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Important Campus Update
Dear Campus community,
Thank you for your exceptional responsiveness and efforts this week. You have responded quickly to a rapidly changing academic environment, and I am proud of how our Tech Family has come together to support our students. And thanks to our students for your patience and understanding during this time.
Today, we’re announcing that we strongly encourage students to move from University housing back home where they can continue your studies online. We recognize that the fight against the novel coronavirus is not going away overnight. Because our campus community has made incredible progress in moving courses and services online over the past few days, we are now in the position to continue our delivery of courses online for the remainder of the quarter. I should also note that we are continuing to enroll students for the Spring Quarter – and welcoming more students to be a part of Louisiana Tech for the future.
We understand some students need a secure and welcoming place to live, and we will not close our on-campus housing to students who need a place to live. We will also maintain dining services for those students who need to remain on campus. If you need to stay here at Tech, we have a place for you. We may have to relocate individuals to new locations on campus depending on how many students remain on campus.
This decision was not an easy one for us to make, but it is the right one for students, and it is consistent with the decisions being made by other universities in the University of Louisiana System. We know that many of our students are disappointed, especially our graduating seniors. We will continue to explore ways to make this final quarter special for you.
As of today, almost 100 percent of our classes, labs, and studios are being conducted in an online format. The few remaining courses should be transitioned to an online format by Monday. This has been a heavy lift for our professors because a highly technical, experience-based educational system – like we have at Tech – takes time to transfer online. Special thanks again to all of the faculty and support staff that have made this happen.
We are also working on finalizing arrangements with the testing service Respondus so that our students will be able to take exams online. This is perhaps the last big piece of the puzzle for many of our online courses. We will also ensure that our students are logging into their courses on Moodle, and student success specialists in each College will reach out to help them find solutions to challenges they may be having with online courses.
Students will be able to check out of university housing beginning Saturday, March 21, through Sunday, March 29. They will receive a 38 percent refund of housing and meals from this quarter’s cost if they check out and turn in their keys during this period of time. The deadline will be 5 p.m. Sunday, March 29. We believe this refund is equitable for our students, and it is in line with refunds from the other ULS schools.
Please check your email for correspondence from the Residential Life Department regarding check out process details. Also, there will be a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section on the Residential Life website to help answer your questions.
We want to return to completely normal operations as soon as possible and we are working on ways to keep our Bulldogs connected to campus and engaged with each other through this disruptive time. We have not made a decision on commencement at this time, and we will let you know if we change the format of our May 23 ceremony. We are working with our student leadership to explore innovative and meaningful ways to recognize our Spring Quarter graduates.
The challenges we have faced – and will continue to face – will help create a stronger Louisiana Tech. We have the chance to connect with friends and family now in a different way, so let’s take advantage of the technology and innovation to stay in touch. I look forward to seeing each of you again when we are back on campus.