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Cleveland State University Office of the President

Dear Members of the CSU family,

As you are aware, yesterday we learned that there are currently three confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Cuyahoga County. All were related to travel outside the state. As of now, there are no confirmed cases on the CSU campus or those associated with CSU. While our students are on Spring Break, the university remains open, although we are continually assessing the situation and closely following the recommended guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). We are also in close and regular contact with the Cleveland Department of Health, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health and the Ohio Department of Health for guidance and information.

Many of you have heard that other colleges and universities are stopping in-person classes on campus and moving to remote content delivery options. We have been in direct contact with Governor DeWine and applaud his leadership - his recommendations are important to us. Given that all our students are on Spring Break this week and not on campus, we are taking a very deliberate and informed approach to how we would do this since, unlike some other locations, many of our students do not have personal computers and some lack remote access to the internet. Our Provost is working closely with Deans, Chairs and faculty leaders to use this week - while students are gone - to develop plans to ensure that all our students, not just those fortunate enough to have personal computers and remote internet access, can continue their education and we can deliver on our commitment to provide them the best educational experience possible. It is more than just saying we will move to online and remote content delivery; it is making sure that we can deliver on our “Engaged Learning” promise the way we deliver on our promise each and every day in the classroom. We will share our plans later this week, along with more information on how we will approach the remainder of the spring semester.

Please know that we will never put the health, well-being or safety of our CSU community at risk.

We have already made several decisions consistent with guidance provided by the CDC and health officials to protect our CSU community:

  1. TRAVEL: We have cancelled all funded overseas travel until the end of August and have cancelled our Summer Abroad programs. We continue to follow CDC guidelines for domestic travel, and are directing any returning members of our CSU community from level 3 countries to complete 14 days of self-quarantine before returning to campus.

  2. EVENTS: We will continue to support athletic events, with some limitations on the number of spectators who attend. This includes the NCAA swimming event on campus this week. We are reviewing all other events and will provide guidance this week before students return.

  3. PERSONS AT RISK: We are closely following CDC guidelines for members of our CSU family who the CDC considers to be at higher risk. We are developing guidance for work center supervisors and leaders to comply with that guidance. Further guidance will be issued this week.

The CSU Coronavirus response team, led by Vice Admiral (Ret.) Dr. Forrest Faison, the former Surgeon General of the Navy and our Senior VP of Research, Innovation, and Health Care Strategy, has been working hard on all aspects of our response to ensure we are fully compliant with guidance and recommendations of the CDC in order to best protect the health and safety of our CSU family. He has extensive experience in pandemic response planning.

I ask for your help in staying healthy: please stay home if you have respiratory symptoms and a fever, wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your face, practice good respiratory etiquette and stay away from sick people.

Thank you again for your understanding and your patience as we work through this unprecedented public health challenge. Only together, as a community, will we get through this.


Harlan M. Sands, J.D., M.B.A.
Cleveland State University

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