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Lock Haven — Lock Haven University President Robert Pinatello expressed his regret, but informed the students and media of the decision to postpone May's commencement ceremonies via a press release.

The spring semester will begin online classes this week. The plan was initially to start online/distant learning for all courses on March 23, but with the escalation of warnings regarding public gatherings, Lock Haven came to the decision quickly Tuesday to make the change.

A full copy of the release can be found below.

Dear Campus Community,

The past several weeks have been a time of incredible challenge and uncertainty. We are committed to making decisions that are in the best interest of our Haven family—to keep us safe and maintain the delivery of instruction and support to our students. Our continuing actions, and those I am announcing this morning, are in response to the still evolving and growing global health crisis we are facing.

We initially planned to convert to remote/distance learning for all courses beginning Monday March 23 for a two-week period. We wanted to then use that time to monitor the situation and decide when and if we might resume face-to-face instruction. Given the recommendations and guidance made this week by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the CDC for social distancing—which will need to occur for the foreseeable future—and the emergency declarations by Governor Wolf to further reduce social contact, I have made the difficult decision to extend remote learning through the end of the semester. In times like these, the health and safety of our campus community must come before all else. This decision is consistent with almost every PASSHE campus.

     • As previously announced, existing online courses began instruction March 16.

     • Face-to-face courses will begin remote delivery on Monday, March 23rd and now will continue through the end of the spring semester.

Students, I know that this is disappointing to so many of you. It is for all of us. But know that your professors and our staff are working hard to transition your courses to remote delivery and to create a learning environment that will help you reach your goals.

Looking ahead, as you know, all campus events, including athletic competitions, recognition ceremonies, and other events are cancelled for the remainder of the semester.

Unfortunately, our spring commencement ceremonies will also be postponed. More information will be forthcoming at a later time regarding how and when we will celebrate our students’ achievements. Know that we are diligently working to answer the many questions you have. But that must be done by phone or online. Not in person.

All employees will receive a message from Human Resources regarding the designation of essential employees and teleworking arrangements as we move to a period of more limited operations.

As a result of today’s announcement, all students living in University residence halls must remove all belongings and move out of the residence halls. Later today students will receive additional information about the move-out schedule and process from the Student & Residence Life Office.

Students, we ask that you please do not show up to retrieve your belongings without an appointment, as we are trying to avoid large groups coming together at one time in order to support social distancing. Showing up unscheduled and unannounced will undermine this effort. Further information will be provided concerning options for students who may have a hardship and need to remain in University housing due to emergency situations. Campus housing will be limited and only available for extenuating circumstances. Dining facilities will be available only for grab and go / take-out meals – No dining on site will be permitted.

A hotline has been established at 570-484-3700 for students and parents with questions regarding these decisions. Questions may also be sent to update@lockhaven.edu. Please regularly check your University email and visit the University’s virus information page for updates.

COVID-19 effects all of us young and old, and especially those with underlying health problems. It is a virus that does not necessarily follow the patterns of others that we are more familiar with and must be taken very, very seriously by all of us.

I want to thank you all again for your continued patience, understanding, and cooperation as we navigate this unprecedented situation together. If you have questions, or face issues, please reach out. Together we will get through this—that’s what families do. I know our Haven family is strong enough to face any challenge – even this one.

Robert M. Pignatello

President

 

This story was compiled by an NCPA staff reporter from submitted news. To see a list of our editorial staff please visit our staff directory.