Stephen F. Austin State University’s Spring Break will be extended by two days to provide time for SFA faculty members to move classes to an online or other distance-education format, until at least April 6.
Classes were scheduled to resume on March 16, but instead will be resuming on March 18 in an online or other distance-education format. Faculty are being asked to utilize March 16 and 17 to prepare for this transition. SFA staff members are expected to report for work as scheduled, and updates regarding campus operations will be announced via the university’s website at www.sfasu.edu/Covid19.
"Given the ongoing global concerns around coronavirus pandemic, we want to do our part to keep our entire campus community safe and to contribute to the management of this growing public health crisis," said Dr. Scott Gordon, SFA president.
Face-to-face classes may resume on April 6, and the university’s Easter holidays, previously scheduled for April 9, 10 and 13, will not be observed so that lost class time can be recovered.
"We will closely monitor this dynamic situation and, if necessary, could possibly extend the date for resuming in-person classes," Gordon said. "Students will receive information from their respective colleges and faculty with details regarding how course work will be conducted."
All on-campus events scheduled through April 5 will be canceled or postponed, and event planners will be contacted by the Baker Pattillo Student Center beginning Monday, March 16. All university-sponsored student and employee travel, both international and domestic, scheduled for March 16 through April 1 will be canceled unless approved by senior university administrators.
Showcase Saturday, SFA’s open house event for prospective students, scheduled for March 28, also will be rescheduled.
To accommodate students whose presence on campus is necessary, limited food service operations will be provided in the East College Dining Hall beginning Sunday, March 15.
Students who live on campus and need to retrieve personal belongings may do so on Sunday, March 15, from noon until 9 p.m. or Monday, March 16, through Friday, March 20, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Although there are no confirmed cases on SFA’s campus, several cases have been confirmed in Texas.
"Any student or employee who is ill or who believes they may have been exposed to coronavirus cannot return to campus and should follow CDC guidelines for self-isolation," Gordon said. "If any student or employee is diagnosed with COVID-19, we ask that they notify the university at www.sfasu.edu/COVIDabsence."
Although the university’s plans are evolving, May commencement exercises are expected to continue as scheduled.
"We will be updating information on the SFA website, but we ask for patience as we seek to make the best decisions possible," Gordon said. "Our primary guiding priorities are the wellbeing of the SFA community and allowing our students to complete all course requirements for the spring semester. Every decision is made with these priorities in mind. "