March 20, 2020
Dear University of Oregon student,
I want to start this letter by acknowledging these are challenging times. None of the changes we are implementing in response to COVID-19 (coronavirus) were done without extensive deliberation on the impact they will have on you. We are thinking about your safety and your future.
We are working diligently to put in place the structure and systems necessary to support all students so you can continue your education. That is our priority. In this email, you will find information about advising, technology, financial aid, accessibility, and academic policy changes.
As President Michael Schill announced yesterday, classes for the entire spring term will be taught remotely. Instructors are going to be communicating with students enrolled in their spring courses to explain how the remote instruction will be carried out. If you feel the need, don’t hesitate to reach out to your professors individually if you have questions about particular courses. If you would like more information about how remote instruction in general, please visit the UO COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions page.
We will be communicating with you at every step to be sure you have the information you need about the academic instruction and the services that are available for the spring term. In the meantime, here is a list – broken down by category – that I hope will help you navigate through the upcoming term:
UO campus information
- To find the latest information on UO by department or campus unit, go to the One Stop Student Resources webpage. The page provides you with 24-hour access to information that will help you to be academically successful for the upcoming term. You can also use the page to find ways to contact UO faculty and staff.
- Advising services across campus will continue to be available even during spring term. Go to the advising webpage to connect with our staff for help with your classes.
- Schedule an appointment with an advisor online by using the Navigate app.
- Many advising units on campus have moved to remote advising using Microsoft Teams. This is free to all UO students, faculty and staff. Download the app on your phone or computer now so you can access remote advising and chat functions for quick questions and scheduling of appointments.
IT, internet access, loaner Chromebooks for lower-income students
- For technical support and troubleshooting related to remote education visit the Going Remote webpage or Canvas support website.
- If you need help getting access to the internet, there are several low-cost options for students.
- UO’s Information Services has 150 Chromebooks available to lower-income students as loaner devices for those who need a computer to continue their education remotely. To sign up for a loaner Chromebook, click here. They will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
- The UO Dean of Students is committed to maintaining high levels of support and resources for our students. Many students are dealing with serious financial disruptions related to the national response to COVID-19. If you are in a financial crisis that is or has the potential to negatively impact your academics, you may be eligible to receive financial support from the Students in Crisis Fund. To inquire about the Student in Crisis Fund, please call 541-346-3216 or fill out a Community Care and Support form to get connected to a team member in the Office of the Dean of Students.
- To help students with financial challenges they may be facing, the university will not assess interest and billing fees in April, May or June on overdue student billing accounts.
Tutoring and Academic Support
- Tutoring and academic support remain available through the Tutoring and Academic Engagement Center. You can access our online writing lab or schedule an appointment with a learning specialist using the Navigate app. For more information, send an email to email@example.com.
Accessibility and Accommodation
- Students working with the Accessible Education Center (AEC) can contact the office for answers to any questions about disability-related access and accommodations. Call 541-346-1155 to schedule a remote appointment, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also sign up using an online form. Information related to accessibility issues will be updated regularly on the AEC website.
- The AEC Accessible Technology program is also available to students with questions about assistive technologies and accessible course formats. Send an email to email@example.com for more information.
Temporary changes to UO’s academic rules
- We are suspending academic disqualifications for winter term 2020. Students who would have been disqualified after winter term 2020 can remain at the UO on probation, and will be required to meet remotely with an advisor during spring term 2020 to support their future academic success. Please note that academic standing policies are independent of financial aid policies. Students who would have otherwise been disqualified at the end of winter term should check in with the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships if they have any concerns about their eligibility for financial aid.
- We are extending the deadline to change courses from Graded to Pass/No Pass for winter term. This extension will be available after grades post on March 24, 2020, until April 24, 2020. That way, students can make an informed choice about grade options for specific courses. Please check the website for the Office of the Registrar regularly as this information will be posted soon. You will not need a petition form or documentation to support these kinds of requests for this option. All of the rules about grade option changes are still in effect. If you have any questions, speak to an advisor about your options before making a final decision.
- D-range grades (D+, D, D-) earn credit towards a UO degree and impact your UO GPA. If you decide to change a D-range grade to the “No Pass” option, you will not earn credit toward your degree; however a “No Pass” has no impact on your GPA. Not earning course credit (No Pass) or earning credit with a lower grade (D or D-) could have financial aid implications. Students should speak to an advisor or financial aid counselor.
- D-range grades can fulfill some of your Core Education requirements (Multicultural/Cultural Literacy, Groups/Areas of Inquiry). If you change a D+, D or D- to a “No Pass” for one of these courses, you will not earn credit for the course and these Core Education requirements will not be fulfilled.
- Students must still earn 168 transfer or University of Oregon credits with grades of A, B, C, D, or P. If you elect to change your grading option to “Pass or No Pass,” those credits will not go toward meeting this requirement.
- If a major or minor requires a course to be graded, students might want to maintain a graded option. Courses changed to Pass/No Pass may not meet major requirements unless approved by the major department.
- We are suspending enforcement of the Mandatory Attendance requirement for spring 2020. Students who do not remotely attend their first class period will not be removed from courses flagged with this requirement during the spring term. Faculty will still have expectations for students to engage with the course through Canvas during the first week, so it is crucial that students read emails and follow faculty instructions for each course.
I am sure this is a lot of information to take in at this time, especially since the COVID-19 situation is dynamic and forever changing. While you process the information above, please know that the entire University of Oregon community – faculty, staff, advisors, administrators, and a host of others – stand behind you and care about you. To be sure, this is a challenging time for all of us. Our collective goal is to make sure that you have all the resources you need to complete your UO education with as few interruptions as possible.
We are in unchartered territory with COVID-19. Please bear with us as we continue to work to provide you with a positive educational experience, despite the challenging situation that is playing out around us. For the most up-to-date information on the university’s response, visit the UO COVID-19 webpage.
If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions about our response to COVID-19 that are not addressed in this letter or the FAQs, please let us know through this web form or to a new coronavirus information line at 541-346-7007 (the line will be staffed from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays).
Thank you for your patience during this challenging time. I believe we can get through this if we work together. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Doneka R. Scott, Vice Provost
Division of Undergraduate Education and Student Success