not be available to the general public until further notice. While on campus, please follow CDC guidelines to ensure your safety and that of our community.
All students will be able to complete their academic requirements remotely, whether Corps, civilian or commuter student. The Department of Education is relaxing regulations to enable colleges and universities to meet academic standards more flexibly as is the Department of Defense with respect to ROTC training and Veterans Affairs benefits. We are committed to delivering a meaningful learning experience and appreciate your flexibility as we adapt to new circumstances.
Following the Extended Spring Break, students will be expected to remain at home, resume classes and core educational activities remotely on March 23. We will re-evaluate this new procedure in the weeks ahead and communicate any changes to you no later than March 31. We are developing a policy on a refund and/or reimbursement and will keep you updated as information unfolds.
We will provide technology support and training to all students to learn how to succeed in online classes. Preparation for this training is expected to begin by midweek next week. Services from the Academic Achievement Center, the Counseling Center and the Career and Internship Center will be available to you online to ensure your continued success. More details relating to student services will be available in the week ahead.
To help support our students through this transition, the barracks and residential halls will be open beginning Saturday, March 14 for students to retrieve their belongings. Your key cards will enable access to your building. Student Life staff will be available from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 14 and Sunday, March 15, and during regular business hours from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, beginning Monday, March 16. Students who wish to return to campus for their belongings from March 16 forward must coordinate with their respective housing office, their company mentor, or Public Safety to attain access to their building.
If you do not plan to return this semester after retrieving your belongings, Corps and civilian students need to bring your room and mail key to the Guard Shack in Jackman Hall before you depart. Failure to return your keys could result in a replacement charge on your student bill.
WHILE YOU ARE ON CAMPUS PLEASE FOLLOW THESE GUIDELINES TO ENSURE YOUR SAFETY AS WELL AS THE SAFETY OF OTHERS:
If you cannot return to campus to retrieve your belongings or choose not to because you or your family members are immunocompromised, we understand that many of you may need textbooks, notes, medications, or other essential items. We will be happy to mail these items to you. Please fill out the Essential Items Request Form to authorize the Student Life staff to enter your room, locate the items with your written guidance and mail them to the address you provide. All items will be shipped and packed to the best of our ability. We will not be responsible for any damage that occurs while your package is in transit.
AS A REMINDER, ANYONE WHO IS SYMPTOMATIC (FEVER OR RESPIRATORY ILLNESS), WAS ON A CRUISE, OR TRAVELED TO CHINA, ITALY, SOUTH KOREA, JAPAN, OR IRAN CANNOT RETURN TO CAMPUS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
We understand that these changes will have special challenges for our Norwich international student population at Norwich in terms of travel as well as on visa status. The International Center will be in touch with each student to provide you with guidance and help you navigate your individual circumstances.
Yesterday, the NCAA Board of Governors canceled all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships. This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, their ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given educational institutions’ decisions to shift to remote instruction. In keeping with the NCAA decision, and a similar decision by the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) conference, Norwich is suspending all winter and spring athletic activities, including practices and home and away games.
Group gatherings on campus will be limited to facilitate the social distancing recommended to slow the spread of COVID-19. Many Norwich events have been canceled, as well as events hosted by Norwich.
With respect to Junior Ring Weekend, Commencement and Commissioning and their importance to our students and their families respectively, we will continue to monitor the situation, prioritizing the health and welfare of the entire Norwich community and our central Vermont neighbors. A decision on rescheduling the Ring Ceremony will be made in the weeks ahead. A decision on graduation ceremonies will be made no later than April 15 and we will continue to work with the ROTC departments on individual branch commissioning and the Joint Commissioning Ceremony.
For an up-to-date listing on the status of campus events and off-campus university-sponsored events, please visit https://www.norwich.edu/news/psa.
To our faculty and staff, we are navigating this uncharted course together and will need your flexibility and support. Remote work policies are already in place for those who may be able to work from home. For those who have health risks, or have family members with risk factors, please know that we will work with you to provide necessary support as best we are able.
Now is the time for each of us to shine and to step up to help one another and our communities in a safe and informed way. Captain Partridge would expect nothing less from us than to protect our republic and citizens in a time of crisis.
While you are at home, please consider how you can safely volunteer to make a difference in your community. Please respect and follow the CDC guidelines and encourage others to do so. Remember the importance of social distancing and to not meet in large groups. If you live our Norwich value of service to nation and others before yourself, I know you will make us all proud.
My hope and prayer is that you can return to campus as soon as the crisis has passed.
— President Richard W. Schneider