PITTSBURG — Following the lead of several other Kansas colleges, Pittsburg State University is taking precautions amid the increased instances of coronavirus, including shifting to using online and other alternative teaching methods.
The university is modifying operations to minimize the impact, effective Monday, March 16.
"The health and safety of students, faculty, and staff are our top priority," PSU President Steve Scott said in a release. "No cases have been reported in Pittsburg, but we fully understand the virus spreads easily through respiratory droplets so we’re taking steps to limit its presence among our campus population and put social distancing into practice."
Pittsburg State events planned for this weekend will be held. Starting Monday and until further notice, events are cancelled.
On Monday, faculty will begin work to redesign their face-to-face courses and move them to alternative teaching formats. There will be no schedule change to courses already taught online. Campus will remain open; Pittsburg State will not be closed and will maintain normal operations to ensure students are served remotely and progress toward a degree.
Faculty and staff will report to work unless they are sick, isolated due to potential COVID-19 exposure, or have chronic health conditions that put them at higher risk.
"Courses will resume on schedule following spring break on Monday, March 30, via online or other alternative teaching methods, indefinitely," the university announced in its Friday news release. "Face to face classes will resume when it becomes feasible to do so based on the status of COVID-19 and at the recommendation of public health officials. Axe Library will remain open to provide workspace for students who do not have internet access and computers."
The university’s Critical Response Management Team has been meeting and will continue to meet daily.
"This is a dynamic situation, so we will monitor and take action on a daily basis," Scott said in the release.
The team will continue to monitor expert resources and follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
Earlier this week
On Wednesday, the university suspended all university-led international travel for the remainder of the spring semester. On Thursday, that suspension extended to all domestic travel, including conferences, meetings, or any other university-related travel. Travel in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Arkansas is exempt from this suspension until further notice. All existing university-led travel for the summer, departing after May 15, will be reevaluated.
Pittsburg State’s online resource for COVID-19 is live at pittstate.edu/coronavirus. Resources and information will be added to this page as this public health challenge evolves. Administrators encourage students, staff, faculty, and the public to visit the site for updates.