Important COVID-19 Update From the Office of President Meyer
The University‘s leadership continues to diligently monitor the guidance of federal, state, and local officials as it relates to COVID–19 (coronavirus). The University has also kept in close contact with the leadership of the 29 other Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida (ICUF) institutions and the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE). On April 1st, Governor De Santis issued Executive Order 20–91 which requires that Floridians limit their movements to those essential activities described in the order. This is better known as “shelter–in–place” and that order is set to expire on April 30th. You can read the full text of the order here: https://www.flgov.com/wp–content/uploads/orders/2020/EO_20–91–compressed.pdf
Based on the requirements outlined in the order and out of an abundance of caution, the University is taking the following actions:
Effective immediately, all classes will remain delivered online–only through May 3rd. Currently, we anticipate returning to normal class operations on Monday, May 4th. For students in those programs that require clinical hours, we want to ensure that we make every effort to allow for those clinical experiences to take place in a timely fashion so that graduation is not delayed. As always, they remain subject to availability at the various clinical sites in the region.
We are also very aware of how important the Commencement Exercises are to our students. That ceremony is scheduled to take place on Sunday, June 7th at Hertz Arena. However, due to the uncertainty that exists around the ability and advisability of holding public gatherings such as this, we recognize that we cannot yet know for sure that we will be able to proceed with the ceremony on that date. We also recognize that you need a firm date for planning purposes. The University‘s senior administration will meet on Friday, April 17th to make a final decision whether to hold the ceremony on June 7th as planned or be forced to choose a later date. Either way, we will hold the Commencement Exercises to formally recognize your accomplishments and we will notify you of the firm date after the meeting on the 17th.
All employees will continue to work remotely through through April 30th. We will continue to monitor the guidance and direction of government officials, but at this point, we anticipate returning to normal, on–campus work operations on Monday, May 4th. We will reassess as required.
It is important to note that, insofar as I am aware, no one in the Hodges University community has been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus. We‘d like to help keep it that way. It is also important to remember that while this particular situation is unprecedented, plans to continue classes online and to work remotely have been in place for a number of years as part of our Emergency Preparedness Plan. While those plans primarily contemplated a hurricane, our planned res circumstances is easily applied to the current situation. As always, the University prioritizes our mission to serve our students, and nothing about this COVID–19 response fundamentally changes that! Fortunately, we have an exceptionally committed and dedicated faculty and staff.
The University remains fully staffed and operational, and all Student Services personnel remain available via phone and email. We will continue to keep you updated via email, Canvas, and the website.