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March 19, 2020 - Official University Update

Coronavirus/COVID-19 Information

From: Office of the President
Sent: Thursday, March 19, 2020 3:51 PM
To: All Faculty and Staff
Subject: Official University Update: 3/19/2020

March 19, 2020

Dear Campus Community:

We want to update you on the latest decisions Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA) is taking in response to the ongoing spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). The challenges we have faced during the past few weeks will continue, but our primary goal is that our students complete the coursework necessary to progress in their degree programs. Our faculty members, staff, deans and university leaders will continue to work to accommodate student needs throughout these difficult times.

To protect the health and safety of all members of the SFA community, please note the following:

Spring and Summer Instruction

We will continue to offer all classes in an online or distance format for the remainder of the spring semester. In some very specific cases, such as clinical placements leading to professional licensure, we will review instructional requests that adhere to social-distancing guidelines.

For summer session classes, we will be offering all classes in an online or distance-education format. Registration for summer will begin March 23. In very specific cases, we will review requests that adhere to social-distancing guidelines.


Due to the nationwide restrictions being recommended by the federal government and CDC, spring commencement ceremonies will be postponed. However, we are working on a virtual commencement ceremony and we will provide the opportunity for graduates to participate in a future in-person “traditional” commencement ceremony. In accordance with our standard operating procedures, the university will confer degrees and mail diplomas to graduates.

Residence Halls

Residence halls will be closing for the remainder of the semester.

Residents who are currently living on campus should complete their move-out no later than Sunday, March 29. Information will be posted in the halls with check-out instructions. Emergency housing will be available on a case-by-case basis to students who have no other living arrangements. Students can request an application for emergency housing by emailing

Students who are not currently residing on campus will need to schedule a future check-out date. These dates will range from April 4 until May 9. Information about this process will be e-mailed to residential students no later than March 25.

Pro-rated room and board credits with a start date of March 15 will be applied to the student’s account. These credits will be coordinated with the student’s financial aid package. Further details will be announced in the coming weeks.

Refunds and Credits

The university will offer pro-rated credit or refunds on housing, dining contracts and some fees. Additional information will be provided in the future as we must coordinate those decisions with individual financial aid packages and federal and state guidelines.

Campus Operations

Starting at 5:00 p.m. on March 20, 2020, we will begin the process of making most buildings on campus accessible to only those who have card or key access. University Police will be making contact with building managers to help with facilitating this change.

Steen Library will remain open on a modified schedule – check the website for updates.

The SFA Post Office, as an official US Postal Service facility, will remain open until further notice. The Post Office can be accessed through the marked doors on the Vista Drive entrance side of the Student Center. The Post Office will be open normal days and hours with the addition of two special days, Saturday March 21 and March 28 from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. to facilitate package pick-up.

Meetings and Events

Until further notice, all on-campus programs, gatherings and events will be canceled, postponed or moved online to a virtual setting. These include office or faculty meetings, student programs and community events, in addition to all athletic events and public performances.

The university will continue to keep you updated during this difficult and fluid public health situation. Please continue to check our COVID-19 highlighted area on our website regularly to stay informed.


The SFA Call Center will be open for questions, concerns or if you need special assistance.



  • Thursday, March 19: Open until 7pm
  • Friday, March 20: Open 8am – 5pm
  • March 23 - March 27: Open 8am – 5pm

In addition, the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs is standing by to assist students who have questions or concerns, or who need special assistance. They can be reached at 936.468.7249 or by email at