COVID-19 - Recent Decisions and Changes at Bradley
It seems hard to believe some of you have been remotely working for nearly a month now, and we are in week three of our virtual learning environment. While the current stay at home order for Illinois continues through Thursday, April 30, the Governor’s office warns even if the number of cases flattens or declines, the virus could make a big comeback if the state eases its preventative efforts too soon. Bradley will continue to abide by the state’s orders, and we hope you will, too.
Here is an update on some recent decisions and changes at Bradley as a result of COVID-19.
As noted in President Robert’s message to campus last week, we will be able to offer nearly all of our students a Pass/Fail option. Once final grades have been submitted, they will have three (3) business days to select that change. A letter grade of C or better will convert to Pass; a D or F will convert to Fail. These grades will not count toward their GPA, but students will earn the associated credit hours for any passing grades.
Before deciding whether to convert a grade to pass/fail, we have encouraged students to seek guidance from Bradley’s Financial Assistance Office, their Academic Advisor or Graduate Coordinator, and any other related office on campus with whom the student works regularly. The official Pass/Fail policy can be found here.
The Provost has asked the deans to reduce their fall class offerings with an assumption of a 20% decrease in enrollment. This loss of enrollment is a likely scenario because of the economic impact of COVID-19 on our students and their families, as well as any lingering concerns students might have for their health and welfare. The Provost also directed the deans to minimize the use of affiliate instructors for the 2020-2021 academic year and to move full-time faculty members to a 4-4 teaching load. The deans have assured him they can reduce the number of sections without compromising the ability of our seniors to graduate on time.
We are building in contingency plans including putting sections on reserve so if we experience a need for more sections, we can still add them after registration. If our enrollment unexpectedly stabilizes or we don't see such a significant decline, then we can quickly adjust and reopen sections to meet demand.
There have been some questions regarding our vacation policy and if it will be revised due to the pandemic. No, the policy will not change. Bradley’s vacation policy allows employees to carry over 1 year’s worth of vacation accrual into the new fiscal year, June 1. Employees with more than the allotted carryover amount should use up the time before the end of the fiscal year. For those employees who have floating holidays and personal time, that time does not carry over.
We have created a staff engagement team designed specifically to provide assistance to you as you deal with all the changes brought about by COVID-19. They are developing a comprehensive outreach and support plan to coordinate staff support and resources. Bradley’s website will function as a way for you to connect with relevant information and resources. In addition, a portal to centralize the information is being created and will be revised throughout the remainder of the semester. The Staff Engagement Team is coordinating communication to staff to support their online work and to solicit any concerns staff may have in the new environment. If you have any feedback or questions for the Staff Engagement Team, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Housing and Meal Refunds
Refunds for campus housing and meal plans should be posted to students’ accounts next week. For those students who lived in the residence halls and SAC during the spring 2020 semester, but are not currently living in those buildings, they will be issued a refund prorated at 44% of the housing and meal plans for the spring semester. Questions regarding student billing should be directed to the Bursar's Office at email@example.com or (309) 677-3120.
St. James residents during the spring 2020 semester should have already applied for eligibility for April and May rent forgiveness. Questions related to St. James and Off-Campus Properties should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or (309) 677-2100.
Bradley University is only responsible for its residence halls, St. James, SAC, Pi Kappa Phi, and Delta Tau Delta houses. All other housing operations, including Main Street Commons, individual rental properties, fraternities and sororities are operated by outside agencies. All questions regarding the operations of these properties should be taken directly to the appropriate landlord.
To help ensure you are prepared and confident for the change of pace we're all experiencing during this global pandemic, be sure to continue to visit bradley.edu/coronavirus for the latest developments. There are resources available on the Internal Resources tab and all communications are compiled under the communications tab. We will communicate future changes/updates on as many channels as possible.
We Are Here For You
As we previewed last week, you and some of your colleagues have provided some encouraging words to our students via video. Here’s another video we shared with students to let them know you are thinking of them.
–Sent to Staff on 04/15/2020
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